HCC News Archives


HCC Maryvale is Open!

HCC Maryvale is NOW OPEN!

As we ring in the New Year we are ready to launch Harvest Compassion Center Maryvale! Abundance blessings has allowed MSC, Inc. to continue our outreach to the West Valley of Arizona serving the hidden, hurt and hungry. Construction is done, finishing touches are being made and a “Show Your Love Clothing Drive” is scheduled for Friday, February 16th 4 to 6pm. Show your Valentine love for the HCC by collecting gently used clothing and shoes to help us fully stock our clothing boutique. Volunteers are also being scheduled starting the second week of February, all volunteer information can be found on our website or email Adrie Olson at aolson@msfcares.org.

On Friday, February 23rd, Harvest Compassion Center Maryvale opened its’ doors to serve the public! What an awesome morning it was to finally have food on the shelves, computer up and running, clean clothing pressed and hung as well as, volunteers in place and ready to serve! Construction started 3 months ago on an old, run-down retail space at 67th Avenue and Indian School and today it has a new glow surrounding it, as it has been dedicated as a new pillar within the Maryvale community.

All guests who visited and shopped with us on opening day were extremely grateful for the new center. One brand new HCC guest kept saying repeatedly in Spanish, “God will bless you all very, very much.” With a buzz of activity now ongoing in our new center we invite all those in need to shop every Tuesday and Friday morning. Those looking to volunteer in the West Valley, we need you! Please contact Adrie Olson at aolson@msfcares.org for all volunteer information and scheduling. With the new opening we’re thrilled to announce and welcome HCC Maryvale’s new full-time Operations Director Paul Thompson. Paul has been serving and volunteering with Mitchell Swaback Charities for the past 13 years. Paul has a real passion to serve and connect with others. “I am extremely excited to be a part of HCC Maryvale and changing lives in this community for the glory of God,” commented Paul.

Please make sure you are friends with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so you may receive live updates, and share our new center with everyone you know, as word of mouth continues to be our number one referral!

May God bless Harvest Compassion Center Maryvale and the families who will be loved, fed and clothed in His name.


HCC Volunteer Spotlight: Joani Blansfield

This month we’d like to take a moment to thank and show off one of our beloved Harvest Compassion Center volunteers Joani Blansfield. Joani started volunteering at HCC Phoenix almost 5 years ago. Gaye Swaback met Joani at church and shared with her all about the HCC. Hearing about the HCC’s mission and their outreach to the local community touched Joani’s heart and she began volunteering immediately. Joani always says, “The best part of my week or month is when I get to volunteer at the HCC!” Joani also became a FEED 1 partner and actively feeds one family alongside the HCC every single month.

After Joani started volunteering on a regular basis she saw that gym shoes of any size were a highly sought-after clothing item. Joani now visits Goodwill on their half-off sale days and buys 24 pairs of shoes and donates them to the HCC. “This is my personal dedication,” Joani said. “I tell everyone I know about the center, requesting donations from them as well! I am so grateful for this ministry. Now that HCC Maryvale is open I want to dedicate more time to their outreach.” Joani continues to serve in many areas with the HCC, as she recently joined HCC’s Advisory Board and she is bowling at the HCC’s Striking Out Hunger event on March 3rd!

All of us at the Harvest Compassion Center thank you Joani for your dedication, hard work and partnership to the HCC, HCC guests and for being one of our biggest cheerleaders and supporters!

Interested in Volunteering at our Phoenix or Maryvale location? Please contact Adrie Olson at aolson@msfcares.org.


Monthly Motivation: Our Friend the Plumber

Last month MSC held their board meeting at the new HCC Maryvale center. The board was very excited to be able to see the new space and progress made as HCC Maryvale prepared to open. As their meeting started two construction workers popped-in unannounced to finish some punch list items. One of these workers was cutting holes through the cinder-block wall for ventilation and another was a plumber who needed access to the front ceiling to reach some pipes. It ended up that the plumber placed his ladder two feet from where the board was meeting. Through the loud cutting noise and the plumber who’s legs we could see dangling out of the ceiling just feet away, the board began its’ meeting. During the meeting the board took several minutes to pray for the new center, for those who will be walking in for service, and for the mission of MSC/HCC. Little did the board know that our friend the plumber was listening to every word from the ceiling above.

After everyone had left except one board member our friend the plumber had this to say, “That was so cool to hear you all praying for this building and what you guys are doing here. I started praying with you as you all continued to pray. I also prayed right then and there that God would use me in a place like this, I now know that I need to do something more and give back to others. How do I get in touch with someone so my wife and I can volunteer?”

What an awesome reminder that what we think are interruptions in our life, are pieces of God’s perfect plan.


E-Devotional: What God’s Been Doing

The One Constant

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers (1 Thessalonians 1:2, ESV).

Name one thing you “always” find yourself doing, something that’s “constantly” part of your day.

How often would giving thanks be an honest answer to that?

Perhaps you’d say you’re constantly talking on the telephone. Or constantly busy, constantly working. Maybe you feel as though you’re always thinking about the future, making plans for what you hope to see happen next, a mixture of both worry and optimism. You may always be glued to the news, or picking up after your kids, or stuck in traffic trying to get home. What are your own particular always things?

According to Scripture, one of the most important things to be always, constantly doing is being thankful. Not in a sappy greeting-card, rose-colored denial of reality. Not in a pretentious attempt to keep from admitting that life can be hard and upsetting. To be giving thanks always and constantly means simply maintaining an overall, ongoing attitude of thanksgiving . . . because gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living. It is often the difference between being overwhelmed by what just happened and being excited for what’s just ahead. 

You may counter, however, that this kind of heart and mind is practically impossible to keep up. Not everything is easy to be happy about. Not every week comes equipped with enough suitable “gratitude” material to work with. But one of the secrets found in Paul’s words to the Thessalonians and (more importantly) his example toward them is how he deliberately thanked God “always for all of you.” In order to stay constantly thankful, you should routinely be giving thanks for the people in your life.

All the people in your life.

Not just your favorite people-the ones who are so much fun to be around-but also those whose names you don’t particularly enjoy seeing pop up on your phone. Not just your most encouraging leaders and coworkers, but also those who push you into doing more than seems reasonable, perhaps far beyond your comfort zone or capability. Not just people from your own generation and culture who are easier to relate to, but also those who are a little harder to get to know and understand. Not just your closest friends and family members, but also those who, for whatever reason, insist on being your enemies.

Relationships sour when we focus on faults; they flourish when we keep the thankfulness fire burning. Nothing comes much easier to us than first noticing, then rehashing, the parts of someone else’s comments or personality style that make them almost intolerable to deal with.

But in order to be the kind of person that you yourself truly want to be, you must constantly stay reminded that God is sovereign over the universe, totally in control of everything. Nothing comes into your life that He doesn’t allow; nothing comes into your life that He won’t transform into something for your good. That’s why you can be thankful to Him for how He’s using your boss, your brother-in-law, your mom, or a former spouse-difficult and demanding though they may be-to shape you into the person you’d never become otherwise, without them.

Few things dilute and drain our hope more quickly than ungratefulness. That’s why you can never miss a day. Do it always. And never miss an opportunity. Do it for everybody.

• What are you having a hard time being thankful for right now?
• Think of one way that God might be growing your heart through a difficult person or situation. Bring this fresher perspective into your praying today.

Lord, You are good not to make life as easy as possible. You are good to bring people and circumstances across my path that help strengthen my heart, deepen my trust, and prepare me for what You know is coming next. Help me stay more humble through this current season than the last, and through this coming season than now, always growing in gratitude for You and for the people who share the road with me. Show me how to stay thankful, in Jesus’ name, amen. 

— James MacDonald

For more from James MacDonald and the “Walk in the Word” Bible teaching ministry, visit WalkInTheWord.com.



E-Devotional: What God’s Been Doing

God’s Will in One Word.

“This is the will of God, 
your sanctification”
(1 Thessalonians 4:3a, ESV).

Often discussions about God’s will seem to revolve around answering life’s big questions like where we go to college, who we choose to marry, which job to take, which house to buy, what our kids’ lives will be like when they grow up… and then before we know it, we’re discussing where they’ll go to college, who they’ll marry, what job they’ll take, and the whole thing cycles into the future.

But believe it or not, God’s will doesn’t focus on these kinds of issues. He’s not holding His breath, hoping you’ll choose to move to Bolivia instead of California, or vice versa. His will is not a secret blueprint for making specific, minute decisions-a master plan He’s hiding from you, testing you to see if you can figure it out. Because here’s the truth: if you are busy being the person God wants you to be-the parts He does make clear in Scripture-you’ll already be where He wants you to be.

God’s will for you is “your sanctification.”

Sanctification is one of the key words we learn from Scripture that helps us understand what our salvation means. It covers the space of time between our justification (the moment of conversion when God declares us righteous through our faith in Christ’s payment for sin) and our glorification (when we stand before Him in eternity). Sanctification means to make holy-a process that is crucially important for us since by nature we are not holy, and we need to be holy. More and more holy. So this is what God is doing with us right now as we wait for Christ’s return, as ” we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). We’re being sanctified. Little by little. Day by day. One step at a time.

This is God’s will for us.

To the believers living in Thessalonica, much of what apparently needed sanctifying in their lives were their sexual practices and their understanding of moral purity. That’s why Paul zeroed in on their need to “abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3b). In other cities and places where he wrote his first-century letters, the more pressing matters may have been idolatry, immaturity, materialism, or some other spiritual deficiency. But in every place-including our place today-the overarching, sanctifying need was and is to increasingly conform ourselves to the Word of God, living with a pure conscience, being quick to respond to the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. For not only does this trans formative lifestyle give proof that we are growing in holiness, it also helps us not “be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).

God’s will, plain and simple, is the Bible. The will of God is the Word of God, not merely the specific answers to life’s various multiple-choice questions. Because if you’re doing what the Word of God says, you’ll be making the right decisions already. If you are increasingly the person God wants you to be, you will not make wrong choices about the details like where you are or who you’re with.

You’ll be doing His will. Because you’ll be growing in sanctification.

• Is there one area of your life in which you’ve been wishing God would show you His will?
• How might this change if you understood more deeply that God’s main will for you is something you can absolutely know and do?

Father, thank You for being bigger than my biggest problems and questions, and for knowing me better than I know myself. Thank You for fully understanding and providing for my true needs. Today I bring my concerns to You not as someone desperate for answers, but as someone simply committed to being Yours-in every way, manner, and decision. By Your Spirit I ask You to bring to my mind what I already know of Your will, and I ask You to give me a willing and obedient heart to do it. Thank You for Your sanctifying work in my life. This is what I seek, confident that in the process You will keep me exactly where I’m supposed to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.

— James MacDonald

For more from James MacDonald and the “Walk in the Word” Bible teaching ministry, visit WalkInTheWord.com.


Vegas Strong

Monthly Motivation: HCC Reaches Las Vegas

Monthly Motivation:

HCC Reaches Las Vegas

We all remember turning on our TV’s for the first time last October 1st as the Las Vegas Strip shooting details were aired. Over 900 people were killed or injured in this horrific act of violence in our country. Lives were forever changed, families were torn apart, dreams vanished in a single moment. We’ll never have the answers for why these acts of violence took place, however what we can do is show compassion and strength to the survivors and their families.

Last month, Family Rescue shared with Harvest Compassion Center the news about an Arizona family who had been a victim of the Vegas shooting. An opportunity was presented to partner and bless this family to help them grieve through the holiday season. The HCC jumped in immediately sending several Christmas toys that would bring cheer and smiles to this family who had been through so much. Working together to bring comfort and joy to the hurting are the unspoken opportunities that make true impact. Let’s continue to band together for the greater good, spreading the same love and sacrifice that the Lord shows us.

Vegas Strong

HCC Volunteer Spotlight: Walt

Each month the HCC enjoys shinning the spotlight on one of our amazing volunteers.

Meet our dear friend and Harvest Compassion Center volunteer Walt.

Walt, originally from Crystal Lake, Illinois, has been serving at the Harvest Compassion Center Phoenix over 5 years and literally jumps in to help wherever he is needed. After retiring and moving to Phoenix in 2008 to enjoy all the Valley’s outdoor living and recreation, our paths crossed. 

On Walt’s first day walking into the HCC to volunteer we knew he was a hard worker and a team player. Walt can be seen weekly cleaning and tagging shoe donations, the next day he’s mopping the floors before our morning shift; he also can be regularly seen helping unload our delivery van and stocking the shelves with food. There’s a massive amount of work that goes into prepping the Harvest Compassion Center for guests weekly. Walt is always enthusiastic to help ‘behind the scenes,’ or as he stated, “It’s like the lower level of the Titanic, we work hard in the back and have a lot of fun!” Walt surely isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty and all of us at Harvest Compassion Center are so thankful for his giving spirit and attitude.

Walt encourages others to join the volunteer crew at the HCC saying, “Please come serve with us, it fulfills your heart and soul. It’s fun and rewarding and you meet great people.” Walt has told others many times that his life has been changed by volunteering at the HCC. Volunteering keeps him in the Lord’s spirit and he knows it’s honoring to Him. Walt truly lives and breathes all things HCC, he’s an all-in type of guy, who is a blessing to the HCC’s outreach and guests.

Thank you again Walt for the thousands of hours you’ve served and most of all for the compassion you demonstrate daily!

Interested in Volunteering at our Phoenix or Maryvale location? Please contact Adrie Olson at aolson@msfcares.org.


New Year, New Harvest Compassion Center!

As we ring in the New Year we are ready to launch Harvest Compassion Center Maryvale! Abundance blessings has allowed MSC, Inc. to continue our outreach to the West Valley of Arizona serving the hidden, hurt and hungry. Construction is done, finishing touches are being made and a “Show Your Love Clothing Drive” is scheduled for Friday, February 16th 4 to 6pm. Show your Valentine love for the HCC by collecting gently used clothing and shoes to help us fully stock our clothing boutique. Volunteers are also being scheduled starting the second week of February, all volunteer information can be found on our website or email Adrie Olson at aolson@msfcares.org.

We would like to thank the following for their generosity during the construction and preparation stages: Laura Thurbon who used her amazing artist abilities creating and painting our kids play corner area, Arizona Fire Protection Inc. for their assistance on our sprinkler system, and Ghaster Painting and Coatings for their outstanding painting, Rue Materials for their donated ceiling tile and grid, Kevin McDermott for shelving donations and Steve Mueller and Paul Thompson who have spearheaded the entire project.

Please join us in prayer as we seek protection and guidance as we adopt a new community into our outreach. Don’t forget to ‘drop-in’ with your old clothes on Friday, February 16th and grab a quick tour!


Monthly Motivation: Steve Ely

Monthly Motivation:

Steve Ely Races Ironman While Promoting HCC

The Ironman competition is a 3-sport event initiated by a US Naval officer in 1978. It was the result of a discussion between athletes of what was the toughest sport on the island of Hawaii. They compared swimming, biking and running. The result was a championship consisting of a 2.4 miles swim, a 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run. The finisher would be called “Ironman”. Since then, Ironman competitions have grown around the world, including one held in Tempe, Arizona last month which was Steve Ely’s very first Ironman race.

Steve often is asked the very popular question, “Why on earth would you (or anyone else) want to do this?” Steve replied, “The short answer is that I recently found myself in a familiar place, needing an extended time of prayer, study, reflection, and time with my Lord. From past experiences, I knew that training would give me this time that I needed. By the end of 2015, I was just coming to the end of a significantly challenging season of my life, realizing that I was feeling kind of beat up and dried out, this physical challenge was what I needed to change things up a bit. I believe the Ironman race is really a metaphor for my life, as it reminds me of my own life’s endurance.”

Thousands of participants compete in the Tempe Ironman, while thousands more come to cheer on their beloved family members and friends, Steve knew he had an awesome platform to promote a worthy cause that he held close to his heart, The Harvest Compassion Center. Steve has been a huge supporter of MSC, Inc. and HCC for several years, being a very large part of organizing a couple of local races benefiting the HCC. Steve commented, “The founders turned deep personal tragedy of the death of Mitchell Swaback into a vehicle of hope for others who have none.”

When Steve committed to training for and competing in this Ironman race, it was important that attention be directed to the giver of all good things. Steve added, “I wanted to get a message out through my effort that leaning in to do God’s work was not only very rewarding, but filled with blessings. My hope is that as I speak about my experience and show the pictures, attention will be given to MSC and the Harvest Compassion Center.”

We’re happy to announce that Steve competed very well in his Ironman race completing the race in 13 hours and 44 minutes and 22 seconds! Since completing his race Steve has been able to reflect on the experience and has learned a few worthy life lessons such as: the importance of doing something worthy, the importance of having a great plan, and the importance of perseverance.

For a few years Steve imagined what it would be like to be crossing that finish line and hearing his name being called over the loud speakers before the thousands of cheering spectators “Steve Ely . . . you are an IRONMAN!” We send our congrats to Steve for his amazing accomplishment and thank him for his continued partnership.

2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the Race, I have kept the faith.”


HCC Maryville: Coming SOON!

As we announced last month, our crews are busy working on the new HCC Maryvale with hopes of opening early 2018! We wanted to send you a quick peak inside our new 3,700 square facility and as you take a quick look at the pictures please be praying for the following:

  • For every new guest we will serve and meet.
  • For food and hygiene product to be donated so we have fully stocked shelves.
  • For new volunteers who want to serve in the West Valley.
  • For construction to finish without any disruptions.
  • For gently used clothing to be donated and work teams who want to help with laundry.
  • For God’s constant provision as we enter a new neighborhood, that His light will be seen through our work and our mission never drifts.