PHOENIX – The smiles of appreciation for U-Haul spoke louder than any words.
“It’s so exciting!” Chariti Stern exclaimed. “It’s such a great way to promote what we’re doing.”
Stern, director of operations for Phoenix-based Maggie’s Place, and her team of workers and volunteers filed into the non-profit’s parking lot on March 30 to celebrate the arrival of a new U-Haul wrapped truck.
The 17-foot EL showcasing Maggie’s Place’s name, insignia, pictures and mission statement was donated for the organization’s use. The princely moving vehicle replaced an older, unmarked 10-foot TM that U-Haul had offered to Maggie’s Place in the past.
A larger truck will permit Stern’s team to make multiple pick-up runs without having to return to Maggie’s Place and unload the donations due to space limitations.
“It’s going to save us a ton of time,” Stern said. “We created Maggie’s Thrift to generate income that goes directly into our programs. And so this means that instead of going to do a pick-up and coming back, we can leave and do half-day runs.”
U-Haul has enjoyed a strong community partnership with Maggie’s Place, a network of homes that provides hospitality for pregnant women who are alone or on the streets. The organization strives to meet the immediate physical and emotional needs of its guests, including shelter, food, clothing and a supportive community.
Maggie’s Place also connects the mothers to the appropriate agencies and resources to address prenatal care, health insurance, affordable housing and education programs. In doing so, the mother is supported in her short-term and long-term goals. To learn more, visit http://www.maggiesplace.org.
“I grew up here,” Stern said. “Well, I mean I came here when I was 23. Pregnant women, if they’re going to change their lives, it’s when they’re pregnant and carrying another person inside them.”
Having the U-Haul truck wrapped in Maggie’s Place signage is a way to make Arizonans aware of the work being done and hopefully get them involved, Stern added.
“Just to have the baby pictures on the back, too … when you’re sitting in traffic, you can look up and say, ‘Oh, Maggie’s Place. Those babies are cute,’” Stern said. “We want to try to get people connected with our mission on a deeper level.”