Subject: What are you thankful for this year?


by Shan Clesceri

Back in 2014, some people with big dreams and bigger hearts got together and envisioned a Butler County where all children had a place to call home. It was a big goal, but that didn’t stop them from moving forward, and before long they had rallied around a sizable group of like-minded individuals. Leading the charge was Jennifer Withrow, and among those founding members were Larry Brueshaber and Lakmé Kodros. These three amazing, generous individuals have served, in some capacity, for Family Promise of Butler County (FPBC) ever since, and are all current board members who will be completing their terms at the end of this year. We asked each of them to tell us what they are most thankful for during their time with this organization.

“Family Promise of Butler County exists because six years ago several people said, ‘it is not okay for children in Butler County to sleep in their cars, and not have a safe place to live.’ I started this journey in 2014 and have been involved at almost every level of the organization. It is pretty amazing to start something from scratch and see it grow and become sustainable. I will be rolling off the Board in December, but I will not be a stranger. I am so thankful for the people who gave seed money which helped launch this organization. I’m thankful for the congregations who said ‘yes’ to opening their doors to provide food and shelter. I’m thankful for all the volunteers, from board members to church volunteers who give of their time to advance our vision to eradicate family homeless. What I love about the Family Promise model is it brings together a community from different faiths and business affiliations for one focus, and that is to care for the children and families struggling for the basic of needs.

When I stand back and look at the whole picture, I see love, and it gives me great hope in humanity.”  ~Jennifer Withrow, Board President
“Five years ago, we heard the Family Promise plan from a longtime friend, Pastor Randy Stearns. After some research we decided that this was a results-oriented model that would impact our county, so we became substantial donors of both our time and our resources. Through our children and grandchildren, we know how much impact their early years have on them. They observe and absorb far more than we think they do. For the children we serve, to experience the compassion from a community of strangers, has to have a profound effect on their future. Family Promise simply gets results to keep families together and get them back on the right track better than any other program! We will continue to support this valuable program.” ~Larry Brueshaber, Board Member
“I am most thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with folks from the various religious communities in our county in order to form a charitable organization to help address the needs of homeless children and their families. Family Promise of Butler County was borne of pure determination as the board faced one hurdle after another in its infancy. It is with a great deal of humility and thanksgiving to see what FPBC has become and where we are today! God bless each and every supporter of this organization!”
~Lakmé Kodros, Board Member
Over the last 6 years, FPBC has seen a handful of staff and board members come and go. But we’ve also seen a great deal of growth along the way, due in no small part to the leadership and commitment of these three people. As 2020 comes to a close, sadly for us, Jennifer, Larry and Lakmé will be closing out their time as board members of FPBC. We are so very thankful for their commitment to this organization and the countless hours they have spent working towards the vision of eradicating family homelessness in Butler County. We look forward to the next chapter with them serving in a different capacity! ;)

Why We Are Grateful

2020 has been a hard year for all of us. We are trying to navigate a global pandemic, decide how to deal with social and racial injustices, and it’s a big election year! Adding these to our own personal life choices has been complicated at times and might have caused us to lose hope. But, let’s not lose sight of all the things we are grateful for!

Here at Family Promise of Butler County (FPBC) we have been counting all the reasons we have to be thankful. First and foremost, we have not stopped serving families. To date, we have served 15 families (16 adults & 33 children) in shelter. Additionally, we have received 3 new grants that have enabled us to begin a new Diversion Program. This program assists families who are either homeless or in imminent risk of becoming so. We are able to provide case management, housing search assistance and financial resources for security deposits and first month’s rent. Since May 1st we have served 29 families successfully, and 9 families are working on securing housing at this time. In addition to these services, we recently received CARES Act funding that will allow us to serve more families in the shelter program by placing them in a hotel/motel until we have room in our shelter.

In order to provide all of the above services and shelter, we have been successful in hiring a 2nd Family Service Coordinator, Sherry Lind. Sherry started in October and has hit the ground running. We are thrilled to have her joining our team!

Additionally, we are fortunate to have added another congregation to our rotational schedule. This puts us at 14 host congregations, and we are hopeful we can add another 4 in 2021.

Last but most certainly not least, we are so grateful for a vision team that worked hard this summer to develop a vision plan for our next 3 to 5 years. This plan was adopted by our Board of Directors at our September Board Retreat. This vision is grand and super exciting! Look for more details to be rolled out in the first part of the new year!

So yes, it has been a hard, sometimes complicated season, but the blessings have outweighed all of the difficulties.
When we look at our 2020 year, I have to say we have much to be grateful for. I hope you can find blessings in your year and will join us in celebrating all we have to be thankful for here at FPBC!



Save the Date(s)!
Sunday, November 29 @ 4 pm -
Wednesday, December 2 @ 8 pm
Enjoy 3 days of giving and receiving fun! Bid on great items such as gift cards to local businesses, gift baskets, a case of wine, sports memorabilia and more!! It’s like Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday rolled into one!

Click on the button to view items in advance
(Items are being added daily)

Day Center Needs

The following items are for graduated families to set up their new homes with and should be new:
  • pot/pan sets
  • cooking utensils
  • disinfectant wipes
  • bath towels
  • cookie sheets & bakeware sets
  • vinyl shower curtains with hooks
If you would like to provide any of these items, please drop them off at the Day Center at: 19 S. Front Street, Hamilton or contact Linda at 513-444-2033.
Shopping on Amazon?
Would you please consider moving over to Amazon Smile and choosing Family Promise of Butler County as your designated charity? You get all the best of Amazon, including your Prime benefits, and FPBC gets a donation from each purchase you make! Everybody wins! :)

Host Congregation 

by Tera Michelson

When West Chester Nazarene Church transforms their church into a home-away-from-home for Family Promise of Butler County, it’s a reminder of God’s great big family—a network of support that comes together when there is need.

West Chester Nazarene Church member Ralph Funderburg has been serving as a volunteer with the Family Promise of Butler County program for four years. One of his favorite parts of being a host is what happens when families gather for meals.

“It draws us closer to the families and to the host team,” Ralph shares. “Before COVID, we would sit with the families at dinner time and share with them. Now, we serve food to the families, one at a time. The experience impacts not only the families, but our church, too,” he says.

Between the passing of the veggies and the exchange of stories comes a communion of spirit and shared burdens—holy moments. Around tables at host churches all over Butler County, Family Promise fights homelessness by keeping families together and building support around them. Every meal is like Thanksgiving: all sides of the table are grateful.

“I’m thankful that Family Promise of Butler County started in this area and that we can be a church that can host families,” Ralph says. “There’s more of a need now than there ever was.”

Learn how your church can partner with Family Promise of Butler County to end homelessness. Contact Linda at 513-444-2033.
Thank You for Helping Us Keep the Promise!
We would like to send a big thank you to all who answered the call and participated in our virtual Keeping the Promise event in September. We did not know what to expect from this kind of event. We should have known our supporters would come through to help Butler County families to keep the hope alive in this crazy year, with donations totaling over $39,000! We are SO THANKFUL to have such a generous support base out there!
If you missed the event, no worries! Take a look at the video link below. LaTasha's story was featured during the event. Many people told us how moved and inspired they were by her bravery and perseverance in the face of homelessness. We think she's a pretty special lady! 💙💛
Family Promise of Butler County is a 501(3)(c) non-profit charity.  
Donations are tax deductible.
Thank you for your continued support!

PO Box 95, Hamilton, OH 45011, United States
You may unsubscribe or change your contact details at any time.