Amid the many toy drives that occur every December, one of the most vulnerable and forgotten populations during the cold Christmas season is the homeless. U-Haul recently instigated a two-week donation drive at its corporate towers in Midtown Phoenix and U-Haul Technical Center in Tempe to collect toiletries for the homeless in Greater Phoenix. The recommended travel-size items to donate included: shampoo; conditioner; body wash; bars of soap; razors; toothbrushes; and toothpaste.
One of U-Haul Company’s core missions in the community is to support nonprofit partners that provide the most basic of human needs: food, clothing and shelter. U-Haul also supports organizations that benefit veterans’ causes.
U-Haul charity partner Andre House is an organization that provides basic human needs while offering a welcoming and safe space. The homeless population in Phoenix can visit Andre House for free evening meals, clothing, laundry, showers and informational services.
With large boxes stationed in U-Haul common spaces, Team Members began filling them with toiletries to go to Andre House. “Large companies like U-Haul have the capacity to generate large quantities of much-needed supplies,” said Elizabeth Wunsch, director of volunteer services and communications for Andre House. “The comfort kits are handed out daily upon request of our Andre House guests experiencing homelessness. It provides them with some dignity as they strive to take care of themselves, living on the street.”
In addition to the donation drive, Team U-Haul volunteered a total of 478 hours this holiday season. The volunteer hours benefited: Andre House, Kurt Warner’s First Things First Foundation, Phoenix Starfish Place, Phoenix Veterans Day Parade, Ronald McDonald House Charities, St. Mary’s Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul, Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, and the Tribute Journey.
That’s a Wrap
At the end of the Andre House donation drive, Team Members volunteered time to assemble the comfort kits. Each kit needed to contain one item from the recommended donation list. In prompt fashion, U-Haul volunteers assembled 270 comfort kits. The donated kits, along with extra boxes full of toiletries, were sent to Andre House and distributed to the homeless.
“It is a privilege to partner with U-Haul,” Wunsch stated. “U-Haul has always understood the importance of promoting community partnerships among their Team Members. As a result of our partnership, Andre House is able to provide more services to our homeless guests.”
Special thanks to U-Haul volunteers assisting with the Andre House project: Andrea Batchelor, Kate Bickmore, Paige Brown, Eva Franco, Silvia Hernandez, Heather Lamb, Rod McDowell, April Stapley and Ashleigh Wagner.
Did you know U-Haul also recently hosted a canned food drive to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank?