A woman and her two sons happily carry their food box, frozen turkey and donated Christmas gifts given to them through the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s holiday help programs (photo courtesy of the Phoenix Rescue Mission).

A woman and her two sons happily carry their food box, frozen turkey and donated Christmas gifts given to them through the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s holiday help programs (photo courtesy of the Phoenix Rescue Mission).

As the economy continues to fight to right itself, many North Central families are still struggling to make ends meet. The added burden of providing even one gift for a child this holiday season may be more than they can afford.

North Central residents who want to help these struggling neighbors have several ways to do so, right in your own back yard.

Desert Mission

Through the Adopt-A-Family program, community members purchase toys and a holiday meal for struggling neighbors; adopters can choose the size of the family they wish to serve. Adopters can then deliver the gifts to them directly or bring them to the Food Bank for the family to pick up. If you can’t do the shopping yourself, you can mail a check to: Desert Mission HAAF, c/o John C. Lincoln Health Foundation, 9100 N. 2nd St., Suite 301, Phoenix, AZ 85020. Contact Mallory Lebovitz at the Foundation office to learn more: 602-331-7856 or Mallory.lebovitz@jcl.com. For more information about the program itself, visit www.JCL.com/adoptafamily.

Duet: Partners
in Health & Aging

Duet will host a holiday party on Monday, Dec. 23, for families who participate in its various kinship programs and support groups. These families are comprised primarily of grandparents who are now raising their grandchildren. Duet hopes to find community volunteers to provide one gift to each of the 125 children at the holiday party. Children range in age from birth to 15. Donated gifts can be dropped off at the Duet office, 555 W. Glendale Ave., at the southeast end of the parking lot. Unwrapped gifts should be dropped off no later than Friday, Dec. 13. For more information, call Patricia Dominguez at 602-274-5022, ext. 44 or e-mail dominguez@duetaz.org.


Esperança’s Christmas Angel Program will assist families at the Christown YMCA who are participating in Esperança’s preventive health programming; families have already been pre-selected. Sponsors will receive a “wish list” from the family they are partnered with and can purchase new gifts or make a cash contribution and Esperança staff will do the shopping for the family. Sponsors will be matched by Nov. 15, and gifts will be collected at the Esperança office, 1911 W. Earll Drive, through Dec. 16. For more information, contact Maria Valenzuela at 602-252-7772, ext. 108 or maria@esperanca.org.

Phoenix Rescue Mission

For poor and homeless families struggling to make ends meet, Phoenix Rescue Mission hosts an event on Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Shelter Campus from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The public is asked to sponsor a family by donating items on a wish list. Sponsors can drop gifts off for the family they chose from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the same location. If sponsoring a whole family is too much, donors have the option of donating to the Family Fiesta and Toy Distribution event on Dec. 23. Each child that attends will be able to choose a Christmas toy. The public is asked to donate toys for children ages infant to 14 years old. Phoenix Rescue Mission is collecting new, unwrapped toys for this event starting Nov. 1 at its donation center, 1468 N. 26th Ave. Visit www.phoenixrescuemisson.org for details about either program or call 602-233-3000.

Other ways to help

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance will hold its sixth-annual Super Saturday Turkey Drive on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Food Bank is anticipating requests for tens of thousands of holiday food boxes. In addition to the goal of 7,000 turkeys St. Mary’s hopes to receive through donations, all other non-perishable food items and monetary donations will gladly be accepted. Drop-off locations near Central Phoenix include St. Mary’s Food Bank Stardust Campus, 2831 N. 31st Ave., and Albertson’s, located at 8035 N. 19th Ave. For more information, visit www.FirstFoodBank.org or call 602-242-FOOD.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission offers two ways to help this month. On Sunday, Nov. 10, drop off a frozen turkey and tour Phoenix Rescue Mission’s shelter at 1801 S. 35th Ave. in Phoenix (south of Buckeye). The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features a barbecue lunch. Then on Saturday, Nov. 23, take part in the “Fill-a-Box Feed a Family Turkey Delivery” event, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., also at the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s shelter. Build a Thanksgiving Food Box and then deliver it to a family in need. For more information, call 602-233-3000 or visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org.


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