Identifying the things to be grateful for is an especially powerful source of encouragement. It seems in our current culture of distrust and divide, that the heart of gratitude is often difficult to cultivate. This year in the FPL network, we’ve experienced many examples with much community involvement that powerfully counters the culture of division in our country.
The local community involvement in the work of FPL is the number one starting point for my gratitude today, because without those involved in the mission of FPL through service, prayers and financial support, there would not be a Family Promise of Lawrence. And so, today, I will start our Thanksgiving gratitude list with:
* The volunteers who host families in congregations, prepare and share meals, provide safe, child friendly shelter and offer kind, gracious hospitality to people they did not know previously. The simple kindness of hospitality brings out the best in all of us!
* Call to Community Partners, who have been matched this year with 48 families and provde each program family with an extra layer of support.
* Congregations, organizations and small groups that host, support and volunteer, who run supply drives, have fundraisers, who share generous financial gifts, and serve through love, prayers and supports to the families enrolled in FPL programs.
* Our Board of Directors and those that serve on one of our committees that keep our organization growing running effectively and efficiently.
* Ninth Street Missionary Baptist Church for allowing us the use of our Day Center and the 4-plex apartment complex at 913 for our Temporary Housing Program.
* The community members who donated weekends in August to flip the 913 apartments.
* Larry Wedman, who volunteered as the contractor, project lead and one of many laborers on the Almost Home – Project 913 Apartment flip.
* Lawrence Board of Realtors, and their active members, who worked on the Almost Home, Project 913 in partnership with the FPL network, and provided funding for the flooring, appliances, and ceiling fans, collected furnishings and kitchen supplies, had 40 volunteers on the project and helped stage all 4 of the apartments to prepare them for the families moving in.
* The staff at FPL, who put in more dedicated hours of love, service, heart and soul than any staff I’ve ever had the privilege to work alongside.
* And you – who care deeply about this mission, about the families, the children and our community. Thank you Lawrence and Douglas County. I am grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving to the FPL network of wonderfully generous, gracious, loving people! With a heart of thanksgiving, Dana