There are over 21,000 nonprofit organizations in Arizona alone, ranging from homelessness and hunger relief, to animal shelters and everything in between.
The amount of assistance needed – especially after the pandemic changed our lives drastically – has doubled and tripled, causing nonprofits to struggle with donations, supplies and the delivery of both.
In the spirit of holiday giving, here are just a few organizations that could use some extra support this year.
Arizona Helping Hands
It was important for Arizona Helping Hands to stay open throughout the pandemic to continue providing services to the state’s 14,000+ children in foster care. They provide essential items and resources for foster families and kids. This year, their annual Holiday Toy Drive will rely on the community to collect 30,000 toys to distribute to foster kids.
To help, people can shop the Arizona Helping Hands’ Amazon wish list or drop off new, unwrapped toys to their warehouse between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week. They’re located at 3110 E. Thunderbird Road, Ste. 100, Phoenix.
Phoenix Rescue Mission
Facing an increasingly large poverty rate and hunger crisis in our state, Phoenix Rescue Mission is more motivated than ever to make a lasting impact. Their new campaign, “Fed Up! Hungry for Change,” sets out to not only address hunger but the root causes of hunger as well – such as a lack of vocational development and mental health services. They offer food and resources to help end the cycle of poverty.
To work with Phoenix Rescue Mission on this campaign, you can volunteer your time at an event, donate money online or drop off food at their warehouse. They also need volunteers for their drive-thru Thanksgiving Meal Distribution event on Nov. 21.
ICM Food & Clothing Bank
ICM Food & Clothing Bank typically serves 100-150 families per day. However, during the pandemic, their numbers spiked, and they had to adjust to help everyone safely. That meant temporarily closing their clothing room (which is now back open by appointment only) to provide a makeshift waiting room and allow for social distancing.
To help ICM serve all of the families and individuals in need around the community, people can sign up to volunteer online or drop off donations at 501 S. 9th Ave. Some of the items they need the most include peanut butter, beans, canned soups, nutritious snacks for kids, diapers (especially larger sizes), shampoo, sheets and towels. They also need more men’s and children’s clothing.
St. Mary’s Food Bank
Once the pandemic hit, the number of people coming to St. Mary’s Food Bank more than doubled. At the same time, they lost roughly 80% of their volunteers. One of the most important ways to help St. Mary’s Food Bank right now is by volunteering.
St. Mary’s Food Bank also has several events coming up. On Nov. 7, they’re hosting the Tex Earnhardt Memorial Food Drive at three Basha’s locations to collect money and food donations. Then on Nov. 21, they’re holding a turkey drive at various Safeway and Albertsons locations. The goal this year is 12,000 turkeys.
Sign up online to pack emergency food boxes, distribute meals and more at firstfoodbank.org
Arizona Animal Welfare League
When everything shut down in the spring, the Arizona Animal Welfare League had to find homes for every animal in their shelters. They have re-opened by appointment only and have many more animals who need to find homes.
Along with adopting or fostering animals, people can help the AAWL by donating online at aawl.org or donating pet care items, like food and leashes. People can also sign up for their virtual 22nd annual Walk to Save Animals on Nov. 7. This is their largest fundraiser of the year, and it helps raise money for homeless and medically in-need animals.
Sign up at walktosaveanimals.org