5 local charities in Scottsdale help thousands of kids in foster care go back to school

Students from all over the Valley attended the Arizona Helping Hands backpack destruction event Saturday, July 23. (Submitted photo)

Students from all over the Valley attended the Arizona Helping Hands backpack distribution event Saturday, July 23. (Submitted photo)

Cars were lined up around the building at Arizona Helping Hands warehouse in the Scottsdale Airpark on Saturday, July 23.

More than 800 backpacks were distributed in this first session, the first of three distribution days, that included foster care families, group homes and DCS caseworkers.

Arizona Friends of Foster Children, Voices for CASA Children, and AASK came together with Arizona Helping Hands to collaborate as partners in this program, according to a press release.

Dan Shufelt

Dan Shufelt

“All of these agencies support the foster care community. By joining together we can more effectively provide for their back to school needs.  Promotion of this donor opportunity through all the Organization websites has increased our visibility,” said Dan Shufelt, Arizona Helping Hands president and CEO.

“We have much greater buying power as a team, and to provide this many backpacks it only makes sense to utilize our 8,000 square foot warehouse for delivery and distribution.”

In addition to the backpacks, the Assistance League of Phoenix has joined in on the project. During three evenings over the coming weeks, 216 children will be provided with necessary clothing basics to begin the new school year through their Operation School Bell program. To learn more about Assistance League of Phoenix efforts, go to alphx.org.

Upcoming backpack distributions are from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday July 29 and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 30 at Arizona Helping Hands, 7850 E. Gelding Drive No. 500.

“We are so thrilled that our community of charity partners, donors and volunteers recognize the importance of this program and are all working together to start the school year right for youngsters who have experienced so many traumatic and disruptive issues,” Mr. Shufelt said.

“We need to do right by these kids, this is a great opportunity to show that we care.”

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