Arizonans for Children - a week in review May 2019

One of our favorite things at Arizonans for Children is to see updates from our Mentors.  Mentor Bridget shared this update:

"My Mentee and I participated in a walk for St. Jude children and then enjoyed being pampered later, with Jel manicures."

Thank you Bridget for showing this young lady in the foster care system how good it feels to participate in a walk that benefits the community!  Your nails look lovely ladies!

Hands on Greater Phoenix invited Arizonans for Children to the Biltmore to pick up duffel bags that were beautifully decorated and stuffed with goodness!  We will hand these out at our Back 2 School Bash in July for teens in foster care.  This is a great start to collecting what we will need to make this event a success.

Thank you Sales Force and Hands on Greater Phoenix!

The Arizonans for Children Phoenix Visitation saw our first Sack Meal donation thanks to Ariel!

I spoke with a mom that had visits with her children that day.  She was so grateful to have a meal as she had not eaten anything that day.  
So let's think about that.  How has this mom been able to spend quality time with her kids, bond and engage when she is literally starving?

With this new Volunteer opportunity - packing sack meals; there are no constrictions like we have had in the past on who and when meals can be shared with.  
Our Supervised Visits Coordinator Pam said "I have seen parents eat anything they can find from the share refrigerator.  Anything at all because they are so hungry."

If you would like to help families heal by packing sack meals - we need about 100 a day so any amount that you can share is greatly appreciated.  A sandwich, a piece of fruit and a drink.....such a simple way to make a big difference.  Gather your family, friends, co-workers and pack a few sack meals!  You can even decorate the bags with positive messages and fun images!

Our Visitation Centers often see skill sessions taking place.  

From our Director of Supervised Visits Andrea:

"During Foster Care Awareness Month, we give a round of applause to the Parent Aides of multiple partnering agencies we work with.
A Parent Aide this week incorporated hands on materials during her skills sessions while working to help reunify a mom and her infant. Skills sessions are often part of the visits we see at Arizonans for Children. Fantastic opportunities for education and coaching to help parents focus on a positive future with their kiddos!"

Being a Mentor with Arizonans for Children can be full of fun and successes but it can also come with challenges.  We support each other while debriefing and sharing success and struggles at our Mentor Forums.  A Mentor is never alone in this process!  

The generosity of our community never stops amazing me!  This week I picked up more books from author Susan Stoltz and Pygmy Giraffe Publishing.  Boxes and boxes of beautiful books.

I was at the Arizonans for Children Mesa Visitation Center on Friday and snapped this sweet picture of a dad reading to his little one:

The families love the colorful images and the fun and educational books!  The story of Edie - a sting ray that does her own thing resonates on so many levels with the children we serve.

"Edie had to be herself
Despite the hurtful chatter.
She was good and kind, a thoughtful ray.
And that's what really matters."

Every phone call, email or text from Susan makes my heart sing.  One time I asked of she would like me to save the books to hand out when she can come in and read to the families.  She said "No, get these books in the hands of the kids!"

These books will be perfect for our STAR Story Time and Reading program!  Volunteers come to the centers and read stories with the families on site.  

We have partners with Trusting Connections Nanny Agency who will be coming to the Phoenix Visitation Center once a month to read a story and do a craft activity with the families on site.  
Thank you Ana for reaching out and including Trusting Connections in our STAR program!

Every chance we get we will talk about our Volunteer opportunities!  Thanks to GCU for inviting Arizonans for Children to their employee volunteer fair.  We are a small nonprofit with a big impact and could not have the impact we do without our volunteers.  

If you hear of any volunteer fairs please let us know!  People want to help - they just need to know how.

Saturday saw the completion of a session of the STEM Pi-oneer class.  This day is so special as the kids that have come to both classes take the entire computer system with them.  

Our volunteers that facilitate these classes get the kids super excited about coding and programming!

Changing the code in Minecraft!

Our friend Chris sharing his knowledge of Excel!

Every child got a Raspberry Pi micro computer, a monitor, mouse and keyboard to take with them and the knowledge and understanding to use it!  Thanks to Christian, Steve, Peter and Chris - we could not do this without you!!!  Our goal - every single school age child in foster care to have their own computer system.

There was some seriously fun shenanigans happening at the Arizonans for Children Phoenix Visitation Center yesterday afternoon as caught on our security footage:

Stay tuned for more fun and adventures!  

Alone we can be the difference ~ together we can change the world!


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