Tag Archives: community service

Christ’s Church delivers loads of school supplies to Valley schools

Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) finished its “Operation: Support Our Schools” community initiative earlier this month after delivering more than 36,000 reams of copy paper, 15,000 boxes of tissue paper and 6,000 packages of wet wipes to 300 public elementary schools.

Christ's Church of the Valley. Operation: Support our Schools. Photo courtesy of CCV.

CCV celebrated its 30th anniversary by distributing the items to about 11,000 teachers and 300,000 students. The elementary schools that received the items were part of 22 school districts located throughout the Valley.

“Teachers were telling us how often during this time of year they run out of supplies, because the schools are under-resourced, and how they had to purchase some of these items themselves to get through the school year,” said CCV Senior Pastor Don Wilson.

CCV started promoting the program in March to more than 18,000 people and collected the donated items during 10 services on March 24 and 25.

Photo courtesy of CCV.

Founded in 1982, CCV is one church at multiple locations, including campuses in Peoria and Surprise. A third campus will open in Scottsdale this fall. Identical services are provided every weekend at each location. — Erin Saltzman


Youth of the Year nominee Crystal Ortiz

Crystal Ortiz has been a member of the Spencer D. & Mary Jane Stewart Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. since she was 5 years old.

“I can still remember the first time I went to the Boys & Girls Club, I was painfully shy and hid behind my mother until another little girl asked me to play four-square. By the end of my first day I was already more at ease and outgoing,” says Ortiz, now 17.

Club activities helped Ortiz get more involved with her community and shaped her sense of responsibility.

Crystal Ortiz. Photo by Nancy Crase/CrasePhoto.

Ortiz is one of 12 outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Youth of the Year during the “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars” event Feb. 18. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

“At my club, I am able to combine my love of service with my passion for sports through my involvement in Miracle League — a program that helps special needs children participate in sporting activities,” Ortiz says.

She also participates in healthy lifestyle programs, like SMART Girls and Keystone Club. Ortiz is also plays softball at school, is a member in DECA (a business development and preparation club) and Greens Club, which helps with restoring her community.

Ortiz volunteers at her club’s front desk, where she assists with administrative tasks and helps various visitors.

Her position has helped her develop interpersonal and professional skills. She also has gained an internship with an athletic director at her high school, Trevor G. Browne.

“I knew I always wanted to pursue a career in medicine and help people. The Boys & Girls Clubs gave me the tools and confidence to interact with others and pursue my current internship,” she says.

The club also helped Ortiz with her academic career.

“The staff and resources helped motivate me to complete my homework and know I wouldn’t be doing as well in school without it,” she says.

Ortiz plans to attend Gateway Community College to become a physical therapist.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix’ 12 clubhouses, dental clinic and outreach programs. For more information, visit bgcmp.org.

Erin Saltzman

Tomorrow: Nominee Chelsea McElhenny.

Youth of the Year nominee Sarabeth Estrada

After her parents’ divorce, Sarabeth Estrada quickly became a mother figure for her younger siblings.

Sarabeth Estrada. Photo by Nancy Crase/CrasePhoto.

At the Jerry & Helen Wisotsky/Peoria Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, she found a place where she could still be a kid.

Estrada was just 7 when she walked into the neighborhood club. “I escaped all the responsibilities at home and got to just be a kid,” says Estrada, now 15.

Estrada is one of 12 outstanding Valley youth vying to become the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix Youth of the Year during the “Today’s Kids, Tomorrow’s Stars” event Feb. 18. The event, which ultimately will chose one youth to represent the chapter at the statewide competition, will be held from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.

Ever since she can remember, Estrada has always had a passion for music, and the club helped give her the self-confidence to get involved with singing, acting and public speaking throughout her schooling.

She also learned the importance of giving back and leadership while participating in club programs like Torch Club and Keystone, community service clubs for kids and teens.

“My community has given me and my family so much. I need to do my best to give back to others who are in need,” says Estrada.

Estrada, a sophomore at Peoria High School, is involved with many extracurricular activities.

She plans to become a certified cosmetologist through a program offered at her school. She then would like to go to Eastern Arizona College to earn a business degree so she can one day own her own salon.

Every year, thousands of children benefit from after-school youth development programs, extended services and community support programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix’ 12 clubhouses, dental clinic and outreach programs. For more information, visit bgcmp.org.

Erin Saltzman

Tomorrow: Nominee Cynthia Vasquez.

Volunteers needed to assemble bikes for needy kids

A happy recipient at last year's bike giveaway. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, The Pedal Power Foundation will be conducting its 2011 bicycle assembly event. The nonprofit organization is  seeking volunteers to help assemble approximately 200 bicycles that will be distributed to underprivileged children through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix and Holdeman Elementary in Tempe.

The event will be held from 9am  to 2pm and “makes a great community service opportunity for families, churches, schools and civic organizations,” according to Mike McIlroy, President of The Pedal Power Foundation. “No previous assembly skills are required; there are plenty of other ways to help if you’re not handy with tools.”

The warehouse is located at 2010 E. University #22 in Tempe. It’s on the northeast corner of University and Smith, about half a mile east of McClintock on University.

Items to bring:

• Something to sit on (lawn chair, blanket, old towel)
• Tools (a limited supply is available for those who don’t have any)

“Dress appropriately,” says McIlroy. “It’s a dirty job! If you can make it for an hour or for the full time, we appreciate the support.”

If you can attend, or have additional questions, call 602-909-2645 or email McIlroy at mike@pedalpowerfoundation.org.

Read about last year’s bike giveaway.

School-age kids can join the fight against hunger

United Food Bank has come up with a way to teach school-age children about philanthropy and community service.

By donating one jar of peanut butter and one jar of jelly at a participating “Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive” location your child becomes a member of the Kids’ Lunch Bunch Club. New members of the club receive a certificate and a token of appreciation from participating business.

“Every night one out of four kids in Arizona goes to bed hungry,” says Bob Evans, United Food Bank President and CEO.

The program is designed to raise children’s awareness of hunger in Arizona and make them part of the solution. “This is a kids-helping-kids program,” says Evans.

Below is a list of “Peanut Butter and Jelly Food Drive” participating businesses, food drive dates and the item children who show up will receive.

AUGUST  1-31

Children’s Museum of Phoenix
215 N 7th St, Phoenix
Participation enters your child in a drawing for a free membership (admits two) at the Climber level.

Bounce U
1166 South Gilbert Rd, #110, Gilbert
Open bounce pass.

Arizona Museum for Youth
35 N Robson St, Mesa
Free admission pass, 1 per family (some restrictions apply).

My Pigsty Furniture
1528 W San Pedro #7, Gilbert
$10 off coupon and a special prize.

Superstition Springs Center
6555 E Southern Ave, Mesa
Superstition Springs Center
Special PB&J drive participation sticker.

August 1-7

1033 N Dobson Rd, Mesa
15% off purchase.

August 19-21

5000 Arizona Mills Circle, Tempe
30 minutes of unlimited game play.

1155 West Elliot Rd, Tempe
Unlimited ride wristband.

Brunswick Zone XL
1160 South Gilbert Rd, Gilbert
Coupon for one free game of bowling.

United Food Bank is a private nonprofit organization that provides hunger relief/food assistance by collecting, acquiring, storing and distributing food and related commodities through a network of partner social services agencies in the East Valley, eastern Maricopa County, Gila and Pinal counties and southern Apache and Navajo counties. Learn more.

Father of the Year – Mike Tully, CEO of AAA Arizona

Mike Tully was one of five outstanding Valley dads to be honored by the Phoenix chapters of the American Diabetes Association and the Father’s Day Council as 2011 Fathers of the Year at an awards dinner and celebration Thursday night.

These prominent Phoenix businessmen were chosen on the basis of their demonstration of responsible parenting, exemplary ability to balance family and work life and strong commitment to serving the community. Yesterday we interviewed honoree Bradley Parker.

Mike Tully, CEO of AAA Arizona

Mike Tully, CEO of AAA Arizona, and his family.

Tully, the father of two teenage girls, was surprised to be nominated for the award. He says he is fortunate not to have any close, personal ties to diabetes.

Since his nomination, he has learned a great deal about the disease and its impact, especially on children.

Tully remembers an impactful experience at one of the Father of the Year meetings, at which each father was given a teddy bear wearing a jacket hung with 120 safety pins, representing the number of shots of insulin children with type 1 diabetes must be given each week.

In an effort to raise funds for the cause, Tully sent letters to his “400 closest friends,” family and colleagues around the country. He has been amazed by the generous response he received.

With long work weeks, Tully says he looks forward to vacation times with his kids.

“Between community service-type stuff and work, trying to balance family-type stuff is critically important. So, vacation is one of the big, very very special moments in my life. We typically go on adventurous vacations. We’re typically very active on vacations and have a lot of great memories,” he says.

Tully’s two daughters, ages 15 and 12, are best friends, despite having very different personalities.

“I’ve never seen two kids get along as well,” he says. “The two never fight. We’ve been phenomenally blessed. I’m incredibly lucky, actually, to have the family I’ve got.”

Over the years, Tully says he has tried to teach his girls by example how important it is to be active in the community.

“I’m a strong, strong believer in ‘What you do is what people see, which is what they will do.’ So basically demonstrating the balance in your own life. Frankly, sometimes, when I get done with work, I’d rather drive home. Making those tradeoffs and making sure your kids understand those tradeoffs, getting involved in charities [is important].”

Tully said he wants to be sure his kids understand how fortunate they are, and the struggles others go through.

“One thing could change in your life and it could be completely different,” Tully says, “and you’d want to have people looking out for you if that ever happened to you.”

This Father’s Day, the family will embark on yet another adventurous vacation. They will be heading up to Whistler, Canada to go sightseeing for bears, canoeing down a river, and speeding down a “monster zip-line run.” — Sadie Smeck

Tomorrow: Chris Rich, president of Rich Financial Group.

Website shows ways to serve

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer recently launched a new online resource, ArizonaSERVES.gov, in response to decreased funding for support services due to the economic downturn.

Brewer, who introduced the website in her “Call to Serve” letter to Arizona residents in January, hopes that the new resource will help organizations and members of communities across Arizona collaborate to address the needs of those affected by funding changes.

ArizonaSERVES seeks to engage local faith-based and nonprofit organizations to maximize support for those in need, including the elderly, disabled and poor.

Over the past year, the ArizonaSERVES Task Force has worked to evaluate how existing resources and programs can be utilized or repurposed to provide maximum support in service areas devastated by decreased funding.

The initiative aims to provide a forum for opportunities around the issues of Service, Engagement, Responsiveness, Volunteerism, Encouragement and Support (SERVES) in communities around the state.

It focuses on five main areas: foster care, affordable child care, Child Protective Services, transportation for those in need and
elderly independence or grandparents raising grandchildren.

The website itself contains information about service opportunities, a listing of other online community resources, minutes from all meetings of the Task Force and Issue Team and community news.

ArizonaSERVES.gov is a collaborative, long-term effort to centralize resources in an attempt to facilitate community service efforts for individuals eager to reach out in a difficult financial climate. Visit the site today to see how you can serve.