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For a disabled veteran, service never ends On November 11th 2012 we celebrate our heroic veterans of days gone by, and also those still in service protecting America’s shores. Here in Arizona we are genuinely grateful for our veterans. One vet comes to mind, Jim Piscopo. Jim is the founder of Bridging AZ Furniture Bank, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Bridging has one mission: to provide clean, useful furniture and household items to individuals and families, particularly warm, comfy beds to children. Nowadays we don't hear too much about people who do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing. It is impractical in a million different ways. And yet, occasionally that is exactly what some people do. Jim and Donna Piscopo are two of those people. When Jim received his honorable discharge after 8 years in the Air Force he was not eligible to join the National Guard or Reserves because of damage to his knees. Jim went on to become a licensed contractor and Realtor. While volunteering at a domestic violence shelter Jim saw a need: the need for basic furniture for people starting over. In a leap of faith in 2004, Jim and his wife Donna sold their fully paid home to provide initial funding for Bridging AZ, Arizona’s first and only Furniture Bank. With only 2 full time paid employees, Bridging AZ has supported over 190 social service programs and has distributed over 200,000 items to families in need. It has been a long and difficult 8 years for the Piscopos. The need is greater than ever and donations of product are down, but they still distribute 30,000 - 40,000 items a year. Keeping their trucks on the road, paying rent and the other associated expenses that keep a nonprofit going is much more difficult now. These things take money. For the past 6 months I have witnessed Jim pull money out of his pocket to pay rent on the 9,100sf building that the Furniture Bank occupies. This is not something normal people do. Jim simply says “What choice do I have? I have people who need beds for their kids!” Here is how you can help: All contributions are tax deductible and if you live in Arizona, the “Helping the Working Poor Tax Credit” allows you to redirect a portion your AZ taxes to support a nonprofit like Bridging AZ Furniture Bank. If you pay Arizona income tax and itemize your 2012 taxes you can donate $200 -$400 to Bridging AZ and receive 100% of your contribution back as an Arizona Tax Credit! Please consider Bridging AZ Furniture Bank for your ‘working poor’ tax credit. Please donate online through Bridging AZ’s website, www.bridgingaz.org. Learn about Bridging AZ’s annual fundraiser –the Great Bedrace for Charity www.azbedrace.org Bridging AZ has won numerous awards, including: Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce “Non-profit of the Year Sterling Award”, Bank of America “Local Hero Award”, Black Board of Directors Project “Outstanding Non-Profit Diversity Award” and Soroptimist International San Tan Chapter “Advancing the Status of Women Award”


For a disabled veteran, service never ends