ARIZONA HEART & SOL: ‘Giving Table’ giving back to South Tucson community

Mother and daughter giving clothing, food to those in need
Mother and daughter giving clothing, food to those in need(KOLD News 13)
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 9:28 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - This week we’re recognizing a mother and daughter in South Tucson who are going above and beyond to help those in need.

“It started off at the beginning as an annual yard sale and of course then the pandemic hit,” said Irma Montano, this week’s Heart & Sol recipient.

COVID put a stop to the Lifebridge church yard sale - but that didn’t stop church members Irma Montano and her daughter Ling Ortega who are this week’s Heart & Sol recipients. The two led an effort to give away all of the donated clothing, household items and stuffed animals to whoever needed it. They’ve continued collecting and distributing items which led to the Giving Table. Montano said they’ve helped more than 1,000 people so far.

“I call this my happy place,” said Maria Valenzuela, a volunteer at the Giving Kitchen.

Valenzuela visited the Giving Table in November and then decided she wanted to help, too.

“She’s very dependable and we couldn’t do this without the volunteers,” Montano said. “She’s one of our strongest volunteers.”

The three women are a powerhouse team who help any person who visits. She said some people show up after losing their home in a fire, living in their car, losing their job, or any other hardship they might be experiencing.

Through the pandemic, the Giving Table has noticed an immense need.

“We saw people’s worlds just come crashing down. Members that came in helped support the Giving Table. At the same time their lives were changing,” Ortega said.

More than a year later, she said the need hasn’t stopped and the Giving Table isn’t either.

“We are right where we feel we need to be,” she said.

The Giving Table also gives families food boxes. They’re looking for a partner organization to help keep up with the demand. Find more information about the Giving Table, here.

The women were presented with a $300 gift card from our sponsor Casino Del Sol. They plan to spend it on food boxes for those in need. If you have someone you think embodies the “Heart and Sol of Tucson,” please nominate them, here.

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