Talking Turkey: How turkey changed Fred’s life

What spurs people to volunteer comes in many different forms. Sometimes it’s the urge to right wrongs, or the need to share the love that overflows from their hearts.

For Fred, it was turkey.

“When I retired, I got a postcard from Phoenix Rescue Mission asking if I would donate a turkey for their Thanksgiving turkey drive.”

Thinking that was a fine idea, he picked up some frozen birds and looked forward to giving a couple of families a brighter Thanksgiving.

But God has a way of multiplying our efforts, sometimes, in ways we could never imagine. Fred didn’t know it, but the simple act of delivering those turkeys would change his life – and, with your help, the lives of hundreds more he hadn’t yet met.

“I brought my turkeys to an open house at the Mission. While I was there, I took a tour and when I saw all the amazing things they did, I told them to sign me up! I put my toe in first. Then my foot and then my leg, then both legs… I’m pretty well submerged now!” Fred says with a laugh.

That was three years ago, and Fred hasn’t looked back since. Today you’ll find him at the front of the line at our Hope for Hunger food bank where, up to five days a week, he’s assisting hundreds of families and individuals who come looking for food and hope.

“We greet them with hugs and smiles and ‘God bless you’s’, which, in our society, you have to be careful where you use that term. But around here, it’s not only allowed, it's encouraged!"

Like other volunteers can attest, service does so much more for Fred than what he feels it does for those he serves. When his friends question the number of hours he’s put in, he just smiles and shares one of the many stories that warm his heart and keep him coming back.

“I’ll never forget, a week or two before Christmas, an elderly gal came in a little apprehensive. She had never been here before. I greeted her and I put my arm on her back and said, ‘Dear, we’ll take good care of you. We’ve got lots of food today and we’ll fill this cart up.’ I watched her go around the circle, filling up the cart, and when she was getting ready to leave, I called out, ‘God bless you and have a Merry Christmas!’ Well, she stopped the line right there, walked over and gave me one of the most sincere hugs I’ve ever had in my life! I’ll never forget that.”

With the holidays approaching, we’ll soon see more families coming through our doors than at any other time of the year. That sobering thought has got Fred thinking. Turkey is what brought him to the Mission and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, turkey is still forefront on his mind.

“It’s an important time for everyone, especially families. Turkeys can feed a family for a good long while. I remember last year, thinking how exciting it was going to be because we were supposed to have 500 turkeys to distribute. When I pulled in to Hope for Hunger that morning, there were at least 300 vehicles outside waiting. To make a long story short, we fell far short of our goal last year.”

Fred is determined not to let that happen this year.

“I’ve already started making contacts to make sure of it. I’d like to get some corporate support and help from individuals and churches. If they could donate 10 or 20 turkeys or whatever they can possibly do, I’ll pick them up and we’ll have a turkey for every family this year. Our goal is 500 turkeys, but maybe we can do more. If so, that’d be wonderful. The need is definitely there.”

The other thing on Fred’s mind is the need for volunteers.

“We have a good crew, we have a lot of fun, there’s a lot of laughing, and a lot of teasing. But we don’t have nearly enough volunteers. You really need 10-12 people per shift back there to make it flow. Last Friday, when there were just four of us, it was tough. It makes it difficult.”

With three two-hour shifts, that’s 30 volunteers a day needed to keep Hope for Hunger humming along. If you’ve never had the opportunity to watch someone’s face light up when you hand them a box of much-needed food, take a moment to join Fred and the crew by visiting our volunteer page at prm.volunteerhub.com and signing up today!

Help Stock the Pantry!

We're running low on food - our neighbors need your help!

It’s 110 degrees outside. Turkey dinner with all the trimmings is probably the furthest thing from your mind right now. But the holidays are right around the corner – a time when so many hungry souls find their way to the Mission and our Hope for Hunger Food Bank, first for food, then for transformation.

The bad news is: our pantry is almost empty!

This summer has stretched our resources close to the breaking point. That’s bad news for the men, women, and children we serve. We need your help today to replenish and restock our pantry in time for the Thanksgiving rush!

It’s not just the homeless who benefit. Your gift this month will mean a world of difference for hard-working families on the edge like John’s:

“No matter how much my family plans financially, things happen unexpectedly,” says John. “Places like this help us out a lot.”

We can’t possibly turn our hungry neighbors away – not during the holidays, not ever. Together we can provide nutritious food and slip an arm around every famished soul that walks through our doors this coming season.

Thank you for your support as we gear up to give the chance to chow down and choose new life to as many hungry and hurting families as we can.

Dback’s Nick Ahmed hits it out of the park for PRM!

The Mission was honored to have Diamondback’s shortstop Nick Ahmed host the first annual Topgolf Swing for Impact event on June 23rd. It was a huge success! All totaled, Nick helped raise more than $10,000! All dollars raised for the Phoenix Rescue Mission went to support children living at the Changing Lives Center.

“We had so much fun raising money for good causes,” said Nick in a video posted on Twitter. “We’re not just donating money, we’re changing lives. We’re changing families. We’re changing generations. We’re treating and helping the whole person–mind, body and spirit.”

Nick and Amanda are touching lives both locally and internationally. In a press release, Nick said, “Amanda and I are committed to restoring and developing communities here and abroad. Thanks to the generous support of fans, we’re continuing to support the great work we started last year in the Dominican Republic. This year, we’re also supporting Phoenix Rescue Mission in their incredible effort to help the homeless and hurting here locally.”

Thank you to Nick and everyone who participated for making a HUGE impact in the lives of the children we serve!

God is Calling

Will you answer?

What would you do with your time on Earth if you were free to focus on one thing?

Picture it in your mind. That thing you are visualizing is often something closely tied to the special purpose or calling God has placed in your heart of hearts.

But the more important question is – what is keeping you from doing that one thing?

We all have limited time. When we’re finished, don’t we all want to look back at a life well lived? Here are a few questions we can ask to get us closer to the life we were designed to lead:

Pray

Prayer is a good place to start, no matter what we’re about. Who better to ask about our purpose than
the Creator Himself?

Think Back

Ask yourself, “What have I done that makes me feel alive?” and write it down. Don’t brush it
off as a flight of fancy or selfish ambition.

Examine

Identify what your passions and experiences have in common.

Take Action

Figure out where the needs of those around you and the ambitions that make your heart soar
intersect and ask yourself – “What do I need to do to make this happen?”

While asking yourself these questions, you may discover that what you love in life aligns with the work of the Phoenix
Rescue Mission. Taking action may include remembering us in prayer, in your Will, or with a gift of appreciated stock. For
assistance or for more information, contact Adele Dietrich at (602) 346-3323 or at ADietrich@phoenixrescuemission.org.
All of these are great examples of our calling to be good stewards of the blessings we’ve received, creating a legacy we can
be proud of – pouring into the lives around us. What is God calling you to do today? Will you answer?

 

 

 

 

The Main Thing – Real love isn’t like a box of chocolates

 

When the world talks about love, you never know what you’re going to get. Especially during the season when chocolates are flying off the shelves, there are plenty of counterfeit ideas contending for the title of real love. If people are nice, if they’re honest, if they’ve done us no harm, if they contribute, if they benefit us, if they’re attractive and fun to be around – these are all reasons the world “loves.” 

Isn’t it a relief that God offers us something so much better? His love, the love He calls us to share, transcends any of these qualities, because it’s unconditional. It’s the love that reaches out to the lost, time and time again, that brings hope and joy to the underprivileged, the same love that picks us up and dusts us off every morning.

It’s the only thing in this world that can take a wounded life and make it new again – and with your help, we’ll share it with thousands more this year. Thank you for the privilege and the partnership, and God bless!