Ten years ago right now, the first families at the Catholic Charities Father Ed Judy House were tucking their kids into bed.
The families were settling into their bunk beds, staying in rooms that still hold the same names that they do today- named after Colorado fourteen-ers, representing the challenge that it is to take the road out of homelessness. The named bedrooms also show that the rooms, and the families who stay there, aren’t just numbers. There is a sense of dignity to staying in the Elbert room, instead of in Room 8. The moms and their children are much, much more than that.
Over 400 families have come through our doors these past 10 years, and over 700 children. These numbers are huge. We’ve also had amazing support from donors and volunteers each and every year- these numbers are huge, too. But we know that at Father Ed’s, the numbers aren’t what we really count. We count on the relationships that we build and foster, the trust that develops that helps families succeed in housing and reach their goals.
We’ve lost touch with those first families who stayed in the Elbert, Colombia, Capital, and Humboldt rooms. But we’ve stayed in touch with many more, both through our alumni program and through less-formal catch-up phone calls and visits. We’ve been blessed to see an amazing amount of success stories, and blessed too, to walk with families through some really tough struggles. We’ve seen families through new births, through GED graduations, through cancer treatment, through new apartments, through moving again, through new jobs, through returned abusers, through new healthy relationships, through baptisms, through middle school, and through bravery that impresses me every day.
So as we celebrate all that has happened over these first ten years, please know that our numbers are great, but YOU are more than the numbers.
- You are more than a checkmark on our statistics; you are a mom, an alumni, with amazing children and a spirit that impresses us all.
- You are more than two bottles of shampoo, a case of diapers, or a table and chairs; you are a donor who listens to our needs and responds with a full heart.
- You are more than a prayer partner; you hold our stories dear to your heart, no matter their weight, and you lift us all up.
- You are more than a dinner donation; you take the time to shop, chop, plan, and deliver, all with care for our families and their needs.
- You are more than the hours you spend volunteering with the children here; you remind these social-service-weary families that people care and will look them in the eyes, supporting them beyond the bare minimum of what they need.
- You are more than a past employee; you dedicated hours of time to really listen to the families here, rarely during regular business hours, and always bringing your best self and best practices to the work here.
Please join us to celebrate YOU, and all that you have done to support the Father Ed Judy House these past ten years. We invite you to join us-
Friday, May 8th, 2015
(Speakers begin at 4:00)
There will be an open house, tours from alumni, snacks, and a bounce house.
Let us know if you can make it- 303-866-7641, or FEJHVolunteers@ccdenver.org
Thank YOU, for everything.