Nonprofits At Chamber Luncheon Feb. 5, 2019

Speaking at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at Mazatzal Hotel & Casino on Feb. 5 were (from left): Humane Society of Central Arizona co-executive directors DJ Palmer and Annie Benedict; St. Vincent de Paul Shopping Mall general manager Sherry Dudek, Habitat for Humanity executive director Val Deedler, Time Out Shelter marketing director Denise Hughes and executive director Edna Welsheimer and MHA Fountain CEO Sanja Long.

Approximately 52 nonprofit organizations call Rim Country home.

And all of them share one thing in common — a constant need for volunteers.

That was the consensus of representatives from five local organizations who spoke at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon at Mazatzal Hotel & Casino on Feb. 5.

Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society of Central Arizona, MHA Foundation, St. Vincent de Paul shopping thrift mall and the Time Out Shelter all sent speakers.

Chamber members voted on which nonprofits would speak at the luncheon. Payson Senior Center finished among the top five, but officials deferred their spot because they’re scheduled to talk at the next chamber luncheon.

Here’s a brief overview of the five nonprofits:

• Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity in Rim Country has placed 27 families in homes through a program offering 0 percent interest mortgages. They are searching for a family to occupy their 28th house and are planning ahead for a new build.

Proceeds from the ReStore, at 425 N. Beeline Highway, help fund projects, which include installing wheelchair ramps, etc.

They have 42 volunteers, but need more, said executive director Val Deedler.

For more information or to volunteer, call 928-474-0330, the ReStore at 928-474-4247 or visit

• Humane Society of Central Arizona

The only animal shelter in northern Gila County serves 900 square miles and helps about 1,200 animals a year with 15 paid staff members and about 80 volunteers. It’s a nearly no-kill shelter, however about 4 percent of animals are euthanized because they’re hit by an automobile and their injuries are too severe that they can’t be saved or other reasons. They reunited 370 animals with their owners and adopted out more than 400 animals last year.

Their mission “encompasses respect, grace, compassion and love for the animals that share our community,” said co-executive director DJ Palmer, who spoke with co-executive director Annie Benedict.

Money raised from the sale of donated items at their Resale Store, 510 W. Main St., funds their work for about three months out of the year.

The Arizona Pet Plates project helps them offer free spay and neutering. License plates sell for $25 annually and netted the shelter $10,000 last year. They also help low-income families buy pet food.

They’re always looking for volunteers. For more information, visit, call the shelter at 928-474-5590 or email

• MHA Foundation

Their mission is to promote health and education in Rim Country.

The MHA Foundation puts on the Women’s Wellness Forum, which attracts more than 300 women annually. This year’s event is scheduled for April at the Mazatzal Hotel & Casino.

They fund several programs each year, including the Rim Country Honors Banquet, where each teacher at Rim Country Middle School selects a student that inspires them to get out of bed and teach that day. They also fund a part-time coordinator at Payson Center for Success who helps teach students skills they need to get a job.

MHA Foundation also partners with Aspire Arizona to raise money for local high school students to earn college credit at Gila Community College.

“We have students that have gotten their AA degrees before they’ve gotten their high school degrees,” said MHA Foundation CEO Sanja Long. “That’s two years of school they don’t have to pay for and two years sooner into the workforce.”

MHA Foundation offers $20,000 in health scholarships each year to support Payson High School students or any adult who wants to advance their health education. Contact them for an application at 308 E. Aero Drive in Payson, by calling 928-472-2588 or email

They also run the Almost New Thrift Store at 304 E. Aero Drive.

• St. Vincent de Paul

Last year, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank helped 6,189 families and 18,926 people with 7,395 boxes of food.

They’re looking for contributions of support, time, goods and money to help throughout the year.

They operate the St. Vincent de Paul thrift mall, 1006 S. Beeline Highway, which helps fund the SVdP Food Bank.

Call Diane at 928-970-2436 for more information or to volunteer a few hours of your time at the food bank or stop by the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. The St. Vincent de Paul thrift store also needs volunteers. Call general manager Sherry Dudek at 928-474-4476 to volunteer.

• Time Out Shelter

The organization’s mission statement is to help individuals break the cycle of domestic violence with programs of hope and education.

The only remaining shelter in Gila County with the closure of one in the White Mountains and another in Globe, Time Out will celebrate 27 years in business this October.

Last year, Time Out served 344 people.

Time Out opened its first transitional housing units in 2000 and officials are planning to announce details on a new shelter soon.

“There’s exciting things happening at Time Out,” said executive director Edna Welsheimer, who spoke along with marketing director Denise Hughes.

They operate a thrift store at 244 E. Highway 260 and use money from the sale of donated items to fund their programs, with all revenue staying in Payson.

Time Out currently has 110 volunteers, but can always use more. Contact them at, reach the emergency shelter at 928-472-8007, transitional housing at 928-468-1611 or the Thrift Shop at 928-474-3989.

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