Community Strength During COVID-19

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During this time of uncertainty for our community, it is imperative that we stick together. In times of desperation, lending a hand can mean the difference in your emotional, physical, and financial survival.  Our survival as a community during COVID-19 is dependent on our ability to collectively ask for help when we need it and be generous with our resources to help others in need.

A quote by Everett Dirksen sums it up, he says “When all is said and done, the real citadel of strength of any community is in the hearts and minds and desires of those who dwell there.” During this time, what do you desire for your community? At Petersen Physical Therapy we are choosing:

  • Peace over panic
  • Faith over fear
  • Looking for new opportunities to be kind to those in our community

By turning out hearts outward we can show support for those who are struggling the most during this time instead of getting stuck in a state of panic. In order to support those who need it most, we have gathered a list of resources for those in need. For those looking for an opportunity to help we have gathered a list of ways you can use your resources to strengthen our community.

Mortgage, Rent, and Utility Payment Assistance

In addition to many companies such as SRP and APS waving nonpayment penalties and issuing non shut off policies there is also a fund from the The Arizona Department of Housing to help with rent and mortgage payments. You can access help at:

Save Our Home AZ:

Domestic Violence Relief

Staying safe during this time can be a challenge and already existing struggles can be exasperated due to change of routine. Below is a list of domestic hotlines, shelters, and other resources.

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (Phoenix):

“ACESDV’s Sexual and Domestic Violence Services Helpline is still open and operating the regular hours of 8:30a – 5:00p, Monday – Friday with Victim Services Specialists available to assist in Spanish and English, by phone 602-279-2980 or online through chat.”

National Domestic Violence Hotline:

“Resources and help can be found by calling 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing may use TTY 1-800-787-3224.  Additionally, advocates who are Deaf are available 24/7 through the National Deaf Hotline by video phone at 1-855-812-1001, Instant Messenger (DeafHotline) or email.” (

Food Banks

There are so many wonderful organization in the valley that help families and individuals receive the food they need during hardships. Below are just some of the food banks throughout the valley that offer resources such as warm meals and food boxes. You can search for foodbanks by zipcode at

Paz de Cristo Community Center:

424 W Broadway Rd
Mesa, AZ, 85210
Dinner daily 5:30 pm – 6:15 pm. Food boxes 1st & 2nd Tue of the month 10:00 am – noon. Food boxes 4th Sat of the month 10:00 am – noon.

Tempe First United Methodist Church:

215 E University Dr
Tempe, AZ, 85281
Breakfast Mon, Fri 6:00 am – 10:00 am

Gilbert Senior Center:

130 N Oak St
Gilbert, AZ, 85233
Lunch Mon – Fri 11:15 am – 1:00 pm. From their website: “A 24 hour reservation is required for all meals. To make a reservation, you must call (480) 503-6059. Please leave a message if no one is available to accept your call directly.”

Drug and Alcohol Help

For Adolescents or Young Adults

The Full Circle Program: – Support group meetings, alternative peer groups, recovery resources for parents.

The Pathway Program: – Residential treatment, outpatient treatment, Aftercare programs, support groups, and recovery resources for parents.

For Adults

The Crossroads: – Residential treatment for adults, accepts AHCCCS.

Community Bridges (CBI): – Detox, treatment, and referral programs for adults. Most of their programs are free.

How can you help?

Make Masks  

As we come together as a community, lots of Arizonians who have the skills, time and resources  are making masks at home for doctors, nurses, hospitals, food workers, and other essential business. Find a business that is essential in your life and your community and take a stab at making a mask. Our incredibly generous neighbor, Rose Jeffery, made our company several silk masks and it was incredibly helpful in our ability to safely continue treating patients.

How to make a mask at home tutorial:–BOyTiU&feature=emb_title

Donate Financially

If you can donate financially during this time, a few of many organizations that need help during COVID -19 are listed below. It is also a great time to choose an organization that aligns with your personal values and donate to them. Some examples of places that need financial donations during this time are: food banks, domestic shelters, animal shelters, childcare facilities, artists and performers, locally owned restaurants etc. We’ve chosen to highlight Valley of the Sun United Way and Get Us PPE.

Valley of the Sun United Way

One way to make an impact is to donate directly to the United Way, “United for the valley COVID Relief Fund” which is an easy tax-deductible way to help families directly in our community with, “food Security, Child Care, Homelessness, Lost Wages Driven by Business Closures, Rent Assistance, Other Needs Identified by United Way’s Nonprofit Partners.”

Get Us PPE

On their website GetUsPPE describe their mission as “At #GetUsPPE we are working to build a national, centralized platform to enable communities to get PPE to healthcare providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Reach Out to Your Neighbors

  • Join a group such as Tempe Neighbors Helping Neighbors and volunteer your time. Many cities in AZ have these groups which you can find online.
  • Reach out to your neighbors via social media or a handwritten note left on their door as a way to check in.
  • If you are young and healthy, reach out to older neighbors and ask if they need help getting groceries or supplies.
  • If  your family is financially stable right now express to your neighbors that you are able to share food to your neighbors who are struggling or may have been laid off.
  • Let the people in your immediate community know you are willing to help, without judgement. This can bridge the gap for someone who is in need of assistant but struggling to reach out. A friend of mine posted a message on Facebook saying that anyone who was laid off because of COVID-19 and was in need of food to let her know, as her family is more than willing to share. She said “ I have learned that where one person can eat , two can also eat.”  This message was quickly shared on Facebook by many people as a joint effort to acknowledge ways we can help those in our community. Social media is such an important way to stay connected during this time of social distancing.

Finally, if you are a patient, past or present we want to be there for you during this time. If you are in need of supplies or groceries, please reach out to our CEO Jeff Petersen ( and we will do our best to help you get what you need. If you are hurting, physically or emotionally, please remember there is no shame in asking for help. We are offering Telehealth and in person appointments. We are keeping numbers in our clinic to a minimum and wearing masks to keep our patients and our staff safe. We are continually posting resources on ways to stay healthy and active from home on our company’s Facebook page (  The most important thing to remember is that even when the COVID-19 restrictions start to lessen, our community, our economy, and our sense of confidence as a nation is shaken. Now is the time to continually check in with those around us and look for new opportunities to be kind to one another.

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