OUR FAVORITE LOCAL CHARITIES AND How to GET INVOLVED
One of our fearless leaders, Jackie Briggs, had the opportunity to volunteer at Child Crisis Arizona’s shelter in Mesa while she was attending ASU. The kids stole her heart, over and over. The shelter was designed to be a temporary home while the parents solved a short term crisis like housing, or while CPS found a family member or foster home for the children. But some kiddos were there for months before finding a placement and she looked forward to seeing their little faces every week.
There were many times that she drove home with tears in her eyes when one of the kids had moved out of the shelter. It was unlikely she would ever see them again and all she could do was hope that wherever they were living now was a safe, stable home, where they knew they were loved. She wanted to give those kids the world and at 19 years old, she decided her future plans included being a foster parent. From that experience, she knows how challenging it is to get through the classes, licensing process, and to take on a kid (or kids!) with a moment’s notice.
She credits the experience as life-changing, her eyes were opened to how big of a need there truly is in our local communities to provide support for children and foster families. Child Crisis Arizona provides emergency shelter for children in DCS custody or in a crisis situation, as well as foster licensing and community programs designed to strengthen families. Over the last 15 years, she continues to support them annually through donations, holiday toy drives, and various fundraising events.
Reminder: Per the Arizona Department of Revenue, Arizona taxpayers may support children in foster care through a donation to Child Crisis Arizona as a Qualifying Foster Care Organization (QFCO) and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit against your current year state tax liability ($500 for individuals, $1,000 for married couples). Child Crisis Arizona is a Qualifying Foster Care Organization #10012.
Another local charity, Arizona Helping Hands, is the largest provider of essential necessities for children in foster care in the state. Jackie started getting involved with Arizona Helping Hands as she became more involved with the foster care system. They became one of her charities of choice, an organization that does SO MUCH for foster and kinship families, as well as the children in care. Their programs offer support to foster children and their families throughout the state of Arizona.
AHH provides essential needs for Arizona’s children in foster care through their programs promoting safety, permanency, and health. In 2019 they provided “A safe place to sleep” for 3,560 children by distributing new beds and cribs along with the bedding to children in foster care. Additionally, they provide diapers, clothing, toiletries, birthday gifts, holiday toys, backpacks with school supplies, and much more. Arizona Helping Hands operates with a 7% overhead, meaning that 93 cents of every dollar raised goes directly back to services that help children in foster care.
One crucial program at AHH is their Birthday Dreams packages. Children in foster care turning one through twenty-one years old can receive a personalized birthday package with gifts picked and wrapped by volunteers and provided through donations. As part of our commitment to Arizona Helping Hands, we sponsor Birthday Dreams packages every year.
In 2019, AHH provided personalized birthday packages to 3,596 children in foster care. For many children in foster care, receiving a Birthday Dreams package from AHH is the first time their birthday has been celebrated and you can help make this a memorable experience! We’ll share when we participate in Birthday Dreams and other programs throughout the year, please let us know if you’d like to get in touch with us on how you can help.
If you haven’t already taken advantage of the state tax credit ($500 for individuals, $1,000 for married couples), Arizona Helping Hands is a Qualifying Foster Care Organization #10003.
Founded by Moon Valley residents, Bryan and Melissa Kovalesky, Families Raising Hope assists families struggling under the financial weight of a cancer diagnosis. We sponsor the annual 5K and it’s one of our favorite annual events (from one of our favorite local charities) to get involved in our local community and raise money for an excellent cause! Families Raising Hope is a non-profit dedicated to assisting cancer patients and their families with the financial burden that cancer treatments pose so that they can focus on their health, healing, and recovery.
In 2012, our Transaction Coordinator, Jen Baldi, was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, her daughter was 9 days old. She went through treatments and was supported by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She worked part time for Chamberlain Enterprises while going through treatments and caring for a newborn. She left Chamberlain Enterprises in 2014 to be home with her daughter and recover.
She stayed active with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and represented them as an Honored Hero, traveled to events speaking about having cancer and being a survivor, and met with newly diagnosed patients to give them advice and hope. She ran 2 half marathons with Team in Training and has continued to volunteer with Light the Night for the last 3 years.
She is currently one of 3 members on the LLS Advocacy Team; their mission is to lobby for local and national laws to support cancer patients and research. The local chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was amazing to her during her treatments and they have made amazing contributions to finding cures for all cancers, not just blood cancer.
Now you see, each charity holds a special place in our heart, and is what embedded the urge to create a business with a built-in purpose. It’s how the idea for Locality Homes came to fruition, to combine local community expertise with the passion for giving back: Local Real Estate. Community Driven.