Mesa Mayor John Giles gives details of the city’s drive to collect and distribute half a million water bottles to the needy and homeless over the summer.

With Arizona temperatures edging ever closer to 110, several organizations are campaigning to raise money and collect water bottles for the homeless and needy throughout the scorching summer months. 

In Mesa, Mayor John Giles announced the 11th annual United Food Bank Hydration Donation Campaign, which runs through Sept. 15. Giles urged Mesa residents to donate to help save lives.

“The next time we’re in a grocery store, we have to stop and buy a case of water. And we have to drop it off at one of the locations we’ve identified,” he said.

“This is a serious issue. This is not something we just do for fun.”

The United Food Bank will work with its partners to distribute water bottles to those in need.

Dehydration can affect anyone exposed to desert heat, but the homeless and the needy who do not have access to a to a clean, accessible water source can be especially vulnerable.

Other organizations also are holding campaigns to raise awareness and collect water. 


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Water, shade available at emergency sites

The Heat Relief Network,  a network of faith-based groups, service providers and residents, partners with the Maricopa Association of Governments to address hydration issues and provide refuge from the heat for people in need. 

Brande Mead, MAG human services manager, said there are about 5,600 homeless people at any given time in the Phoenix region who need access to water. 

“We have hydration stations throughout the region as well as emergency hydration stations to provide water to vulnerable populations, like those experiencing homelessness,” Mead said in an email statement. 

The Heat Relief Network has 118 hydration and refuge sites, 107 donation sites and 17 emergency hydration stations that operate on heat advisory days

The Salvation Army is assisting the network in an effort to help those in hard-to-reach areas.

The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Survival Squad on Monday activated 14 heat relief stations in response to the excessive heat warning.

From Monday through Wednesday, the Salvation Army’s Family Services Department at 2707 E. Van Buren St., Building 2, will be open to provide hydration services from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Other Salvation Army corps locations across the region will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

  • Apache Junction Corps – 605 E. Broadway Road., Apache Junction.
  • Chandler Corps – 85 E. Saragosa St., Chandler.
  • Eastlake Park – Jefferson and 16th streets, Phoenix.
  • Estrella Mountain Corps – 11 N. Third Ave., Avondale.
  • Glendale Corps – 6010 W. Northern Ave., Glendale.
  • Mesa Corps – 241 E. Sixth St., Mesa.
  • Phoenix Central Corps – 4343 N. 16th St., Phoenix.
  • Phoenix Citadel Corps – 628 N. Third Ave., Phoenix.
  • Phoenix Kroc Center – 1375 E. Broadway Road, Phoenix.
  • Phoenix Maryvale Corps – 4318 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix.
  • Sun Cities West Valley Corps – 17420 N. Avenue of the Arts Blvd., Surprise.
  • Tempe Corps – 40 E. University Drive, Tempe.
  • Valley of the Sun Korean Corps – 7238 N. 61st Ave., Glendale.

How to donate water

It’s simple to get involved in any of these campaigns.

Donations of water to the Salvation Army and the Heat Relief Network will be accepted at any of the sites located here.

The Salvation Army locations also are seeking volunteers to help distribute water along with sunscreen, towels and other necessities. Visit its volunteer page for more information. 

A list of donation sites for the Mesa campaign is available here if you would like to donate pallets of water. United Food Bank and Mesa United Way are accepting donations online if you’d like to give a monetary contribution instead. 

Sundt Construction Inc. is holding its annual Thirst-Aid Water Drive to benefit St. Joseph the Worker, a non-profit organization that aids homeless and other disadvantaged individuals.

Sundt is providing and distributing water bottles for the homeless at its campuses.

Sundt will accept monetary donations for the Thirst-Aid Drive through


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