Opinion

Brown: ‘You can’t postpone hunger’ Scottsdale Community Partners needs you

Posted 11/23/20

The season of giving is upon us, and Scottsdale Community Partners needs you now more than ever.

Founded 45 years ago as Concerned Citizens for Community Health, Scottsdale Community Partners …

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Opinion

Brown: ‘You can’t postpone hunger’ Scottsdale Community Partners needs you

Posted

The season of giving is upon us, and Scottsdale Community Partners needs you now more than ever.

Founded 45 years ago as Concerned Citizens for Community Health, Scottsdale Community Partners offers unique programs that serve a broad demographic, including emergency assistance to Scottsdale youth, families, and seniors who find themselves in crisis.

SCP relies on monetary and in-kind donations. One of the many important reasons to keep your donation dollars local is that you know the needs of our community and can see your investment in action. With this in mind, the Scottsdale Fire Fighters Association — an organization that understands the value of proactive community assistance — recently made a substantial donation to SCP. I encourage you to follow their lead.

Scottsdale has been uniquely affected by the pandemic. The real estate/construction industry may currently be thriving, but hospitality, entertainment, and sports (including the Cactus League’s mid-season cancellation) have been badly hit. Many low-wage workers who are typically the backbone of these economic drivers are now unemployed or underemployed. This has heightened the vulnerability of those who were already among the most vulnerable.

Moreover, many of Scottsdale’s senior citizens are at risk — suffering mentally from isolation and economically from cutbacks and cancellations in the programs and services that they had grown to depend on for their day-to-day needs.

Even if you haven’t heard of SCP, our programs and services have likely been on your radar for years. SCP funds the Vista del Camino Food Bank. SCP also provides rental and utility assistance for those needing temporary help, which was particularly acute during our 145 triple-digit days this year.

We had to postpone this year’s Alli Ortega Empty Bowls event, which benefits the food bank and other programs, until spring. But you can’t postpone hunger. Programs like Adopt-a-Senior or Adopt-a-Family, which provide some relief at the holidays, need your help now.

Scottsdale Unified School District has approximately 5,000 kids who qualify for free and reduced lunch. To qualify, a family of four must have a household income under $40,000 a year.

SCP funds the City of Scottsdale’s Back to School Program, which has served approximately 1,000 kids per year for the past five years. New clothing, age-appropriate school supplies, and new shoes provided by the Police Officers of Scottsdale Association help these students start the new school year with pride.

Having served on the SUSD Governing Board, the AZ Food Bank Network Board, and most recently on the Scottsdale Human Services Commission, I have seen first-hand the needs of Scottsdale citizens. The number of people requiring assistance is up 57% from last year. SCP’s traditional fundraising and in-kind partners have also been hit hard.

I’m thankful we live in Scottsdale — a city known for its progress and potential. We have built a reputation for looking out for each other, and I have every expectation that folks in a position to give will do what they can. I encourage you to donate at scottsdalecommunitypartners.org. On behalf of our community, thank you.

Editor’s Note: Denny Brown is a longtime Scottsdale resident and volunteer, who has worked in multiple human-services and education-policy roles, including his current position as the Sponsorship Consultant for Scottsdale Community Partners.

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