As part of my participation in the #Siennadiaries with Toyota I performed a community service project using the minivan. After looking at several charities providing meals and assistance, I quickly realized that the Casa Maria Soup Kitchen in Tucson, AZ was most in need of donations. Their mission to practice love and compassion and their motto, “We work for liberty, social justice, and peace,” made my choice even easier.
Read Related: Latina Celebs Who Love to Give Back and How You Can Help
THE WORKS OF MERCY
At Casa Maria, their Catholic workers are devoted to acts of mercy: feeding and clothing those in need, voluntary poverty, pacifism, and justice for the poor. As a part of their mission, they seek new and creative ways to organize and let the talent of each one of their volunteer workers achieve spiritual and economical transformation for the community. Their vision of helping others and humankind includes:
• Live simply in solidarity with the poor and marginalized
• Hear the truth when it is spoken to you
• Make injustice visible
• Protect the poor and powerless
• Work for reconciliation with truth
• Celebrate life, goodness, beauty, virtue, responsibility, and joy
• Practice peace, non-violence, servant leadership & harmony
• Ensure fair distribution for everyone everywhere
CHARITY WITH A CONSCIENCE
Casa Maria recently turned down a donation from Walmart. Brian Flagg, a coordinator for the charity said, “they pay lousy wages, they’re anti-union and they’re detrimental to small businesses that operate in the area,” in an interview with The Arizona Republic. “We’re activists, we practice daily the works of mercy and justice.” Walmart’s agenda obviously doesn’t fit in with their own vision and mission in helping those less fortunate.
Read Related: 10 Ways Volunteering Builds a Child’s Character
DELIVERING THE GOODS
For the conclusion of my part of the Toyota Sienna Diaries, I loaded up the back of the vehicle with fruits and vegetables to drop off at Casa Maria. After raising the rear seats with the handy switch, there was plenty of room in the rear cargo area for the large load of food I got for the charity. I was glad to be able to help Casa Maria in a small way on their quest to making the world a better place.
Before dropping off the vehicle I needed to clear all my personal data. It was a snap; with only a few buttons to push, everything uploaded from my phone was eliminated. I want to thank the people at Toyota for giving me the chance to take part in this fun journey in a great vehicle.
WHERE YOU CAN HELP
If you live in Tucson you can donate goods and clothing, or help Casa Maria prepare and serve meals in their soup kitchen. You can contact them at (520) 624-0312. If you live elsewhere there are numerous charitable organizations in your area that could also use your help. Remember it’s all about giving back and aiding those less fortunate. No matter how little or how much of your time and money you can spare, it will go a long way toward helping those less fortunate and in need.
Editor’s Note: This article is being featured as part of the Toyota Sienna Diaries.
Disclaimer: Toyota has provided the author with a vehicle for 3 months as part of the #SiennaDiaries. All opinions relating to the vehicle are his own.