CRANFORD, NJ – The second-grade classes at St. Michael School chose the charity Family Promise to be their year-long service project. Second-grade teachers Eva McGlynn and Pat Provod had their classes participate in Houses for Change, an arts and crafts project to help raise awareness and money for homeless families.

The students decorated cardboard houses in the fall to be used as a bank and throughout the school year they earned money doing chores to fill their houses.

Through their efforts, the second-graders raised $1,010 for the charity. They presented a check for $500 to the St. Michael’s Family Promise, which will help with the costs incurred when the parish hosts families. The remaining $510 was given to Geleen Donovan, Executive Director of Family Promise-Union County Program and will go to the Union County affiliate of Family Promise, to be used in supporting the families as they transition to independent living.

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St. Michael’s Church hosts families three times a year, the next host week begins on July 31.

When asked what hosting a family means to the parish of St. Michael, Nancy Mahoney Family Promise Coordinator for St. Michael’s Parish, said, “Hosting a Family Promise at St. Michael’s Parish has brought together our congregation, young and old, who volunteer their time to this worthy cause.”

For more information about this organization and volunteering opportunities, please contact Nancy Mahoney at:

According to website, more than 40,000 kids have raised more than $500,000 for charities of their choice in the Houses for Change collection boxes they created.

Houses for Change was created by long-time Family Promise volunteer Mark Wasserman to engage youth in the issue of family homelessness and to teach kids the values of compassion, charity and saving–values that will last them a lifetime.

Houses for Change has universal appeal. It has been adopted by families, schools, congregations, Vacation Bible School, homeless organizations, the United Way, and the YMCA to engage their youth in a meaningful service project. The project can be used at community service days and children’s parties as piggy banks; at churches as Advent, Lenten and collection boxes; and at synagogues as tzedakah boxes.

For more information on Houses of Change, visit