Valley of the Sun United Way’s Women United group will host its second annual Maricopa County Bottled Water Drive from Aug. 1 to Aug. 31 to provide more than 200,000 bottles of water to local nonprofit partners who assist people experiencing homelessness.
Women United, joined by partners throughout the Valley including major contributors such as Walmart, will provide the bottled water for distribution at the Human Services Campus, Salvation Army, a New Leaf and other organizations that help those in need.
Community members are encouraged to join in the effort with monetary donations for the purchase of water.
A donation of $5 can buy a case of water with 40 water bottles and a donation of approximately $200 can purchase a 48-case pallet of 1,920 bottles.
For interested parties, monetary donations can be made online at www.vsuw.org/mc2026waterdrive.
“We have bold goals for bringing Mighty Change to Maricopa County and our ambitious goal for this water drive is no different,” Rob Podlogar, chief community development and engagement officer at Valley of the Sun United Way, stated in the release.
Women United will also accept donations of bottled water at two drop-off locations at Bryant Commercial Real Estate in Phoenix and Mary Contreras State Farm Agency in Tempe.
“With help from the community last year, Women United was able to donate more than 50,000 bottles of water,” Podlogar stated. “This year, they are aiming even higher.”
Valley of the Sun United Way also is encouraging community members and local companies to make and donate heat relief kits for people experiencing homelessness.
The kits provide sunscreen, sunglasses, antibiotic ointment, bottled water, lotion and other needed items.
Heat relief kits in batches of 10 or more can be delivered to the Phoenix Community Toolbank, while batches of fewer than 10 heat relief kits can be delivered to Valley of the Sun United Way.
For information and drop off coordination, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Valley of the Sun United Way website.
Heat-associated illness and deaths are a community-wide issue in the summer months. Maricopa County reported that 323 people died from heat-associated causes in 2020 — already this year, 75 deaths are likely related to extreme summer temperatures.
United Way’s heat relief efforts are part of MC2026, the organization’s new five-year plan for creating Mighty Change in Maricopa County.
The plan includes a strategic focus on health and on housing insecurity, as access to drinkable water and shelter is imperative, especially during the dangerously hot summer months.
“The Women United water drive is a great example of what can be achieved when you have the right partners who care about our community,” Podlogar stated. “Achieving our bold MC2026 goals over the next five years will take a partnership that includes all of us.”
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