At Arizona Helping Hands, Inc we always say that EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING, some go way beyond and do much more…. Thank you to our friend Jeremy Giles from UPS who chose to #StandUP and #MakeaDifference!! Learn what you can do to help kids in foster care at http://www.azhelpinghands.
When Jeremy Giles heard that Arizona Helping Hands was hoping to fill an entire 20×20 truck with toys for their annual toy drive, he immediately wasn’t on board with the idea.
“I’ve got a bigger truck than that,” he responded. “And we can fill it.”
Giles wasn’t joking about having a bigger truck. He’s a UPS driver in Arcadia, and he became determined to get as many toys as he could get his hands on for Arizona Helping Hands, which assists foster families and children with a variety of different needs.
At first Giles was having trouble collecting large amounts of toys for the drive. Then he had an idea; why not ask his customers for help?
“I went to eleven different customers on my route,” said Giles. “I explained what I was trying to do and asked if they’d be willing to donate some gift cards for a raffle. They immediately jumped on board.”
A raffle began to get a lot of interest from Giles co-workers at UPS and the toys started piling up. His manager and supervisor set up an office for Giles to store toys in, and it was completely filled within eight days. He moved the stash over to the building manager’s larger office, and that was almost filled as well.
Workers at UPS were a big part of the donation total, but so was the Arcadia community on Giles’s route. He drops off and picks up packages at several well-known locations, including LGO, Chelsea’s Kitchen, Even Stephens, Tacos Tequila Whiskey, Revolution Tea, Z’s Greek, Kim Anderson Design, MAME Soy Candles, FETCH Phoenix and Chaos Safety Supplies. Once he told them what he was doing, his clients went all in, giving him items to raffle and toys.
“It really became this snowball,” said Giles. “Once we started the raffle, we started getting other things to raffle off. There were third row Cardinal tickets, coyote tickets, rounds at Dove Valley Ranch Golf Club. Customers donated gift cards, toys. I would drop off deliveries and then load more boxes of toys back onto the truck at so many stops.”
By the end of the drive, UPS had donated over 1000 toys and was the largest new supporter of the holiday toy drive in 2017.
“It was really a cool thing to be a part of,” said Giles. “It was amazing to see the community come together for something like this.”