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There will be two charity drives at LepreCon 45: a book drive for Children First Academy, sponsored by the WesternSFA, and a food drive for Joshua Tree Feeding Program. Please see below for details.
The WesternSFA is sponsoring a book drive at LepreCon 45 to benefit the Children First Academy of Phoenix.
Children First Academy
The Children First Academy is a charter school with a goal to provide services directed toward poverty-level and homeless children in grades K-8. Their buses drive 450 miles each day all over the Phoenix Valley and the school provides services that go beyond the responsibilities of regular schools by providing the children and their families with services such as medical and dental assistance; clothing including socks and shoes; food; personal hygiene supplies; and school supplies.
Children First Academy inspires the motivation to learn by engaging students as critical thinkers, problem solvers and active citizens; they strive to serve the whole child by providing hope, fostering strength and facilitating self-determination.
At each Phoenix-area convention at which WesternSFA is present there will be a special donation box near the Fan Table area. We will be collecting books to distribute to homeless children. This donation will stock the school library. The age ranges vary, but we would particularly like to see juvenile fiction. Please take some time to clear your shelves and closets of unwanted books and help a child.
We will take anything you bring! If you donate adult fiction, we will contact a local bookseller to exchange adult fiction for juvenile fiction. So keep an eye out for the big Harry Potter donation box.
Hygiene items are also greatly needed. You could throw in any soap and shampoo you might have picked up at any hotels. And backpacks...
We're also sponsoring a non-perishable food/pet food drive at LepreCon 45 to benefit the Joshua Tree Feeding Program. Please bring whatever you can spare.
Joshua Tree Feeding Program
Joshua Tree Feeding Program (JTFP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit food pantry for the HIV/AIDS Community for Maricopa and Pinal counties. JTFP is a social, supportive and welcoming place for persons living with HIV/AIDS. JTFP offer a safe and comforting environment for sharing empathetic conversation, receiving relevant health and nutritional guidance. JTFP offers a place where you can select from a wide assortment of nutritional foods to take home.
JTFP is set up as a 'store' so our clients can pick and choose what food they prefer so this empowers our clients and no food is wasted. JTFP is open every Wednesday from 10am to 12pm for the adult clients. JTFP has a partnership with Phoenix Children's Hospital's Bill Holt Clinic, so the children and their families come in on Tuesdays. JTFP averages between 100 to 120 clients every week.
In 2010 JTFP started the Pet Assistance Project (PAP) when we found out our clients were using the meats they were picking up and feeding their pets. So every other week our clients get free dog or cat food so their furbabies get fed. The PAP also gives our clients information and resources for low-cost neutering as well as vet care.
Once a month we offer free hygiene products to our clients. For the holidays we offer a care package of complete care packages that are found in an average household bathroom.
JTFP hosts four lunches every year for our clients and community. The lunches take place in the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each lunch comes with an all you can eat salad bar. The lunches are free for our clients and only $5 for non-clients.
JTFP is part of the St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance and the Feeding America program.
JTFP is an all-volunteer organization and has only a 4.9% overhead in the budget to run the non-profit food bank. There are no paid staff and the majority of our board of directors are clients themselves.