Year In Review: Top 6 Highlights From 2015
Be A Summer Action Hero
In May of this year, we partnered with CBS 5 News and the Arizona Rattlers to tackle hunger with a new campaign called “Be a Summer Action Hero.” On May 6th, CBS 5 hosted a phone bank to encourage the audience to support us and make donations. Two weeks later, more funds were raised during an Arizona Rattlers game. The campaign continued after the game with summer food drives and individual donations. To generate excitement we also created our very own superhero with the help of our Dream Center kids. Heroes United AZ partnered with us to become our very own Dream Team: Vinny and Paulina. The duo visited our Dream Center in June and spent valuable time with the children.
Overflow Shelter Opens in Downtown Phoenix Dining Room
On April 1 this year, the Men’s Overflow Shelter in Phoenix closed, leaving hundreds of individuals without a place to sleep at night. We partnered with the Lodestar Day Resource Center to fill this need by opening the doors of our downtown Phoenix Dining Room at night to serve as a temporary shelter. Nearly 200 people sought refuge from the grueling heat or summer monsoons in this space. For the past several months, approximately 150 to 250 women and disabled men have been sleeping on our dining room floor every night and continue to do so.
New Medical Clinic Director Joins Staff
This year we were honored and thrilled to bring in Dr. Maurice Lee as our new Medical Clinic Director. Dr. Lee was a volunteer physician for a year at SVdP before being hired as the director. He has a long history of volunteerism and vast experience working at low-income community clinics. When asked about his vision for the future of the clinic, Dr. Lee said, “Just in the tradition of this clinic, I want to make sure that the care we’re giving is up to the standards that you would get in any office…I want to make sure that we try to fill any needs that aren’t met in the community…and I want to make sure the staff (whether volunteers or employees), are proud to say they work here.”
Special Ministries Helps Vet Through Twist of Fate
Just a few months ago, our Special Ministries Program Coordinator, Jackie Solares, witnessed a car accident on the side of the road on a Saturday evening. Jackie’s heart went out to the injured car accident victim as he was an elderly man who was injured, alone and looked very dazed. She said a small prayer for him and went on her way. Little did she know that a few weeks later she would be helping this man named Donald Kronor, get back on his feet after the accident and resulting injury left him in financial trouble. By reaching out to donors and finding the right program funding, Jackie was able to help Donald with his bills. Read this heartwarming story here.
This was a record-breaking year for our annual Thanksgiving food drives with KNIX 102.5 and Bashas’ and 12 News. KNIX’s Million Can Crusade, which is Arizona’s largest canned food drive raised more than 1.5 million cans of food to help feed those in need in Arizona. We were blessed to have the incredible support of KNIX, Safeway and Albertsons during this drive. We were also thrilled to reach a new record on Turkey Tuesday this year, the country’s largest one-day turkey drive that helps to feed hungry families on Thanksgiving day. At the end of the day, more than 25,000 turkeys were donated! Our partners Channel 12 News and Bashas’ worked hard to make this event our best ever in 22 years.
On Thursday, Dec. 3, we were honored and blessed to host international opera singer and humanitarian, Andrea Bocelli, his wife Veronica, and daughter Virginia at our downtown Phoenix Dining Room. Mr. Bocelli helped to dedicate the new SVdP basketball court donated by Celebrity Fight Night Foundation and surprised the crowd by singing a beautiful a capella version of Ave Maria during the ceremony. It was an unforgettable event and we are thankful for founder of Celebrity Fight Night, Jimmy Walker, Executive Director Sean Currie, and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, for helping to coordinate and participate in this special event.
We want to thank you everyone who helped Feed, Clothe, House, and Heal their neighbors in need this year. We couldn't do the work we do without the compassionate and generous support of all our partners, volunteers and donors. We are grateful for all that was accomplished this year and we look forward to all that is to come in the new year!
Fresh spring rolls for a fresh start
Volunteer Dana Nguyen cooked up some spring rolls with SVdP farm vegetables to celebrate Mesa Dining Room's reopening
From dining room to concert hall
Victoria needed rosin for her bow. She got so much more with an impromptu performance with The Phoenix Symphony.