Four years in a row The Women of Quail Creek have sponsored a clothing drive for homeless veterans in the Tucson area with the last three years being part of the national Make A Difference Day program. On April 10, 2014, in Washington, DC, their efforts were recognized nationally when TWOQC President Peggy McGee was presented a check for $10K that will be used to purchase furniture for homeless veterans as they move into housing and eventually re-enter the job market.
Make A Difference Day is the nation’s largest day of service, bringing together millions of Americans to volunteer in their local neighborhoods and communities. It was created in 1992 by Gannett Co., Inc.’s USA Weekend Magazine along with partners, Newman’s Own, Inc. and Points of Light. Newman’s Own donated a total of $130,000 awarding ten Make A Difference Day honorees and three City Award winners with $10,000 each to continue their efforts.
This year’s honorees were selected from thousands of nationwide volunteer initiatives that took place October 26, 2013. According to award ceremony Master of Ceremonies Jenna Bush Hager, this year’s winners embraced the spirit of volunteerism with efforts ranging from kids creating bed kits for underprivileged kids to eye surgeons performing cataract surgery free of charge for needy agricultural workers.
The awards ceremony was described as nothing short of phenomenal—and humbling. Guests included Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie of the Today Show and Jon Bon Jovi. During the announcement of the awards read by Jenna Bush Hager, who was representing Points of Light, they did a slide presentation showing the clothing drive with all the bags and boxes. At the conclusion of each award Jenna ended by saying “and a big thanks to Name of Honoree” and that was the cue for the audience to clap. It was a proud moment when she said and a big thanks to Peggy McGee and the Women of Quail Creek.
In her remarks Peggy told officials that it was the generosity of the Quail Creek community that made the day the success that it was. She reiterated that although she first conceived of the idea for the clothing drive when she started knitting hats on a loom during a long flight, it was the support of TWOQC members and Quail Creek community that has kept it going and growing. The annual clothing drive requires the efforts of many TWOQC members and their spouses to sort, bag and deliver the donations.
The entire TWOQC Board joined Peggy when she presented the check to the Southern Arizona Veterans Health System on April 17.
Members of the community who wish to donate furniture for the homeless veterans in the Tucson region as they move into housing may call 792-1450, ext. 5607 to schedule a pickup. The VA representative stressed queen size or smaller beds/mattresses, double dressers and chests work best for bedrooms. Love seats, rocking chairs and lounge chairs are better than a large sectional sofa. The apartments come with some kind of window covering so they do not want draperies.