Contributed by Ginger Bear
Mat-Su Valley’s Family Promise celebrated their first annual COMMUNITY Cardboard City July 19-20th. The “Community” included area shelter agencies and their supporters. MYHouse, Knik House, Alaska Family Services Women’s Shelter, and Wasilla Homeless Committee joined Family Promise at the State Fairgrounds ready to build their cardboard box city, to bring awareness about homelessness. This year’s theme was “Are you experienced?”, 50 registered participants stretched around “Kari Loop” to claim “property” and create their “City”. There was special recognition for Family Promise’s retiring Executive Director, Laurie Kari. The President of the Board of Directors, John Weaver, lead the occasion with inviting Valley area leaders who have worked with Laurie during her 17-year role. Pam Ratliff presented a uniquely designed plaque, commemorating Kari’s years of dedicated service. Ginger Bear presented a signed certificate from the Family Promise’s National Office and a homemade signature quilt. John Rozzi and Ginger Bear assist with the presentation of a special dedication, naming the current Day Center/Office building the Kari House. The event was touching, emotional, and full of activities to bring awareness about homelessness. Those participants can surely say, “We are experienced” at least for one night.