SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit Area Public Foundation (SAPF) has awarded a $20,000 grant to Summit-based national nonprofit Family Promise, funds that will support Family Promise's expansion of its volunteer management program to include new technology that will assist the organization with engaging volunteers while also enhancing prevention and stabilization efforts for families at risk of homelessness in Union County.
The grant will allow Family Promise to pilot the volunteer management tool, developed through the JPMorgan Chase Force for Good initiative, in Union County and ultimately offer it to its more than 200 Affiliates nationwide. Nationally, more than 200,000 volunteers engage with Family Promise, with 1,500 in Union County, and 500 from Summit.
“Since its founding over 30 years ago by Karen Olson here in Summit, Family Promise has been integrally connected to our community through volunteers, donations and board governance," said SAPF president Julie Keenan. "The Summit Area Public Foundation is pleased to support Family Promise’s local initiative for volunteer management, with the hope that the program becomes a model beyond Union County."
The heart of Family Promise’s work, each week volunteers welcome families, converting congregational space into home-like accommodations for them to live in while in its shelter program. They are hosts, cooks, mentors, and friends. Ten Summit congregations participate in the Union County Program.
“Summit is our main base of support for volunteers in Union County," said Amy Jones, Family Promise's Manager of Volunteer Engagement. "The dedicated individuals and companies help families move into their new homes, deliver in-kind donations, and form meaningful relationships with families experiencing homelessness,”
This year, community members can also play a role in preventing families from experiencing homelessness and in supporting families long-term. “We will be opening our office at 71 Summit Avenue for regular volunteer activities where Summit residents can drop off items or come with their kids to take part in an activity that will benefit families we serve,” added Jones.