|Community Outreach in Action|
On January 31st, several AHE volunteers quickly responded to a “late-breaking” group volunteer event with the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix (BGCMP), People of Color Network (POCN) and several other health and human services organizations. Their call-to-action was the “People’s Health Spectacular” (PHS) event in Glendale Arizona-a day for health, wellness and fitness activities and for giving back to the kids and families at the BGCMP-Swift Kids Branch. PHS is a non-profit, social service initiative launched four years ago to serve the needs of families at risk due to lack of health insurance. They help raise awareness about physical, mental, and oral health needs, and empower individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles.
The BGCMP mission is to enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens with a focus on four key areas: 1) Fun With a Purpose, 2) Academic Success , 3) Be Great, Do Good, and 4) Healthy Choices. The Swift Kids Branch serves over 1,300 children and many from this and other branches took part in the day-long flag football tournament and other fun and healthy activities that were offered. POCN is a community-based 501c(3) nonprofit organization that provides integrated behavioral and physical health services through collaborative care approaches, culturally and linguistically responsive services, and which serves more than 6,000 adults, youth, children and their families in Maricopa County.
On Tuesday, November 25th, a group of 16 AHE volunteers and guests participated in the UMOM New Day Centers “Read to Me” event located at 3333 East Van Buren in Phoenix for what was the third-and-final AHE Community Outreach group event of 2014. In addition to spending a couple of hours of their time reading with kids, AHE volunteers also donated numerous children’s reading books to the “Read to Me” program. UMOM’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness with strategies and solutions that meet the unique needs of each family and individual. UMOM keeps Arizona families together and provides a continuum of care from emergency shelter to transitional housing and finally, permanent, affordable housing. Families at UMOM have the opportunity to gain the skills, medical care, quality child care, and education they need to rebuild their lives and succeed when they leave. The “Read to Me” event is a weekly program for children ages 4 – 13 years old that encourages literacy through positive one-on-one interactions between volunteers and the children of UMOM.
In total in 2014, the AHE Community Outreach program accomplished several important activities. These included:
· Forming a committee of 12 members
· Creating an AHE Community Outreach Plan and Mission aligned with the AHE Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
· Engaging 53 volunteers at three (3) separate community events
· Securing sponsorship for Community Outreach volunteer t-shirts
· Aligning all events with the AHE Community Outreach mission to help create a healthy future for today’s children:
o Hunger focus (JCL Desert Mission Food Bank)
o Physical activity and social health focus (Boys and Girls Club of Metro Phoenix)
o Literacy focus (UMOM New Day Centers)
With your continued support, AHE will build upon these accomplishments and go even further in 2015 as we seek to help members collectively contribute meaningful support that addresses unmet healthcare needs and healthcare disparities and benefits the greater public health.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Dave Barger, MS, MBA Community Outreach Chair
My thanks go out to all of the volunteers who came out to AHE’s volunteer event at JCL Desert Mission food bank and worked together like a well-oiled-machine to help make a difference in our community. By all accounts it was a fun and spirited event with 19 determined AHE volunteers who came together and surpassed the goal Desert Mission set for us by packing up 9 crates full of 750 emergency food boxes. These emergency kits really make a difference for hungry children, families, and senior citizens served by the Desert Mission Food Bank. Each kit contains a 3-5 day supply of nutritious food for a family of four in need. In 2013, the JCL Desert Mission food bank distributed 45,369 emergency food boxes-up 11 percent compared to 2012. The Community Outreach Committee is already looking forward to releasing the details of the next volunteer event. Watch your emails for the forthcoming details and link to registration, and don’t forget that participation in AHE Community Outreach events count towards the Fellow requirements for two (2) community/civic activities within the past three (3) years. Be sure to click here to watch the highlights of the JCL event captured by volunteer, Peg Altamura.
Dave Barger, MS, MBA Community Outreach Chair
|Volunteer Opportunities for AHE Members|
HandsOn Greater Phoenix is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that empowers people to become engaged, take action and create positive change in their communities. HandsOn Greater Phoenix is an affiliate of HandsOn Network, an innovative alliance of volunteer organizations working to build community through service and civic engagement across the United States and abroad.
“Do Good. Live Well.” is UnitedHealthcare’s employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to prevent hunger and obesity, inspire service and encourage volunteerism. Their website has information about the benefits of volunteering and assists both UHC employees as well as non-employees find local opportunities to get involved in their community.
Community service is the cornerstone of the John C. Lincoln Health Network. The Network began in 1927 as Desert Mission, addressing the health and social needs of struggling families in North Phoenix. Today, we continue the legacy of caring for our community through Desert Mission. Through an integrated approach, the Food Bank, Community Health Center, Children’s Dental Clinic, Marley House Behavioral Health Clinic, Adult Day Health Care, Lincoln Learning Center and Neighborhood Renewal work together to meet the needs of the whole family.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix offers affordable after-school and summer programs for 23,000 young people in grades K-12. At twelve clubs in Phoenix and the West Valley, BGCMP provides award-winning programs designed to change the lives of young people in four key areas: 1) Fun With a Purpose, 2) Academic Success, 3) Be Great, Do Good and 4)Healthy Choices.
UMOM New Day Centers mission is to prevent and end homelessness with innovative strategies and housing solutions that meet the unique needs of each family and individual. Founded in 1964, UMOM is the largest homeless shelter for families in Arizona. We keep families together, we provide a continuum of care from emergency shelter to transitional housing and finally, permanent, affordable housing. Families at UMOM have the opportunity to gain the skills, medical care, quality child care, and education they need to rebuild their lives and succeed when they leave.
Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. The No Kid Hungry campaign works to shine a national spotlight on the crisis of child hunger in America, creating a powerful movement of individuals committed to bold action. We build partnerships that enlist influential individuals in the cause and advocate policy changes needed to achieve our goals. Be a part of the solution and help us end hunger in your community.
Let’s Move! is a comprehensive initiative, launched by the First Lady, dedicated to solving the problem of obesity within a generation, so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. Combining comprehensive strategies with common sense, Let’s Move! is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. The five pillars of the Let’s Move! Initiative include: 1) Creating a healthy start for children, 2) Empowering parents and caregivers, 3) Providing healthy food in schools, 4) Improving access to healthy, affordable foods, and 5) Increasing physical activity