Hundreds of Santa Clarita families attended the fifth annual Family Promise Box City event in Valencia this past weekend.
More than 300 people attended the event, said Gary Choppe, chairman of the Box City event. Between the sponsors and participants, about $35,000 was raised to support local homeless families.
The event was held at Bridgeport Park with the event starting at 3 p.m. and running through 9 a.m. Sunday morning.
“Everything went great. We had beautiful weather,” Choppe said. “There were so many different youth organizations and various groups participating in the event. It went spectacular.”
People from Valencia United Methodist and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church among other religious organizations attended the event.
“Box City allows all of us to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in this valley and understand how we can help those who are encountering difficult times,” said Laurie Ender, president of the Family Promise board of directors. “Many are surprised to find out just how many homeless families there are in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
All of the money raised at the event goes to the nonprofit.
“The purpose is to build community awareness of our homeless problem in Santa Clarita, in regards to families and children,” Choppe said. “That’sreally what Family Promise is to assist with.”
Davis Ender, son of Laurie Ender, was awarded the key to the city by city of Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste for raising the most money. Davis Ender raised about $2,300 for the nonprofit.
“Kids takeaway what it’s like to sleep in the box on the ground,” Choppe said. “This year was colder than past years and they will hopefully take this experience with them through their lives.”
A candlelight vigil was held at the event to honor local families in need.
“This was the fifth year,” Choppe said. “I think (this event) does grow every year. We are already planning for next year.”
About Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley
Family Promise brings shelter, meals, and support services to families without homes. Family Promise is a cost-efficient, effective community response to family homelessness.