Arizona Helping Hands, Amazon, and Community Come Together to Support Children in Foster Care this Holiday Season
By Lisa Padilla -
Friday Dec 11, 2020
On Tuesday, December 8th, Arizona Helping Hands (AHH) held its first-ever drive-through collection event to Fill Santa’s Sleigh with gifts for children in foster care. The event has traditionally been an open house holiday party, but due to the pandemic was modified to promote safety standards this year. Dan Shufelt, AHH President and CEO tells us that they had no idea how the new concept would be received. “Our Holiday Toy Drive has provided toys to thousands of children for the past 22 years”, Shufelt tells us. “Traditionally, businesses have hosted in-office collection drives and provided toys, games, gift cards, and more that were utilized to prepare thousands of gift packages for children in foster care. With so many companies working remotely, we were concerned on how we would fill Santa’s sleigh this year.”
With a little innovation, those fears were overcome on the evening of December 8th. In three hours, almost 200 vehicles drove through the parking lot at 3110 East Thunderbird Road in Phoenix to drop off gifts for children in foster care throughout Arizona. Vehicles filled with children, dogs, and adults were greeted by volunteer elves as they enjoyed holiday music, hot chocolate, kettle corn, and treated to giveaways from the event’s presenting sponsor – Amazon.
“Amazon is proud to give back to the communities where our employees live and work,” said Razvan Stanici, Site Leader, Amazon Logistics. “We’re honored to partner with Arizona Helping Hands and applaud their unwavering commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of thousands of children in foster care throughout the state.”
The holidays are difficult for many, but boys and girls in foster care face challenges every day of the year. We have a responsibility to give them hope, especially at the holidays. With this outpouring of support, 3,500 children in foster care will have holiday gifts to open this year.
“Our community truly joined together and stepped up. With the toys, gift cards and more that we received, we filled Santa’s Sleigh, and will be able to bring hope for the holidays to thousands of children in foster care who have been victims of abuse and neglect,” Shufelt said.
About Arizona Helping Hands
AHH is the largest provider of essential needs to Arizona’s 14,000+ children in foster care. Year-round programs provide beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, educational supplies, home safety items, and more to promote safety, permanency, and health. Primary funding for AHH programs comes from Arizona taxpayers through the state’s Qualifying Foster Care tax credit program. Married couples can donate $1,000 per year and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their Arizona tax return. For information on how to help and to make donations visit http://www.azhelpinghands.org.
Provided by Arizona Helping Hands
Photo Courtesy of Jim Sharpe