Back to School Event

The first day of school can be an anxious time for any child. It’s especially tough for the kids who don’t quite fit in. The ones from low income families and unstable households. The ones who’ve grown up destitute or even homeless. At the Mission, we see them every day at Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center for Women & Children. They’re full of potential, but circumstances beyond their control have held them back. They deserve our love and support. For kids like these, the first day of school can bring taunting, teasing, and trouble focusing on their studies. They can fall behind their classmates, simply because they lack access to school supplies so many of us take for granted. But through your support of Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Back-to-School event, you can offer children a better chance at a brighter future. Your support will provide Maricopa County kids with backpacks, clothing, school supplies . . . everything they need to succeed in the new school year! Will you give generously today? It’s heartbreaking to think of less fortunate children in our community starting school at a disadvantage because their families can’t afford adequate supplies. Especially when the problem can be prevented through the generosity and kindness of friends like you.

You can help someone like Estelle, a grandmother of five children, ranging in age from 6 to 13. She works, but her paycheck just barely stretches to cover rent and food for the family. Estelle couldn’t stand the thought of her beloved grand kids showing up to school empty-handed on their first day. Like any parent or grandparent, she only wanted what’s best for the children in her care: “I want them to do well in school, and that’s hard if you think you don’t measure up,” she says. Though she came to the Mission with a look of desperation in her eyes, Estelle left with a cheerful smile. “All five of my grand babies got school uniforms in the right size and were able to pick a backpack,” she reports. “I went from worry to peace when I saw the number of people who cared.” You’re one of those people who care. And that’s why I’m counting on you to step up in a big way for our Back-to-School event. Please give generously today to help more kids like Estelle’s get the clothing and supplies they need to succeed in school. Thank you in advance for your caring heart.

This year we are so excited to launch a brand new opportunity for our Back to School drives! We have partnered with Dollar Days to provide customized pre-filled backpacks at the click of a button! If you would like to help students have a successful first day of school click here:

The Phoenix Rescue Mission needs your help to provide backpacks and back to school supplies to underprivileged children in the Phoenix area. Please consider filling durable backpacks with the following.

K-5th Grade

  • 2 boxes of pencils
  • 1 package of pens
  • 1 pink eraser
  • 1 box of crayons
  • 1 package of lined paper
  • 2 spiral notebooks
  • 1 package of dry erase markers 
  • 1 pencil box or pouch
  • 2 glue sticks
  • 3 folders with prongs

6-8th Grade

  • 3 boxes of pencils
  • 1 pink eraser
  • 2 packages of lined paper 
  • 6 spiral notebooks
  • 1 thin dry erase marker
  • 1 glue stick
  • 8 pocket folders
  • 1 package of highlighters
  • 1 box of colored pencils
  • 1 1.5 inch binder
  • 3 black pens and 3 blue pens
  • 1 pencil sharpener


If you would like to deliver the backpacks and supplies, our warehouse is located at 1468 N 26th Ave, Phoenix 85009.  The hours of operation are 8am – 4pm, Monday – Friday. We can also arrange a pick up for you if you have a large amount of backpacks and supplies collected. Please schedule your transportation request two weeks prior to your pick-up date, and if you are dropping off your donation, please have the items at our warehouse by July 21st.

If you would like to hold a back to school drive contact Catie at with any questions or concerns.


Thank you for partnering with us to help our students have a wonderful first day of school!




Phoenix Rescue Mission helps 600 disadvantaged students head back-to-school


Students in grades K-12 will receive fully-stocked backpacks, uniform vouchers and sports physicals during Saturday, July 25 event

WHO: Phoenix Rescue Mission and 600 students in grades K-12.

WHAT: Homeless and poor students from various Title I District schools throughout the Valley will receive backpacks, uniforms, back-to-school supplies and equipment, and sports physicals.

WHY: Every year Phoenix Rescue Mission hosts its back-to-school event so children of homeless and poor families have the same opportunity for success as every other student. If not for Phoenix Rescue Mission, it’s donors and volunteers, many of these children would begin the school year without the necessary tools to thrive. This not only sets them back academically but also decreases their self-esteem and overall well-being, decreasing their chances for future success.

WHEN: Saturday, July 25, from 9 – 11 a.m.

WHERE: Contact Nicole Peña or Josh Skalniak for location details (contact info below)


  • More than 500 elementary and middle school students will receive backpacks filled with school supplies and school uniforms.
  • 100 high school students will receive free sports physicals.
  • Phoenix Rescue Mission will be signing up poor and homeless families to receive food boxes, as well as offering case management and vocational development services.
  • A Phoenix Rescue Mission spokesperson will be on hand to talk about the Mission and its work to ensure underprivileged children in the community are not forgotten.
  • Disadvantaged families may be available to talk about what it means to them that the community is stepping up to help the underprivileged.

Phoenix Rescue Mission provides Christ-centered, life-transforming solutions to persons facing hunger and homelessness. The non-profit Mission, which has been operating since 1952, is asking the public for support of its many programs designed to save lives, including Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the new Changing Lives Center for Women and Children.


Media Contacts:

Josh Skalniak, Fingerpaint, office: (480) 368-7999; cell: (480)352-2050,

Nicole Peña, Phoenix Rescue Mission, office: (602) 346-3342; cell: (602) 516-8576 (On-Site),


Click here to download the Press Release PDF.

5 ways you can help send kids Back to School

Phoenix Rescue Mission is sending over 500 kids from Phoenix area Title 1 School Districts back to school with all the gear they’ll need for fall and we need your help. We are also supporting 20 children from our Changing Lives Center, 13 of which were in our preschool program last year and moving to Kindergarten. Our event is August 3, 2013.

Children who qualify for our program come from families who can’t afford to provide school lunch for their kids and in many cases are coming to the Mission for meals to keep them afloat. Imagine the anxiety these families feel knowing the beginning of a new school year is on the horizon with no money for necessary school supplies. Every single child needs the chance to thrive in school and you help make that happen this summer.

Here are 5 ways you can help:

1.  Stuff a Backpack – Fill a backpack with these basic school supplies and drop off at our donation warehouse at 1468 N. 26th Ave. in Phoenix.

  • crayons
  • pencils
  • pens
  • erasers
  • markers
  • highlighters
  • pencil boxes/pouches
  • glue
  • folders
  • pencil sharpeners
  • rulers
  • blunt and sharp scissors
  • 1” 3-ring binders
  • colored pencils
  • wide ruled filler paper
  • wide ruled spiral notebooks
  • composition books

2.  Donate a Uniform –  White polo shirts and navy bottoms are the uniform of choice for the school districts participating in our program and can be dropped off at the warehouse.

3.  Buy a $15 Payless Shoe Source Gift Card – To buy shoes for little feet and drop off at the warehouse - make sure you give directly to a staff member.

4.  Sponsor a Child - $80.00 outfits a child with a filled backpack, uniform and shoes. We do the shopping for you! Make a donation online or send a check or money order payable to Phoenix Rescue Mission, PO Box 6708, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6708 (Be sure to write “Back-To-School” on the memo line).

5.  Organize a School Supply Drive – We need any and all of the items listed above and drives are a fun way to get your friends, family and coworkers involved. Contact Sofia to start your drive.

For more information contact Phoenix Rescue Mission's Community Engagement Department at 602-346-3363 or email