Good Deeds

Monday, July 23, 2018

Get Your Tickets: Drags Against Abuse

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM

  • Miss Nature
In America, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, and every day domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, an average of close to 15 calls every minute, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

In an effort to raise money for Wings For Women, a local nonprofit that provides services to women and children that are facing domestic violence, drag queens from across Arizona will be coming to Tucson to perform on the Screening Room stage starting at 7 p.m. this Sunday, July 29.

According to their Facebook event, the lineup currently includes: Miss Nature, Apple Q. Bottoms, Queerella D' Vil, Leaoura D' Rains, Phoenix Peacox, Jeena Doucure, Luna Louvet, Lisa DLeon, Lady Ashley, Cassandra A. McKenzie, Ima Peepers and Ana Malia.

Each performance will be dedicated to the empowerment of women, and the show is open to all ages. 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Wings for Women, and the organization's founder will be present to talk about the work they do in the Southern Arizona community.

Why are you hearing about this show almost a full week in advance? Because the organizers expect the show to sell out very soon! So if you're interested, you can buy the $10 tickets here.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Please Adopt a Pet From PACC Because There Are a Bazillion

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 2:39 PM


Pima Animal Care Center is having a overcrowding problem. They have taken close to 180 animals in two days and the shelter is looking for help in the community to adopt or foster animals.

As of Thursday, June 14 the shelter had close to 350 dogs and over 250 cats.

“The situation at PACC is increasingly dire, as there is not one single space to put an incoming dog right now.” said PACC Director of Animal Services Kristen Auerbach.

PACC will be having a "Pet for Dad" adoption special, which will give community members the  opportunity to name their own adoption fee for any pet. The special is running all weekend, through Father's Day, Sunday, June 17.

The pets will be spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and come with a vet visit voucher.

Dog licenses cost $18.

If you do not want to adopt, people can consider the option of fostering that does not come with any time limits if you fall in love with our new furry friend. You can foster for a day, a week or a month.

For the fostering and adoption application you can go to PACCs website.

To visit the shelter, business hours are noon to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the weekend.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Tucson's Salvation Army Starts Food Drive to Feed Kids for Summer Program

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Children at the Salvation Army Tucson's program, “Summer Day Camp,” during a previous year. - COURTESY OF THE SALVATION ARMY TUCSON
  • Courtesy of The Salvation Army Tucson
  • Children at the Salvation Army Tucson's program, “Summer Day Camp,” during a previous year.

The Salvation Army Tucson sure has a goal for the summer: Feed more than 200 children twice a day—through community donations.

  • Courtesy of The Salvation Army Tucson
The Salvation Army's “Summer Day Camp” program is partnering with local Safeway and Albertsons stores for a month long food drive. Fom March 15 to April 15 around the entire Tucson area, they will be accepting granola bars, bread, popcorn, crackers, juice boxes and other snacks that children enjoy eating (candy!). People can also donate money to go toward food for “Summer Day Camp” at The Salvation Army Tucson’s website.

Corey Leith, public relations director of the Salvation Army Tucson, said he came up with the idea of doing a food drive because he felt like it would be more helpful for the children in the “Summer Day Camp” if the weight of the money to fund meals for the kids can be used toward “improving the activities and plans.”

Once he came up with the idea, Leith reached out to the grocery stores and their respective representatives about the desire to start a food drive to provide food for children and they were on board.

“I just saw a need in general and I asked Safeway and they were more than happy to do it,” he said. Thus the food drive was born and Leith is optimistic about what it could do.

“I’m hoping that we can just feed all 200 kids throughout the whole summertime without us having to purchase items. That’s the main goal—just to make sure that all these children are being fed,” he said.

The “Summer Day Camp” program provides local children, ages 5-14, with activities, field trips and lessons they can do throughout the summer. Leith said that with around 200 volunteers the the program is a way to give children something to do during the summer and to help them learn.

“That’s our main goal, to keep them safe and off the streets.”
  • Courtesy of The Salvation Army Tucson

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See Through Another's Eyes as You Walk a 'Mile in a Refugee's Shoes'

Posted By on Thu, Mar 15, 2018 at 9:25 AM

  • Peter Biro, Courtesy of the International Rescue Committee Tucson
To be a refugee is to find oneself in a land that is not their own, with unfamiliar customs and behaviors, while trying to live a new life that is different from the one they are escaping.

Refugees face adverse hurdles in their origin countries and where they settle. Many believe that they need all the help they can get. There are programs that do this within our own welcoming and supportive community, as Patricia Repolda describes it.

Repolda is the development manager at the International Rescue Committee in Tucson. This resettlement organization helps newly arrived refugees adapt to life here so they can have a smooth transition. The local IRC runs programs that help refugees navigate the missions of finding homes, English language classes, finding a job, legal help, and other services necessary to be successful in the U.S.

“Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes” which is the first time, according to Repolda, that there is a simulation event in Tucson that allows participants to immerse themselves in the experience a refugee endures.

“They will assume the role of a refugee and they will gain an understanding of the different challenges refugees encounter to access basic needs prior to arriving in the United States,” she said.

Through this interactive event, the IRC wants to inform and unite both the refugee community and the local community alike through education and fostering understanding. Along with simulation exercises, there will also be an advocacy station to inform people how they can help refugees in the community—either through volunteer work or donations.

“Our goal is to provide education to the Tucson community to some of the unique challenges refugees have overcome before coming to the United States. And also, provide education to what’s going on around the world—why we’re helping refugees,” Repolda said.

“There’s different things they can do to share their welcome and support to the refugee population here.”

Nejra Sumic fled her native country, Bosnia, with her family as a child because of religious persecution. She came to the United States in the early '90s as a refugee.

Today, Sumic dedicates herself to helping refugees as the advocacy and outreach coordinator for the IRC in Tucson. To her, events like “Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes” are ways to show people about the reality surrounding refugees and for them to have more compassion toward refugees.

“Most people have never experienced it, it’s to kind of give them a little glimpse of their lives and their experience,” Sumic said.

She said that events like “Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes” challenge stereotypes and misconceptions.

“I want to express the importance of a welcoming community for refugees, the refugees are safe, they’re not a burden to the community. Refugees come with the mindset of being driven, of taking ownership of their lives that has been shattered and giving [to] that community that has helped them resettle,” Sumic said.

Benjamin Lawrance, a professor at the University of Arizona and historian that conducts research on African migration.

He said that 60 million people in the world, today, are refugees and only 200,000 of them end up being resettled in another country. Many end up living their lives in an indefinite limbo where they remain in refugee camps for long periods of time while others are lucky enough to go through a lengthy resettlement process and live somewhere. Various refugees end up calling the United States home, a couple of them even becoming our neighbors, here in Tucson.

According to Lawrance, one of the best ways to help refugees is donating money and supplies to local resettlement programs, as well as volunteering. “Refugees need friends. They need helpers to help them learn,” he said.

Events held by refugee centers, like the the International Rescue Committee are the connecting point that brings together refugees and the community, are also important to help them.

“I think it’s very useful to learn about the personal experiences of somebody else, to really become familiar, in whatever way, that you can to the difficulties that people experience,” Lawrance said. “The more exposure you have to other people’s lives, the more capacity of empathy that we have.”

“Walk a Mile in a Refugee’s Shoes” will take place on Sunday March 18 at the Jewish Community Center (3800 E. River Rd.) which is partnering with the IRC. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. For more information, please check out this website.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Assistance League's Volunteers are looking out for the Tucson Community

Posted By on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 9:20 AM

  • Melissa Vasquez
It was 9:30 on a Wednesday morning, but a group of elementary children aren't sitting in their desks at school. Instead, they are picking out some clothes and a backpack for themselves.

Helen Van Auken, a retired principal and teacher, was there helping a little girl pick out clothes. She volunteers at the Assistance League of Tucson sorting donations that come in, selling at the thrift shop and helping children at "Operation School Bell."

She found out about the Assistance League of Tucson, a local chapter of the national Assistance League,  when a friend invited her to check it out and discovered she wanted to see a part of it because she had seen many kids who needed services during her experience as an educator.

One of her favorite memories as a volunteer is helping a little boy one day who wanted a pink backpack.

“Everybody has what they want,” Van Auken said. “But this just seemed a little unusual and we said, ‘Are you sure you want pink? Look at all the colors.’ He said ‘Yes, I wanna get a pink backpack, it’s for my sister. She never had nothing new.’ That really touched my heart."

This is what a morning of "Operation School Bell" at the Assistance League looks like. It is one of the various programs through which this volunteer-driven center helps Tucsonans in need. Around 400 volunteers contribute their time to running the programs.

Volunteers worked 56,199 hours from May 2016 to April 2017, according to Community Newslink Annual Report, distributed by the Tucson chapter of the Assistance League.

The programs offered by the Assistance League of Tucson are created and enacted with the national organization’s vision in mind, to “serve the unique needs and challenges of their community.”

"Operation School Bell," provides around 4,000 kids from Title I schools around Tucson with clothing while “Hooked on Books" gives these participating children a book to develop their literacy skills and love for learning. "Starting Over Supplies" gives items like blankets and dishes to people who have left their homes or shelters. "Assault Survivor Kits" are given to Southern Arizonans with clothing and toiletries when undergoing forensic examinations for sexual assault. The public can shop while supporting the cause at the Assistance League Thrift Shop (1307 N. Alvernon Way). High school students volunteer at the center and learn about leadership through a program called "Assisteens."

Children participating in Operation School Bell write thank you notes before their turn to "shop" for clothes. - MELISSA VASQUEZ
  • Melissa Vasquez
  • Children participating in Operation School Bell write thank you notes before their turn to "shop" for clothes.
Johnny Williams, the former president of the Tucson chapter is now a chairman of the national program. Williams said these programs are paid through grants, donations and the revenue that comes from the Assistance League’s thrift shop. Sixty two percent of the money made from the thrift shop goes into the philanthropic programs, the Community Newslink Annual Report said.

Williams also said that volunteers pay dues so that money for expenses wouldn’t have to be taken from the programs. To him, everyone who is involved does so because they truly want to help out.

“Everyone’s a volunteer. So when you get into an organization like this, people can leave if they want to. Don’t show up. So you see people [who] want to be there and are volunteering to be there so that’s a good feeling,” he said.

This is how the Assistance League of Tucson accomplish their local mission,  "volunteers working in the Tucson community to help those in need."

Through Operation School Bell, children receive 2 pair of pants, 3 shirts, a package of underwear, socks, a hoodie, a backpack and a voucher purchase shoes at Payless ShoeSource - MELISSA VASQUEZ
  • Melissa Vasquez
  • Through Operation School Bell, children receive 2 pair of pants, 3 shirts, a package of underwear, socks, a hoodie, a backpack and a voucher purchase shoes at Payless ShoeSource

Monday, November 27, 2017

Fill the Truck! Suddath To Host Food Drive on Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 12:01 PM

Won't you chip in and help the needy among you in Pima County?
  • Won't you chip in and help the needy among you in Pima County?
Do you enjoy stuffing trucks and/or helping those less fortunate than yourself in Pima County?

If so, boy, are you in luck! Local moving company Suddath Relocation Systems of Arizona is teaming up with Move for Hunger—a nationwide nonprofit organization aiming at ending hunger that's collected more than 9 million pounds of food in the U.S. and Canada, respectively.

The two are teaming up to host a food drive to deliver food to the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona next Tuesday.

Their goal is to collect as many food items as possible from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Broadway Road Safeway location (1940 E. Broadway) to help stock the shelves of the food banks.

The organizers ask that people bring any unwanted non-perishable food items from their home, or that they purchase said items when shopping that day.

Keeping food on the plates of Baja Arizona residents is of extra importance, given the 145,000 people in Pima County alone that face hunger, including one in four children.

For more information, visit the Suddath Gives Back page, or contact event organizer Rob Sowinski at (602) 252-5566.

Community Radio KXCI Giving Nonprofits a Boost for Giving Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM

KXCI Executive Director Cathy Rivers is helping nonprofits raise money on Giving Tuesday and showing off the station's shiny new studio at Hotel Congress. - COURTESY KXCI
  • Courtesy KXCI
  • KXCI Executive Director Cathy Rivers is helping nonprofits raise money on Giving Tuesday and showing off the station's shiny new studio at Hotel Congress.
Local independent rock-and-roll station 91.3 KXCI is bringing the heat for this year's #GivingTuesday Celebration.

The station, in partnership with several local nonprofits, will broadcast from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. next Tuesday from its studio inside the Hotel Congress.

The goal of Tuesday's event, according to station Executive Director Cathy Rivers, is to help other nonprofits raise the funds vital to their very livelihood.

Rivers knows full well how difficult it can be for small nonprofits to raise those funds, especially with so many national and international emergencies occurring.

She hopes the day-long effort will help build a better Tucson, and help illustrate to the community how vital the organizations are to the city's livelihood.

Rivers knows how tough it can be to motivate the community to donate funds, given the station's turbulent fundraising drive this fall.

"Ultimately we knew we would be alright because Tucsonans always come through for us," Rivers said.

The station's generosity in helping other nonprofits is nothing new, as they've donated $220,000 worth of Community Impact Announcements to 100 local organizations.

Tuesday's event is merely the most recent example of that drive to help the city grow and thrive, Rivers said.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

UPDATE: Please stop sending your sweet, sweet turkeys!

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 3:24 PM

All of these things are needed for the Salvation Army's annual turkey dinner. - BRENT HOFACKER | SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Brent Hofacker | Shutterstock
  • All of these things are needed for the Salvation Army's annual turkey dinner.
The Salvation Army of Southern Arizona has a message of good news as Thanksgiving fast approaches.

The nonprofit, which gives out free turkey dinners each year, had a serious problem coming into this week.

They were well short of the number of birds necessary to feed the masses—with 40 turkeys as of Monday to feed an expected crowd of 2,000 people on Thursday.

Well, the good news is that after our post on the subject on Monday, turkeys came metaphorically flowing in by the handful.

Salvation Army of Southern Arizona Public Relations Director Corey Leith reports that more than 800 turkeys showed up at their doorstep on Tuesday alone.

In addition to the sudden helping of avian deliciousness, the William and Mary Ross Foundation donated $15,000 to cover the Thanksgiving meal costs and any equipment purchased for the meal, according to Leith.

Last year, by comparison, the center had 300 turkeys, feeding 1,600 people in total.

More than 250 volunteers have signed up to help prepare and cook the turkey feast, with more than 600 Thanksgiving meals delivered to homebound residents.

Donations are still being accepted at the Hospitality House, including turkeys, canned green beans, instant box potatoes, butter, already cooked assorted pies, yams, eggs, cranberry sauce, turkey stuffing, loafs of bread, brown gravy and cartons of milk.

Leith expressed gratitude the community for its overwhelming response for Thursday's event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Salvation Army Hospitality House, 1002 N. Main Ave.

"We would like to thank the Tucson community for their generous donations," Leith said in an email to Tucson Weekly.

Major Dawn Rocheleau, director of special services Tucson Metro, expressed a similar level of thanks to the community for helping those less fortunate, so they can have a great Thanksgiving experience.

"We want the community to know what types of resources we provide for those in need," Rocheleau said. "This could not be done without the support from the people in Tucson."

For more information, contact The Hospitality House at (520) 795-9671, or at the Salvation Army's website.

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