Family Renew hosts 23rd-annual ice cream social for homelessness

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  • | 10:22 a.m. September 16, 2013
  • Ormond Beach Observer
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Family Renew Community's event last weekend raised money to help local homeless families get back on their feet.


Family Renew Community, a nonprofit organization that started in Ormond Beach in 1989, returned home Sunday for its annual Ice Cream Social and Silent Auction, at St. James Episcopal Church, 38 S. Halifax Drive.

Almost 200 people were already enjoying dessert, games, a cake walk, a silent auction and a disc jockey by noon, while even more people filed in.

“We usually get four or five hundred,” said Claris Mac’Kie, executive director, who was welcoming people and collecting tickets. Tickets were $5 each but children age 12 and under were admitted free.

Family Renew, a program that helps homeless families, was started by Father Larry Redmond at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 600 S. Nova Road, Mac’Kie said. To get it started, he visited 200 churches and got 20 to join him in the effort. The names of those founding churches are on the 20 cottages at the Family Renew residential campus in Holly Hill.

The organization has a thrift store in Ormond Beach, called The Secret Attic, at 32 N. Ocean Shore Blvd.

Redmond and the other churches rented an old motel and hired staff, Mac’Kie said, beginning an organization that now has nondenominational residential campuses in DeLand and Daytona Beach.

“We’re back to where we started,” Mac’Kie said of the event, which started in 1990 at Prince of Peace.

Family Renew helps homeless people stabilize their lives and learn new life skills so they can become independent and support themselves. While living at one of the facilities, a family learns about nutrition, parenting and financial skills.

“It’s a housing program with an educational component,” Mac’Kie said.

The families are also expected to seek employment at Goodwill Self Sufficiency Center and the One-Stop Employment Center.

“They are held accountable,” Mac’Kie said. “They must show how they are spending their money and work with a case manager.”

The ice cream social has worked well as a fundraiser through the years.

“It’s a nice family afternoon,” Mac’Kie said. “It’s a chance for the community to connect with us and know what we do.”

Call 239-0861.


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