Tag Archives: Maricopa County

School-age kids can join the fight against hunger

United Food Bank has come up with a way to teach school-age children about philanthropy and community service.

By donating one jar of peanut butter and one jar of jelly at a participating “Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive” location your child becomes a member of the Kids’ Lunch Bunch Club. New members of the club receive a certificate and a token of appreciation from participating business.

“Every night one out of four kids in Arizona goes to bed hungry,” says Bob Evans, United Food Bank President and CEO.

The program is designed to raise children’s awareness of hunger in Arizona and make them part of the solution. “This is a kids-helping-kids program,” says Evans.

Below is a list of “Peanut Butter and Jelly Food Drive” participating businesses, food drive dates and the item children who show up will receive.

AUGUST  1-31

Children’s Museum of Phoenix
215 N 7th St, Phoenix
Participation enters your child in a drawing for a free membership (admits two) at the Climber level.

Bounce U
1166 South Gilbert Rd, #110, Gilbert
Open bounce pass.

Arizona Museum for Youth
35 N Robson St, Mesa
Free admission pass, 1 per family (some restrictions apply).

My Pigsty Furniture
1528 W San Pedro #7, Gilbert
$10 off coupon and a special prize.

Superstition Springs Center
6555 E Southern Ave, Mesa
Superstition Springs Center
Special PB&J drive participation sticker.

August 1-7

1033 N Dobson Rd, Mesa
15% off purchase.

August 19-21

5000 Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe
30 minutes of unlimited game play.

1155 West Elliot Rd, Tempe
Unlimited ride wristband.

Brunswick Zone XL
1160 South Gilbert Rd, Gilbert
Coupon for one free game of bowling.

United Food Bank is a private nonprofit organization that provides hunger relief/food assistance by collecting, acquiring, storing and distributing food and related commodities through a network of partner social services agencies in the East Valley, eastern Maricopa County, Gila and Pinal counties and southern Apache and Navajo counties. Learn more.


Holocaust survivor to share her story

Gerda Weissmann Klein. Photo courtesy of YWCA of Maricopa County.

Holocaust survivor, humanitarian, author and speaker Gerda Weissmann Klein will share her inspiring story during a YWCA Empowerment Lecture from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9 at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix.

In 1945, Weissmann Klein was one of fewer than 120 women to survive a 350-mile death march forced upon 4,000 women in Nazi concentration camps, where she had spent the past three years. An American soldier named Kurt Klein, who later became her husband, liberated her.

In 1995, Weismann Klein published her memoir, All But My Life, which was made into an Academy Award- and Emmy-winning documentary, “One Survivor Remembers,” later that year.

In 2008, Weismann Klein, a naturalized U.S. citizen, founded an organization called Citizenship Counts to promote pride in American citizenship among youth, and to educate young students about their rights as citizens and responsibilities to community service.

She won the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor an American civilian can receive.

Registration to attend the event is due Monday, June 6. Individual seats to the event are $35 each; student tickets are $20 each. Hors d’oeuvres & refreshments will be served. For tickets, call 602-258-0990.

Weissmann Kline was named Racial Justice Leader during the YWCA’s 2011 Tribute to Women earlier this year. The following video was viewed by several hundred people who attended that event, held at the Arizona Biltmore.

Weissmann Klein, who endured so much pain early in her life, still maintains a vibrant joy and positivity that most women in America and around the world would aspire to achieve. If you could use a healthy dose of inspiration and perspective in your life right now (and let’s face it, we all can), you truly do not want to miss this incredible opportunity. — Sadie Smeck

Remember and Act: Engaging Children in Social Justice.

Nonprofits seek water donations for Valley’s homeless

Images of bottled water

Image via Wikipedia

With another scorching hot summer nearly here, the danger of dehydration is very present and real, and this health risk is even greater for the Valley’s homeless, who often do not have access to life-sustaining water.

Nonprofit groups across the Valley are committed to providing these at-risk individuals and families with the water they desperately need to survive another triple-digit summer.

The Department of Economic Security reported in 2009 that nearly 7,000 children and youth in Arizona experienced homelessness and received services from state nonprofit organizations.


There are more than 8,000 homeless individuals in Maricopa County alone. The Human Service Campus, a group of 15 homeless service providers, has created the “Thirst Aid” program in an effort to reduce incidences of heat-related death among the county’s homeless population. They hope that the community will support them in their goal of collecting and distributing 500,000 bottles of water between May 1 and September 30.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online at ThirstAidAZ.org, or by mailing checks payable to the Humane Services Campus to 204 S. 12th Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85007.

Cases of bottled water can be donated directly to one of the following three locations:

Human Service Campus Office at the Success Center

  • 204 South 12th Ave., Pheonix 85007
  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday -Friday

Central Arizona Shelter Services

  • 203 South 12th Avenue, Phoenix 85007
  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday -Friday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday

Lodestar Day Resource Center

  • 1125 West Jackson Street, Phoenix 85007
  • 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday -Sunday

Pickup services are also available in some areas. For more information or to schedule a pickup, contact Holly at 602-229-1242.


For the fifth year in a row, the City of Mesa will partner with local nonprofit groups to provide bottled water to the city’s homeless in the sweltering summer months through the Hydration Donation Program. Residents donated and distributed over 100,000 bottles last year.

The program’s five drop-off locations will receive donations of bottled water beginning June 1 through September 16. These locations include:

Mesa Fire Department Volunteer Center

  • 2830 E. Adobe (located behind Fire Station 206 at Lindsay and Adobe)
  • 24 hour drop-off in parking lot

Red Mountain Multigenerational Center

  • 7550 E. Adobe
  • 5:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday – Friday; 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday

United Food Bank

  • 245 S. Nina Drive (north of Broadway between Extension and Alma School)
  • 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday (collection bins available on weekends)

Paz de Cristo

  • 424 W. Broadway
  • 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Friday; 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday – Sunday

A New Leaf – MesaCAN

  • 635 E. Broadway
  • 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday in the lobby

Give the life-giving gift of water to homeless children, adults and families in the Valley! — Sadie Smeck

Gryphen SPS hosts drive for animals in need

Gryphen Specialty Products and Services (GSPS) is hosting a canine/feline toy and food drive to help abandoned pets in Maricopa County. The ends Wednesday, Dec. 22, when donations will be delivered to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.

“As the holidays approached, we decided that hosting this donation drive would be a way for Gryphen consumers and staff to give back to their community,” says Holly Nelson, marketing manager for Gryphen SPS. “The shelter takes in so many animals that it’s impossible to keep up with the demand for supplies. Gryphen wants to help in any way that we can.”

People are asked to purchase a new dog or cat toy, a bag of food or any other item listed on the MCACC wish list, which includes items like blankets, towels, sheets, newspaper, nebulizer, preventic flea and tick collars, dog shampoo and conditioner, pens, collars, dog and cat beds and food and water bowls.

“Our goal is to help thousands of abused and abandoned animals in the care of Maricopa County Animal Care and Control during this holiday season, as well as stock their shelves into the New Year,” Nelson says.

Donations can be dropped off at any of the following locations:

GSPS of Tempe
1301 E. University Dr. #130
Tempe, AZ 85281

GSPS of Casa Grande
1411 N. Overfield Rd.
Casa Grande, AZ 85194

GSPS of Coolidge
236 W. Coolidge Ave.
Coolidge, AZ 85128

Gryphen SPS promotes and delivers products that are responsive to the employment needs of adults with developmental disabilities. For more information, call 480-966-9500 or visit gryphensps.com.

Wear a ribbon and raise drowning awareness

August is “Drowning Impact Awareness Month.” In honor of this cause, more than 40,000 purple ribbons will be distributed to supporters statewide and hung outside Phoenix Children’s Hospital to build awareness of the 1,153 children involved in water-related incidents.

“Arizona has a very high-risk season of drowning that starts in April or May and can go on into September or October depending on the weather,” says Tiffaney Isaacson, water safety coordinator for Water Watchers at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and vice president of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. “We are all really focused on the issue in the spring, but by June, July and August people begin to tune the issue out, so we are bringing it up in August to keep people aware.”

Between 2000 and 2007, 243 Arizona children drowned, which puts drowning as the second leading cause of injury-related death for all children in Arizona during that time period. So far this year in Maricopa County, nine of the 55 children in water-related incidents have died.

“This year we want everyone to think of the word ‘solution’ and their personal solution to water-related incidents when they see the purple ribbon,” Isaacson said. “The purple ribbon is to represent all those affected by these incidents. Not only those who passed or suffered injury, but all those involved — nurses, cops, teachers, and families.”

Formal proclamations will be signed by Gov. Jan Brewer and mayors throughout the state; banners and signs will hang in public safety buildings, libraries, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries and YMCAs throughout Maricopa County.

To learn more or to get purple ribbons to raise awareness visit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital at phoenixchildrens.com.