Family Promise of the Verdugos is back after a brief break to reorganize its administration. Area artists will come together to help the board of directors with the fifth annual Empty Bowl Lunch and Arts & Crafts Fair from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday in St. Albert Hall at St. Finbar Church.
The local nonprofit helps first-time homeless families with children find housing and sustainable employment. In exchange for a $30 donation ($10 for children 11 and younger), this unique fundraiser offers guests a simple meal of soup, bread and dessert donated by area restaurants. Artists create ceramic bowls and guests can choose one to take home.
The empty bowl is a souvenir and a reminder of the hunger and uncertainty homeless families face every day, said Yvette Herrera of Burbank, a member of the board of directors and event chair.
Also, area artists will have their arts-and-craft items on display for sale.
Luncheon proceeds go to the organization's operations. The main cost is salaries for the case workers who help the adults find jobs, housing and the van driver who provides transportation for the families. The other costs are rent and utilities at the organization's office, Herrera said.
Family Promise of the Verdugos has a rigorous screening process because they look for families that are most likely to succeed in the program, Herrera said.
"We look for parents who really want to take care of their children," she said.
The organization first works to help parents secure jobs and then housing comes next.
At this time, Family Promise of the Verdugos is looking for new congregations to be a part of the program. There are two levels of involvement. The first level is being a host congregation, which means the church provides a location for the families to stay overnight for one week. Family Promise accepts public donations of bedding, toiletries and cleaning supplies they provide for the families.
The second level is a support congregation, which works with the host congregation to provide families with breakfast, lunch and dinner for 20 people — 15 family members and five volunteers.
To make a donation or to volunteer, visit familypromiseverdugos.org.
Graduating seniors complete charity work
Ticktockers of National Charity League Burbank recently culminated years of commitment to local charities during the "Senior Presentation" at the Millennium Biltmore.
The high school graduating seniors presented were Gabriella Barbarino, Megan Kenney, Rachel Flinders, Amanda Martinez, Darby Adams, Sara Treadway, Cassandra Madrazo, Allyson Jessen, Loran Kraljevski, Kelsey Strong and Jenna Jayasinghe.
The girls completed more than 6,418 hours of community service at their philanthropies during their six years in National Charity League. Together, the 11 girls completed 1,575 hours during their senior year.
Some of the 25 philanthropies to which they give time included the American Cancer Society, Boys & Girls Club of Burbank and Greater East Valley, Braille Institute, Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Burbank Tournament of Roses Assn. and Family Promise of the Verdugos.
The charity where the girls spent the most hours helping is Burbank Temporary Aid Center, said historian Nicole Jessen, who has two daughters in the group.
"Twice a year, the Ticktockers have food drives in front of grocery stores, where they ask for donations of canned goods and nonperishable food and toiletries for BTAC," Jessen said. "They also make lunches and hygiene bags for BTAC."
Barbara Howell, Burbank Temporary Aid Center's chief executive officer, talked to the girls about how their lunches and food drives help the people in the Burbank community, and this really made an impression on the girls, Jessen said.
They learned that people can be temporarily "down on their luck" and Burbank Temporary Aid Center will help them by giving them lunches and sharing groceries from the center's pantry.
"A few of our girls drove by and saw some of the people eating one of the lunches they made, and they were able to see the results of their volunteering," Jessen said.
Appointed to service academy
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) recently met to congratulate John Joseph Gordon Howe, who will attend the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Burbank resident attended John Burroughs High School.
Students interested in applying for admission to a service academy for the Class of 2020 should contact Schiff's District Office at (818) 450-2900 or (323) 315-5555. Information is also available on Schiff's website, schiff.house.gov.