At Virginia Auto Service we not only love what we do, but we love the community we serve. One of the ways we like to help our community is by hosting blood drives at our shop periodically. To get information on these events when we hold them, find us on Facebook. But, the spirit of giving shouldn’t end there. The key to keeping a community great is support. We have put together a list of five volunteer opportunities in and near Phoenix that you can be a part of year round.
1. Keep Phoenix Beautiful–
Keep Phoenix Beautiful is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization and is affiliated with Keep America Beautiful. With the help of their volunteers they promote the protection and preservation of our environment by dedicating their efforts to recycling initiatives and education, litter reduction, beautification, and community improvement activities. If you are unable to volunteer your time, Keep Phoenix Beautiful also accepts donations to help with their many projects.
2. Maggie’s Place–
This is an organization that provides houses of hospitality and ongoing support to help pregnant and parenting women in need reach their goals, and welcomes them into a community filled with love and dignity. It was founded in 2000 in Phoenix through the grassroots effort of five young women who saw a need and responded. Since their inception over 700 moms and babies have called Maggie’s Place home. Women can move into one of the homes at any time during their pregnancy and stay until their baby is 6 months old, or longer depending on the situation. Maggie’s Place provides shelter, food, clothing, and a supportive community to their guests and connects them to the appropriate agencies and resources including prenatal care, health insurance, low-cost housing, and education programs. On-going support is provided through the Moms’ Outreach Center in Phoenix to help the women who have transitioned out of the homes with counseling, job clinics, resume workshops, financial classes, parenting classes, and much more. Maggie’s Place is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Gifts made to such institutions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of these laws. In Arizona, Maggie’s Place also qualifies for the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit Poor (ARS 43 1088).
Maggie’s Place is looking for volunteers to organize a drive for supplies, help at one of their “Serve Saturdays,” cook a meal for the community, coordinate a special project (i.e. repainting a home, “handyman” days, etc.), babysit during group therapy “Women of Worth”, assist with house coverage (answering the phones, sorting donations, etc.), and represent Maggie’s Place at an informational table.
Maggie’s Place operates a social enterprise store called Maggie’s Thrift. Founded in September 2011, this downtown Phoenix boutique offers gently used furniture and higher-quality items. All proceeds support Maggie’s Place. Maggie’s Thrift also facilitates a Job Training Program for current and alumnae moms to receive customer service training and retail experience. Participants of this program will work towards achievable goals as they gain skills that lead to financial independence. Maggie’s Thrift has an urgent need for volunteers to cover a three to four hour weekly shift. Tasks include running the cash register, sorting donations and helping customers. Maggie’s Thrift is located at 1517 E. McDowell Rd. in Phoenix, AZ. Visit www.maggiesthrift.org for more details.
3. Animal Defense League of Arizona–
The Animal Defense League of Arizona (ADLA) is a statewide animal protection organization that has worked for over 25 years on behalf of companion animals, wildlife, animals in laboratories, animals in entertainment, and farm animals. The ADLA is a statewide leader in spaying and neutering companion animals and feral cats. It TNR’s 10,000 cats per year in Maricopa County and makes statewide referrals to low cost and no cost spay/neuter services.
Clinic volunteers help with every aspect of the spay/neuter procedures, but not the actual procedure itself. You can sign up to help with check in, check out, post-op, spay pack (surgical instruments), and recovery. These positions are once a month on a Sunday starting at 6:30am. Volunteers for after-care are also needed. Help caregivers who have implemented the TNR process but have no room in their home for the aftercare portion of the program. If you have space in your home to monitor and care for cats after surgery, this is the opportunity for you. The number of cats vary from 1 to 10 and are safely housed in humane traps until transported to the caregiver for their return back into the community. Trap sizes are: Length: 30 Inches Width: 9 Inches Height: 11 Inches. You will be trained on proper technique. Some caregivers do not have the ability or transportation to transport on their own. Your help will be appreciated! Help transport trapped outdoor cats from care-givers home to and from clinic appointments. The number of cats can vary from 1 to up to 10. Another option would be to volunteer at a ADLA event. They attend community events throughout the valley in order to raise awareness of the outdoor cat population and the importance of TNR in our neighborhoods. Volunteers will attend these events to engage, speak with, and hand out literature to the people who visit their table.
4. Donor Network of Arizona–
Donor Network of Arizona (DNA) is the state’s federally designated, nonprofit organ procurement organization that coordinates organ, eye and tissue donation for transplantation. They are dedicated to working with health care and community partners to support donor families, facilitate organ, eye and tissue donation for transplant and encourage people in our community to donate life!
Donate Life Arizona volunteers help make the most of life by sharing the life-saving and life-healing message of organ, eye and tissue donation. Volunteers participate in registration events, and staffing booths with other volunteers or Donor Network of Arizona employees. These events present the public with the opportunity to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. Volunteers can help the Donate Life mission by assisting with event preparation by mailing event invitations, helping with event set-up and decor or being a greeter for an event. If you haven’t the time to volunteer, contribute a tax-deductible gift. Your contribution will be used to educate the public about organ, eye and tissue donation.
5. Saint Mary’s Food Bank–
Arizona’s hunger rates are higher than national averages: 17.8 percent of Arizonans are food insecure, compared to 15.9 percent nationally, and 28.2 percent of Arizonan children face hunger, compared to 21.6 percent nationally. Nearly two million Arizonans are considered working poor, living at or below the Federal Poverty Guideline. This is the majority of those served by the Food Bank’s emergency food box program.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance offers an array of programs designed to help those in need receive food and other types of assistance, and offer opportunities for individuals and organizations to get involved, make financial donations, and volunteer their time, effort and resources. They distribute Emergency Food Boxes, at no cost, to individuals and families in need, offer child nutrition programs, offer a mobile pantry for individuals who cannot make it to the food bank, and more.
Volunteers are needed to distribute food boxes, pack and sort food boxes, host food drives, and more. Monetary, food and vehicle donations are also needed and appreciated. If you would like to communicate the importance of helping the hungry to Arizona businesses, schools, government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and other potential sources of support become an advocate for their programs.