Working poor families coloring Easter Eggs at Phoenix Rescue MissionMission Plans to Serve 600 meals to the Homeless on Easter Sunday

Phoenix, AZ -- The economy has hit the homeless and near-homeless in Phoenix hard. More people are coming to Phoenix Rescue Mission everyday, and more families are being impacted. At the same time, the Mission is facing a critical drop of financial resources as donors reduce their giving because of financial strain.

The Christian community celebrates resurrection and new life each Spring. Phoenix Rescue Mission on Easter Sunday hopes to lift hearts of the poor and homeless in the Valley of the Sun with a hearty meal and gift of love.

The Easter meal can be an opportunity for the homeless to seek renewal. And Phoenix Rescue Mission provides a chance for everyone to participate in the festivities. If trends continue, the Phoenix Rescue Mission will serve 600 homeless men, women and children this Sunday. Volunteers will be serving heaping helpings of ham, eggs, bacon, pastries, hash browns and fruit -- not to mention a friendly smile.

"Meals can be the entry point for the homeless to find other services we offer that can help them get off the streets permanently," said Jerry Sandvig, President and CEO, Phoenix Rescue Mission. "Many of our guests are newly homeless -- they were not homeless a year ago, but job loss, foreclosures and other economic impacts have resulted in their seeking our services. We know many are looking from a program based on Christian values. In though times we want to provide our guests with a loving, home-like atmosphere."

Founded in 1952, Phoenix Rescue Mission provides food, shelter, chapel and other services to the homeless and working poor people of metropolitan Phoenix. Hundreds of hot meals are served daily. Showers and clean clothing are offered to anyone in need. 150 beds provide shelter for men nightly. A 12-month, spiritually based, addiction recovery program is available for up to 30 men at one time.

In July, the Phoenix Rescue Mission will expand its addiction recovery services to women and women with children at our new Changing Lives Center for women and children. It was through daily meals that Mission staff noticed a dramatic increase in the numbers of women with children coming to eat in our dining hall and returning to the streets. The Mission is thrilled to dedicate the Center next month and begin accepting families in July.

"We serve meals every day," said Jerry. "We couldn't do all we do without the help of our gracious volunteers and generous donors. Financially it is a challenging time for us. We see do many who need help, and we want to give them our best."

Volunteer with KMLE 108 to feed 50,000 people

 Ten lucky listeners will be picked to work side by side with the KMLE 108 on air staff this Saturday, August 28 from 8am to 12pm as we prepare and package 50,000 meals for the hungry. In support of the Stop Hunger Now Organization, we are partnering with Sanderson Automotive for this event and will be taking over the Sanderson Ford showroom. If you would like to be one of the lucky 10, please send us your contact info via the link below and briefly explain why we should pick YOU!

If you’re not picked, you can still help the hungry by bringing non-perishable food items for the Phoenix Rescue Mission to Sanderson Ford anytime between 9am and 12pm on Saturday,  Click here for a map to Sanderson Automotive. The Phoenix Rescue Mission is partnering with Stop Hunger Now to help local families suffering from food insecurity. The Mission is especially in need of peanut butter and jelly and canned tuna.

http://kmle108.radio.com/tag/phoenix-rescue-mission/ follow this link to enter the contest.


ACTS Choir Perform for Local Families Served by the Mission

Wednesday, June 30th, families from the Murphy School District were treated to an inspirational concert and evening of enlightenment.  The ACTS (Ambassadors for Christ Through Song) choir of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church from Redondo Beach, California performed an hour's long medley which included contemporary Christian music, scripture and testimonies.
In years past they've traveled to San Diego, Seattle, Sacramento and Houston and can now add Phoenix and Rescue Mission families to their resume! Volunteers served the families punch, coffee and donated Paradise Bakery cookies and pastries and provided child-care for the mothers as well. Mission staff also registered 45 families for the Adopt-a-Family program this Christmas. You can register for your family on July 25th at our Christmas in July event to get a jump start on holiday shopping.
Thank you ACTS Choir for your precious gift of music! Special thanks also to the Murphy/Rotary 100 Education and Health Center for their hospitality and use of their facility!
~Marlena Padron
Volunteer and Events Coordinator

Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Volunteer of the Year Shares Her Story of Addiction and Recovery

Janet Garcia with the Mission's Nicole Peña

I wasn’t always a do-gooder. In fact, for 18 years I was addicted to drugs and alcohol. In 2005, I experienced a traumatic event, which made me seek out a 12-step meeting, or risk relapsing.

I found a local chapter of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered 12-step program. While there, I met a woman who volunteered at the Phoenix Rescue Mission, serving meals to the homeless in their soup kitchen. I also discovered that some of the men in my meetings were graduates of the Phoenix Rescue Mission addiction-recovery program. I started volunteering there, too. Working in the kitchen felt like returning home.

I grew up just a few miles from the Phoenix Rescue Mission on Buckeye Road. My parents had moved my family to Phoenix for a new beginning. Two weeks after we left California and landed in Phoenix that new beginning came to an end. My father dropped my five sisters, three brothers and mother off at 20th Avenue and Buckeye Road and left. We stayed in an apartment for a few months until we moved to the Coffelt Housing Project. While living at Coffelt, I was introduced to heroin. I was 17. I continued using the drug for the next 18 years, until 1988.

I started volunteering in 1988 after completing a 40 day in-patient treatment program. After nearly two decades of using drugs and alcohol, I can’t even express the peace volunteering has given me. The very first place I volunteered was a program that targeted women infected or at-risk for HIV. I was meeting with women who were living the same life I had lived. It was through volunteering that I got my first job working in the behavioral health field. Twenty years later, I am still working in behavioral health, though with a different community of people.

In 1993, I started volunteering at an organization that ministered to the poor. At the time, I was going through a divorce. After working with the poor, I decided that fighting for the house and material possessions was just not worth the heartache. I moved in with a friend, owning nothing but a TV and a mattress. By volunteering, I was truly home. I was accepted, and in turn, I was able to love and nurture those coming through the doors until the organization closed in 2004.

Shortly thereafter, I found the Phoenix Rescue Mission. My first shift in the kitchen was like a journey back in time — there were so many “old Janets,” people lost, addicted like I once was — I knew I was in the right place. I still see my old self in many of the faces of the men and women who come to eat a meal or get a food box. I am now delivering food boxes to homebound seniors and I love it.

I’ve gained so much from volunteering, so much more than I could ever express. My journey led me full circle — I am home again.

— Janet Garcia
2009 Volunteer of the Year Phoenix Rescue Mission

Our thanks to Janet for her years of dedicated service and for sharing her powerful story on AzCapitolTimes.com

2 Ways to Help Moms and Kids

For volunteers looking to make a difference in the lives of local mothers and their children, the Mission has two volunteer opportunities to share.

1.  25 Volunteers are needed this Wednesday evening to provide child care for mothers attending an inspirational concert by the ACTS choir from California. Volunteers will also serve mothers dessert, coffee and punch.

Where - Murphy/Rotary 100 Education and Health Center, 3140 West Buckeye Road,  Phoenix AZ 85009
When - Wednesday, June 30th
Time - 5:00-7:30pm
Who - Families, groups, businesses or organizations - ages 16 or over (No background check is needed).

 2.  The Murphy/Rotary 100 Education and Health Center is a WIC registration facility. We need volunteers on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the summer to provide crafts, games, movies, reading time and fun programs to children and their families as they wait for WIC registration. Activities can include mom, helping to provide interactive family time.
This is a great opportunity for your family to work closely with our working-poor families.

Where - Murphy/Rotary 100 Education and Health Center, 3140 W. Buckeye Rd. Phoenix, 85009
When - Beginning immediately Mondays & Thursdays through August 16th
Time - 9:00am-noon & 1:00-4:00pm
Who - Families, groups, businesses or organizations looking to work with children and     families (No background check is needed).

 If you are interested in participating in either of these events or would like to learn about addtional volunteer opportunities contact me at (602) 272-4663 or email me at mpadron@phoenixrescuemission.org. Thank you and have a blessed week!

~Marlena Padron
Volunteer and Event Coordinator
Phoenix Rescue Mission