Family Promise of Birmingham is one of our church's mission partners. In our latest Ministry Highlights blog, church member Drew Smith shares more about his experience volunteering with Family Promise of Birmingham and serving on the Board of Family Promise of Birmingham. We hope you'll consider volunteering to help when we host Family Promise on April 10-17. We need people to provide meals, serve as night hosts, and set up beds on April 10. If you're available, contact Amy Hirsch (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Several years ago, while on a trip to a basketball game in Atlanta with Bob Baker and several other church members, Wayne asked whether I would be interested in representing Mountain Brook Baptist on the Board for Family Promise of Birmingham. My immediate thought was, "Why me?" I had never served on a Board in any capacity and was early in my professional career. What could I offer to a Board, much less one I didn’t know much about? Little did I know the impact that serving this organization and families would have on my life.
Family Promise is the leading national nonprofit addressing family homelessness, providing homelessness prevention, emergency shelter, workforce development, education, financial capability, and so much more. "What does that actually mean?" you ask? Family Promise provides shelter for families who have experienced something in their lives that impacted their ability to pay their bills and thus provide shelter for themselves and their family. Churches around the Birmingham Metro area generously host these families for a week at a time, providing a place to sleep, get ready for work and school in the morning, and meals. The emphasis we place is on families. Did you know that if a mother has a 12-year-old son and they have to stay the night in a shelter, the mother stays at the women’s shelter and the son would have to stay in a men’s shelter by himself? The minute I learned this I was hooked.
Mountain Brook Baptist serves as one of our host congregations. When our congregation hosts, we need people to provide food each night, as well as at least one person to stay overnight as the night host. I encourage anyone who serves in any capacity when our congregation hosts to bring their families. Some of the best times I’ve had when hosting with my wife Maegan is when another volunteer brings their kids, and we play basketball or kickball in the gym with the families we’re hosting! Spending time with the families allows us to witness to our guests and provide an example of a Christian family unit.
Looking back, I’m incredibly grateful that God provided me with the opportunity to work with this incredible organization. I’ve served as Vice President for the past couple of years and later this year will be transitioning to President of the Board. Mountain Brook Baptist will be hosting our first family since COVID began in April. I ask that you consider volunteering in some capacity when we do. Working with these families changed me and if you take the opportunity, I guarantee it will do the same for you.