FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good,” recently surprised shoppers across the Valley by paying their grocery bills as part of their annual “Give It Forward” campaign to promote Arizona Gives Day. In total, FirstBank covered the cost of nearly $8,000 worth of grocery bills.
When customers arrived at three Fry’s locations in Gilbert, Ahwatukee, and Goodyear on March 25 to pick up their online orders, FirstBank and Fry’s staff delivered their bagged groceries and notified them that FirstBank had covered their entire bill. In return, FirstBank asked families to consider “giving it forward,” even if it’s just $5, to a charity of their choice during this year’s Arizona Gives Day. The annual 24-hour online giving campaign organized by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits will be held on April 6, this year.
“Last year’s Arizona Gives Day came at a time when nonprofits were beginning to struggle with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic, and the community truly stepped up to help these organizations,” said Joel Johnson, East Valley Market President at FirstBank. “We hope this act of kindness will inspire Arizonans to once again show their support for a nonprofit they care about, no matter how big or small the donation.”
This is the fifth year FirstBank has done its “Give it Forward” campaign to promote Arizona Gives Day. Last year, FirstBank surprised pet owners at a veterinary clinic by paying their vet bills. In 2019, FirstBank employees posed as restaurant servers to pay for patrons’ tabs. In 2018, the bank pumped free fuel for drivers. Thanks in part to these efforts, Arizona Gives Day has experienced year-over-year increases in new donors and donations.
FirstBank has been the presenting partner of Arizona Gives Day since its inception in 2013, helping the program raise more than $23 million for Arizona nonprofits. In 2020, the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits with FirstBank’s support, promoted and fundraised a Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund to raise additional money for nonprofits who missed out on crucial funding. The result was a record-setting Arizona Gives Day, with $6.1 million raised for over 900 nonprofits. For more information about Arizona Gives Day or to make a donation, visit AZGives.org.
Arizona Gives Day is April 6 and giving is underway now
United Cerebral Palsy of Central Arizona (UCP), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to helping children and adults who have a wide array of disabilities, is once again participating in Arizona Gives Day, and is featuring 8-year-old Aurora as the face of its campaign.
Aurora is a beam of light the minute she walks into a room. Despite being born with chromosomal abnormalities that caused her to have several challenges including vision impairment and developmental delays, she continues to work hard every day to learn to overcome her challenges and do things in a new way. It has been critical for Aurora to never interrupt her progress in therapy despite this pandemic we have all been living in.
Last month, UCP opened its doors to a brand new pediatric therapy clinic. The clinic is located inside Ability 360, where Aurora is now receiving all her therapy services. For the grand opening ceremony, UCP gave the important task of cutting the ribbon to Aurora.
During a pandemic, the need for support is even greater. As the world began experiencing a life-changing pandemic, UCP found itself operating at full scale, continuing to provide critical pediatric therapy services via telehealth to hundreds of children including Aurora. They did all of this while operating at a loss in some cases, all to ensure families were supported and continued to receive services.
“Aurora’s story paints a larger picture. Families like hers, who need our services, rely on our staff—pandemic or not,” said Brenda Hanserd, CEO. “UCP pushes on despite the pandemic. The needs of our children and families continue, so essential therapy services cannot be stopped. We will always find a way to keep changing lives, no matter the circumstances. We need the support of our community now more than ever as we continue to serve children with disabilities.”
UCP’s goal is to reach $10,000 by midnight on April 6, Arizona Gives Day, to support the organization’s therapy programs and operational expenses. Interested donors can make an early gift today by clicking this link: https://www.azgives.org/UCPofCentralAZ.
In addition, you can also make your own AZ Gives Day fundraiser in support of UCP, by clicking this link: https://app.neonraise.com/fundraising/fundraising-pages/create?campaign_id=3355&return_redirect=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.azgives.org%2FUCPofCentralAZ
UCP is giving limited-edition State Forty Eight T-shirts to every person who makes a $100 donation or more.