Children crowd the toy and stuffed animal desk at the 24th annual Hope Fest, where families in need can receive free food, clothing, health screenings and toys at the Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. Jordan Glenn / for the Arizona Daily Star

Spend the weekend spreading some hope. 

The 26th annual Hope Fest will take over a former Holiday Inn at 4550 S. Palo Verde Road, offering medical services, food, clothing, haircuts and hygiene items to low-income and homeless Tucsonans. There will not be any dental services this year. 

Hope Fest is a collaboration among numerous nonprofits, government agencies, faith groups and businesses. It takes between 1,200 and 1,500 volunteers to make it happen. 

You can join the ranks as a volunteer or swing by Hope Fest's new location, the H.S. Lopez Family Foundation Center of Opportunity at 4550 S. Palo Verde Road, to participate in a donation drive 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26. 

Bring gently-used clothing, canned food, bottled water, stuffed animals and personal hygiene items to the center for the annual "Pack the Parking Lot Donation Drive." 

"Everything collected Friday is given out the next day,"  says Lisa Chastain, the event director.

The event on Saturday also provides individuals a chance to connect with various social service agencies. 

"This makes a tremendous impact in the sense that there are all of these services under one roof," says Chastain.  

The new location for this year's Hope Fest anticipates the Spring 2019 opening of the Center of Opportunity, which will house a new Gospel Rescue Mission shelter and partner with other agencies to provide medical and dental services, connections to government benefits, legal aid and workforce development, among other services, Chastain says. 

"We'll have exactly what Hope Fest offers for people but on a daily basis," she adds. 

You can still sign up to volunteer at Hope Fest (do that at hopefest.com). Jobs include everything from sorting clothing to hosting visitors on Saturday.  

"We never turn a volunteer away," Chastain says. 


If you go

What: Hope Fest

When: Pack the Parking Lot Donation Drive 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26; Hope Fest 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27

Where: The Center of Opportunity, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road

More info: Visit hopefest.com to learn more and to sign up to volunteer