Family Promise
Our hosting opportunities in 2018 are:
January 28~February 4
June 17 ~ June 24
August 12 - August 19 

We host all week, but we are particularly in charge of supplying meals, entertaining the children, and providing overnight support on the Tuesdays of those weeks

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We hosted on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Here's our crew of helpers!
The guest families were wonderful and all the hosts had a good time too!
The room is ready for our family for the week.
We provide the bed linens, lamp, alarm clock and other amenities for this room (the cots, mattresses and pillows are provided by Family Promise)
At 6:30 am, a van picks the families up  at the church where they have slept. The van takes them to  the Family Promise headquarters in Ridgewood ,where there are  two showers and laundry facilities.. During the week, the adults go to work and the children go to school or day care.  The families assemble at the Ridgewood location again in the evening and the van takes them back to the church where they will sleep. During the week-ends, families use the Ridgewood location as  their home base during the day.

 

First Congregational Church participates in Family Promise of Bergen County to provide a safe, warm and welcoming environment for homeless working families with children.  Our church has been part of this vital family shelter ministry since its launch in 1986.

 

Volunteers from First Congregational Church of River Edge, working with the program hosted at St. Peter's Church,  take our turn to prepare the evening meals, provide companionship and support, and act as overnight hosts for the guest families.

Buffet dinner and dining tables set up for Family Promise guests, including a young guest celebrating her birthday

What is the Family Shelter Ministry?

The Family Shelter Ministry works with Family Promise of Bergen County to provide a safe, warm and welcoming environment for families with children who are homeless.

St. Peter’s the Apostle Roman Catholic Church of River Edge  is the hosting parish and is supported by St. Joe’s in Oradell, Temple Avodat Shalom and First Congregational Church in River Edge.

Families are hosted 3 separate weeks during the calendar year and arrive on a Sunday evening at 5 pm and leave the following Sunday after breakfast at 7:30 am.

Each congregation (St. Peter’s, St. Joe’s, Temple Avodat Shalom & First Congregational) is responsible for overseeing 1-2 days during the week to provide meals, family entertainment and overnight hosting. Guest  families leave St. Peter’s at 6 am each day and arrive back at 6 pm in the evening.  They have dinner, prepare their lunch for the next day and sleep overnight in St. Peter's  Parish Center.

Some of the workers from First Congregational Church helping to set up the buffet and preparing to stay overnight.
How you can help

Volunteers are needed in many different ways:

  • Meal preparation; cooking, serving, clean up
  • Facility preparation; set-up of the St. Peter's Parish Center kitchen and the four Parish Center rooms Saturday/Sunday before the week begins; and break-down  at the end of the week (Sunday) plus laundering of bedding.
  • Volunteers (2 each night) are needed to sleep overnight one night to ensure the safety and well-being of the families
  • Volunteers are needed to provide family entertainment for the children from 7:30-9:00 which can include playing games, crafts, movies, etc.
Overnight sleeping quarters for the First Congregation Church workers

Who can Participate in this Ministry?

In addition to adult volunteers, confirmation candidates are encouraged to participate in this ministry for evening entertainment (7:30-9:00 pm), serving dinner (6:30-7:30 pm). 

To find out more about this Family Shelter Ministry, visit their website at  Family Promise of Bergen County