John Little

John Little donated a case of bottled water at the first-ever One Stop Giving donation drive last Saturday.

Vista Del Camino and Scottsdale United Methodist Church joined efforts to host a no-contact, drive-through donation drive called One Stop Giving at the church June 20. 

The drive not only amassed school supplies and bottled water, but also raised about $1,500 in online donations and $400 in cash and gift cards the day of the event. 

The money raised will go toward purchasing clothing for students in need.

“Anytime you can help Scottsdale citizens become more aware of programs benefiting less fortunate citizens, I would call that a success,” said Scottsdale Human Services Commissioner Denny Brown, one of the organizers of the One Stop Giving Day donation drive.

Brown said that they collected a “massive amount” of school supplies, including new backpacks and hundreds of bottles of water for Operation Hydration, a water collection drive benefiting the Valley’s homeless population.

“And I cannot forget the phone call from the Charros, indicating they were prepared to offer major assistance,” Brown added. “One phone call from the Charros really helps.”

Scottsdale UMC Reverend Ann Lyter said the One Stop Giving event allowed the church to do two things: continue the work of the congregation in supporting their community and continue to be a resource to the community by providing a safe location and means for others to help.

“We need to remember that those in our community who need supplies and even something as basic as water still need that support, perhaps more now than ever,” Lyter said.

“We hoped to continue to support our community while maintaining good practices to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus. It is important for faith communities to work with community organizations like Vista Del Camino to care for our community,” Lyter added.

Brown attributed the drive’s success to word-of-mouth and social media promotion by local organizations such as the Scottsdale Parent Council and Yes to Children.

“Our citizens are ready to help,” Brown said. “As the former SUSD superintendent once said, ‘If you want to raise the bar, you need to raise the floor.’ This activity reflects the Scottsdale level of caring for citizens in need.”

John Little, Scottsdale resident and City Council hopeful, was one of about 25 people at the drive.

“Scottsdale United Methodist Church does such great things for our community and Denny Brown’s dedication to helping children and schools is legendary,” he said, adding:

“Considering those two forces of compassion and knowing a team of volunteers would be working in 107-degree temps, well, there was just nothing that was going to get in my way of contributing in some small way.” 

Those who were unable to attend the drive can still purchase and donate items from nonprofit organization Scottsdale Community Partner’s Amazon wish list. 

It includes back-to-school items, like composition notebooks, loose leaf paper, folders, highlighters, backpacks, pencils, erasers as well as essential clothing, like socks and undergarments.

While school supplies are collected year-round, SCP’s Back to School event, where more than 6,500 low-income SUSD students come to pick up new backpacks filled with school supplies and clothing, takes place July 22.

And Operation Hydration can use water all summer, Brown said.

“This importance of caring for our community cannot be overstated. These are difficult and troubling times,” Lyter said. 

“For a child to have the supplies he or she needs for school, for a family to not have to worry about where the money is going to come from for school supplies, especially when the parents may be facing reduced hours, is critically important.”

Donations can be dropped off either at Vista Del Camino or Scottsdale UMC.

“Even though we are not worshipping in person and on campus, church is not closed and the work of the church is more important than ever.  We need to remember that need continues,” Lyter said.

Information: scottsdalecommunitypartners.org.