March is a great month. We are bursting at the seams with preschoolers! Eight children prenatal to age 4. We have two volunteers that are coming in specifically to work with these youngsters. What a blessing. We have crafts twice a week done by a busy grandma who wants to give back. We are also implementing the PEACH program here at our day center. This is the Physical and Emotional Awareness for Children who are Homeless program created by the National Center on Family Homelessness. The United Way and CDA Kiwanis helped us launch this program last year. We have a ‘houseful’ today that can appreciate it, with a social work student ready and trained to implement it!!! We received the First Books grant again this year! We are so excited to be able to offer books to our guest children.
This is the dawning of a new era. Carmine, our 20 hour a week Experience Works participant has been transferred to a new host site. This is how the Experience Works program broadens the work opportunities and skills of its participants. FPNI was blessed to have Carmine with us for more than the normal 6 months! We celebrated his year and a half with us with a party and speeches. He has seen a lot of transition and growth in the organization. Carmine was our resident grandpa. It was precious to see the kids come up and give him a big hug, or walk by and just check him out with curiosity-he would stare them right back down. He would get a smile out of them every time! We will miss Carmine.
On a lighter note, I went to do the AM van pick up at Trinity Lutheran (in our awesome new mini-van), and I was met by our 3 year old young lady who came running up to me and said with a surprised grin, “you in my house!” Indeed I was. She was happy to show me around as her guest, in her house pointing out who lived where. Even though she was only there for a week, she was settled, safe and loved. I am so glad for the love and care our families get in Family Promise. Our hosts make FPNI a home for our families, not a shelter.