Arizona Helping Hands exists to bring hope to the 14,000 children currently in the state’s foster care system. Along with our programs that provide basic needs including beds, cribs, clothing, diapers and school supplies, we add a big dose of love with our Birthday Dreams Program and Holiday Toy Drive. It’s these two activities that truly tell children in foster care that they are important and loved. This month we want to bring Hope for the Holidays to thousands of boys and girls in foster care.
2020[KP1] will mark our 22nd annual Holiday Toy Drive, and again we will rely on our community partners to let children in foster care know that Santa will arrive at their house. In 2019, we provided gift packages to 6,500 boys and girls. We set a much smaller goal for 2020, hoping that despite these days of the pandemic, we will generate the resources to provide two toys and a book to 3,500 children in foster care this December. With businesses working remotely, and holiday celebrations that served as collection opportunities not being held, we face a big challenge, but we are hopeful our friends will rise to the occasion this year.
In past years, our Fill Santa’s Sleigh holiday[KP2] party was held at our warehouse and attended by many visitors who delivered toys, games, books and puzzles to help fill those gift packages. This year’s event will change, out of necessity, to a drive-through collection party to be held on Tuesday December 8th from 5 to 8PM. Guests will be shepherded through our parking lot, passing by carolers and a photo op with Santa after dropping off their donated items to Fill Santa’s Sleigh for children in foster care. We are hoping for a traffic jam at 3110 East Thunderbird Road in Phoenix as a caring community shows their heart to help and packs our box truck with holiday joy and hope for children in foster care.
Bringing hope to children who have lived a life that has been filled with trauma is the mission that Arizona Helping Hands takes on year round. We all have an opportunity this holiday season to bring Hope for the Holidays to boys and girls who deserve a little extra love and support. Will you help us make sure that no child wonders why Santa didn’t show up at their home this December 25th?
[KP1]We might include Holiday Toy Drive so maybe say something like “This year, we are hosting the 22nd Annual Holiday Toy Drive…”[KP2]Maybe include “Fill Santa’s Sleigh” somewhere?
Dan Shufelt is the President & CEO of Arizona Helping Hands, the largest provider of basic needs to Arizona’s children in foster care. Learn more about the Organization at www.azhelpinghands.org and contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org