Monday, March 08, 2010

Harry Mitchell puts his money where his mouth is...

CD5 Congressman Harry Mitchell has been unwavering in his opposition to Congress' automatic pay hikes. Beside annually introducing and pushing bills to forego that raise, he donates those pay hikes to local charities when the pay hikes go through anyway.

This year has been no different.

From a press release -
U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell today announced the local Arizona charities to which he will donate his 2008 and 2009 Congressional pay raises. Mitchell made the announcement at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch while examining challenges the current economic downturn is creating for nonprofit and charitable organizations.

“With more and more people in need of assistance and local charities stretched to
their limits, it is unconscionable to think that Congress is considering giving itself a pay raise this year,” Mitchell said. "Since I took office, I've been proud to donate my pay raise to charities and organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs with the hope that it will improve life in our community."


While there were many worthy charities, Mitchell chose the following organizations.

The new recipients are:

Arthritis Foundation - Greater Southwest Chapter. Arthritis Foundation works to improve the lives of those suffering from arthritis through prevention, control and cure of arthritis, and related diseases. The Arthritis Foundation Greater Southwest Chapter helps more than 1.5 million people, including nearly 8,000 children, in Arizona , New Mexico and El Paso , Texas , who are affected by arthritis. Arizona State Senator Carolyn Allen is the immediate past Chair.

New Global Citizens. This initiative helps young people form New Global Citizen
(NGC) teams on their high school campuses. These teams select one of NGC's global partner projects and chose one of three objectives offered by the initiative: 1) to educate their community about the challenges faced by their partner project, 2) to advocate on behalf of a pressing global issue, and/or 3) to raise the financial resources necessary to effect real change on the ground for their partner project. In turn, NGC provides education, training, and support to these teams through staff, trainings, resource materials, site visits, and a vast network across the country.

Tempe Community Action Agency’s “Shower Power” Project. Headquartered in Tempe’s Escalante Neighborhood, TCAA is a non-profit social service organization helps the working poor, seniors, the homeless and others in need achieve sufficiency. Tempe Leadership Class XXV is heading the Shower Power Project, which will provide showers to homeless individuals who participate in the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP).

*Last year, Mitchell donated to the Tempe Community Action Agency. This year, he is proud to specifically support the “Shower Power” Project.

In addition, Mitchell will again donate to the local charities he supported last year. They are:

Paz de Cristo. Paz de Cristo provides community service and justice-minded volunteers with an opportunity to directly serve people in need with a daily meal service, food boxes and empowerment programs. Each month, nearly 1,000 individuals from more than 60 faith communities, civic groups, businesses and schools work together to fulfill the Paz de Cristo mission.

Sojourner Center. Sojourner Center provides shelter and support services to thousands of individuals affected by domestic violence. As the nation's largest domestic violence shelter, Sojourner Center is a tireless advocate for domestic violence victims and survivors.

Arizona Women’s Education and Employment, Inc. AWEE is a workforce development organization, offering a full range of evidence-based training and support services to women, men and their families by helping them reclaim their lives by moving from welfare to the workplace.

St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance. St. Mary's Food Bank Alliance, the world's first food bank, is a non-sectarian, nonprofit organization that alleviates hunger by efficiently gathering and distributing food to sites that serve the hungry. Serving 13 of Arizona 's 15 counties, the organization is committed to volunteerism, building community relationships and improving the quality of life for Arizonans in need.

Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts. Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts promotes the artistic activities of the Tempe Center for the Arts by supporting a system of funding through public, private and philanthropic sources to encourage and foster appreciation of the arts for future generations.

The Arizona Animal Welfare League. The League is Arizona ’s largest and oldest “no-kill” animal shelter, co-founded in 1971 by Amanda Blake, who played Miss Kitty on TV’s “Gunsmoke."

The Arizona Chapter of Sentinels of Freedom. The local chapter of this national veterans organization helps wounded soldiers restart their lives. Sentinels of Freedom scholarships have helped returning soldiers – with injuries such as amputations, blindness, deafness, paraplegia and burns – to pay mortgages, undergo physical rehabilitation and adjust to civilian life.

Audubon of Arizona. Started in 2002 under the leadership of former Scottsdale Mayor Sam Campana, Audubon Arizona has grown to be a premier conservation and environmental education program.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. With nine branches in Scottsdale and
the northeast Valley, the Club has served well over 100,000 children and teens with quality after-school and summer programs in a safe, supervised environment.

Childsplay. Childsplay is an award-winning professional theatre company for young audiences and families. Since 1977, Childsplay has achieved a national reputation in the field. Mitchell is a longtime supporter of Childsplay and sits on its board of trustees.

The East Valley Crisis Center. The Center is committed to preventing child abuse and neglect, and its shelter and programs have aided and comforted nearly 12,000 children since 1981.

Prostate Checkup All Sports Foundation, aka Founded in 1998 by former football coach and prostate cancer survivor Gene Felker, this
organization saves lives by educating and screening men for prostate cancer. Mitchell is also a prostate cancer survivor whose life was saved by a PSA blood test in 1999.

Tempe Impact Education Foundation. Volunteers from TIE provide help to some of the neediest children in Tempe Elementary Schools, including clothing, musical instruments and scholarships. Mitchell and his wife, Marianne, taught in Tempe schools.

Welcome to America Project. This East Valley-based organization helps refugees from Africa and other war-torn and oppressed regions settle into their new lives with donations of furniture and household items.

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