Valley of the Sun United Way Kicks Off New ‘Operation Uplift’

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Valley of the Sun United Way Kicks Off New ‘Operation Uplift’

To Rise Up to Help Our Communities in partnership with Mercy Care


Volunteer campaign to kick off Operation Uplift in Maryvale on September 8


PHOENIX, Arizona (September 4, 2018) — It’s an ambitious effort to change the face of our communities. And it all starts in the West Valley on September 8.


Valley of the Sun United Way is asking Maricopa County to take action with its new Operation Uplift initiative — a campaign of thousands of volunteers across the Valley encouraging people to rise up.

Operation Uplift, led by co-chairs Kelli Donley Williams of Mercy Care and Jenny Holsman Tetreault of US Foods, will kick off on Saturday, September 8 in Maryvale. The day of action will include school beautification projects, garden fall plantings and a WeekEnd Hunger Backpack assembly.


It’s the first step in a series of events that will continue through April — culminating with Valley of the Sun United Way’s first-ever Week of Action beginning on April 15.


“We are excited to kick off our Operation Uplift campaign which will take our previous Day of Action initiatives to a new level — we look forward engaging the community in our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty with more volunteer opportunities than ever,” said Francisco Avalos, director of engagement for Valley of the Sun United Way.


MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND AND FILM THE EVENT. Activities will include community garden fall planting, WeekEnd Hunger Backpack assembly and school beautification including repainting the bathrooms. A program will take place at 10:00 a.m. Both Mayor Thelda Williams and Councilwoman Vania Guevara District 5 have been invited to speak.


For additional information, contact Jamie Killin at the information at the top of this media alert.


                  DATE: Saturday, September 8


                  TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.


                  LOCATION: 4308 N 51st Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85031, Community Room


Operation Uplift will serve a variety of Valley communities including Maryvale, Guadalupe, Central City and South Phoenix through several different service opportunities driving civic engagement. When we rise up to help those experiencing homelessness, hunger, lack of education and financial insecurity we take on the fight to break the cycle of poverty in Maricopa County.


Several notable community members including president and CEO of Valley Leadership Dave Brown and Local First executive director Thomas Barr have already extended their support by serving on Operation Uplift’s organizing committee.


Operation Uplift is largely made possible through partnership with Mercy Care. Kelli Williams, clinical operations administrator for Mercy Care said the organization is proud to collaborate with Operation Uplift as part of its Community Reinvestment Initiative.


“Addressing social determinants of health is key to integrating health care,” she said. “That’s why we partner with community organizations, like Valley of the Sun United Way. Improving social conditions, like a person’s access to nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, and reliable transportation, improves individuals overall wellbeing and health outcomes.”


About Valley of the Sun United Way

Since 1925, Valley of the Sun United Way has unified diverse partners, donors, business supporters, nonprofits, government and faith-based communities to build a stronger Valley for us all. United Way and its 90,000 donors, 400 business supporters and 5,000 volunteers fight to break the cycle of poverty by ensuring children and youth succeed, ending hunger and homelessness, and increasing the financial stability of families. Join the fight, visit


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