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‘The way the Savior loved’ — new welfare and self-reliance facility dedicated in Tucson metro


MARANA, Arizona — Calling Deseret Industries “a place of second chances,” Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, dedicated on Wednesday, Feb. 9, a new Welfare and Self-Reliance Services facility in Marana, Arizona, a suburb just north of Tucson.

“As far as merchandise is concerned, Deseret Industries is unquestionably a place of second chances,” he said prior to the dedicatory prayer, ”but if that is as far as we take the DI story, then we’re certainly only scratching the surface, because it is not simply articles that come here to find a new lease on life; far more importantly, it is the people.”

Deseret Industries is a nonprofit enterprise owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It serves as a thrift store and donation center. Available resources help Church leaders assist individuals with barriers to self-reliance by providing work training opportunities and job placement services. Clothing and household items are often provided at no charge to help leaders care for the poor and needy in a community.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, dedicates a new welfare and self-reliance facility in Marana, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2022.

Bishop L. Todd Budge, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, dedicates a new welfare and self-reliance facility in Marana, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2022.

Credit: Scott Adair

The renovated building at 3850 W. Orange Grove Road also houses the Church’s Family Services, Development Counseling Services and Employment Services. The 24,000-square-foot facility replaces one that was located near downtown Tucson for 25 years and nearly quadruples the size. It is about 15 minutes west of the Tucson Arizona Temple, which opened in 2017. 

A refuge and place of renewal

In his dedicatory prayer, Bishop Budge said: “In this beautiful and vibrant city, which is blessed year-round with sun and warmth, may this new facility and the work that will take place herein add a welcomed and cherished source of light and peace to the community.”

He continued: “May it serve as a refuge and a place of renewal for those whose hearts are broken, whose bodies or minds are challenged, and whose souls are weighed down. We express, to Thee, our profound thanks for the gift of Thy Divine Son and for His matchless life filled with acts of mercy and charity, which we yearn to emulate. We know that it is His work that will be carried out within these walls.”

Other local leaders, speaking at the dedication program prior to the dedicatory prayer, shared stories of how the Church’s welfare resources, which will be available at the facility, have blessed their own lives or the lives of others they have known. Those speaking included Douglas Greenland, bishop of the Red Rock Ward, Marana Arizona Stake; Debera Nicodemus, Tucson Arizona North Stake Relief Society president; and Kenneth Moeller, president of the Marana Arizona Stake.

Debera Nicodemus, Tucson Arizona North Stake Relief Society president, speaks at the dedication of the new Welfare and Self-Reliance Services facility in Marana, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2022.

Debera Nicodemus, Tucson Arizona North Stake Relief Society president, speaks at the dedication of the new Welfare and Self-Reliance Services facility in Marana, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2022.

Credit: Scott Adair

Bishop Greenland said perhaps the most important thing about Deseret Industries is the way people are treated. 

“They treat people in a way the Savior would want people to be treated — they’re treated with kindness, they are taught with compassion, they are loved, they are taken care of — and I think that’s what makes Deseret Industries important in our community and special to those who use it.” 

Sister Nicodemus gave examples of how lives of individuals and families have improved because of caring individuals associated with the Church’s welfare services.

“Deseret Industries changes lives; it teaches individual self-esteem, self-worth and confidence,” she said. “It is a place where all who enter are not judged but are seen as sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father who loves them and who wants them to be happy and succeed at life.”

Inspiring confidence and hope

President Moeller reminded those in attendance that persons of any faith can receive help at this facility in becoming self-sufficient, and he encouraged those in attendance to use the resources provided to “better our fellow man, lift up the hands that hang down and inspire confidence and hope in those who seem to not have it.”

Members of the Tucson Arizona West Stake tour the sorting area of a new Deseret Industries in Marana, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2022. From left, Bishop Taylor Bentley and wife, Julie; Darron Butler, a job coach at the facility, and wife, Tamara.

Members of the Tucson Arizona West Stake tour the sorting area of a new Deseret Industries in Marana, Arizona, on Feb. 9, 2022. From left, Bishop Taylor Bentley and wife, Julie; Darron Butler, a job coach at the facility, and wife, Tamara.

Credit: Scott Adair

The Tucson Deseret Industries opened to the public Thursday, Feb. 10, and is the fourth store in Arizona. It has eight full-time employees and 60 enrolled associates. The facility will serve Church members in 16 local stakes and others throughout the community.

Tom McKinney, CEO with Interfaith Community Services, and Tim Kromer, director of outreach and partnerships, attended the program and afterward said they look forward to working with the Church in serving the community in greater Tucson and throughout Pima County.

McKinney said he believes it will be a “great partnership,” adding that they previously appreciated the help they received for the food bank the interfaith group operates. “The more that we can wrap services around people that are in need, the better for them,” he said. “And wherever the services can come, if we can make it easy for them to get from one to another, it’s perfect.”

Blaine Maxfield, managing director of Church Welfare and Self-Reliance Services, added: “As we dedicate a place like this, it is a place where people can feel God’s love. So, when they come in — with the people they meet and the volunteers they meet — they feel something. It’s the way the Savior loved. And I loved that message tonight.”

The newly renovated Deseret Industries building is at 3850 W. Orange Grove Road, Tucson, Arizona. It was dedicated on Feb. 9, 2022.

The newly renovated Deseret Industries building is at 3850 W. Orange Grove Road, Tucson, Arizona. It was dedicated on Feb. 9, 2022.

Credit: Scott Adair

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