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Click here for more information or to VOLUNTEER for our BIGGEST event of the year! 3,000 people, 800 families, 2,100 backpacks for children and 50 community partners!
Family Values for Life partners with families to cultivate communities that are spiritually empowered, mentally alert, physically fit and financially secure. Together we build capacities for families to network and leverage resources.

August 8th, 2015: FVFL featured in Saint Paul Pioneer Press

St. Paul schoolchildren received some 2,100 free backpacks through Alfreda Flowers’ organization Family Values for Life in fall 2014, at Bruce Vento

St. Paul schoolchildren received some 2,100 free backpacks through Alfreda Flowers’ organization Family Values for Life in fall 2014, at Bruce Vento Elementary School playground. (Photo courtesy of Family Values for Life)

2,100 backpacks to be given away at St. Paul East Side school

POSTED:   08/18/2015 12:01:00 AM CDT

After the death of her husband, Alfreda Flowers knew the only way she would get through widowhood was to give back to the East Side community he had so lovingly embraced.

Kids going back to school need haircuts, so she’s lined up 10 barbers who will cut hair for free.

They need backpacks, so she’s working on getting 2,100 together, though her true goal is 2,500.

And kids need school supplies. Lord willing, each backpack will be full of pens, pencils, notebooks and more by the time her annual give-away rolls around on Sept. 2.

“Many times, families give up hope, because they run into so many dead ends,” said Flowers, a mother of eight, a grandmother of 11 and former University of St. Thomas program manager.

“I went through a time of brokenness when I lost by husband of 35 years,” said Flowers, who started her backpack event five years ago. “I had to go through the physical, the emotional, the spiritual and the financial healing — even learning how to eat well.”

All of those values are now embodied in her one-woman organization, Family Values for Life, which is still accepting donations. The nonprofit will give away free haircuts and school supplies from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 at the Bruce Vento Elementary School, 409 E. Case Ave., which is hosting an open house for parents at the same time.

The event is open to kids from across the city, but there’s one catch. To qualify for the free backpacks, school supplies and haircuts, families will have to complete brief check-ins at a series of 10 community booths, each manned by a St. Paul Public Schools organization or a community partner.

The goal is to get kids ready for the schoolyear by making sure their families have the supports they need. The organizations include East Side Thrive, Merrick Community Center, the Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, Thrivent Financial and others.

Families line up to receive free backpacks for school kids at Alfreda Flowers’ Family Values for Life giveaway in 2014. Families first had families

Families line up to receive free backpacks for school kids at Alfreda Flowers’ Family Values for Life giveaway in 2014. Families first had families will have to complete brief check-ins with 10 community groups, at the event at Bruce Vento Elementary School playground. (Photo courtesy of Family Values for Life)

Last year, the line for free haircuts was overwhelming, even with a series of barbers lined up. Kids who don’t get a cut may still walk away with a gift card from the St. Paul International Barber School on Payne Avenue.

Major donors have included Target Corp., Cricket Wireless, Costco, St. Paul Public Schools, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and the Salvation Army, among others.

Flowers said her husband John, a Northwest Airlines mechanic who died in 2005, loved mentoring young people in the neighborhood and would have been pleased with the event, which distributed 125 backpacks in its first year. That number grew many times over last year to 2,100 backpacks. She’s hoping to at least meet, if not exceed, that number.

She’s still collecting donations online at familyvaluesforlife.org, or through material donations at the First Covenant Church, 1280 Arcade St.

“We’re still down a little bit in school supplies,” Flowers said. “We’re really open to that.”

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172. Follow him at twitter.com/FrederickMelo.


 

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Backpack give-away with school supplies, free haircuts

WHEN: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2

WHERE: Bruce Vento Elementary School, 409 E. Case Ave.

WEBSITE: familyvaluesforlife.org

2015 Basketball Camps Off to an Incredible Start!

Great article in this week’s Lillie News highlighting how FVFL’s work with Clyde Turner Basketball Camps is building a STRONGER, HEALTHIER East Side of St. Paul: http://www.bulletin-news.com/articles/2015/07/05/basketball-camp-brings-kids-out#.VZ234PlVikp Camp helps plug children into other activities throughout summer About 80 kids were clustered in the double gym at Arlington Hills Community Center on Thursday, June … Continue reading

FVFL is a Network of Those Who Care

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Family Values for Life is a network of volunteers and partners. None of FVFL’s past and future achievements would be possible without the help all of our volunteer’s hard work, long hours and selflessness. In just the first half of 2015, volunteers have already given over 650 hours of their … Continue reading

Cooking Healthy on the East Side

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FVFL is proud to announce our partnership with Urban Oasis for “Healthy Meal Making Class,” through our Jump Start To The New You Program. This ten week program addressed the need of learning how to prepare healthy nutritious meals with whole foods.  For details on the next class please contact … Continue reading

Family Values For Life Receives $55,000

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FVFL has received a $20,000 grant from the McNeely Foundation! This award is helping FVFL grow by hiring two much needed assistants! Chrissy Thomas and Courtney Lovelace started in May to work specifically with FVFL’s Wilder Wednesdays Program and our Summer Youth Camps.  FVFL also received a fantastic $25,000 award … Continue reading

Summer 2015 Programming for Kids!

Summer Web

For more information call: 651-774-6663


 

Talent & Arts Camp

June 10-12th | 10am – 1:30pm

Free | K-6
580 Case Ave
St. Paul, MN

We will be bringing out the talents of East Side kids through dance, music, art, and more! Lunch and a snack will be provided. (In partnership with Wilder Rec Center)


Hero Training Camp

June 15-18th

$5/day | Pre K – 7
Phalen Recreation Center

Activities include various arts & crafts, sports, and a Beats Clinic presented by Doomtree’s Lazerbreak! Your child will be a hero in training and have the opportunity to learn about the greatest hero of all: Jesus Christ! A meal will be provided. (In partnership with EastSide Thrive & First Covenant Church)


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Clyde Turner Basketball Camp

June 22 – 26th | 11:30am – 5pm

(Donate a scholarship here!)

July 13 – 17th | 11:30am – 5pm

August 17 – 21st | 11:30am – 5pm

 Funded by Scholarships | Boys & Girls 8 – 17
Arlington Hills Community Center

2015 Clyde Turner Registration Form

Participants will learn the fundamentals of basketball & leadership and the skills need to excel both on and off the court! Lunch is provided. (In partnership with EastSide Thrive, New Lens & PACE.)


Gospel Camp

August 9 – 12

Free | Grades 1-12
First Covenant Church

Oakdale Christian Academy Choir from Chicago will be visiting St. Paul for fun, music, and fellowship! Various field trips will take place alongside music rehearsals and performances. This is an awesome opportunity for young people from two different cities to come together and create something amazing! (In partnership with EastSide Thrive & First Covenant Church.)

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