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For foster kids, Arizona Helping Hands provides free beds, clothing, supplies

STORY HIGHLIGHTS: Foster families get new beds, cribs for kids in their charge

unnamedWhen Glenda Dillard moved to Arizona from Chicago, it didn’t take much to  persuade her to resume her role as a foster parent. But a spare bed and other child-rearing gear didn’t make the move with her. So when she agreed to open her new home to foster children, a caseworker at the Department of Child Safety pointed her to Arizona Helping Hands.

The non-profit’s mission — to support foster families with cribs, beds, clothing, school supplies and, at the holidays, toys — has exploded in the past two years.  It also  relies on businesses and organizations  for diaper supplies and a birthday supply program. In July 2013, the non-profit gave away seven beds. A year later, the monthly total was 44. By June of this year, the number was 197. Stunned, the agency capped the monthly donation at 150 beds. In 2014, the agency received $5,000 from Season for Sharing, which bought new beds or cribs for 25 foster children. “We had to put on the brakes,” said Dan Shufelt, president and chief executive officer of the Scottsdale-based charity. The demand was straining the resources of the small non-profit.

Dillard showed up in October to collect one of those beds, picking up a mattress and bedding, in anticipation of a 5-year-old boy being placed with her. “They really helped me,” Dillard said. “I’m not used to people being this nice,” she said, adding that the agency provided “just a little more love.” In addition to new bedding, she went home with a book bag full of school supplies. She’ll benefit again from the agency’s help at Christmas, when Arizona Helping Hands will provide 5,600 toys to  DCS for distribution at various child-welfare offices. The toys were piled high at the agency’s Scottsdale warehouse this fall,   awaiting delivery. They included 2,000 Legos, 660 World Wrestling Entertainment action figures, 56 Matchbox Adventure Links — all destined to make the holidays a little brighter for kids displaced from their homes.

, The Republic | azcentral.com11:47 a.m. MST November 24, 2015

Mission Statement

To support foster and indigent families at times of crisis or need by providing to them basic essentials such as bedding, clothes, personal effects, holiday and special occasion toys, school supplies and emergency assistance. We also act as a resource helping to connect families to other community based services including foster care enrichment and support providers.

AHH, 7850 E Gelding Dr Suite 500, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 ~ (480) 889-0604