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Arizona Helping Hands, Inc

WE are THE PLACE with THE STUFF to ease the burden on boys and girls in foster care and the families who #StandUp to provide them love and safety. From beds and cribs to back to school supplies, clothing, diapers and even birthday presents. We are known as THE CARE BARN for families to receive the essential items to make life safer and more complete for children in foster care.
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc11/23/2017 @ 8:00

For me, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s a day we gather with family and friends, and express gratitude for the blessings we’ve been given. Around our table, and I hope at most of yours, the biggest thank you is for that circle of people – parents, children, friends and others who are the core of our lives. The people we share with, support, love and honor every day of the year. Thanksgiving is an outward opportunity to say, “I am grateful, I appreciate you.”

At Arizona Helping Hands, we provide basic essential items to children in Arizona’s foster care system. We meet children every day of the week whose lives have been disrupted by trauma, by abuse, by ignorant adults. Children who are so in need of a caring adult to make an impact in their lives. Children for whom Thanksgiving has a different – or in some cases, no – meaning.

Can you imagine the lives of some of the children we’ve met recently? A little 5 year-old boy removed from a house with 20 animals, living in filth – he didn’t even know how to use the toilet. Or Laura, a beautiful young lady who survived a life in a Mexican orphanage followed by years in foster homes that just didn’t quite work for her.

There are many children in foster care who are crying out for love and affection. They need that one caring adult who will make a difference in their lives, who can give these kids someone to say THANK YOU to on the fourth Thursday in November.

Until then, their thanks are for other things, items that most of us take for granted. Items like a bed – a SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP. Or a birthday present, a celebration of your existence. I shared with Laura our BIRTHDAY DREAMS program in which volunteers prepare unique, hand decorated packages for children in foster care. Laura told me that it’s so hard to describe how important this program is for these boys and girls. When Laura turned 16, her caseworker and therapist chipped in money to buy her a birthday cake. This was the first time in her life that Laura’s birthday had even been acknowledged.

Arizona Helping Hands will provide 3,000 beds to children to sleep comfortably and safely in 2017. We will celebrate 1,800 birthdays for kids like Laura whose birthdays often come and go unnoticed. And we will support and assist the foster parents who are choosing to Stand Up and be that Caring Adult for children in need. Our Home Safety Licensing program will make it easier for 800 families to pass the State’s home inspection requirements to become licensed as a foster home. A place where kids can find love and support.

When you dig into the turkey and fixings this Thanksgiving, give thanks for those who have made you who you are today. Give thanks for your family – mom, dad, kids, grandparents and others, and for your friends and support network who have surrounded you in a circle of love.

But remember the children out there who don’t have that One Caring Adult to give thanks for this year. Their little lives are relying on the compassion of our community, on people to step forward and say,
“I care”, “I will help”. There are many ways you can help kids in foster care. You can support a charity like Arizona Helping Hands that works to make their lives better every day. The State of Arizona foster care tax credit allows for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to organizations like ours. You can help and it will cost you nothing. You can donate items, volunteer and find other ways to make a difference. OR you can choose to become that One Caring Adult – to become a foster parent or adopt a child in need of your love. A child who just might give THANKS for you at next year’s Thanksgiving dinner.

I wish everyone a beautiful Thanksgiving, and hope that many more children will be able to give thanks for more than a bed or a birthday package – for a loving home filled with people who care about them.

Dan Shufelt is the President & CEO of Arizona Helping Hands. Connect with him at and learn more at
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc11/22/2017 @ 16:30
Elizabeth wrote us to say, “I want to take a moment to say thank you for all that you do. I’m a new foster Mother starting with no idea of what is what.
Your organization has been a true blessing to me. You have given me beds and for the kids birthday the gifts were fantastic. You are making it easy for me to transition into a full fledge foster Mom.

There are not enough words that say thank you enough for that you do. “

All of us at AHH are humbled by such kind words. WE are so thankful to all who support our work and make it possible to lend our HELPING HANDS to #StandUp and #MakeaDifference for foster families like Elizabeth’s. #thankyou
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc11/22/2017 @ 9:05
Foster Mom Came into pick up two sweet cases and backpacks for her two new Foster boys who arrived at her house with nothing. Arizona Helping Hands is happy to provide these items to make the boys transition a little bit easier and more comfortable. #Standup #foster
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc11/21/2017 @ 16:05
This teenager received a Birthday Dreams package from Arizona Helping Hands and wrote us to say, “Thank you so much for the birthday present! God bless you and May He multiply your work to help others like me”. As he is new to the US, he said it even more beautifully in Spanish.
He’ll be playing soccer this year at his school.
Blessings to Helping Hands,
From Foster parents!

Our Birthday program will celebrate birthdays for teens in foster care. We are always in need of gift cards and sporting equipment to help this fragile population know they are loved and cared for! #Standup #birthdaydreams
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc
Arizona Helping Hands, Inc11/21/2017 @ 8:30
Foster mom told us that foster care has so many ups and downs and that she so appreciates AHH being there with our services for boys and girls. This birthday package will make one 3 year olds birthday extra special!! #Standup #birthdaydreams
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