• Family Promise

In many parts of the world, a car is a luxury item. However, in our little corner of the world, it is extremely difficult for a family to manage life without a car.

In more metropolitan areas, of course, public transportation is available. But in New Braunfels, not so much. A single person who lives close to their work and the grocery store could probably manage on foot or with a bike. The needs of a family are many and a car is an important part of establishing sustained independence.

Often, obtaining a car is one of the more difficult obstacles for a family to overcome when lifting themselves out of crisis and homelessness.

In order to keep a decent job, get kids to and from school/daycare, do the grocery shopping, go to appointments, and all the other things that families do every day to keep the wheels turning on their lives - a car is essential.

Sometimes families come to us with a car. Sometimes they have a car but cannot afford repairs. When that is the case we can usually assist with repair costs or, at least, help them figure out how to get their car fixed.

Many times for a variety of reasons, families who are working toward graduation do not have a car or do not have hope of buying one. And, in order to graduate from the Family Promise program, a transportation plan is one of the goals that must be met.

One of the greatest ways to support Family Promise of Greater New Braunfels and one of the biggest gifts you could give a family is to donate a gently used vehicle.

The process is simple.

First, call us. We will have a brief conversation about your vehicle to determine if it would be a good fit for donation.

Then, once we decide to move forward, you take the vehicle to Christian Brothers Automotive for a free assessment.

They will thoroughly inspect the car and determine what the cost might be for updates or repairs. Christian Brothers will call FPGNB to give us the estimate (since we would cover the cost to get the vehicle in good working condition). We will determine if it is a vehicle we can accept. If it is, then you will transfer the title of the car to Family Promise and we will get you all the paperwork needed to be able to make a deduction on your taxes.

We will then match the vehicle to a worthy family.

As the year is coming to a close, consider donating a vehicle to Family Promise of Greater New Braunfels. This tax-deductible gift can have such a big and positive impact in the life of a family.

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  • Family Promise

Meet Jan Hutchings who is an Administrative Assistant with Family Promise of Greater New Braunfels. She also volunteers as an overnight person when her church hosts families.

Jan started with FPGNB as a volunteer in the summer of 2013 as they prepared for the opening - helping with painting and getting the old day center ready for guests. After the first guests were accepted into the program, she started volunteering as a receptionist, opening/closing the day center and answering phone calls, as well as volunteering with her church when they hosted. At the time, the only paid employee was Stacey Minor, the first Executive Director. Jan was hired in September of 2013 as the part-time Administrative Assistant and has been with FPGNB in this capacity since then.

Right before starting with Family Promise, Jan retired from teaching. It was not unusual for her to have children in her class who were experiencing homelessness (on average one child a year). These children might be living doubled up with extended family, rotating through different relatives’ and friends’ homes, coming in from the Crisis Center, sleeping on couches, or in a car. She saw the tremendous effect homelessness wreaks on children. Their attendance was frequently spotty and in class they had difficulty paying attention and completing assignments, tired from lack of sleep or distracted by problems that their families were coping with. Education simply could not have the same level of priority that children sleeping in a safe, secure, and stable environment enjoyed. Communities in Schools was a great resource for families, but it wasn’t enough. This close-up view of the difficulties of children experiencing homelessness made Jan know that she wanted to be a part of Family Promise when her church began discussing supporting this new nonprofit.

“I loved, and still love, that Family Promise is making a difference in children’s lives and is affecting generational change in the cycles of poverty and homelessness.”

Jan is very excited to see FPGNB expanding its efforts into programs geared toward the prevention of homelessness. The current Executive Director, Sarah, along with Family Services Coordinator, Jill, has continued the program’s shelter and graduate support components, and has implemented initiatives that assist families who are still housed but who are experiencing severe financial hardship and are at serious risk of becoming homeless. Experiencing homelessness is a traumatic event in a family’s journey. While Jan loves that they are able to help families overcome homelessness through the shelter program, she knows that preventing it from happening in the first place will allow FPGNB to have an even greater impact on the lives of families in our communities.

Thank you, Jan Hutchings, for your hard work, dedication, and many contributions (seen and unseen).

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  • Family Promise

St. Francis by the Lake has been an Episcopal presence at Canyon Lake since the 1970s. Fr. David came to St. Francis in 2010. He had been searching for a parish that was highly involved in outreach ministry. When he fo

und St. Francis, he found what he was looking for. Presently, they have 70 different outreach ministries; some are one-person ministries, while others involve a whole team. A few of those ministries are international.

A few of St. Francis’ parishioners first learned about Family Promise through Marie and Pastor Paul Miller of St. Andrew Lutheran Church of Canyon Lake. St. Andrew was hosting families, and upon learning about the program, St. Francis volunteers offered support to St. Andrew during the week they were hosting families. Fr David and the parish felt called to be even more involved. This became a very important detail to factor in as they made plans to build what they call their Ministry and Outreach Center. They’ve continued to support St. Andrew, but they are very glad to be able to host families now.

From a biblical and theological standpoint, Fr. David and his parish believe that caring for those in need is one of the primary tasks of the church. The first leaders of the church directed that some believers be tasked with caring for those who had no one else to care for them. (Acts 6.1-6) This and other mandates have been their inspiration and guidance, and especially:

...Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” Matthew 14.16 (NKJV)

This call, however, goes deeper. One of the reasons why Fr David and St. Francis feel so strongly about supporting Family Promise is, they see its ministry implications: Family Promise not only feeds the hungry, but also embraces the families, gives them shelter, walks with them through their hardships, and offers appropriate support to break the cycle of homelessness. Meeting people where they are and helping t

hem in ways that encourage empowerment is something about which Fr. David is passionate.

We are so grateful that Fr. David and the entire St. Francis by the Lake parish have joined the Family Promise family.

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