Share your blessings with Valley charities around the holidays
We’re coming up on the last few weeks of the year when donations of money and food often pour in to nonprofit organizations as donors try to meet tax deadlines.
But right now, let’s promise ourselves not to forget groups and people whom we can help all yearlong, not just for the holidays.
Here are a few possibilities in Arizona that we are especially fond of:
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat organizations in Phoenix and Tucson regularly use volunteers to help build new houses and repair old ones.
Similar construction work is done in some other locations in the state as well. If you’re interested, these places can be a great chance to share your do-it-yourself skills, to make new friends and to learn some new things about building and repairs.
Of course, you can make monetary and other kinds of donations to these stores as well.
The Salvation Army provides services in numerous locations throughout Arizona, including — but not limited to — Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson and Prescott.
Although most of us only think about the organization when we see volunteers ringing bells and collecting donations at kettles in front of stores or public buildings, their work involves hundreds of services for the homeless, the aged and those recovering from drug and alcohol dependence.
The organization also provides after-school tutoring and camps for children, a missing person service that will search for lost family members, does work to identify human trafficking victims and even provides heat relief for those who need shelter or water during hot summer months in the Southwest.
There is emergency financial and food available for those with an immediate need.
Besides donating money or goods to the organization, you can also be a volunteer.
You can sponsor a toy or food drive; help clean up, paint and repair Salvation Army facilities; run activities for children, provide landscaping for patio and playground areas and sort and organize items that have been donated.
Phoenix Rescue Mission
The mission has three campuses, including a men’s emergency shelter and public dining hall near 35th Avenue and Buckeye Road. There is also a donation center near 27th Avenue and McDowell Road and a center for women and children near 15th Avenue and Van Buren Street.
The focus of programs is on the homeless and near homeless and the mission is always in need of men’s and women’s clothing.
Besides monetary donations, the mission accepts cars, boats and property.
St. Vincent de Paul
This Phoenix nonprofit has some 10,000 people who serve as volunteers in facilities for the disabled, free dining rooms, thrift stores, food pantries, a medical clinic and a homeless shelter.
The charity also has an urban farm that provides organically grown food for its dining rooms and a program to repair homes and apartments for residents who need help.
Thrift stores in Prescott, Flagstaff, Cottonwood and other locations around Arizona sell appliances and furniture that have come in as donations. Some of these locations also provide food boxes for those who need them.
There are lots of volunteers now as well as plenty of money coming in but, after the holidays and during the summer, interest declines and helpers are needed.
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