Conroe, TX – How many of us really know what it is like to have nowhere to live with your children? Knowing you have a bed to sleep in and are surrounded by caring, compassionate people who want to see you succeed is the goal of Family Promise. What symbolizes homelessness more than a bed or lack thereof?
Family Promise of Montgomery County is thrilled to announce the Inaugural 2018 Bed Races will be Saturday, October 6 beginning at 7:00 am at Heritage Park in Downtown Conroe. Teams of 5 can compete in 4 categories; Youth, Adult, Business, or Government Agency. A team consists of 4 pushers and 1 rider; who MUST remain on the bed the entire time the bed is pushed down the street. Team members are encouraged to choose a theme for their team and decorate their bed and themselves. Creativity counts and all bed costs are borne by entrants. The only requirement is that you must use at least a twin mattress or larger with 4 wheels which must have contact with the ground when crossing the finish line. Teams can register at https://www.familypromiseofmc.org/bed-races/
Teams will race in heats down Newton Street two beds at a time for bragging rights and awards.
Prizes will be awarded for:
- Fastest Bed (overall and by category)
- Best Overall Theme with coordinated teammates
- Best Construction/Design
- People’s Choice Awards – tickets are on sale for $1 each
- Highest Fundraising Merit Award
Family Promise is proud of their families that graduate from the program!
Avery is a single mom of one son and two daughters. They were living in Georgia when Avery lost her job and fell on hard times. She was left with no other option but to move back to Texas to be closer to her family for support. As a mom of teenagers, this was a hard decision to make, because her children would have to leave behind their home and friends, but Avery also felt hopeful because she’d have the chance to be back around family who loved and supported her.
Once she moved to Texas, Avery knew she couldn’t solely rely on her family and that it was her responsibility to take care of herself and her children so she contacted 2-1-1 and found out about Family Promise. At first Avery was afraid to take her children into a shelter, but once she sat down with staff for an interview, she learned that Family Promise was not the ordinary shelter.
“Staff sat and explained that it was a program to help me help myself. We would stay at churches and there would be many volunteers to welcome me and my children. There would be goals for me to meet and the staff made sure they were available to help when I needed it.”
Avery and her children stayed with Family Promise for a little over 90 days. During that time, she received assistance with needed repairs for her vehicle, gas, clothing and food, help with securing employment, and financial support with school. Avery has since acquired her bachelor’s degree and plans to go back for her master’s.
Since her stay, Avery has obtained affordable housing through the Northwest Assistance Ministries. She has been provided with financial assistance with her rental and utility deposits and donated furniture through Family Promise.
“I can’t thank Family Promise enough. I know there are people out there who care and will help you if you work hard. I have learned to save money and spend more time with my children. Now I feel better about myself and about being a mom. My kids and I love our new home and neighborhood and all of this experience has turned out to be a real blessing!”
Family Promise, is a national non-profit organization with over 200 affiliates across the country. Our local affiliate, Family Promise of Montgomery County has the ability to help 4 homeless families at a time through the weekly rotation of faith communities with a collaborative mission to help families increase their job readiness and re-gain stability leading them to become self-sustainable once again. Families with children are given an opportunity to participate in a 90-day comprehensive program with a personalized plan to reach attainable goals with their case manager. Parents are required to attend weekly Life Skills sessions with topics that include Good Parenting, Stress Management, Family Safety, and most importantly Proper Money Management. Families are provided meals, clothing, childcare, transportation, shelter, and compassionate care through partnering churches and volunteers in the community.
“Our generous community and the incredible amount of volunteer support given to us are what drive the compassion that makes this organization as great as it is. We are simply imperfect people helping imperfect people get to better places in their live,” said LaToya Carter, Executive Director for Family Promise of Montgomery County.
“Why a Bed Race Fundraiser? Because it aligns with who we are and the population we are serving. What better way to build community awareness around the challenges children and their families face while experiencing homelessness, than to bring children and their families together for a family-friendly, fun activity that positively impacts our community? We give beds to homeless children and their families along with a safe night’s sleep. Family Promise Bed Races is it, and it’s nothing to sleep on!”
Church partners set up bedding accommodations on Sunday afternoon for a week-long stay through the following Sunday morning. Volunteers with the church provide a morning breakfast for the guests and evening meals. Each family must leave each day to seek work, get their children to school or daycare, or work on their goals at the Family Promise Day Center located near downtown Conroe. The Day Center is where the families conduct job searches, receive case management, cook mid-day meals, do laundry, and store most of their belongings.
Church involvement is critical to the success of Family Promise and the families it serves. Currently there are 11 churches sharing the hosting responsibilities for a week at a time; rotating throughout a calendar year. Church support and donations make all the difference to an organization dependent on weekly volunteers and only 3 staff members.
“Community churches are the back bone to our success! If you attend a church, please consider reaching out to us to see how you can become involved. The homeless children and their families in our community are strong, resilient people who greatly appreciate our County’s resourcefulness to eradicating family homelessness,” responded Shawn Johnson, President of the Board for Family Promise of Montgomery County.
Since 2001, Family Promise of Montgomery County has served nearly 350 families; including 645 children and has helped parents secure stable housing, provide for their families, and be able to contribute back to their community. Additional programs include The ROC Program (Reaching Our Children): counseling and supportive services for children, KAR-GO (Keeping Autos Reliable – Gas & Oil) Program to pay for repairs, tires, registration, and gas. All donations directly assist with meeting the essential needs of families with children; obtaining driver’s license, assistance with medical needs, paying rental deposits, providing families with gas cards, and covering childcare amongst many other necessary services that help a family to get back on their feet. Additional costs for the organization include maintaining the Day Center and providing household supplies to support approximately 20 families a year.
Why not make a difference to families in OUR community while experiencing a friendly competitive event? The Family Promise 2018 Bed Races could be a tradition that gets everyone excited about making a difference in the lives of homeless children and their families who are without a bed.