HopeFest Phoenix

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HopeFest Phoenix is a collaboration of agencies, organizations and individuals helping families and people in need with free medical, dental, vision services, food, and more. Billy Thrall, co-founder of HopeFest Phoenix talks about the event.

José Cárdenas: Thousands of families and people in need will receive what they need at "Hopefest Phoenix." Joining me is Billy Thrall, cofounder of "Hopefest Phoenix." It's a wonderful event. This is your fifth year. You expect 20,000 people?

Billy Thrall: We have had over 20,000 people over the last four years so we're expecting the same this Saturday.

José Cárdenas: We've got pictures we're going to roll on the screen, showing some of the things that go on. It's a full panel of service.

Billy Thrall: When my wife and I started it, the goal was, who do we know that wants to serve the underserved? Would they be able to someone place, one day -- we picked chase field. We tried to get everybody we knew who did something from haircuts to groceries, dental, vision, medical services. We put it all in one place on chase field and we hope people can find the think they need for that day.

José Cárdenas: We saw pictures of people going through clothes. Where do they come from?

Billy Thrall: They get donated for the entire year. We collect money and donations for the whole year. We collect them through all different kinds of agencies and faith-based groups, primarily some larger churches in town.

José Cárdenas: It's not the immediate needs, like medical. You have safety courses for the kids wearing helmets and people getting haircuts.

Billy Thrall: Yeah, so again, our goal is we know people who are suffering are afraid and we wanted to create an environment where they feel welcome. We tell all of our 2,000 volunteers, the goal is the fragile client who came to show up. It feels like a festival on purpose. We have jump houses, we have live music. We do free lunch. Phoenix Children's Hospital is one of our sponsors. They turned the kid zone into a kid's party and do things like immunizations. Our medical is the same way. We have all of the medical agencies in town, the universities that serve Arizona, all in one place. When someone goes through medical, the physician walks them to one of the agencies in town so they hopefully get the care they needed that day. Felt loved. Felt cared on. And then that affected the rest of their lives.

José Cárdenas: The medical, you and I were talking off-camera, they'll see the doctor but that's not the only benefit they get from that visit.

Billy Thrall: Our experience with vulnerable families, they don't know where to go. They're afraid. The emergency room's expensive. Even better, get them partnered with someone that can see them, hopefully, for the rest of their lives. We see lots of people who didn't know they had diabetes or high blood pressure. We hope they follow the doctor or the nursing student that we have with them, who hosts them down to one of the agencies across our state and find a doctor or someone in their area, we find out where they live. They become a patient of that place long-term.

José Cárdenas: One of the things you need for this event is volunteers. If people want to get involved, how do they do that?

Billy Thrall: City serve Arizona is the nonprofit that we started. You can go to our website. All the information is there. You can also go to HopefestPhoenix.com.

José Cárdenas: We put the date and time of the event on the screen. Thanks for joining us. Congratulations.

Billy Thrall: Thank you. [MUSIC]

Video: We want to hear from you. If you have comments, story ideas or questions, email us at Horizonte.

Billy Thrall: Co-Founder of HopeFest Phoenix

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