By Ginny Levenback, Unity Church
What if there was a way for you to donate your time, goods, or network to help be the key to someone's new future? Whether it is through joining the Welcome Home Fund Committee, becoming a donor to the Welcome Home Fund via a monetary donation, or by organizing a give-back drive, there are a number of ways you can help!
One way that community partners like Unity Church choose to give is through the Welcome Home Fund. The Welcome Home Fund provides Welcome baskets full of home goods (utensils, towels, blankets, etc.), purchases furniture, and pays for things like application fees that other funding sources don't cover for people moving into permanent housing through The Way Home.
At Unity Church of Houston, we have the opportunity to welcome these formerly homeless individuals into their homes with Welcome Baskets thanks to our partnership with The Way Home and the Welcome Home Fund.
One of the core values of Unity of Houston is sacred service. Unity in the Community (UIC) gives congregants the opportunity to put spiritual principles into practice in their community. Unity tries to make the world a better and safer place by focusing on hunger, child advocacy, and homelessness.
UIC sponsors a full calendar of service projects and offers projects that families can do together, as well as project that involve varying levels of engagement with those being helped. For example, many congregants enjoy volunteering at The Beacon day shelter because it is a hands-on experience. At The Beacon, volunteers prepare and serve meals and do laundry for the more than 300 homeless men and women who visit The Beacon each day.
Over the years, UIC has embraced a project that provides Welcome Baskets to formerly homeless individuals moving into permanent housing. The essential home goods that come with each Welcome Basket help turn a house into a home. Congregants can purchase supplies while they do their regular shopping and then volunteer - even with young children - to assemble the baskets. Our congregants have a heart for this project because it is hard to imagine what it would be like to live in a home without sheets, a pillow, or even a toothbrush.
To-date, Unity has contributed more than 350 Welcome Baskets to The Way Home that are being delivered to clients served by multiple partners of The Way Home, including: Avenue 360, Harmony House, Harris County Community Services, Houston Compass, SEARCH Homeless Services, Star of Hope, and The Women's Home.
To find out how you can help, please contact Renee Cavazos at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Take Action page. Do you have a fundraising idea? Email Renee to figure out the best way to partner with the Coalition and The Way Home.