Cynthia Lazaro, Founder of House of HELPS in South Phoenix opens her heart to everyone and anyone in need. Following the murder of her son, Damion, in 2009, Cynthia turned her childhood home into a sanctuary for youth and families where they come to receive tangible and spiritual support. Every Thursday, she and her team of dedicated volunteers provide food- everything from fruits and vegetables, to meat, cheese, protein shakes, eggs, juice, bread, and sweets to those who need it. When I visited, families were lined up early with their own bags, ready to pick out the food needed to feed their families.
Everyone who came through the day I was there, shared how grateful they were for the support that House of HELPS provides. Cynthia shared that the food supply Waste Not delivers is so important and that so often, the food distribution process itself provides an opportunity for relationship-building and for families and youth to learn about other critical services they offer.
In 2019, Waste Not delivered over 14,000 meals to the people supported by House of HELPS! Everyone who was receiving food the day I visited were welcomed by compassionate, encouraging volunteers who helped them fill their bags, as there’s enough food for everyone to go home with an abundance of beautiful food- what a wonderful feeling that is!
In addition to food, House of HELPS aims to change the lives of local youth by providing safe and positive activities that promote growth and development through a variety of services including after school programs and summer camps. Cynthia has witnessed the powerful impact these services make and over the years has seen children in this program grow up and become positive mentors to younger children now participating.
We’re so inspired by the work being done at the agencies distributing the food we provide and are so proud to play a role in the work being done in South Phoenix at House of HELPS.