Many vulnerable Arizonans, particularly those experiencing homelessness, are in desperate need of water amid the scorching summer temperatures. That’s why St. Vincent de Paul’s “100 Days of Summer” initiative provides these and other lifesaving resources to local communities all summer long.
A longtime SVdP charity partner, U-Haul participates in the 100 Days initiative each year. From staffing the phone bank at the ABC15 Water Drive on behalf of St. Vincent de Paul, to donating more than 12,000 bottles of water at a recent water drive, U-Haul Team Members step up to help their neighbors.
Calling for Change
The ABC15 Water Drive is a month-long water drive that includes a televised phone bank to invite donations throughout the Valley. As ABC15 aired multiple live spots encouraging viewers to contribute, U-Haul volunteers took calls from generous Arizonans whose hearts were touched by what they saw and heard. When Team Members were not taking calls, they waved and smiled at the camera, holding “Call Me!” signs to encourage participation.
“I had a wonderful time at the phone bank,” stated Emily Gadberry, U-Haul News publications specialist. “It was really fun to be on a TV set, but more importantly, it was rewarding to be there on behalf of such a good cause. I’m glad that I was able to help make a difference.”
U-Haul also presented a $5,000 check to St. Vincent de Paul at the ABC15 studios in Phoenix. The check will help SVdP purchase more than 30,000 bottles of water for people in need.
Public Service: Just Add Water!
In addition to their volunteering at the phone bank, Team Members organized water drives at the U-Haul Midtown Campus in Phoenix and the U-Haul Technical Center in Tempe. The donations flowed in and U-Haul was able to donate more than nine pallets of water to SVdP.
U-Haul Operations manager Marcia Chiariello and the Building Management team were essential in making the Midtown Campus water drive possible. During the two days that the drive was held, they provided canopies for shade, assistance with loading and unloading water cases, and help transferring the water after the drive concluded.
“They were supremely helpful, and without them, our water drive wouldn’t have been nearly as successful,” noted U-Haul Community Relations specialist Miranda Luna. “I’m grateful for the time they took to assist us in bringing the drive to life.”
Kortni Wyatt, an administrative assistant for U-Haul Legal, played an instrumental role in her department donating thousands of water bottles to the drive.
“This was my first water drive as a U-Haul Team Member, and I wanted to do my part to help it succeed,” Wyatt said. “Fellow U-Haul Legal administrative assistant Catrina Medina and I gathered monetary donations from the rest of the department, and then we rented a 15-foot U-Haul truck and drove to four different grocery stores to purchase as many cases of water as we could.
“It feels incredible to know that you’re doing something essential for your friends and neighbors. We all have a responsibility to help each other in whatever ways we can, and I know that doing so makes me happier than almost anything else.”
To learn more about the 100 Days of Summer initiative and how you can make a difference, click here.