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PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Bed races help Family Promise

Did you know that the National Center on Family Homelessness reports that one in 45 children is homeless in America each year? According to this statistic, each year in Gwinnett County there are an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 homeless children.

Family Promise of Gwinnett County has been serving homeless children and their families in our community for eight years. Half of all the children we have served have been age 6 or younger. We want to make a difference in the lives of homeless families because we believe that no child should have to experience the stress and uncertainty of being homeless.

Family Promise has a unique approach of solving the issue of homelessness. Using existing resources and compassionate citizens we make a real and lasting impact on homeless families. There are hundreds of congregations across our county that not only sit empty overnight, but are also filled with caring, people of faith. We are an Interfaith Hospitality Network of 34 congregations that provide shelter, meals, and support services for homeless families in Gwinnett County. It is our goal to help families achieve self-sufficiency by providing the resources and support they need in a safe and loving environment. Family Promise is ending homelessness in Gwinnett County – one family at a time, and you can be a part of it!

Family Promise has created a silly way to address the serious issue of family homelessness in our county. We race beds around the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville each year in early spring. Why? Most of us take daily shelter for granted, and we especially take for granted the nice, warm bed we enjoy each night. Racing beds reminds us that there are many children right here in Gwinnett County who don’t have the luxury of a bed each night and we have to do something about it. We also race because it is a fun and exciting way to draw attention and awareness to the issue of family homelessness in our community.

You don’t want to miss this year’s race on March 16. This year is going to be bigger and better. We will be partnering with the Spring Green Festival in Lawrenceville for a full day of family fun.

The 4th Annual Family Promise Bed Race will begin at 11 a.m. on the Lawrenceville Square with the parade of beds and the People’s Choice Award voting. The competitive bed race heats will begin at 11:30 with race teams pushing their hearts out for the fastest time and a chance at the coveted “Grand Champion” title.

Come cheer on some of this year’s teams: Pigs in a Blanket, the Bed of Moses, Stiff Competition, Seuss on the Loose, Tanning Bed and Mixed Nuts. David Chandley from Channel 2 Action News will be our grand marshall and race announcer for the day.

Our event will conclude around 12:45 p.m. with a closing ceremony to celebrate the winning teams. The real winners will be the homeless children and their families in Gwinnett County that will benefit from the services of Family Promise because of all the funds and awareness we will raise. Don’t miss it.

For more information on the Bed Race go to:

www.familypromisegwinnett.org

For more information on the Spring Green Festival go to: www.springgreenfestival.com

Brent Bohanan is Executive Director of Family Promise of Gwinnett County, Inc. Fore moe info on the organization, go to www.familypromisegwinnett.org

People Helping People is a publication of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services. For more information contact Ellen Gerstein at ellen@gwinnettcoalition.org.