At 8:00 AM this morning, Brandon Cheshire, owner of SunHarvest Solar, delivered 100 blue umbrellas to the North 17 Apartments run by Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) in north Phoenix.
The umbrellas had been requested by Lamont Leonard, Employment Coordinator for CASS, to provide some relief from the elements, both sun and rain, for his clients who travel between the emergency family shelter and his office located in North 17 Apartments. The majority of these people are often times walking with children and rely heavily on public transportation.
Vice Mayor and Councilman Daniel Valenzuela was in attendance, along with CASS Chief Development Officer, Katia Brown, CASS Communications Manager Lindsey Roberts, and Mr. Leonard who made the request.
“As a firefighter, I’ve seen the effects of weather-related illness first-hand on too many occasions.” said Valenzuela. “People forget that heat kills and many people are without cars which provide shelter during travel.” He added, “This is a wonderful example of community coming together to help one another. As it should be.”
The group took the opportunity to have an impromptu discussion about the services CASS provides, the need for more affordable housing in our urban core and along light rail, as well as the continued need for services and housing for our homeless and working poor populations.
Though an umbrella seems like such a small, simple thing, Mr. Leonard says, “Donations like this from the community mean so much to our clients. Not only do they provide our families with a critical need, but they also show them that the community cares about their well-being.”
Cheshire, who earns his living from the abundant sunshine in Arizona with SunHarvest Solar was just excited to help. “I am committed to running a true, values-driven business. It’s a reminder for all of us to not take things for granted and to help those less fortunate when we’re able to. I hope this inspires others to act.” said Cheshire.
SunHarvest Solar plans to pass out an additional 200 blue umbrellas to homeless individuals and public transit riders on October 14th for the international People’s Climate Movement day.
About SunHarvest Solar: As one of the top solar energy companies in Arizona, SunHarvest Solar provides quality affordable solutions, allowing customers to benefit from sustainable energy for their homes. http://www.sunharvestsolar.com/
About Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS): Central Arizona Shelter Services’ (CASS) mission is to empower men, women and children with diverse needs to end their homelessness by providing shelter and supportive services. Since 1984, our shelters and programs have been serving the community’s most vulnerable, who often face nearly insurmountable barriers in ending their homelessness. Our programs empower our clients to not only end their homelessness but to rebuild their lives. http://www.cassaz.org/
Photo Credit: Stacey Champion
L to R in Photo: Lamont Leonard, Brandon Cheshire, Daniel Valenzuela, Katia Brown, Lindsey Roberts