Judy Keith is an active follower of Hebrews 13:2, which states: “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Since 2007, she has been a volunteer for Family Promise of Hawaii, an organization that helps homeless families become more independent and sustainable.
Keith is a member of Nuuanu Congregational Church, and is the Family Promise coordinator responsible for overseeing the relationship between the church and the organization’s staff.
Four times a year for one week, Nuuanu Congregational houses homeless families, and volunteers “provide meals and fellowship” for all.
“When I find out about the people who are going to be staying, I write up a little piece for a binder,” Keith explains. “All our volunteers can be aware if they (families) have food allergies, or they’ll be working late, and can make sure the rooms get set up.”
In short, she’s the one making sure all the pieces fit together and each family is taken care of.
While a lot of work gets done under Keith’s watch, she says her main role is that of a cheerleader.
“I talk about Family Promise and I encourage people to volunteer,” she says.
Her favorite part of the effort is seeing how happy it makes the children. “They’re so free,” she explains. “They see me and their face lights up, and they run to me. That’s so wonderful. I’m at the stage of my life where I’m looking forward to grandchildren and I don’t have any yet.
“These kids are like grandchildren to me.”
Keith had a vision to help those less fortunate, and she knew it would be a hard journey on her own. Thankfully, her church’s partnership with Family Promise of Hawaii is making a big impact on the community.
“I would just say that if people are looking for a meaningful way to live out their faith, I don’t think they could find a better way to do it than by volunteering with Family Promise of Hawaii,” Keith concludes. “They’re always there for us.”