We wish we didn’t need your support, but…

I enjoy sharing the work we do every day at Arizona Helping Hands with our community. I believe it’s important to spread the word of a small charity making a BIG difference for the 15,000+ children in foster care in Arizona. A Safe Place to Sleep, a Backpack to start the school year, a Birthday gift and more all add up to make a huge impact on the lives of kids who have been abused and neglected. These boys and girls, the victims of actions by people who claim to be adults, deserve every Helping Hand we can provide.

Discipline, homework, getting them out of bed and ready for school, or to doctor appointments and more falls to my daughters or son-in-law. All the tough pieces are done by others and I can bask in the glow of love from my grandson and granddaughter. When – at my advanced age – I tire of the energy required to parent 24/7 I can send them home. It’s almost too good to be true – all of the fun with little of the responsibility. Who could ask for a better arrangement?

WHAT WE DO

Our numbers document the enormity of the work we do – in our service to kids in foster care we have provided 2,300+ cribs to infants, most of whom have come out of the NICU with substance abuse issues; 6,600+ twin beds to give youngsters a spot of safety – their own bed to lay down on at night; 5,000 children with birthday gifts to celebrate their special day, and much more. And we have done it all without any support from Federal, State or local government.

Like most charities, we are left telling our tales of good deeds, and begging for support from everyone we can to help us keep the lights on, and to push the next bed out the back door for Samantha or Joey.

After a recent blogpost I wrote was published in the Arizona Republic, I received a note from a reader. She told me that “I get so sick of all the do gooders out there begging for help with everything. Arizona taxpayers already pay families to take care of children, I pay my taxes, so I believe I have given enough.”

I too pay taxes, I too am frustrated that more of my tax dollars don’t go to help kids in foster care. You may not know that almost half of the children in Arizona’s foster care system are placed with kinship providers (mostly grandparents) who receive no governmental assistance for taking in and supporting children in foster care. This presents a huge hardship on many who are living on fixed income, another reason that Arizona Helping Hands does EVERYTHING we can to help.

I believe that helping kids with basic needs in a life that’s been disrupted by the actions of ignorant adults is a worthy mission, and one that deserves community support.

I guess you’d have to call me one of the “do-gooders” that begs for help with everything. I believe that helping kids with basic needs in a life that’s been disrupted by the actions of ignorant adults is a worthy mission, and one that deserves community support. I apologize for begging, but when it comes to helping that little baby I held just this morning who was born addicted to methamphetamines, or the teenager who is struggling with self-esteem issues after being removed from a toxic environment, my pride goes out the window.

I believe in our work, I believe in supporting children to give them a better chance at success. I wish we didn’t need your support, or have to beg for it, BUT…

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 atwww.azhelpinghands.org and contact Dan at dshufelt@azhelpinghands.org

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As long drugs, alcohol, abuse and neglect persist, there will be a need for foster care. Whether you need a hand or want to lend one, get in touch. Together we can make a difference.

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