I am usually aware of the title of a book I am reading because I think that the author intends for it to be significant. Sometimes it may have more than one interpretation or level of meaning. Often the same is true of organizations.
At the Woman's Club meeting on Feb. 1, the speaker was Donna (Weaver) Yaughn, representing Family Promise of Dawson County, sub-titled "A community response for homeless families."
Actually, the local group is still working to achieve the basic goal required to become part of this national church-sponsored organization: To have at least 13 congregations sign as participants. The mission statement is "to strive to provide supportive services for homeless families to enable them to achieve independence."
It is not an easy commitment.
Host congregations must four times a year, one week at a time, provide overnight lodging, breakfast, sack lunch and dinner for three to five families.
The families are screened and referred by local social service agencies, who are also assisting in finding jobs, housing and other needed services.
amily Promise must provide a day center from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., where guests can shower, care for pre-school children, have a mailing address as they seek employment, etc.
Although there must be a paid director at the center, most of the services at the center and the churches must be provided by volunteers.
The center also provides a van for transportation.
The guests (families being served) also have many responsibilities.
The period of time for which they are eligible for these services is limited, and if the adults involved are not employed, they must actively look for work.
The purpose of such interfaith hospitality is to provide temporary support so that these families can get into more permanent situations.
To realize the need for this type of support, one only has to know that there has been more than 150 documented cases of homeless children currently in the Dawson County school system.
And these are the families we know about.
If your congregation would like to know more about Family Promise, call (706) 499-2198 or check online Facebook: Family Promise of Dawson County.
But what about the name?
It is a promise to families that they will be treated with respect, dignity and caring. In return, the family promises to live up to their own capabilities and responsibilities, working toward independence.
The promise is a two-way street.
As club members looked at the budget being considered and adopted, I noted the names of some other projects: Leap for Literacy, Relay for Life, NOA (No One Alone).
These titles also have double meanings and are intended to be more engaging than "help kids learn, do cancer research, stop domestic violence."
Then on Feb. 2, I attended the retired educators meeting and learned about the possibility of an opportunity that we may really want to miss.
But that's for another column -- or two.
Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson County News.