Refrigerator Art


Below you’ll find a letter from one of our board members. As a dear friend, Matt’s enthusiasm for the mission of Family Promise was one of the reasons that made me very interested in applying for the role as executive director. With just a few months under my belt, I have been truly amazed at the heart of our community and everyone’s willingness to support some truly incredible families experiencing homelessness. I’d love to chat with you in person about our mission and how you might be able to support those most in need. Don’t hesitate to reach out!


Dawn Devine, Executive Director
Family Promise Rochester

The other day my wife and I picked up our eldest daughter from daycare. She came running toward us with the biggest grin on her face, hands flailing above her head as if she just won a game show. After jumping into our arms, she showed us her latest art project – a colorful octopus with googly eyes made out of what was once a paper plate. We proudly brought it home and hung it on the fridge, which was already adorned with her and her sister’s masterpieces.

We’ve kept these art projects over the years. Butterflies made out of their tiny footprints, abstract art that most certainly rivals legendary painters, and macaroni glued to paper that slowly falls off despite our best efforts to preserve these creations. You, too, might have a few masterpieces from your own children adorning the fridge or tucked away in a box that you’ll find in the basement a few years from now. I’ve come to learn that not everyone has these mementos.

When I joined the Family Promise Rochester board of directors, I had an inkling of the profound impact this organization has on the at-risk and homeless families in the Rochester area. What I didn’t comprehend was the remarkable drive that these dads, moms, children, and other family members had as they pursued a path toward success, hand in hand with Family Promise.

One family came with a few suitcases, another with their belongings in black trash bags. Still another came in a car filled with everything they had. But I don’t think any of them came with a refrigerator, and that meant none of them had a place to proudly hang their children’s artwork.

Family Promise regularly gathers the people we serve and graduates of the program for an ongoing course called Life Skills. Here, the adults have the opportunity to further develop skills in parenting, financial independence and so much more. Concurrent to this are age-appropriate activities for the youth and young children to ensure they, too, are positioned to succeed. During our most recent class, our young people had the opportunity to create the artwork accompanying this note. As their family continues to achieve new goals and achieve sustainable independence, they’re hoping you could display their artwork on your fridge as a thank you for your support.

Giving to Family Promise changes lives. Hundreds of people in the Rochester community are touched each year by this important work, and many more find themselves needing assistance. By giving today, you’re not just helping one family, but realizing a vision for our community where every family has a place they can call home, a promising livelihood, and the chance to build a better future. Thank you for considering making a gift to help those most in need.


Matthew Knutson, Board Member
Family Promise Rochester

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