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Media contact: Eileen Sigler, 541.780.5137


Who Do We Love? Hearts For The Homeless

Categories: Email Newsletter, Events, Food, Homeless Aid, First Place Family Center, Volunteers
Date: Friday, February 12 2016


Pictured at left, First Place volunteers Joan Obie and Candy Snook with Night Shelter Coordinator Beckey Beck.

What's not to love about the First Place Kids Early Childhood Program and its smiling staff, from left, Director Eileen Chanti and her interns, from left, Margo, Melissa, Ele, Samantha and Marina.

Who do we love?

two ladies

At First Place Family Center it’s parents who work hard to restore a home for their families, and the kind people who help them do it. That’s what brought a cheery crowd to First Place on Feb. 12 to celebrate the nurturing and empowerment of 614 families in 2015. The families included 1,200 children who, despite having no home, could eat, wear clean clothes, and play with other kids every day. Forty-seven of those families also experienced the hospitality of local faith communities as guests of the Interfaith Night Shelter.

What does it take?

For 2015 the numbers are in: 2,464 volunteers investing 13,073 hours of their own time; 31 faith communities, and a staff of caring people like Eileen Chanti whose First Place Kids Early Childhood Program served more than 180 children through age 6.

Add to that two fundraisers and the blessing of grantors and donors, and you have another year of service to homeless families with children.

Who do we love?

All the folks who showed up at First Place on Feb. 12 for Heart for the Homeless as well as the hundreds more who couldn’t make it. Certificates, flowers, candy and even lovely Aurora glass bowls don’t hold a candle to the compassion, time and resources that are shared with families through Night Shelter, and every day of the year.

To call out a few of the many honorees:Top row from left, Janine Russell from Hope Lutheran, and Alice Parman and Linda Hart from St. Mary's Episcopal; 2nd row from left, Karen Gillette from First Baptist Springfield, and Joella Ewing and Merle Bottge from Central Presbyterian, 3rd row from left, Judy Brown from Ebbert Memorial UMC, and Nathan Keffer of FOOD for Lane County with First Place Family Center Director William Wise; 4th row from left, Elena Fracchia, United Way, and Marcia Whistler of First Baptist Eugene and our Heart for the Homeless emcee Greg Ilg.

Happy Valentine's Month!