Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Month 16: Flagstaff Shelter Services

You may recognize our Month 16 organization as a repeat of Month 5. The first rule of 48 months is that we make up the rules as we go, so Cristy and I had a very important meeting and decided that Flagstaff Shelter Services (FSS) is near and dear to both of our hearts, so we’re bringing it to you again!

I have volunteered for FSS’ annual fundraising event, Feast for Flagstaff, for the past four years. It has been such a rewarding and amazing experience to see the community come together to support one of our most important nonprofit organizations. Late last year I took my volunteering to a new level and proudly joined the FSS Board. What an amazing, dynamic group of individuals representing all facets of our community!

I’m slowly learning about the shelter’s day-to-day operations, and Cristy gave you a lot of the nuts and bolts in her Month 5 post. I recently had the opportunity to attend a thank you breakfast for the local churches that participate in the FSS Winter Overflow Shelter Program. Did you know that Flagstaff did not see ONE SINGLE exposure death in 2017? That incredible accomplishment is due in large part to the hard work of Executive Director Ross Altenbaugh and her team at FSS, but also to the kind hearts and open doors of our local faith community that provide overflow services at their churches.

FSS is a year-round facility and funding and donations are always necessary. Cristy wrote in the Month 5 post about how to donate time, money, and goods, and we always encourage you to make that happen. Since we are THREE DAYS away from Feast for Flagstaff, I’m going to make a pitch for this important event. A small group of volunteers (shout out to my Feast partners in crime Ross, Cristy, Tara, Helen, and Katie….and our event planning guru who makes everything beautiful, KimDuncan Design, worked tirelessly to put together a memorable and poignant evening, filled with incredible food, drinks, and music.

Feast for Flagstaff is on Friday, April 6 at 6 p.m. at Warner’s Nursery & Landscape Co. We are so grateful to our partners at Warner’s for letting us use their beautiful space. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at

What’s a feast without food? We have an amazing lineup of local restaurants ready to serve up delicious cuisine. Bigfoot BBQ & Catering has been with us since the beginning and we are so grateful for their generosity. You know them for their BBQ, but if you haven’t had a chance to experience their catering, you’re in for a treat. Shift is a new partner this year and we could not be more excited to have them on board. I recently ate at their Chef’s Counter, and watching the owners Joe and Dara work their magic in the small kitchen is like watching a choreographed dance. I can’t wait to see what they are serving at Feast. Also new this year is Criollo Latin Kitchen, a longtime Flagstaff favorite. They take tacos to a new level and I know our Feast attendees will love this addition. New Flagstaff Pan-Asian favorite Lotus Lounge joins the fun also!  They are the newcomer in town, but we already love them and their participation in Feast makes us love them even more!  Last but not least is Mozelle’s Downtown Bakery. My work is renting space in the adjacent Click Co-Work and the smell that comes from Mozelle’s is intoxicating. I think you’ll be tempted to have dessert first.

We want everyone at Feast to have a great time, but we also want them to remember why we’re all gathered together. This year’s artistic installation is actually a live music performance by four local bands. Tiny Bird, Jasper Komassa & Donivan Berube, The Canaries, and The Tow’rs all donated their time to visit the shelter and meet with the clients. Each musician/group then developed an original song and they will perform it live at Feast!

Raffle and Silent Auction
Fifty-yard line seats to any home Chicago Bears game this season. Two seats on an 8-day Grand Canyon River trip. Tickets to the Late Late Show with James Cordon. A Sedona getaway including a stay at the Amara Resort & Spa, a Pink Jeep Tour, and a private tour at Javelina Leap Winery. This is merely a taste of the amazing raffle and Silent Auction prizes for the night. Can’t attend? Well, you’re missing out on a great event, but you don’t have to miss out on the raffle. FSS is teasing the prizes on their Facebook page, and giving everyone the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets and place silent auction bids ahead of time.

But I can’t come…
We’ll be sad to miss you, but you can still help! We need some last minute odds and ends for raffle gift baskets – wine, water bottles, to-go coffee cups, coffee gift cards, gas gift cards, any gift card from a Flagstaff business. If you want to donate something, please email Jacki at and I’ll arrange pick up!

For more information on FSS, visit

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