Filling our Streets with Hope – One Tote at a Time

When Diane Powers took her first summer trip on the Hope Coach, she thought she had an idea of what she would encounter. But what she saw spurred her to action.

My heart breaks for those who are in the heat without water, sunscreen, or a roof over their heads. I really wanted to help and so did the rest of my church congregation.”

With the support of Pastor Bobby Brewer, Diane organized the first North Chapel Bible Church water and Summer Hope Tote drive. That was five years ago and every year she and the rest of her congregation go all out seeking to save lives from our brutal summer heat.

“Most people make their own totes and we get a lot of donations of bags and things. Then a group of eight or so of us assemble any loose items into Hope Tote bags. By the time we’re done, we have nearly 250 cases of water and 80 Summer Hope Totes. PRM sends a big truck to pick everything up.”

Homelessness seems like such a big problem and many of us wonder just what kind of difference one person can make. Diane proves that it only takes one person to start a movement that saves lives.

“I want to get other people in my church involved in these projects and raise their interest level in people suffering. It’s important to not stay in a little box and not know what’s going on around you. You can provide more help on a larger scale when you have people who are motivated and get involved.”

Summer is Here – What Can I Do? [street outreach tips]

It’s 110 degrees outside and there he is on the corner, cardboard sign in hand, looking to you for help. You know handing him cash is not the answer and food isn’t a solution. It would be easy to drive on by, but your heart won’t let you abandon this homeless man to the heat.

What can you do?

It’s a question that weighs heavy on many of our hearts during the summer – our street outreach team is here to help!

Here are four simple tips that can make a real impact and could transform the life of someone on the street:

  1. Be Prepared. It’s hot and you are going to run into someone in need of help. Be ready! Keep a Summer Hope Tote or two in your car this summer ready to give away. Build yours at phxmission.org/hopetote.
  2. Talk with them. Say hello. Show them your heart. Asking if they have a place to stay the night or a plan for the future can be a great way engage in a quick conversation while at a stop light.
  3. Point them to PRM. This is the opportunity for transformation. Guide them toward a solution by handing out one of the enclosed Rescue Referrals or print your own at phxmission.org/referral. Tell them you support the Mission, and it could be a place their needs can be met.
  4. Pray. This is most important – only God can change hearts! Don’t forget to pray for those on the streets and for those battling addiction. Pray that their physical and emotional needs are met, and their spiritual hunger is satisfied. And please pray for the staff and volunteers at the Mission as we serve many who come to our door.

Last summer, record-breaking heat took the lives of 494 men and women in Arizona. As a community, we need to step up and reach out to those who may not know how deadly our summer can be.

Together, we can make a difference by connecting people in harm’s way with the resources that keep them safe and transform lives!

Code:Red

Summer Fun with Mission Possible Cookies

Summer Ideas with Mission Possible Cookies

Things are starting to heat up in the Valley! Let us help you spring into summer with five fun things you can do with Mission Possible Cookies!

  1. Cookies make fantastic toppings for ice cream. Order your favorite Mission Possible Cookies and pair them with your favorite ice cream. Chop your Mission Possible Cookies into smaller pieces. Sprinkle them on top of your bowl or cone of ice cream and voila! Your ice cream just got better!
  2. Are you the extreme eats type? Like to take things to the next level? Mission Possible Cookies is here to help you take the next step with ice cream sandwiches! Grab a cookie, scoop ice cream on it, and top it with another cookie! Repeat with the remaining cookies and ice cream. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight for completely firm ice cream sandwiches. Or who are we kidding? Eat one right away, of course!
  3. Make a cookie pie crust! That’s right! Use Mission Possible Cookies to make an elevated and unique pie crust. Find the recipe here: rebrand.ly/cookierecipe
  4. Sometimes you need a quick and easy dessert that looks extra fancy! Layered cookie parfaits to the rescue! Buy or make your favorite pudding to pair with your favorite Mission Possible Cookies, add whipped cream, layer it in special glasses, and your friends will be oohing and aahing for days!
  5. Cookie butter, anyone? That’s right! Who needs avocado toast when you can have cookie toast with your coffee?? And it’s so easy to make! Smear it on your toast or a bagel, sandwich it between two more cookies, or just eat it with a spoon! There’s no wrong way to eat cookie butter! Find the recipe here: rebrand.ly/cookierecipe

Just want the cookies without all the fuss? No worries! We’ve got your cookie needs covered! Visit Mission Possible Cookies at missionpossiblecookies.com and place your order today! Help us Change a Life One Bite at a Time!

Meet the Staff: Cierra Peña, Lead Case Manager

When Cierra came to Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center in 2012, she had been struggling with addiction since she was 13 years old. Through your support, we welcomed this mother of four as one of the first 20 women to experience all the hope and healing that our then brand-new women’s campus had to offer – and it changed everything for Cierra and her family.

“I had been through 45-day in-patient programs but nothing helped. I knew I needed a year-long program to change my life. And it did; I’m going on 9 years in March that I’ve been clean and it’s thanks to this place.

But Cierra wasn’t satisfied with finding sobriety, she wanted to help others find the same gift that she had been given. Just 90 days after enrolling in our recovery program, Cierra began serving other women as part of the intake team. When the Mission began creating the intake triage program we now call Rescue-Assess-Place (RAP), Cierra was able to lend her experience to help build the program we now use today.

For the past 9 years, hundreds of women looking for hope have been surprised to find Cierra, a woman with genuine concern for their wellbeing, waiting to meet them in RAP.

Those who have enrolled in recovery have found a friend ready to advocate for them in court, help them set doctor appointments, obtain IDs and birth certificates, get fines reduced or eliminated – knocking down each and every barrier that stands between them and success.

As a result of her hard work and extensive experience receiving and providing assistance, lives have been forever transformed and, she’s recently been promoted to Lead Case Manager. There couldn’t be a better fit for the position!

“A lot of these women come in with no hope, many with a Department of Child Safety case weighing heavy on their hearts,” says Cierra.

“At one point in my life, I was there. I thought I couldn’t do any better. I love to share my story and help them realize that there is hope. Seeing them go from dark to light brings me so much joy!”

Cierra is another shining example of what God’s grace and your support can do in a life – and by extension, the lives of hundreds of others.

Easter Is Coming and We Need Your Help!

Thanks to friends like you, our drive-thru Easter Community Outreach last year was a huge success! Cars lined up in droves as families arrived looking to celebrate the most important day of the year. We provided over 600 children with Easter baskets as well as bags stuffed with food and supplies for each family to help keep the dinner table full.

We need your help to do it again!

After a full year of COVID, the challenges our families are facing are mounting. We’re expecting 400 struggling families to attend this event - over 1,000 children total. To make sure we have a basket for every child and emergency food for every family, we’re asking you and our local church and business partners to help meet the need!

With your help, we can give our community a reason to celebrate while connecting them to the services that can keep them stable during these uncertain times! For more information or to set up a collection drive, contact Catie Hammann, Gift-In-Kind Coordinator, at 602-346-3347 or at gikhelp@phxmission.org.

Any items collected in person can be delivered to our Donation Warehouse at 3440 W. Lewis, Building A Suite G, Phoenix, AZ 85009 between 7:30am-3:30pm, Monday-Friday.

WAYS TO HELP IN 2021

  • Hold a canned food drive at your church or business.
  • Start an Easter Basket assembly event as a team-building exercise.
  • Give a financial gift and let us do the shopping!
  • Shop on our Amazon Wish List (which automatically ships to us) at phxmission.org/easterlist