On June 22, 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the “United We Serve” campaign. The summer of service initiative “aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own “do-it-yourself” projects.”
The campaign will end with a National Day of Service this Friday, September 11, 2009. Many organizations throughout the Valley are hosting events in honor to support the last day of the initiative – several of which Raising Arizona Kids magazine will be attending.
Nearly 8,500 homeless men, women and children are on Maricopa County streets and in shelters every day. Project Homeless Connect, sponsored by Valley of the Sun United Way, seeks to break the cycle and address the roots of homelessness.
Once a month, Project Homeless Connect gathers many of the Valley’s government and nonprofit resources under one roof. Volunteers assess the needs of the homeless individual and then accompany them through all the desired services as a Guest Guide. Additional volunteers work set-up, break down and help serve lunch.
The host city changes each month. This month’s event will be held in Phoenix, at the Human Services Campus (1201 W Madison Street) from 7:30-4:30 p.m this Friday. Volunteers are still needed. You can register on the site or show up at 7 a.m. the day of.
You can read about my amazing experience as a Guest Guide here.
Volunteering not your thing? Can’t take off work on Friday? Perhaps socializing and sampling local eats for charity is more up your alley, in which case, head out to Twestival Local Phoenix this Friday from 6-9 p.m. at the aloft Tempe hotel.
As explained on the web site, “a Twestival or Twitter-Festival is a global series of events organized by volunteers around the world, which bring people offline for a great cause.” Twestival Phoenix Local will support St. Mary’s Food Bank, a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to sites that serve the hungry.
Guests will be provided with a drink ticket and appetizers throughout the night. Several local restaurants have donated food for the event, including Butter & Me Cupcakery, Joe’s Real BBQ and Wildflower Bread Company. Ticket donations are available ranging from $10 to $20. There will be a silent auction/raffle for prizes, including a 2-year subscription to Raising Arizona Kids magazine.
Even if these two events don’t fit into your schedule, take the time on Friday to celebrate the National Day of Service. Talk to your kids about volunteering, go through your closet and donate some old clothes – even the small things can make a big difference.