Here’s how you can help during the COVID-19 crisis

Business News | 26 Mar |

COVID-19 has seemingly put the world at a standstill, but many Valley nonprofits continue aiding the less fortunate, despite the chaos. While many fundraising events and drives have been postponed or canceled, there are still dozens of ways the community can continue to help while “social distancing”.

Here is a list of local organizations that are asking the community to contribute and keep crucial programs running through various types of donations.

Arizona Animal Welfare League

The Arizona Animal Welfare League is looking for wet or dry kitten and puppy food. Kitten season begins as temperatures rise, and AAWL anticipates it will foster more than 1,300 kittens and almost 400 puppies this year. Some of these young animals will come with their mothers but many will come alone. In a short time, AAWL will have more than 200 puppies and kittens in foster on any given day. With the lack of supplies on store shelves and distributors placing orders on hold or backorder, there is a real fear AAWL won’t be able to feed all of its foster animals if it doesn’t receive donated supplies. The donated wet or dry food does need to specifically be labeled as puppy or kitten food and not for dogs or cats. AAWL’s adult animals are OK for the time being and AAWL would love for those supplies to still be on shelves for the cat and dog owners in the community.

Arizona’s Children Association

AzCA, one of the oldest and largest statewide child welfare and behavioral health nonprofit agencies in the state, is looking to the community for emergency funding to aid foster youth and families facing difficult circumstances. These funds will allow the agency to make sure individuals are current on their utility bills and rent, as well as make sure they have gas money to get to work and food in their pantries. AzCA serves more than 40,000 children, individuals and families in all 15 counties annually. Donate at ArizonasChildren.org/Creating-Connections-in-Chaos. 

Arizona Helping Hands

AzHH has decided to halt in-kind donations (like clothing, toys, etc.) and is asking people to hold off on bringing items by for the next few weeks. However, the organization is encouraging people to still make monetary donations. It has decided to remain open on a very limited basis and continue to serve children in foster care to the best of its ability. There are still 14,000+ children in foster care who depend on these services and the nonprofit will continue to rely on donors for support. Donate at azhelpinghands.org/aztaxcredit. 

Arizona Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

In response to school closings, Arizona Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs of East Valley – Metro Phoenix) have opened several local clubs during school hours to serve their members and the greater community. The Clubs are primarily focused on providing childcare for healthcare workers and first responders who do not have the option to stay home and care for their children. Parents who are able to stay home with their children are asked to keep them home. Boys & Girls Clubs the Valley leadership is working with the Arizona Department of Health Services to ensure compliance with all safety recommendations.

Those wishing to help can make financial donations and contribute cleaning supplies to support staff and keep Clubs open.

• Donations to support Club operations can be made online here: https://bgcmp.org/donate/

• Donations of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers can be brought to one of the clubs that are currently open. Please refer to this link for the most up-to-date list of clubs remaining open: www.bgcmp.org/updates.

Chandler Compadres

The Chandler Compadres is a group of community leaders who donate their time, resources, talents and money to help kids and families in need who live in Chandler and the East Valley. The group fundraises for 7 core beneficiaries, 2 of which are accommodating families during school closures:

• Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley is opening local clubs during school hours to help families cope with the schedule changes. Clubs open during the day will provide 2 meals for the day and a snack. For a list of clubs with updated hours, visit BGCMP.org/Updates.

• ICAN Positive Programs for Youth remains open to members for all daily services. To maintain operations for children running smoothly,  the organization asks the community to donate Clorox wipes and other necessary disinfectant agents. For more information, visit ICANAZ.org.

To donate to the Compadres or see a full list of beneficiaries, please visit ChandlerCompadres.org/Donate. 

Child Crisis Arizona

Child Crisis Arizona’s emergency placement services are still fully operational serving the community’s most vulnerable children and youth during this national health crisis. Many have asked how they can provide help during this critical time.

Here are some ways the community can help from home:

1. Financial support utilizing the AZ state tax credit.

Donations can still qualify for the 2019 AZ tax credit and provide immediate funds to care for children. Child Crisis Arizona is a Qualified Foster Care Organization. QFCO code: 10012

2. Make an in-kind donation.

At this time our biggest needs are: Non-perishable food, restaurant gift cards for takeout/order in, hand sanitizer, bleach, Clorox wipes, masks, gloves, diapers and baby wipes, K-6th grade educational workbooks, children’s craft activities, new board games, seeds, flowers and gardening supplies. Donations can be dropped off curbside from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at 817 N. Country Club in Mesa & 402 N. 24th Street in Phoenix.

3. Explore what it takes to be a foster parent by attending a small group meet and greet.

Now more than ever children in foster care need stable, loving homes. The training and orientation videos are available online. Email adoption.foster@childcrisisaz.org for more information.

4. Apply to do meaningful work.

Child Crisis Arizona needs passionate individuals interested in working with children and families. See our list of employment opportunities at https://childcrisisaz.org/who-we-are/careers/.

We believe working together we can continue to address the ongoing critical needs of children and families to keep them cared for and safe. We want to thank the individuals and businesses that have reached out to us for their unwavering commitment to those who are vulnerable in our community. For a full list of ways our services are impacted by this crisis, visit https://childcrisisaz.org/how-you-can-help/covid-19-updates/.

Humane Society of the United States

Actions the HSUS is taking to respond to coronavirus include:

• HSUS has been moving quickly to coordinate plans for transfer of supplies, food and other resources to assist institutions in need, and are encouraging supporters to help pets in their community, whether through fostering, adoption or spreading the word about local shelter needs and pet food banks. HSUS also assembled a toolkit to help shelter and rescue groups respond to the needs of their communities.

• HSUS is working with state and local officials around the country to ensure animal needs are included in their planning for response to the coronavirus crisis. This is essential as animals rely on humans for care in animal shelters, pet stores, laboratories and zoos around the country.

• HSUS’ Pets for Life program, which supports pet owners in underserved areas, has delivered additional supplies to senior and immobile clients and is modifying veterinary appointments to maintain those valuable services within guidelines. HSUS is shifting its client visits to phone outreach and modifying our delivery of food and medications to avoid close contact.

• HSUS is working to directly assist where we can across the country. For example, in Michigan we assisted with the placement of six neglected pigs who had no housing options due to constraints from COVID-19 and provided $500 to their destination sanctuary to build them housing. In Oregon, its state director jumped into action when she received a request for help from an elderly man who had the coronavirus but needed food and other supplies for his dogs, cats and rabbits. Within hours, he had the supplies he needed.   

• HSUS is asking Congress to act quickly on an important bill that would ensure that millions of animals held in research laboratories and enterprises like puppy mills and roadside zoos across the country are not forgotten during the mandatory shutdowns.

• On an international level, HSUS is amplifying its longstanding view that wildlife trafficking is a dangerous vector for the spread of diseases and viruses like COVID-19.

Hunkapi Programs

Hunkapi, based in Scottsdale, brings to the valley a variety of horse powered activities for children and adults including therapeutic riding lessons, equine assisted psychotherapy and garden therapy. The farm is committed to continuing care and providing a safe harbor for our community in the wake of COVID-19. To do so, the nonprofit has launched the Sustainable Supporters Sticker Club, a great way to make a sustainable impact in the community while getting a fun, new sticker every month. For each month that you donate $20 or more, Hunkapi will send you a cute farm-inspired sticker fitting a different monthly theme. For more information, please visit Hunkapi.org/Donate. 

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation

Hospitals are hit hard during this time, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital protects the sick and injured children that might be vulnerable to COVID-19. Contributions to the Hospital’s greatest area of need, The Hope Fund, will help the Hospital carry out its important work as doctors and staff continue protecting the community. The Hope Fund helps us launch critical new programs, purchase essential equipment, conduct cutting-edge research, provide charitable care and much more. The power of unrestricted giving through The Hope Fund is immeasurable. It ensures that support is available where and when it is needed most so the Hospital can continue to enhance the care it provides to patients. Donate at phoenixchildrensfoundation.org/hope-fund/.

The Singletons

The Singletons support single parent households battling cancer and in times of crisis these families are in need of essential materials.

Local families are in dire need of the following items:

• Toilet paper

• Laundry Detergent

• Paper towels

• Kleenex 

• Liquid antibacterial hand soap

• All EPA-registered disinfectants such as Lysol spray or cleaning supplies that have Clorox.  

Every donation is essential for Singletons families right now. The Singletons families are of the most vulnerable with compromised immune systems making them more susceptible to attracting illnesses. The organization’s supplies are down due to shortages in stores and a shortage in donations of items. If you are able to donate any spare items please call and leave a message at (480)818-5285 or email joanne@thesingletonsaz.org. No donation too small.

Valley of the Sun United Way

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is affecting Maricopa County in unprecedented ways. This leaves many families and individuals struggling more than ever with how to secure food, childcare, and rent money – also causing local nonprofits to be faced with unforeseen demands and challenges.

Valley of the Sun United Way is working with local foundations, businesses, media organizations and others to create the new ‘United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund’, which its local health and human services and education nonprofits, and school partners, will be able to utilize to address the county’s most pressing needs.

“This is an accelerated approach to how United Way works every day. We partner with nonprofits and schools to identify the most pressing needs, then mobilize the caring power of our community to meet those needs,” said Valley of the Sun United Way President and CEO Carla Vargas Jasa. “Today, our community needs resources that are available quickly and can be nimble to meet the fast-changing environment that many of Maricopa County’s health and human service and education organizations are facing right now.”

By working with its partner organizations that know and serve those most impacted by COVID-19, United Way will quickly allocate funds to address the county’s most pertinent emerging needs in real time. This week, United Way held two virtual forums with more than 100 representatives from its nonprofit partner agencies who shared needs, concerns, ideas and support for one another. They are looking to United Way to continue to convene all concerned, and coordinate with corporate and individual donors to ensure services are provided to those who need them most.

“This is a community-wide effort of epic proportions – and we are experiencing challenges that we have never seen before,” said Michael Hughes, CEO of A New Leaf, which provides a broad spectrum of services that help individuals and families experiencing homelessness and more. “We are grateful that United Way has brought us all together to truly understand what we are facing as a community of nonprofits. This is the best way for us all to move forward, together, to fill immediate needs and eliminate the duplication of precious resources. We’re all doing our part to make sure those who need help maintain access to it.”

To learn more about the United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund or to make a donation, visit https://vsuw.org/covid19fund or text UnitedFund to 51555.

To contribute to the Arizona Community Foundation, visit www.azfoundation.org/covid19.

Mesa United Way has also launched a Fund specific to needs in that community and is collaborating with the ‘United for the Valley COVID-19 Fund’ to ensure a communitywide response. If you live in Mesa and would like to donate to that fund, visit www.mesaunitedway.org.

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