Tag Archives: Vista del Camino Food Bank

A Social Service Seed Has Been Planted in Each of Us

Chavez_Claudia CropBy Claudia Chavez
STARS

Class 30 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

“I am doing this because it’s personal” –Ted Taylor, Executive Director, Family Promise of Greater Phoenix

IMG_7349On September 25, 2015, Class XXX witnessed the collective efforts of Scottsdale Social Service Superheroes in action.  Their goal: create more effective organizations, build stronger communities, and promote equity and opportunity.  Day Chairs Justin Boyd and Lisa Randall kicked off our first topic day with an introduction to our host site – the Paiute Neighborhood Center (PNC).  PNC is a  unique community  resource in that serves as a hub to numerous collaborating agencies including a charter school (Hirsch Academy), Boys & Girls Club branch, a bike apprenticeship program (Handlebar Helpers) and a family center (Scottsdale Prevention Institute), just to name a few.

IMG_7314Throughout the day, although the details shared by each storyteller varied, a recurring theme surfaced – these are individuals invested in what they do because it resonates on a personal note.  Danny Gallegos, Recreation Coordinator, originally focused on the management of Scottsdale parks.  One day, he was asked to help with the operations of the Vista Del Camino food bank, but was unsure if he was the right man for the job.  Today, he lends a helping hand to hundreds of individuals and families in need – individuals that could be your neighbor or co-worker.  Ted Taylor, Executive Director of Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, is a former business owner, consultant and social entrepreneur.  Driven by personal values of inspiration, simplicity and purpose, today he helps find shelter for over 100 families a year, including their pets! Commander Aaron Minor, Kelly Wills (Crisis Intervention Specialist), and Police Detective Robert McCabe shared their struggles and successes in keeping Scottsdale citizens safe from criminal activity while simultaneously serving as pillars of support for them during times of crisis and death, through the efforts of the Family Advocacy Center.

The stories heard on this day are too many to share in a single blog entry – the impact that they will have on the individuals lucky enough to hear them is yet to be determined.  Hopefully, a social service seed has been planted in each of us.  How personally that seed resonates may help determine the beauty of its bloom.

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Belonging in Scottsdale

Magi_Inga CropBy Inga Magi
Distinctive Italian Wines & Wines for Humanity

Class 29 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership.

I’ll speak for all members of Class 29 to say that we were moved and inspired by the stories and discussion during last Friday’s ‘Social Services and Today’s Youth’ class. I doubt there was a dry eye in the room as we listened to some of our neighbors share their most vulnerable moments in life. And we were inspired by the people who are there – every day – to help those who are living through those moments.

Last Friday’s class will forever be imprinted on my memory for many reasons. After all, it’s not every day that you…

….hear a woman tell her personal story about how she went from a steady job to hiding in a park with her three children with nowhere to go.  And then somehow found herself immersed in love through Family Promise.

….or learn the story of a Big Sister-Little Sister match that has exceeded the average match time by 10 years. And that the pair long ago stopped thinking of each other as a “match” but as “family”.

….or hear about teenagers volunteering at Teen Lifeline to help other teenagers find an approach that is anything but suicide.

IMG_5466….or find out that your neighborhood has a campus where children can safely play on a playground or get help on their homework through affordable educational programs at Paiute Neighborhood Center instead of hanging out on the streets.

….or gain an understanding about the impact that Vista Del Camino Food Bank can make for families who live right here in Scottsdale by providing a box or bag of food.

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….or witness teenagers discover how much they have to give, and learn how to empower themselves and others through Workshop for Youth and Families.

I walked away from Friday’s class feeling emotionally drained, and full of gratitude.  Gratitude for the life I lead, and gratitude for belonging to a community that is made up of people who give so much. Two messages really stuck with me:

  1. It only takes one person to change someone else’s life for the better. And sometimes that leads to the creation of an organization that allows many people to help many other people. It all starts with an idea and a conversation. And we all need to make sure we’re part of those conversations.
  1. Government funding (through programs like Scottsdale Cares) is incredibly important to the success of the programs that exist only to serve others. And it’s our responsibility as citizens of this community to ensure we vocalize our support for the programs that help sustain all aspects of our community.

And, actually, there is a third.  The third thing is a realization that whether we are teenagers or seniors, homeless or wealthy, we want to feel like we belong. We want to know that we are a part of a community that will feed, house, and continue to welcome us should we find ourselves in the unimaginable position of being hungry, homeless, or unwelcome.

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Serving Others in Need is Noble and Courageous

RodneyHeadShotBy Rodney Smith, Class 28
First Financial Equity Corporation
Founder, Helping Hands for Freedom

Class 28 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s Core Program. The views expressed here represent those of class members and not those of Scottsdale Leadership

As someone who has spent 24 years in the non-profit industry – as a founder of three organizations and a consultant for more than 20 others – what I heard and saw at Scottsdale Leadership’s “Lead it Forward” competition on April 4th was simply amazing.

I am a firm believer the strong survive and prosper in life, and I am not talking about how much money you make. Whether that is strength in character and integrity, a commitment to family, friends and community, or having respect for yourself and your way of life, to find peace and fulfillment is often a matter of one’s heart and soul and not measured with your bank account.

To serve others when others need help is one of the most noble and courageous things a person can do with their life. To see the impact that 44 Class 28 members made on five Valley charities was breathtaking. The projects featured sustainable solutions, addressed immediate concerns and needs, generated donations, provided introductions and connections that were not there before, and were filled with passion and a skill set that charities are always looking for to serve on their committees and boards.

As someone who benefited from others who took an active interest in my life when I was a child, I was touched, moved, and inspired by the dedication and hard work that went into the projects and what a powerful impact everyone had for their charity of choice.

Some simple truths learned that day:
1. Volunteering can make a difference.
2. Professional expertise can catapult a charity to higher levels.
3. Connections and relationships with other like-minded individuals is a powerful combination.

“Lead It Forward” Projects included:

Tavan Digital Literacy Program, which held a technology fair at Tavan Elementary School, showed children, their parents and teachers how technology can help them succeed in education.

Quest for College, which produced an informational packet prepared on a flash drive and in print that consolidated all of the useful information high-school students at the Paiute Neighborhood Center need to know about preparing for college.

Amplif(i) it Bash, a free event was held in partnership with notMYkid for 150 area school children and 70 parents at Scottsdale Gymnastics, to draw attention to issues surrounding bullying and positive life choices among middle-school children.

Project CANdo partnered with the Salt River Fields and the Arizona Diamondbacks to present a canned-food drive at a spring-training game that featured a pyramid stack of cans, which were all donated to Vista del Camino Food Bank.

And the winning team, Victorious Secret, earned both the audience and judges choice awards, developed a volunteer recruitment program for Foothills Caring Corps, partnering with corporations and other community partners to supply an on-going, stable group of volunteers to assist its mission serving older adults who are homebound and disabled so they can maintain an independent lifestyle.

What a spectacular group of people representing great organizations! Class 28 Dominates!!!

Scottsdale Leadership www.hauteeventphotographs.com

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Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 Pays It Forward

Scottsdale Leadership Class 26 Pays if Forward
Graduating class of Scottsdale Leadership poised to leave a lasting legacy in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – As part of the nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class 26 were assigned to teams and challenged to plan and implement five community service projects. The goal was to identify a community need and develop a project that positively affected that need, while gaining hands-on experience as community leaders.

“The teams had to quickly organize and create a project that will pay it forward for years to come,” said Brian Bednar, board president of Scottsdale Leadership. “We are beyond impressed and proud of class 26.  Their accomplishments are a reflection of what Scottsdale Leadership stands for. It proves that, even with limited time and resources, a few passionate people can make a tremendous impact on a community.”

The projects underway include:

Play it Forward
Play it Forward is dedicated to getting musical instruments out of retirement and into the hands of students, particularly to those in low-income areas who might not otherwise have access to musical education.  The team, in partnership with Ear Candy Charity and Arcadia High School Contemporary Music and Sound, is conducting an instrument drive benefiting schools in the Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD).  Project Play it Forward Group was featured on Channel 12 news at: http://www.azcentral.com
How to get involved: Donate musical instruments at the front desk at Arcadia High until April 15. To make a donation to help repair and place the instruments with those in need, visit www.EarCandyCharity.org and click on CMAS drive.

Everybody Dance Now! Scottsdale
Everybody Dance Now! Is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth through dance, leadership and community involvement by starting a chapter of Everybody Dance Now! in Scottsdale. The project team is partnering with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale to provide weekly dance programming to middle and high school youth who would otherwise not have access to such opportunities.  Everybody Dance Now! is a youth-run nonprofit dedicated to inspiring students through positive opportunities that promote healthy and active lives. The first class begins on Wednesday, March 28 at the Rose Lane Branch of The Boys & Girls Club.
How to get involved: Participate in two upcoming golf tournaments which will raise money for Everybody Dance Now!. A Good Friday Golf Tournament will take place at Stonecreek Golf Club on Friday, April 6 and a NFL Alumni Golf Tournament will take place at Whirlwind Golf Club on Friday, May 4. Golfers may contact Tim Jorden at tjorden@cox.net to reserve a golf foursome. Also, volunteers will be needed to teach dance classes, particularly teens and college students with hip-hop experience. Interested volunteers can contact the local Everybody Dance Now! program at Scottsdale@everybodydancenow.org.

Paiute Community Garden
This team partnered with the Paiute Neighborhood Center to create a multifaceted edible garden with raised planting beds and an art-inspired seated reading area. The Paiute Community Garden will be a beautiful place for children and adults to grow an edible garden while layering an educational curriculum to inspire healthy food choices. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, April 10 at 10 a.m.
How to get involved: The program is happy to accept gardening materials and cash donations to assist the program. Make your donations at the Paiute Neighborhood Center located at 6535 E. Osborn Road in Scottsdale.

Healthy Packs Program
The mission of Healthy Packs program is to aid children in Title 1 schools experiencing weekend hunger by sending them home from school with food on Friday afternoons. Good weekend nutrition ensures the children arrive to school on Monday well-nourished and ready to learn. Project partners include Vista Del Camino Food Bank, Scottsdale Leadership, SUSD, Police Officers of Scottsdale Association, Scottsdale Sunrise Rotary Club, Bethany Lutheran Church, and Concerned Citizens for Community Health. Healthy Packs kicked off on Friday, March 23.
How to get involved: The project will continue to need volunteers and donations. You can volunteer with the Vista Del Camino Food Bank to help pack bags, deliver bags or collect funds for the program. You can also donate online at http://www.concernedcitizensscottsdale.org/ for the Healthy Packs Program. Non-perishable food donation can be made directly to Healthy Packs at Vista Del Camino or to the Healthy Pack food donation boxes located at all SUSD elementary schools. Donations boxes will also be available at select middle schools and Desert Mountain High School.

Dream Fair
The goal for the Dream Fair was to inspire Coronado High School students entering 9th and 10th grade and their parents to be more involved in school to help them realize their dreams for graduation and beyond. Increased student and parental involvement are key contributors for better educational performance and decreased dropout rates. The Dream Fair on March 24 featured former White House Doctor Connie Mariano and Craig Jackson of Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction and a former Coronado High School graduate. Both shared how school helped them reach their dreams. The event included free food, prizes and activity booths from the school and community.
How to get involved: This year’s events is complete, but stay tuned  for chances to donate your time and resources to next year’s  Dream Fair.

Teams will present their projects the community during formal presentations on Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library Auditorium. Project Pay It Forward Presentation Day is sponsored by the Scottsdale Charros. A panel of judges will evaluate the projects and the winning team will receive $2,000 from Scottsdale Leadership to be donated to the team’s benefiting organization.

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Scottsdale Leadership Class XXV Pays it Forward

PET Pantry

 Congratulations to P.E.T. Pantry by team Reigning Cats & Dogs

As part of their nine-month community leadership program, members of Scottsdale Leadership’s Class XXV formed six teams with the goal of developing a community service project that would provided them with hands-on experience giving back to the community. On April 15, the teams presented their projects during Project Pay It Forward Day at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library auditorium.

A panel of judges selected P.E.T. Pantry (Pets Eat Too) by team Reigning Cats & Dogs as the winning project. As a result Concerned Citizens for Community Health (CCCH) will receive a $2000 donation.

P.E.T. Pantry keeps pets with their owners during times of financial crisis through a collaborative effort between Vista del Camino Food Bank, Animal Guardian Network and Scottsdale Community College. This project embraces public awareness, direct donations and practicality for food banks.

For more information visit: http://scottsdalepetpantry.org/.

Team members: Ken Brooks, Ruth Ingall, Valarie Miceli, Scott Popp, Kelly Ries, Lisa Johnson Stone and Cynthia Wenstrom

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