Monday, January 23, 2012

Gifts of Hope made an impact statewide

Across Arizona, individuals, companies and organizations stepped up to help the children and families we serve by collecting "Gifts of Hope.”

For many, the donated gifts were distributed to the child’s parents so that they could wrap the item themselves and give the gift as a part of their family time over the holidays. Some programs such as foster care and independent living often hold their own holiday parties. In Lake Havasu, their annual Mohave County Holiday Party for HRSS and STAR programs welcomed more than 250 people at the Parks & Recreation Rods and Relics Hall. Every year, community support is critical for this event. This year Lake Havasu City Frontier Communications sponsored the majority of the party expenses. Lowes of LHC came in with child friendly wooden crafts to build bird houses, games, etc. ~ lots of hammering going on! Members of the LHC Rotary Club set u[ a table with more than 200 cookies for the kiddos to decorate, plus there were 3 other craft tables, a bounce house, plenty of food and wonderful desserts, a D.J., and prize drawings. Last but not least, Santa came to visit with each child receiving a candy gift and a picture with Santa.

Stories like this came in from all over the state. In some of the Northern counties, gift donations even tripled from last year, allowing more kids than ever to benefit.
We are truly thank you to groups, large and small, and all the individuals who were involved in all of our holiday efforts. Below is a list of groups who were involved this year. Thank you to the dozens of individuals across the state who also participated. There are too many individuals to name here but please know that your support is very appreciated and you help to make the holidays brighter for our many families. Thank you!

If you are interested in participating in collection drives to collect the many items we need throughout the year, please visit If you are interested in Gifts of Hope 2012, please email Chris at to request an informational letter about this event later in the year.

Walgreens Employees (Prescott), Kappa Medical, County Bank, AZ State Savings & Credit Union, BTW Bikers of the Third Wheel, Yavapine Needles, FALA, Flagstaff Professionals, Zale Jewelers, Boy Scout Troop #210, Ross Stores Inc., ReMax Peak Properties, Little Caesars Pizza (Lake Havasu), Mohave P.C. , Frontier Communications, LHC Realtor’s Association, Havasu Regional Medical Center Auxillary, London Bridge Plaza Association, Chili’s Restaurant, Anderson Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Anderson Nissan, Anderson Toyota, Bling, Brooks and Clark, Bubba Jump, Elegante, ESSCO, ART Towing, Hair Cartel, Home Depot, Horizon Bank, IHOP, Jacklyns, Jamaica Elementary Honor Society, Lake Havasu Rotary, Lake Havasu Womens Golf Assoc., LHC Police Department, LHHS - Construction Students, LHHS – FCCLA, London Bridge Squares, Lowes, Mane Event/Lushes Lashes Salon, Men of the Moose, Relics and Rods, St. Michael's Church, The Shops - Management Team and Vendors, Titan's Fitness, Tri-State Pagent, Women of the Moose, Denny's (Kingman), Home Depot, Hot Locks Salon, Kingman Firefighters Union, Kingman Police Department, KPD 9111 Emergency Communications Center, MCC - Kingman Campus, Mission Bank, Route 66 Riders of Kingman, Bullhead city communities, Home Depot Associates, Horizon Bank - Fort Mohave, Lowes Associates, MCC - BHC - Administration, Faculty and Staff, MCC - Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, State Farm - Mavis Fulco's Office

Kimley Horn, Whole Foods (Raintree), Moments Salon, Perfect Power Solar, Crossfit Scottsdale, Norterra Salon & Spa, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Arizona Desert Goats Car Club, AZ Supreme Court, Celebrity Skin, Lillian Lottie Couture, Phoenix Fire Department, The University of Arizona Health Network - Health Plans, Phoenix School of Law- Hispanic Law Students Association, First Solar, Inc., Wesley United Methodist Church Young Adult Ministries, Stanley Consultants Inc, Manheim Phoenix, Sage, Key Club, Apache Junction Public Library, San Francisco-Federal Reserve Bank,, Gap (Superstition Springs Center), Student Academy of Audiology-ATSU Chapter, A1A Vista Tech Inc.

Carondolet Foothills Surgery Center, US Customs Office at DM, Mister Car Wash, Script Save, Pima County Procurement Office, Arizona Health Sciences Library, UA Health Network, UA Admin Services for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Rain Bird, First Solar

Thank you to those groups & organizations who were not included in the above lists. We try our best to thank all of our generous groups statewide and we apologize if you were not mentioned.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reay’s Ranch Investors Surpasses their Goal to Help AzCA Kids and Families

Reay’s Ranch Investors, Super Stop, Minit Markets and Gordon’s IGA announced this week that their 2011 campaign to raise funds for Arizona’s Children Association has set a new record. Their “To Infinity and Beyond” Campaign had a 2011 goal of $160,000 to support Arizona’s Children Association programs and services in the areas served by Reay’s Ranch Investors stores. After the last coin was counted from their “Change for Children” drive in December, Reay’s had raised a record $179,438 in 2011! “Our amazing customers, vendors and employees continue to show that even during uncertain economic times, that they are excited to support Arizona’s Children Association’s mission to ‘Protect Children and Preserve Families Across Arizona,’” said Richard Couch of Reay’s Ranch Investors. Elements of the 2011 fundraising campaign included a placard drive in stores, a golf tournament, an employee giving campaign, and two Change for Children drives. Reay’s fundraising efforts since 2006 have raised more than $656,000 for AzCA. “We continue to be blown away by the generosity of Reay’s Ranch customers, vendors and employees. They truly grasp the value of these programs to their communities and we appreciate everything they have done to support our work,” said Marc Kellenberger, Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Arizona’s Children Association. In photo above: Left to right, Michael Coughlin, president of Arizona’s Children Association, Richard Couch, chief operations officer and general manager of Reay’s Ranch, and Fred Chaffee, former President of Arizona’s Children Association.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Once in a Lifetime Trip for Kinship Families

It's not easy being a kinship caregiver, yet in Arizona there are more than 198,000 children living in households headed by grandparents or other relatives (US 2010 Census). Instead of resting or retiring, these grandparents and relative caregivers took on the responsibility of caring for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable children. Many of these families find that relearning how to parent and adjusting to a new lifestyle can be emotionally, physically, and financially challenging. Kinship, Adoption, Resource and Education (KARE) Centers provide support to kinship caregivers all over the state. That support has taken on many different forms in different areas of the state, but the KARE group in Phoenix has had one goal above all others: a grown up dream for their children…to go to Disneyland! This past Thanksgiving, that trip became a reality. The group of 17 families, made up of 72 children and adults, had been planning and fundraising for four years to raise the money to take the once in a lifetime trip. Initially, they had thought this vision was beyond their grasp as many of these families have never been to Disneyland or never have had the opportunity to even visit California. However, they worked as team, created a fund and found creative ways to add to that fund. They've sold tamales and fry bread, washed cars, baked cakes and cooked lunches. A few weeks ago, after four years of hard work, they finally reached the $20,000 they needed to cover the cost of the bus trip, two nights in a hotel and their Disneyland admission. “It was amazing to see how excited not just the kids were to visit Disneyland, but the grandparents too,” said Kinship Coordinator Joanna Marroquin who escorted the large group on the trip. “This whole trip has such a special meaning to them because it has been four years in the making. I am so amazed by their commitment and they should be truly proud of themselves.” To learn more about KARE programs statewide, visit and click on “Permanency Programs.”