When you meet Mary Bradley, Donna DeConcini and Donna Dunham, it becomes clear that they care deeply about animals.
"There's got to be a voice for the animals in our world," said Bradley.
The three women recently founded the Southern Arizona Animal Food Bank, that officially opens January 16.
"We are kind of basing it on the Community Food Bank where everybody is welcome," said DeConcini. "It doesn't matter what they look like, how they dress, what they come in, if they're saying they are in need of animal food then it's definitely something that will be given to them."
In about three weeks, the organization will officially become a 501(c)(3) non-profit, making it one of only three non-profit animal food banks in the country.
They plan to not only help the community but also local animal rescues.
"One of the big expenses is food," said Dunham. "If you had that money that you did not have to spend on food, that could go into the welfare of the animals in your care."
Their plan is to trade food in exchange for volunteer hours from local rescues. They also have plans to work with the Southern Arizona VA and with the Pima Council on Aging to provide animal food to those that need it. They also want to develop a program to care for animals belonging to anyone going to jail.
But they still need a lot of donations to get them off the ground. This weekend, they are holding a big event with food trucks and local artists, giving out raffle tickets for every five pounds of animal food donated. They say it's not limited to dog and cat food, they will also accept other animal items like leashes, collars and blankets.
They will have live music, face painting and about 15 animal rescues will be represented. Ward 6 Councilman Steve Kozachik also plans to attend.
The event is Saturday January 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be held in a large paved lot on Speedway Boulevard in between Country Club and Alvernon.
The founders say they've already received a lot of individual support and now they are hoping this weekend's event will get the community involved.
"Everybody who hears about the animal food bank really wants to help," said Bradley.
For more information, or to help please contact 520-982-2645 or email email@example.com