Family Promise is grateful to our guest families who are willing to share their stories openly, and we are equally respectful of those who wish to remain anonymous:
In August 2019, we celebrated an exciting and unexpected donation from an anonymous Cheerful Giver. Along with dozens of other local nonprofits, Family Promise was surprised when Central Carolina Community Foundation president and CEO JoAnn Turnquist handed executive director Karen Newsome a check for $10,000.
Now it's time for the "rest of the story." Family Promise of the Midlands has been humbled by the difference this gift has made, and we want to share that story with you. Click here to read about the projects that the Cheerful Giver made possible.
You can also read more about the generous Cheerful Giver here.
At Family Promise of the Midlands, we celebrate our families' continued steps toward financial stability. This mom completed her GED testing and walked for her diploma last year, and host coordinators, staff, and family were there for her graduation day.
Host Coordinators Martie Walker and Ann Smoak offered GED training through the Richland One education program, and this mom passed the GED test with flying colors.
She is now continuing her education at Midlands Technical College where she is studying to be a phlebotomist, thanks to grant funding from Aflac and housed at Central Carolina Community foundation.
During 2019, six of our guests completed their forklift training and certification. This certificate has opened doors to higher-paying, full-time employment with benefits.
This training project was supported by a grant from Aflac, housed at Central Carolina Community foundation.
Thank you, Aflac and Central Carolina Community foundation for opening doors and changing lives for our guests and their families.
After a house fire, Regina, Winston, and their three children came to Family Promise for help. This family of five was welcomed by our host and support congregations, who provided them with a safe, comfortable place to live and fed them well while Regina and Winston found a way forward.
Before long, they were back on their feet. They moved to Alabama to be near relatives who offered support. Our affiliate helped them with beds for their new home.
Today, their sons, affectionately known as "Tigie" and "Bear," are doing well, and their big sister, Nasha, is now a pre-med student at Marymount University in California.
When our guests graduate, Family Promise of the Midlands offers a year of aftercare to ensure that our families continue to thrive and have the support for sustained independence.
One of our graduates, Ja’Qwann, now lives with her sons in transitional housing while she pursues a nursing degree. She currently enjoys working with patients as a full-time medical assistant. In the evenings, she takes registered nursing classes at Midlands Technical college and will complete this course work in the next year.
Thanks to the project supported by a grant from Aflac, housed at Central Carolina Community foundation, we were able to pay for classes towards this degree. We celebrate the ways that Ja’Qwann’s hard work is moving her toward a better future for her family.
Like many families coming into our program, Casey came with a job. In fact, she came with two jobs. She owned a small business and had seasonal work with a tax company. Unfortunately, these jobs did not provide for her family. During her time with Family Promise, she took classes at Midlands Tech, thanks to a grant from Aflac, housed at Central Carolina Community Foundation.
She completed an office administrative specialist degree, which gave her tools to better manage her landscaping company as well as training and skills to help with her tax job. She is currently completing an accounting and payroll specialist degree that could lead to full-time work in the tax service field.
Family Promise is committed to helping guests break the cycle of poverty by providing educational opportunities that lead to higher-paying jobs. Today Casey is living in interim housing where she can continue to build up her savings while she meets her long-term goals.
Tiffany Stocker had an excellent job and had earned not only a bachelor's degree but a master's degree as well when she was laid off and found herself homeless.
She and her daughter came into the program and were quickly back on their feet again.
Tiffany's story captured the hearts of many, including Craig Melvin of the Today Show, who highlighted Tiffany's plight in a video on Family Promise of the Midlands. Click here to watch and learn more about Tiffany's story.
Today Tiffany serves on the board of directors for Family Promise of the Midlands.
Many times, Family Promise of the Midlands is able to help families without their actually having to enter the program.
Candy has three children, one with special needs and a serious illness. Family Promise staff helped her navigate a complex process to get on a list for low-income housing, and the family found an apartment.
Through a partnership with Ashley Furniture, we were able to provide the children with beds. We also located a donated washer and dryer so Candy didn't have to take her three children (one in a wheelchair) with her to the laundromat.
Michael, Cristina, and their children came into our program after a job loss put the family into a downward spiral. Micheal had been able to find part-time work, but his income was not enough to cover their bills. They came to Family Promise hoping to build a new future for their two children.
Our program provided them the stability they needed to get back on their feet. Soon after they came to Family Promise, Michael received his forklift license; he is working full-time as a chef while pursuing a career using his new certification. With the help of an AFLAC Grant, Cristina began a phlebotomist's certification program at Midlands Tech. Having recently completed her degree, Cristina is excited about her new career and is actively looking for work in this field.
While in Family Promise of the Midlands, they saved enough money to qualify for a donated vehicle. They now live in their new home, where the children are happy to have their own room.
When our congregations opened their doors to one family early in 2019, most did not realize that they were providing a safe place and a warm bed for a baby whose early months were spent living in the family's car.
Thanks to the hard work of the parents and the Family Promise staff, the baby's first steps were taken in the family's new home.
When they left our program, both parents had jobs and the family continued to receive support and case management from our staff.
One of the hallmarks of our program is the "aftercare" we provide families for at least one year after they graduate to ensure that they remain stable.
When Louisa and her grandson came to us, she had a good job where she had worked for more than twenty years. But when her husband passed away, it became difficult to pay bills without a second income, and a medical issue eventually led to the loss of her home.
Today Louisa is “paying it forward” by leading her congregation, Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church, to become a support congregation. In March they served for the first time at Ashland UMC. Louisa shared much it means to work with Family Promise as a former beneficiary of the program: “It was good to see volunteers I remembered and to meet the families in the program. It's exciting that folks from Mt. Hebron were very impressed with the program and look forward to helping again."
Louisa has become an ambassador for Family Promise and an inspiration to the many volunteers and guest families who make their way through our program. Thanks to Louisa, members of Mt. Hebron UMC are finding ways to pay forward the grace in their own lives.
When Stephanie and her daughter, Nashlynn, came into our Family Promise program in 2017, they had nowhere else to turn. Stephanie’s mother, father, and stepfather had passed away several years before, so she did not have a safety net when her family experienced homelessness.
While in our program Stephanie once said,“Family Promise has renewed my faith. It’s been beautiful to watch so many people live out their faith on a day-to-day basis.”
Today Stephanie has built a new life for herself and has a job she enjoys. Nashlynn is thriving and enjoys having a place to call home.
When Ada and Kaitlin came to Family Promise in 2016, they were relieved to have a safe place to call home. They won over the hearts of volunteers who had the pleasure of meeting them.
When they graduated, staff and volunteers celebrated and helped them move into their new home.
Ada now works for a hospital debt solutions company, helping people find ways to eliminate debt: “I was once the person on the other side, and I thought of debt in a negative way. When I received phone calls about unpaid bills, I felt a tremendous burden. But today I encourage people and help them find ways to address their debt. I help them understand that ignoring calls can lead to devastating consequences. I find this work meaningful and love working for this company.”
Ada is proud of Kaitlin, too--an Honor Roll student in middle school, dancing, serving on the yearbook committee, and taking classes for high school credit.
Today Ada is proud to say, “I am making it along, like everyday people.”
When Whitney and Cody came to Family Promise with their two children, ages three and five, they had nowhere else to turn.
Some shelters were full, while others would require them to split up, Whitney and the children going to one shelter and Cody going to another. Desperate to find shelter, they were deeply relieved when they learned that Family Promise could keep them together as they worked their way back to independence.
In just a few weeks' time, Whitney had received her GED, and Cody had earned his fork lift license and secured a full-time job with benefits. Whitney found a part-time job that allows her to contribute to the family income while also spending time with the couple's young children.
While in the program, the family addressed critical dental and other health-care needs. When SC faced potential hurricane devastation, Camp Kinard gave them a safe place to stay. Someone in our community was even kind enough to donate a much-needed vehicle to this family. They have now graduated from the program and have a firm foundation on which to build a secure future.
Their hearts are full of gratitude for all the ways that Family Promise of the Midlands has supported them in their journey to regain independence.
When this discouraged and frightened mother came to Family Promise of the Midlands with her children--ages 15, 14, and 11--the family had been homeless for four months. After her partner fled, she and her children were evicted from their home.
Time in our program gave her the chance to stabilize her family. She now has a full-time job and a part-time job, and she has passed two of the four parts of the GED test.
Family Promise helped this family receive much-needed medical and dental care, school clothes, shoes, supplies, and insurance for school computers. Our staff also coordinated help from other resources: Wateree Community Action, the United Way, and Grace Movers helped provide a smooth and easy transition into the family's new home.
When Dee came to Family Promise with her three children—a five-year-old son and twelve-year-old twin daughters—the family had been experiencing homelessness on and off for about six months.
The family endured many hardships before ending up in our program, but our staff quickly connected Dee to myriad resources in the community.
Dee found a great full-time job, which eventually positioned her to move into permanent, sustainable housing for herself and her children. Immediately after graduating from our program, Dee also acquired a part-time job.
Today, as part of our “aftercare program,” Dee is using her training to build a career as a mechanic, thanks to a grant from Aflac, housed at Central Carolina Community Foundation. She looks forward to entering the field of auto mechanics and to having financial security for her family.
She and her children are thriving and looking forward to the future, thanks to the love and support at the heart of our mission.