Arizona Helping Hands teams up to provide school supplies

(Submitted Photo)

Arizona Helping Hands is teaming up with three other organizations to provide backpacks filled with school supplies for children who are in foster care.

According to a press release, more than 3,000 children have already applied for these backpacks, which will be distributed from the AHH warehouses, 7850 E Gelding Drive in Scottsdale, from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, July 21, Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29.

There are more than 17,000 kids in foster care in Arizona. In 2016, AHH teamed with Arizona Friends of Foster Children, Voices of Foster Children and Aid to Adoption of Special Kids to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to 5,000 boys and girls, a release states.

This year, they want to exceed that amazing accomplishment and assist even more kids throughout Arizona.

Backpacks will also be provided to the Department of Child Safety Central Region, Prescott Valley, Flagstaff, Tucson and other statewide offices.

Navajo Child Services and other tribal offices also will receive bulk distributions, taking this year’s number well above the 5,000 mark if the community support can make it possible.

“The DCS Central Region is so appreciative of the backpacks that are provided by Arizona Helping Hands and their partners. These backpacks provide confidence to the children we serve to start the new school year fully prepared,” Pam Harris, DCS Central Region Community Coordinator said in a prepared statement.

“It is imperative that these children are equipped with the essentials to ensure their success and AHH makes this happen. Having the supplies they need allows children in foster care to feel a sense of normalcy and not feel left out. Thank you to all at Arizona Helping Hands for the time and effort you put into this program and all you do for boys and girls in foster care.”

This year’s Back to School Drive has been a community effort and coming down the home stretch many are stepping up to lend their Helping Hands.

Businesses including General Mills, Hollister, MC Residential, Stryker and others have held collection drives to gather backpacks and supplies.

Wells Fargo, Troon Golf, Philadelphia Insurance Companies and more have volunteered to sort supplies and pack them in the backpacks. Executive Council Charities matched corporate sponsorship funds from El Chorro, Babbo and more.

Individuals also can assist by buying a backpack filled with supplies for as little as $25 at Donations are still needed to fill all of the requests and help kids in foster care go Back to School.

“Arizona Helping Hands is always collaborating with community partners to more efficiently serve children and families. The Department of Child Services refers to us as ‘the care barn,’” Dan Shufelt, president and CEO of AHH, said in a prepared statement

“We are the place with the stuff to help these children. Our 8,000-square-foot warehouse is bursting at the seams with supplies to help to make these families lives more comfortable and safe. From beds and cribs, to clothing and diapers to home safety items, we have it all.”

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