PHOENIX — More than 1,700 supporters of St. Vincent de Paul of Arizona gathered for the group’s 14th annual Restoring Hope Breakfast on Nov. 18 at the Arizona Biltmore. Participants left the Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom with full stomachs and full hearts.
“This fundraising breakfast has a remarkable impact on those that SVdP serves,” SVdP corporate development officer Todd Cooley said. “Not only does is have a monetary significance, but it also allows for many people to see firsthand the variety of programs that are offered and the myriad of individuals and corporate partners that engage with SVdP.”
U-Haul has partnered with SVdP and its fundraising efforts for more than 10 years. This is the second-year U-Haul served as one of the sponsors of the breakfast. It is one of 10 annual SVdP events U-Haul sponsors.
“U-Haul has been a corporate partner at this event for the last couple of years and SVdP is honored to have such dedication from a well-respected organization,” Cooley said. “This clearly demonstrates the importance of U-Haul Company’s understanding of community needs and their willingness to support those who are less fortunate.”
The Restoring Hope Breakfast spotlights how community support can help homeless and working-poor families to transform their lives. The breakfast is one of SVdP’s biggest fundraising events of the year.
“We are blessed to receive over $1.5 million from our individual and corporate donors,” Cooley said. “This allows us to continue to serve 4,500 meals daily and provide 17,000 medical and dental visits each year.”
For more than a year, the Henry Schein Company, which is the largest medical and dental supply company in the world, pursued a mission to identify the best charity dental clinic in the country. The SVdP dental clinic was awarded the inaugural Henry Schein Cares Medal for oral health.
“This is a community award,” said Dr. Ken Snyder, director of the SVdP clinic. “It shows what can happen when people come together in the spirit of compassion and caring.”
Brando Medina started coming to the SVdP dental clinic when he was 9. He was missing two of his front teeth that never developed. The replacement cost was going to be way beyond what the Medinas’ budget would allow. But a decorated Vietnam War veteran stepped in with a donation.
“I had self-confidence issues because of my teeth and Mark Lowe’s donation really helped me out,” Medina told the audience. “I would hide my smile and be very anti-social because I was afraid of people seeing the gaps in my teeth. Now, I talk to more people and I’m not afraid to smile in pictures. This really did change my life.”
Medina is just one of the hundreds of patients at the SVdP dental clinic every year.
“The involvement of U-Haul is vitally important to SVdP,” Cooley said. “Without the support of U-Haul, it would mean people would not receive the food, clothing, housing or medical and dental care that they need.”
The help received by SVdP from partners like U-Haul often means the difference between hope and hopelessness for thousands of people in Arizona.
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