This past month, a group of mother and daughter duos threw open their garage doors, popped their trucks and held a St. Vincent de Paul food, clothing and goods drive from the comfort and safety of their driveways during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The duos are part of the Sonoran Centennial Chapter of the National Charity League, a group of mothers and daughters who have come together in a commitment to community service, leadership development and cultural experiences.
Together, they had 15 driveways participate in the first-ever “Driveway Drive” for SVdP.
“The basic principle came from showing you can help those in need by creating a drive without leaving your own driveway,” said Shawn Donnelly, the SVdP volunteer engagement liaison who came up with the idea. It's one of the many ways people can participate in SVdP's Help from Home program that's taken off since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Arizona.
Debbie Blaes, one of the mothers, helped organize the drive for the NCL Sonoran chapter. They camped out on their driveways and collected food and items after sharing about the cause through their networks and displaying neighborhood posters calling for donations.
In total, they collected:
With so many office and company springtime drives understandably canceled because of COVID-19, every item and every pound of food counts in helping SVdP continue its service to the most vulnerable in the community.
NCL Sonoran’s Driveway Drive donations have already made their way to SVdP’s Dream Center children, who receive to-go meals and activity kits through the Family Dining Room drive-thru. The donations also went to the Resource Center for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness and into food boxes delivered to families’ doorsteps.
“Now, maybe more than ever before, we need to be creative and intentional to reach out and allow our community to have an impact and help others,” Shawn said. “As we are all physically distancing, we need to come together however we can. By providing these opportunities, we remind everyone we are all in this together and that we can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Interested in hosting your own Driveway Drive? Sign up here: