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LAVIDGE IMPACT Volunteers Sort Clothes, Pack Food Boxes for Nourish Phoenix
Employee volunteer program participants contribute time at local clothing closet and food bank
PHOENIX (June 18, 2021) – LAVIDGE IMPACT volunteers worked side-by-side with Nourish Phoenix regulars and members of the Arizona National Guard on a recent Friday morning sorting clothing and packing food boxes for those in need.
“The best part of the day was watching the kids' faces light up when they found a new toy or stuffed animal to take home,” said Media Supervisor Cammy Corken, who worked alongside EVP/CFO Sandra Torre sorting donated clothing in between “checking out” clients who filled up bags with the items they needed for themselves and their families. “They were so cute and very appreciative for anything they were allowed to take,” Corken said.
Reusable metal water bottles were a popular add-on item after filling up a bag or two with summer shorts and tops or back-to-school clothing.
Torre, who oversees IMPACT for Phoenix-based ad agency LAVIDGE, noted that while the clothing bank had many items to choose from for daily wear, coming up with the exact size of diapers each person needed and providing hygiene items was more difficult.
“They could really use more help in that area,” she said, adding that IMPACT would look into hosting a donation drive for those items in particular to help stock the shelves.
Across the hall, Senior Copywriter Laurie Schnebly and Senior Content Developer/Writer RuthAnn Hogue worked in the food pantry filling boxes with fresh fruits and vegetables, or a variety of baked goods from dessert pies and cakes to a mix of sandwich and fancy breads. Regular volunteers who serve a few times per week at Nourish Phoenix, formerly known as Interfaith Cooperative Ministries (ICM), added a case of flavored water drinks along with a case of canned goods to each grocery cart before a member of the Guard rolled it outdoors to a client waiting in line.
“It’s rewarding being able to give back to the community,” said Schnebly, whose role was to make sure each recipient received a variety of fresh produce. “Community service is a weekly part of my life and I appreciate the chance to do more of it on LAVIDGE time.”
Thanks, in part, to Schnebly, each box was brimming with fresh carrots, asparagus, corn, broccoli, avocados, bell peppers, tomatoes, chilis, mangoes, apples, bananas and oranges.
Hogue, who put together numerous boxes filled with sweet and savory breads from Hawaiian rolls to Italian garlic loaves, topped off each one with something extra such as a dozen glazed doughnuts or blueberry muffins. A regular volunteer who worked beside her suggested setting aside sheet cakes and larger pies for families celebrating birthdays. When no large confectionery treat could be found, Hogue and her cohort put together a collection of cupcakes, a small sheet cake and some other baked goods to brighten their day.
“It’s not just about feeding them,” Hogue noted as she took stock of the variety of donations from local stores. “It’s clearly about lifting their spirits to get them through whatever hardships bring them here today.”
Meanwhile, LAVIDGE Shooter/Editor Sasha Knock, whose service includes taking photos and video at IMPACT events, played both sides of the hall, taking turns loading food and sorting clothes.
“Nourish gave out brand-new electric shavers that were donated for the Father's Day weekend,” Knock said. “A man walked in with holes in his thick work boots and a scruffy beard. I'll never forget how the man's face lit up as I handed the gift bag with the electric shaver to him. The work that Nourish does is so impactful because it brings a deep sense of joy to the volunteers and those they help!”
Nourish Phoenix Volunteer Coordinator McKenna Kiesling said all donations are welcome, such as food, clothing and other goods—including material goods from hygiene items to pillows, other bedding, and toys. The nonprofit organization serves 200 families per day, six days per week at 501 S. 9th Ave. in Phoenix. Most of their clients are the working poor, and each gift fills a need, not a want.
No appointment is necessary for those seeking food at Nourish Phoenix, which is open to the public from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, although bringing ID is requested. Those seeking job assistance or help registering for SNAP/AHCCCS may make an appointment while visiting the clothing room or by calling 602-775-5744. Same-day appointments for the clothing room are also available.
Those who are willing and able to host a donation drive or volunteer are encouraged to contact Nourish Phoenix.