Arizona Helping Hands was formed in 1998 by Paul (deceased) and Kathy Donaldson under a simple premise – “Do One Good Deed a Day and Don’t Take Credit for it”. This was a pledge that Kathy made to her dying sister Patty Neroni . Kathy and Paul formed AHH to be the “blind” for their good deeds which have been innumerable over our many years of service to Arizonans – One Child, One Dream, One Family at a time!
HOW WE GOT IN THE BED BUSINESS
In 2013, members of the Board reached out to Kris & Joe Jacober. The Jacobers have been friends of AHH for years, are foster parents and are involved in every aspect of the foster care community. Kris founded Arizona Friends of Foster and Adoptive Parents and is the Executive Director of Arizona Friends of Foster Children. Joe runs the Recycle your Bicycle Program for boys and girls in foster care. The question was – “What can Arizona Helping Hands do to help kids in foster care?” The response – “There is NO agency in the State of Arizona that supplies families who have children literally dropped on their doorstep with beds. If you guys could supply a few beds, or cribs, that would be a HUGE assistance to the foster care community.”
We took up this mission and have supplied thousands of beds and cribs to lend our helping hand to boys and girls in foster care. We’re so happy and honored to have given these children a safe and comfortable place to sleep at night!
THE MIKE WOGAN STORY
The history of Arizona Helping Hands is not complete without the MIKE WOGAN STORY. Mike was born with congenital muscular dystrophy (as were two of his brothers) He never let this hold him back on his life journey. Upon graduating from Horizon High School, Mike received a full ride scholarship to ASU. However, his medically equipped van was on its last legs and incapable of making the daily commute. Through a local church, Kathy Donaldson learned of Mike’s need for transportation. Despite the fact that we were a very small organization at that time, struggling just to keep the lights on, Kathy and AHH committed to work to meet Mike’s needs. Through amazing efforts by Kathy and the Board, AHH was somehow able to achieve the goal and purchased a van for Mike’s use.
Mike used the van throughout his college career and graduated with honors from ASU. Upon graduation, he asked AHH if he could join our Board of Directors because he wanted to give back to the community that lent him a helping hand. He quickly had an impact on the Board and moved up to the position of Vice President. Tragically, at 22 years of age, on September 16, 2011, Mike was killed at the Reno Air Show when a plane crashed into the bleachers. Mike’s desire to reach beyond himself, to set aside the physical limitations he had and work to help others is a goal we all aspire to. We work to reach beyond our day to day concerns, to Stand UP and help others in our community. At Arizona Helping Hands, we strive TO BE LIKE MIKE!