Christmas Winter Wonderland Event: Saturday, December 14th.  We will be providing over 4,000 Christmas toys for children. Parents will have the opportunity to pick out brand new, unwrapped toys for their children.  Also, children will be able to pick out a household item as a gift for their parents! In addition, we will need 1,000 Fill-a-Box’s for this event as well.

For questions about volunteering please refer to prm.volunteerhub.com or volunteer services at 602-346-3363

To hold a toy drive or food drive, please contact Catie Hammann at chammann@phoenixrescuemission.org

 

We couldn’t do it without you!

Thanks to all our donors, volunteers and sponsors, Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Annual Easter Event was a huge success for hundreds of families.

We are thrilled to give people a way to give back to their own community and want to thank everyone who made Saturday’s event possible. Because of you, every family left with Easter Baskets for the kids and clothing and a food box for everyone, but most of all they left with the feeling that people really do care about them and want to help.

You can view photos of the event on Flickr

Free H1N1 shots this Saturday

Phoenix Rescue Mission is offering free H1N1 shots at our Urban Farmers Market this Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at 1426 North 26th Avenue in Phoenix. The vaccines will be administered by Maricopa County Health Department and are available on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last.

Normally, the farmers market, sponsored by St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, is stocked full of fresh fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy for struggling families, but this weekend the Mission wanted to do more for the families we serve.

The CDC recommends children from 6 months through 18 years of age receive the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine, so we are blessed to work with Maricopa County Health to offer the vaccines to families and individuals at no cost. 

Image: straitstimes.com

Local Families Feel Economic Crunch

Monday mornings are always busy at our Family Outreach Center, but this morning was more crowded than usual. I ended up lending a hand, along with our Events Coordinator, assembling emergency food boxes for the long line of families waiting. I was surprised by the number of them, most with small children, who were coming through for help making ends meet. Unfortunately, this isn't just my perception, the numbers are way up this year for people turning to the Mission and food banks in the face of joblessness, economic insecurity and poverty. According to a recent The National.ae article about our food box program,

Rescue missions are seeing especially high numbers of elderly people. Students and recent college graduates – a group they never used to hear from – have also started visiting. But families often tell the most heartbreaking stories.

“A mom came in last week and told me: ‘My husband and I are both working, but we just can’t make ends meet’,” said Pam DiPietro, who runs the Foothills Food Bank in Cave Creek, Arizona. “The couple had cut themselves back to one meal a day, just so they could feed their two children.”

According to St Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, which distributes food to 675 sites that serve the hungry across Arizona, including the Phoenix Rescue Mission, requests for emergency food boxes across the state have climbed more than 100 per cent in recent months. “We are now feeding 200,000 people a day,” said Kara Ritter, a spokesman for St Mary’s. For the fiscal year 2006-07, that meant 51 million pounds of food.

An unprecedented number of recipients are first timers – and not the type of people who normally turn up at food banks.

Sally Nieto is one such customer. The 65-year-old widow worked for 19 years at Motorola, the mobile phone maker. She used to be the kind of person who made donations to the Phoenix Rescue Mission. “I never imagined I’d be coming here for food one day,” Mrs Nieto said. But when her husband died last year, his protracted illness ate up their savings. Mrs Nieto now receives social security payments, but with the cost of living rising, her monthly cheque no longer covers the bills.

“By the time I get done paying the house, the power and filling my gas tank, there is nothing left for food,” she said. “How did it ever come to this?”

This Fox 10 News video shot at our Family Outreach Center also highlights the increasing demand for food we are facing.

We largely rely on the support of our donors to help feed families like the ones seen in the video and quoted in the article. Here's how you can help:

1. Donate Canned Goods to our Fill-A-Box, Feed-A-Family program.
2. Volunteer to assemble Food Boxes.
3. Support Phoenix Rescue Mission Online.
4. Share this blog with a friend.

Cheryl’s Story

Cheryl with her daughers, Sherri, Ashley and Amber
My name is Cheryl McCreight. I came to the Mission on March 10th of this year for the first time, needing to feed my children. The night before, my ex-husband had thrown me and my girls out and I felt so lost. I was thinking, what am I going to do? I had enough money to get an apartment, but not for food!

...I made a few calls and was told I could feed my children at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. I got my kids, told them we were going to be ok and brought them to the Mission to eat. I remember feeling so at ease when I sat in the dining area. I felt like I had no worries. I know the moment I sat down, The Lord came into my life and lifted me up! After we ate, I went to Sheryl and Sharon and asked if I could become a volunteer. They, with open arms, told me -yes, that would be great.

My volunteering quickly turned into a Shelter Desk Attendant position and I now look forward to serving the Lord and the Mission every day I get to come to work. I share a similar past to many of our clients and have an open heart when helping them. I know the Lord is using me to do his work and I feel so passionate about making a difference in someone’s life. My place in life is to share my experiences and help others to know there is a Light to a better future. I know personally it’s not easy without a little help and understanding and that it’s hard to get through life without someone to help lift you up. Sometimes the hurting people at the Mission just need an understanding heart and someone to listen to them instead of feeling judged and hurt. Since coming to the Mission, I have grown as a Christian and my faith has never been stronger. I so enjoy helping the hurting and know
that Phoenix Rescue Mission is doing God’s work!

-Thank you, Cheryl McCreight