The elves of the Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) collected a record number of toys this year to benefit Sunshine Group Homes in Glendale and Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa.
Directed by the ABA’s Community Service Board and organized by Community Service Board members Joshua Marriott of McCarthy Building Companies, Kerwin Kortman of Kortman Electric, David Jones of W.E. O’Neil, and Jon Schwab of Sundt Construction, more than 400 children received gifts of clothing, toys and toiletries at this sensitive time of year.
Valley general contractors such as McCarthy and Kitchell submitted traditional on-the-street bids for donations, and were overwhelmed with the response from fellow ABA members and other industry affiliates outside of the organization.
Thousands of toys and more than $2,250 in cash and gift cards were collected. Early in the morning on Dec. 19, members of the Community Service Board and employees of TD Industries gathered at TD Industries’ Tempe warehouse to load the unwrapped gifts into two trucks provided by TD Industries and Sundt.
After decorating the trucks in their holiday finest, they began the journey to Calvary Church in Glendale, which offered its front lobby to the administrative staff of Sunshine Group Homes to sort and wrap the donated toys.
“We were completely surprised at the number of toys collected by the Arizona Builders’ Alliance,” said Simon Kottoor, director of Sunshine Group Homes. “In the past 18 years, this is the best Christmas we have ever had. Going into this holiday season, we were concerned that we would not be able to provide gifts to the children beyond the daily necessities. Now we are able to have gifts under the tree.”
For almost two decades, Sunshine Residential and Group Homes in Glendale have provided safe and structured out-of-home placement for abused or neglected children from 4 to 18 years of age.
Four companies volunteered to sponsor the family units of Sunshine Acres: Wilson Electric, McCarthy, Corbins Electric and Sundt. Since 1954, Sunshine Acres Children’s Home provides a stable environment for homeless or abandoned children and young adults up to age 19.
Founded by Rev. Jim and Vera Dingman, the organization is funded entirely by donations and does not solicit on its own behalf. Each company was assigned a Sunshine Acres family and 20-25 children ranging in age from 2 to 19, and received a list of the children’s Christmas wishes.
The tags included everything from clothing to toys to toiletries, so Wilson Electric hung gift tags on the Christmas tree in its front lobby with each child’s wish. Employees picked out the tags and brought in gifts.
Project teams sponsored children individually, or did dollar drives or gift card collections to purchase the additional items needed. Others, such as McCarthy, held bake sales or other fundraisers over the past month in addition to collecting donated gifts.
On Dec. 21, employees from these four companies delivered their wrapped presents to Sunshine Acres and placed them under the Christmas tree in the gymnasium. The children knew that they were receiving gifts at a Christmas party that night, but they didn’t know that Santa would be stopping by to personally deliver the presents and pause for a quick picture with each child.
They also didn’t know that Scottie Poulson, son of Corbins Electrics’s Greg Poulson collected 900 Arizona State University t-shirts as part of his Eagle Scout project, which was handed out to the children in addition to the wrapped presents.
ABA represents more than 350 contractors, suppliers, and professional service firms across Arizona. With offices in Phoenix and Tucson, the ABA is dedicated to professional development programs to support productivity and profitability in the construction industry.