Recently, the Ahwatukee Chapter of 100 Women Who Care (100 WWC), an informal group of local women who strive to donate $10,000 to four charitable nonprofits each year, selected the Phoenix Rescue Mission (PRM) as the group’s 2nd quarter charitable recipient. Lohman Company is a sponsor of 100 Women Who Care – Valley of the Sun (100wwcvalleyofthesun.org) and tax partners, Cati Piorkowski and Mary Jordan are both members. Mary Jordan is also involved with PRM’s Legacy Resource Group. At the May 2nd meeting of 100 WWC, Jordan, along with Carina Burtell, Edward Jones investment advisor, made a presentation on behalf of PRM’s Food Service Vocational Training Program. Their project was chosen to be the charitable recipient and was presented with a check of $10,500 on May 26th.
The chosen PRM program, called the Changing Lives Center for Women & Children, is one of the largest long-term recovery programs in the country for women and their children. The money will be used to support the center’s Food Service Vocational Training Program, which provides homeless women with the skills to obtain employment with a sustainable wage in food service management. The goal is to place program graduates in restaurants, not simply as staff members, but as managers, so they can become productive members of our communities, supporting themselves and their children. As part of the program, women participate in Social Enterprise Operations run by PRM, including Mission Possible Cookies, Mission Possible Catering and the September opening of Mission Possible Café in downtown Phoenix.
The women at the Changing Lives Center come from various environments which may include addiction, domestic violence, and prostitution. In order to enroll in the program, the women must first make a commitment to participate in a 12-18-month recovery program to overcome any life-controlling issues. The Food Service Vocational Training program is a 13-week program. Successful graduates receive a Serve Safe certification through the National Restaurant Association, which is recognized by Maricopa County and most other counties. Approximately 40 women have completed the training since the program began late in 2015. There are currently 16 clients in the program. The 100 WWC grant will allow 40 women to participate in the program, covering the cost of textbooks, other training materials, and exam fees.
One of the program’s successful graduates is currently managing the America’s Taco Shop at Sky Harbor International Airport and is now hiring women who have subsequently completed the program. Rather than a downward cycle, these women have created a supportive cycle of success. Phoenix Rescue Mission and its Social Enterprise Operations empower women to be independent and contributing members of our communities. Rather than give these women a fish so they can eat for one day, PRM is teaching them how to fish, so they can eat for a lifetime.
We would like to congratulate Mary Jordan on having her presentation chosen as the recipient of the 100 WWC donation.