Throughout the year, but especially around the holidays, our community joins together to help the more than one-in-four local families who are in need. From donating food, clothing, toiletries or toys, these local charities gratefully accept any extra support this time of year. We’ve listed several respected organizations in Mesa who provide services to local families, including what they say are their biggest needs: A New Leaf A New Leaf is a 45-year community nonprofit organization, providing a broad spectrum of support services to help individuals and families in crisis. In 2015, A New Leaf served 21,140 individuals. Donations can be dropped off at A New Leaf Volunteer and Donation Center, 2245 W. Ella Street, Building A, Mesa. 9-5 p.m. weekdays only. http://www.turnanewleaf.org/  
  • Food Donations: Hamburger Helper, Rice-A-Roni, Pasta Roni, Chef Boyardee, Knorr meal packets, mashed potatoes packets, canned chili, canned neat, canned fruit and soup.
  • Baby items: Pacifiers, rattles, bottles, onesies, socks, beanies, newborn mittens, teething items. Gift cards are appreciated more than toys. No clothing for older children or adults.
Helen’s Hope Chest Helen’s Hope Chest fulfills the dreams of thousands of foster children throughout the East Valley and beyond by providing quality clothing, school supplies, books, gift cards, toys, games and more at no cost to foster parents. Donations may be dropped off at Helen’s Hope Chest, 126 E. University Drive, Mesa, on Monday – Thursday and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Closed on Friday and Sunday. Phone: 480-969-5411. https://www.facebook.com/HelensHopeChest/
  • New and gently used clothing:  For newborn through age 18 only, jeans, skirts, dresses, leggings, accessories, shoes, jackets, sweaters, new underwear, new socks and pajamas. There is a great need for clothing sizes 3T-14 for boys and girls.
  • Hygiene items for children, babies and teens: Shampoos, conditioner, soap, body wash, deodorant, disposable razors, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, disposable diapers and baby wipes.
  • Books: New and gently used books for all ages, activity books and sketchbooks.
  • Blankets (given to children on their first visit): Homemade quilts, crocheted or knit blanket and fleece blankets.
  • Holidays and Birthdays: New gifts for all ages of children 0-18 years old – batteries – gift cards for teens
  • Laundry supplies: Liquid laundry detergent, fabric softener, dryer sheets and liquid bleach.
  • Office and cleaning supplies: Printer paper, envelopes, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, Ziploc baggies, sharpies and all-purpose cleaners.
Check out some of these places to drop off your donations in the East Valley Child Crisis Center Child Crisis Center Arizona’s vision is for safe kids and strong families. The organization operates the Valley’s only two Emergency Children’s Shelters for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. They have one of the largest foster care and adoption programs to license, train and certify individuals and families to find homes for the 19,000 Arizona children in foster care. Donations may be dropped off at Mesa Emergency Children’s Shelter, 604 W. 9th St., Mesa, Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. and Sun., 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. http://childcrisisaz.org/how-you-can-help/donate/give-to-our-wish-list/
  • Their wish list (see link for specifics) includes diapers, pull ups, athletic shoes, underwear sizes 2-8.
  • Other items include bicycle helmets, bilingual books, CD/cassette players and crafts.
Paz De Cristo Paz de Cristo’s mission is to empower those in need in the East Valley to reach their full potential by removing barriers so they may become more self-sufficient. Paz de Cristo exists to help them achieve self-reliance, pride and self-respect. In turn, this leads to improved economic standing, respect for others, and citizenship participation. Donated items may be dropped off at Paz de Cristo, 424 W. Broadway, Mesa, Mon.-Fri., 10 – 2 p.m. https://pazdecristo.org/
  • Requested items: Adult male and female clothing. Canned and boxed food, anything as long as it isn’t expired or opened.
Mesa Fire Stations Many local fire stations hold food and clothing drives. The three closest Fire Stations to Cadence at Gateway are as follows:
  • Mesa Fire Station 219 at Signal Butte and Elliot Roads in Mesa.
  • Mesa Fire Station 215 at 6353 S. Downwind Circle in Mesa, in the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport area.
  • Mesa Fire Station 212 on Ellsworth Rd. between Guadalupe and Baseline Roads.
Check with them in December to see what specific needs they are collecting for. Food banks are a great way to use up some of your canned food. Here are some places to donate in the East Valley United Food Bank United Food Bank’s history is deeply rooted in the East Valley and dates back to 1983 when it began operations as United Food Distribution Center, Inc. The Food Bank was started as a nonprofit joint venture among East Valley cities and their respective United Ways to gather and distribute food to East Valley organizations that were helping feed those in need. Big Brothers Big Sisters of AZ For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. They have over a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates who have assisted in their mission. Drop off locations—enter your zip code for the location nearest you: http://www.donateaz.org/content/collectionlocations
  • Requested: clothing, clothing accessories, personal accessories, media, housewares and books.
Goodwill Donation Centers Founded in 1947, Goodwill of Central Arizona continues to better the community and fight unemployment each year by turning donations into no-cost career centers that are open to anyone in need of assistance finding a job. See this link for location nearest you: https://www.goodwillaz.org/locations/?filter=donation-center
  • Requested: Appliances, bedding, books & media, clothing & accessories, cooking accessories, drapery, electronics, furniture, games and more.
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