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Give a Hand to the Homeless this Holiday Season with Phoenix Rescue Mission

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Providing meals for the state with the fourth largest homeless population is no small feat, and the holiday season brings an even bigger task for the Phoenix Rescue Mission. The nonprofit serves three meals every day and is adding multiple events for the entire community to help during the holidays in its second annual “Feeding Phoenix: More than a Meal” campaign.

For almost 60 years, the Phoenix Rescue Mission has launched assistance programs to accommodate the growing homeless population in Arizona. Maricopa County alone has more than 13,000 homeless people. Programs include the Hope Coach Street Outreach, Homeless Emergency Services, Men’s Addiction Recovery Program and the Changing Lives Center for Women and Children, which was not fully occupied last year. The facility is now fully occupied this year, which means the organization needs more donations. Nicole Pena, the public relations director at Phoenix Rescue Mission, says promising the community 100,000 meals for this campaign is just one way to show that the organization is “dedicated to transform[ing] the city.”


From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, the entire community can come together to provide men, women and children with food, water, blankets, sleeping bags, socks and other items. On Nov. 9, visit the Frozen Turkey Open House at the shelter campus. Simply bring a frozen turkey to the shelter from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., feast on a barbecue lunch and even get a tour of the facility. The second event, The Fill-a-Box Feed a Family Turkey Delivery, is on Nov. 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. Guests can put together a food box for a family. At the end of the holiday season, the center will host an Adopt-a-Family event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 20. You can drop off your chosen family’s wish list items from 9 a.m. to noon. 

And the holidays aren’t the only time you can help, Pena says. “What we’re looking for from the community is support. Not only [with] canned food, but we also know that it costs $1.92 for us to feed a homeless person. So of course donations are always welcome.”

To learn more about the “Feeding Phoenix: More than a Meal” campaign visit www.phoenixrescuemission.org


3rd Annual Bob's Biker Blast to Benefit Phoenix Children's Hospital

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Crowd Shot from Center Stage

      Get your boots on and bandanas ready! Saturday, October 18th marks the 3rd Annual Bob’s Biker Blast. Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale and Go AZ Motorcycles will turn their 14-acre motorcycle campus into the ultimate biker playground for the annual rally. The free all-day event pays tribute to the motorcycle community and helps raise critical funds for Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH).


Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Phoenix Promotions

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In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for the entire month of October some of our favorite local businesses will be giving hope and support to women battling breast cancer with mani-pedis, delicious bagels, free brake services and more.


Chandler’s J. Philipp Centers for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry 

The East Valley dentist will be hosting a supply drive to offer hope to women battling breast cancer. J. Philipp Centers is partnering with My Hope Bag to benefit women with breast cancer to give out My Hope Bags. The public is encouraged to stop by the office this month to donate items such as inspirational CDs, pink bracelets, breast cancer information, pink ribbon merchandise, monetary donations, and more. If you donate, you will be entered to win a free Zoom Whitening treatment, and a portion of the proceeds from the office’s oral cancer screenings will also go toward the My Hope Bags. http://jphilipp.com

Paradise Bakery & Cafe

Take a bite of something delicious this month to support breast cancer research. Paradise Bakery & Cafe’s participating Phoenix locations are featuring their iconic Pink Ribbon Bagel, shaped in the form of the pink ribbon and featuring cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey and brown sugar. For each Pink Ribbon Bagel sold, 25 cents from the sale will be donated to Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, which is dedicated to identifying the causes of breast cancer and how to prevent the disease. There is no easier or tastier way to contribute this month than with a delicious breakfast treat! Visit their website for a list of participating locations.

Valley Auto Repair Shop

Need your brakes fixed? Now is the time to do it. One of the largest fundraisers for breast cancer, the “Brake for Breasts” campaign combines car repair with a good cause. Throughout the month of October, customers will receive free brake pads when scheduling a brake service. Each shop will donate 10 percent of every brake service to the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund, which is close to finding an effective breast cancer vaccine. The campaign hopes to raise $100,000 this year. Find a participating Arizona shop near you at www.brakesforbreastsAZ.org.

Luci's Healthy Marketplace

Luci’s owner, Lucia Schnitzer, is bringing her own battle with breast cancer and inspiring success story to the marketplace to raise funds for the disease. This month, the marketplace will be featuring the Mrs. Arnie Palmer drink, a refreshing local lemonade and kiwi strawberry tea, in support of women with cancer. A percentage of the proceeds will go to The American Cancer Society, an organization that provides wigs for women with cancer. http://www.lucishealthymarketplace.com/

Mix 96.9 “Bras For a Cause”

Host of Mix 96.9 Matthew Blades is on a mission to raise awareness for breast cancer as well as domestic violence victims during October. For the fifth year in a row, Blades is hosting Bras For a Cause, an event that collects new and gently used bras to donate to the Sojourner Center for women dealing with domestic violence. For every garment collected, $1 will be donated to the center. Collection centers at various Valley businesses will be open on Oct. 17 from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also participate by posting a selfie holding up a sign that says #ME on social media if you have been affected by breast cancer or domestic violence. Blades will be hosting the show from Total Wine & More Parking Lot in Tempe. http://www.mix969.com/pages/promo/bras-for-a-cause/

Agave Spa at The Westin Kierland Resort

Every woman deserves to be pampered. Treat yourself to a pink mani-pedi this month at Agave to support Susan G. Komen Central and Northern Arizona programs. The month-long “Pamper for a Cure” will also feature a take-home gift bag with two travel Spa Ritual pink nail polishes, a breast cancer wristband, a pink pave crystal toe ring, and a pink ribbon-shaped emery board. The full treatment is $88, and Agave Spa will donate $10 from each purchase to help raise breast cancer awareness. http://kierlandresort.com/agave-scottsdale-spa/

The Phoenician

The Phoenician invites you to enjoy colorful culinary experiences at its Lobby Tea Court, where Afternoon Tea tables will be decorated in pink and will include Schramsberg Brut Rosé, and Il Terrazzo, which will also feature pink dinner decor and menus. Proceeds from both restaurants will be donated to Susan G. Komen. Must request pink tables upon making a reservation. http://www.thephoenician.com

Surprise’s Uptown Alley

For the entire month, if you donate $1 at Uptown Alley for Singleton Moms, you will receive $2 in game play on your existing game card. Singleton Moms is a non-profit that nurtures single parents battling cancer. Uptown Alley will also act as a drop-off location for necessary items for single parents, such as toilet paper, shampoo/conditioner and deodorant. www.uptownalleysurprise.com


Mother's Awareness on School-age Kids Engages, Educates and Empowers

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Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 2.52.31 PM
MASK is a nonprofi t that supports and encourages parents and families to engage and talk about the raw realities and temptations that kids face every day. The organization gives parents the tools they need to confidently empower and educate their children.
Mother's Awareness on School-age Kids (MASK) is a nonprofit organization founded by three stay-at-home moms in Phoenix. Kimberly Cabral was adamant about having open communication with her young children about the battles that kids face on a regular basis at school. She wanted to be able to talk comfortably with them about bullying, eating disorders, Internet safety, self-esteem and drugs and alcohol in hopes that they wouldn’t feel judged or fear getting in trouble. 
After gaining insight on what some of her children’s friends were doing at such young ages, Cabral knew something needed to be done—so she teamed up with fellow moms, Pam Baumann and Michelle Cardini, to formulate a plan. They researched counselors, police departments and nonprofits to find a program that might benefit their families and schools and realized quickly that there were no programs designed for students as young as elementary-age and as old as college-age that addressed and educated kids on such topics. 
In August 2007, they planned a MASK meeting. Fifty parents showed up for the first meeting, and the moms knew they were onto something. “You can educate the kids, but you have to educate the climate as well. And get the reinforcement educated,” Cabral says. MASK soon became a 501c3, created a logo, and before they knew it, 250 people were attending their meetings. 
MASK’s mission is “to educate both parents and children about the issues facing our youth and to empower children to make safe, healthy choices.” Cabral, Baumann and Cardini became educated in bullying, sex crimes, eating disorders and other troubling issues on the rise with young people and integrated them into age-appropriate groups. By speaking to kids in schools, holding private group meetings for parents and their children, and a variety of E3 programs and summer camps (Engage, Educate, Empower), MASK allows for a plethora of resources and opportunities for parents to learn to successfully communicate with and empower their children. 
The organization created MASK The Magazine in 2011 and was awarded one of the top 15 hottest launches in New York that year. Between its magazine and its Web site, MASK now reaches more two million people. MASK holds two large events each year: Moms Making a Difference Unity Award Luncheon in the spring and a MASKer Aide Ball, coming up on Oct. 4. MASK has big plans for the future to bring its programs and magazine to a national level and to continue to create a gateway for open communication and education in our homes and our schools.
The MASKer Aide Ball is a black tie and mask affair being held at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 6 to 10:30 p.m. The event is in celebration of MASK’s seventh year of continual success in educating and empowering families and improving the lives of children. This event will consist of live music, dancing, auctions and fine dining. Individual MASKer Aide Ball tickets are $175; tables of 10 are $1,750. To learn more, go to maskmatters.org.

AZ Giving Spotlight: Michelle Moorhead of Teen Lifeline

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Michelle Moorhead has always wanted to make a difference. In the 80’s, Arizona had one of the highest teen suicide rates, and she wanted to reverse that trend. She volunteered for Teen Lifeline in the early 80’s and moved her way up to become the Executive Director. AFM talked with her about her favorite part about working for Teen Lifeline.

AFM:   How long have you been with Teen Lifeline? Have you always wanted to work for a nonprofit?

MM: In November, it will be 26 years. In 1985, which was the year that I graduated from ASU, there was a movie on network television. The name of the movie was “Surviving,” and it was the first time teen suicides had been covered on primetime television in a very public way. It ended up on the cover of People magazine and Time magazine, and the nation was talking about the incident of teen suicide. And in Arizona at the time, we were ranked second in the nation for the rate of suicides among teenagers. The agency that I worked for, which was Southwest Behavioral Health, decided that they wanted to do programming related to that. I was fortunate enough, being in the research department, to do the initial research and program design for Teen Lifeline. In 1986, I was a volunteer [for Teen Lifeline], for about seven or eight months before I went to graduate school out of state. When I came back in 1988, I did about 11 months at an adolescent, girl facility for both a shelter and a residential treatment center. And then I was hired here in November of ’88. Most everything I’ve done, except for the pit of my background in the beginning with research and evaluation, has been working for adolescents.

AFM:   What does a typical day look like for you?

MM:    My job is very different now as the executive director. Yesterday [there] was a board meeting, so the day was spent preparing reports and information to have ready to present to the board, but also topics of things that we wanted to discuss and look at idea building and some creative processes. Our agency as a whole has eight full time staff members. It happens that [Sept 8-18] is teen suicide prevention awareness week. So it’s very big for us as an organization. In this two- week span, we’re visiting 20 high schools during lunchtime doing rallies and providing information and materials on suicide prevention. And Friday and Saturday of last week, we did two community-based rallies. We handed out over 10,000 cards to kids, making sure that they’re aware of our service and if they need somebody to talk to, to make sure that they know we’re here and we want to help. And we want to help them find hope when they feel hopeless. A lot of my day is making sure those moving parts are working and then [I’m also] meeting with donors and funders and participating in community level activities.

AFM:   What’s your goal for Teen Lifeline?

MM:    What we do every day is save lives. We are dedicated to reducing teen suicide in Arizona and empowering youth to reach their full potential. It really is about reaching kids before suicide becomes an option and trying to help them have the skills and resources they need so that it doesn’t become an option.

AFM:   What’s your favorite part about working for Teen Lifeline?

MM:    It’s probably the volunteers. What we do is a great mix of working with kids who are kids in crisis, the kids who call the hotline. One in four calls that we get on the hotline is from a young person thinking about suicide. So that means three of the four callers that we take, or 75% of the calls, are kids facing a lot of different issues-maybe problems at school or at home with their parents or with friends. So we have a lot of opportunities to help kids who are just starting to struggle, figure out how they deal with the issue, and activate their support in their own lives, so helping them identify who those are and helping them come up with a plan of how to deal with problems when they arise. The great thing about our organization is that the people who answer the phone are teenagers themselves. They go through extensive training before they’re able to pick up the phone and take that call and help a kid with the problem they’re having. The great thing about that is that our average length of stay for our teen volunteers is three and a half years, so we get to see tremendous growth in the young people who come to us at age 15 or 16 and are leaving us at 18 or 19. They leave here knowing they made a difference and knowing that they can continue to do it throughout their lives. So my favorite part is watching them start out at the organization, maybe being a little unsure and a little concerned, but definitely wanting to do something that mattered and watching them do that and seeing how that changes them.


AFM:   What’s your favorite story you’ve experienced?

MM:    One of the calls that sticks out in my mind was a night when the phone rang and one of the volunteers answered the phone, and there was silence and a click. And that scenario repeated itself about eight times in the next hour. Every time, a different kid would answer the phone trying to see if their voice was the voice that the caller would respond to. On like the ninth time, the phone rang, one of the teen counselors answered the phone and the caller said ‘I’ve been calling all night, and I’m just afraid to say anything, but now I’m afraid not to.’ They talked about how they had been struggling and they had been thinking about suicide. And they wanted to be able to tell somebody, but they were afraid. The caller talked to the peer counselor probably for about 45 minutes about their situation and what was going on at home. They had a parent who was terminally ill and there was a lot of stress related to that. The teenager who was calling in was responsible for taking care of their younger siblings and it just felt like so much. They just didn’t think that they could do it. The peer counselor talked to them about who else in their life could support them. Who is it that when things get bad, you know that they will help you? The peer counselor had a conversation with them to let them know how important it would be to let an adult know, so the caller agreed to talk to her mom about it. During the course of the call [she] went from feeling like suicide might have been something she would have done that night to maybe it wasn’t something she would do at all. Over the course of the call, she really found hope. At the end of the call, she agreed to allow us to call her the next day and she agreed to talk to her mom. Literally an hour later, she called back and she had talked to her mom. Her mom had no idea she was feeling that way, and they had made a plan to get her some additional support, to bring in other family members to take over some of the stress of her having to care of younger siblings and to get her into counseling. When she called back, she said ‘I want you to know, you saved my life.’

To learn more about Teen Lifeline, visit www.teenlifeline.org

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