Sunday, July 18, 2010

An Interview with Andy Clark (co-coordinator at WCC Pres)

Andy Clark is one of the co-coordinators for Family Promise at WCC Presbyterian.  He has had a passion for the homeless for quite some time, especially as winter would hit and he would think about homeless people out in the cold.  He contacted a homeless shelter, but couldn't find quite the right way to "plug in" and help.  Andy was thinking "in this bad economy, there has got to be a way for our church to help the homeless directly."  However, the challenges were deep, how to even get started?

Andy heard about Family Promise through another church that was joining, Limestone Presbyterian Church, and came to an information session we held there in early 2009.  After hearing about Family Promise, Andy worked with his pastor, (soon to be) co-director Bev McFarland, and others at WCC Presbyterian to bring Family Promise to their church.  Andy feels that Family Promise is a way to involve a large group of people at their church (~50), each in their own small way, to help homeless families directly. 

What would Andy say to other potentially interested congregations?  "It's easier than you think to get involved" he says, "with the program design, roles outlined well and a good division of responsibilities."  He also says "this is a very rewarding opportunity, for the volunteers and the families.  What I enjoyed most is seeing the laughing of the kids and the lifting of the guests' burdens.  This has been a very rewarding experience for the volunteers with a relatively easy time commitment."

Incidentally, Andy has an IT consulting firm and has provided his expertise to Family Promise - notably in setting up the computer system at the FP center.  Andy - thank you!

Bev McFarland is the other co-coordinator at WCC Pres. She was traveling in Alaska when we visited (sounds nice!) so we didn't catch her. Here's a "stock photo" of her from the WCC Pres website. Thanks Bev for everything you are doing!

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