The Apache Junction/Gold Canyon community, its social service agencies, faith-based community, businesses, Apache Junction Chamber of Commerce and the City of Apache Junction have come together to form a task force to handle times of hardship like what we as a community are experiencing with COVID-19.
As a part of addressing critical community needs, we have banded together to bring about the Apache Junction Cares community drive.
This drive will focus on monetary donations made to Empowerment Systems Inc. that will then be used to purchase supplies in bulk through suppliers of VFW Post No. 7968. This cross-collaboration between the private and public sectors shows Apache Junction leading the way in responding and providing aid to residents most vulnerable.
Through this collaboration, we have identified community volunteers who are willing to help deliver and distribute needed supplies to community members who may not have access to them. To donate, residents are encouraged to visit www.empowermentsystems.org/ajcares.
We are quickly picking up steam as yesterday we served four families which helped 13 household members. The call center has been open for one hour this morning and already three more clients have been added to the list --- giving us a total of 19 households so far.
Who is eligible to receive donations? Senior citizens, home-bound residents, low-income, vulnerable at-risk and homeless residents of Apache Junction and Gold Canyon.
How to access supplies? Residents in need are encouraged to contact the Salvation Army at 480-982-4110 between the hours 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Residents will be placed on a distribution list where they will provide their name, address, phone number, number of people in the household, and basic list of needed supplies.
Those in need of items will have the option to do curbside pickup at VFW Post No. 7968 or have their items delivered (free of charge).
Individuals receiving donations will be required to present identification at the time of delivery to ensure that the name matches the order. We are required to track the name, address, date of birth, and number of people in each household to ensure accuracy in clients served.
Items distributed to clients will be limited to a maximum of two items per category. They will only be allowed to receive distribution once a week (as long as there are available supplies). Clients who have not received services will be given priority.
As for delivery, in order to ensure we keep stocked up on supplies and work with the vendors, all pick up/delivery will occur noon-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Our distribution center is located at VFW Post No. 7968, 250 S. Phelps Drive. We have volunteers who are helping to pack bags/boxes as well as deliver/load vehicles.
This drive is a collaborative effort between social service agencies that service the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon region. 100% of all donations will go back into the community; Empowerment Systems Inc. is merely providing the platform for donations.
Our call center located at the Apache Junction Salvation Army will be open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. We are in need of volunteers to work three-hour shifts (9 a.m.-noon or noon-3 p.m.) to help field calls and add clients to the distribution list. If you would like to volunteer, Capt. Darla Malone with the Salvation Army is handling this effort. Please visit https://volunteer.usawest.org/OpportunityDetail.aspx?ID=5120 Volunteers must be under 60 years old.
This effort heavily relies on community donations/funding. While we have submitted for some emergency funding through various agencies/partners, we are in limbo awaiting a decision. If you could, please share our donation portal with everyone that you know it would be greatly appreciated. Link: www.empowermentsystems.org/ajcares
To volunteer or find out how you can get involved, contact Braden Biggs with Empowerment Systems at 480-367-6937 x102.
Director of communications and program development