PHOENIX — U-Haul volunteers spent the morning of May 5 serving pancakes, eggs and donuts to 168 homeless guests at the monthly breakfast hosted by local nonprofit Circle the City.
“Our mission at Circle the City is to deliver innovative healthcare services that compassionately address the needs of men, women and children facing homelessness, in the Phoenix area,” says Brandon Clark, CEO of Circle the City.
Circle the City offers access to primary health care, medical respite care and a mobile medical clinic, to people suffering from homelessness.
Breakfast to Educate
“Sometimes people won’t come and look for healthcare,” says Jim McManus, lead volunteer at Circle the City. “But they will come for eggs! And eggs lead to a conversation. Consequently, through those conversations, we are connecting people with the healthcare they desperately need.”
On the first Friday of every month, Circle the City serves a free breakfast to the homeless. The mobile medical clinic drives through the metropolitan area to pick up the homeless while volunteers prep. When the van is full, guests get out at the breakfast area. Then the mobile clinic is off again.
At the Parson’s Family Health Center, guests find a buffet of breakfast foods. Volunteers serve multiple helpings and, in addition, offer guests extra food to go.
Volunteers who Care
“I am passionate about helping the less fortunate,” says Steve Dudley, U-Haul Vice President of Retail Sales and one of several Team Members who volunteered at the breakfast. “There are so many organizations out there willing to help, but they don’t always have the manpower to do so. Just a few hours out of your day means so much to those in need.”
Greeting guests and serving food were the primary duties of U-Haul volunteers, though they also initiated conversation and educated guests about Circle the City healthcare. Tours of the facility were available as well. Guests could schedule appointments or see a physician that day. Those in need could take clothing. Most noteworthy, volunteers sang “Happy Birthday” to everyone who was celebrating a birthday around that time.
“Volunteers are the heart and soul of our mission,” Clark says. “They not only enhance our community impact far beyond what our core staff could ever provide, but they also re-energize those of who us who work in the space each day.”
U-Haul offers volunteer opportunities to its Team Members through charitable partners at least every month.
“I am proud to work for U-Haul. The Company provides ongoing opportunities to be engaged in meaningful and important volunteer work,” says Joe Cook, U-Haul Vice President of Government Relations. “I was taught that you have an obligation to give back to your community. Selfishly, the natural sense of pride and accomplishment from helping others makes it even more worthwhile.”
Of the 168 guests who had breakfast at the Parson’s Family Health Center, 23 saw a physician while 25 more scheduled future appointments.
“Circle the City loves having companies like U-Haul volunteer because it creates a momentary, but permanent link, between the business and the vulnerable people who live in that community,” Clark adds. “The same people experiencing homelessness at breakfast likely walk, bike or take the light rail past the U-Haul headquarters multiple times a week.”
U-Haul is celebrating 50 years of being headquartered in Phoenix. The Company has a longstanding commitment to serving the community.
Thank you to U-Haul volunteers Erick Acevedo, Akhila Balaraman, Paige Brown, Joe Cook, Steve Dudley, Silvia Hernandez, Alonna Ross, Latasha Ross, Zofia Sells and Elizabeth Welch.
Did you know U-Haul also helps clothe the homeless at Andre House in Phoenix? Read more at myuhaulstory.com.