Members of the National Charity League Sustainer group packed 200 lunches to benefit the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Submitted photo

Sandy Ponton and Tracy Worischeck consider themselves to be pretty efficient sandwich makers.

The two Ahwatukee Foothills moms recently put that skill on display for the benefit of 200 homeless people.

Ponton and Tracy, along with 30 other moms, packed 200 sack lunches for the Phoenix Rescue Mission on Sept. 20. It was just one philanthropic event of many that they have done over the years as part of the National Charity League.

As members of what is called the Sustainer group, the organization NCL moms can join after their daughter graduates high school, their goal is to continue to give back to the community.

"We're just the mothers that still want to get together and have fun and do philanthropic projects," Ponton said. "We did it with our daughters for years and when they went away for college, we wanted to keep it up."

For the Phoenix Rescue Mission project, the moms put together a sack lunch, which consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, granola bar, apple sauce and a bag of chips. With 30 or so members, Worischeck said it only took them about 20 minutes to make all 200 lunches.

"Moms are very efficient when it comes to making sandwiches," she said. "It was a lot of fun and we just kind of flew through it."

The Phoenix Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping those less fortunate. They accept donations and volunteer. Last year, they provided nearly 300,000 meals to the homeless.

"You could just tell how appreciative they were," Ponton said. "And it's not like, if someone wants to help, they have to make 200 lunches. I think they would be happy with 50 or even 10."

That giving-back mentality is a major reason why the two AF moms got their daughters involved with NCL in the first place. They both were involved with philanthropy in college and it carried over when they had kids.

"Everytime you expose your child to something new and different, you're helping them grow," Worishcheck said. "When they walk in to a homeless shelter for the first time, it's new and they can be a little intimidated. But they get more comfortable and it prepares them for new situations in the future."

To find our more about how to help Phoenix Rescue Mission, visit www.PhoenixRescueMission.org, or call (602) 272-4663.

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