By Lori Calhoun, AHH Marketing and Communications Manager
Arizona Helping Hands (AHH), the largest provider of essential needs to children in foster care, continues to struggle to find volunteers since the onset of the pandemic. In 2019, the organization had nearly 13,000 volunteer hours donated, but by the end of 2021, they estimate volunteer hours will total around 6,000 for the year.
Volunteers are critical to AHH and the success of their programs. Volunteers assist with everything from warehouse operations, stocking shelves, preparing for events, answering the phones, and more. Volunteers help run the organization’s Birthday Dreams Program, preparing more than 300 gift packages for children in foster care each month. Not only are volunteers the driving force behind the organization’s core programs, but they also save AHH almost a quarter of a million dollars annually by donating their time.
“We were so happy to be able to volunteer and donate to Arizona Helping Hands. We always feel so lucky every time we get to spend time with the amazing people there,” says Ashley Ford, President of Valley of The Sun Active 20-30 Club.
Arizona Helping Hands services remain unduplicated, and with more than 14,000 children in Arizona’s foster care system, kinship and foster families rely heavily on the services provided by AHH.
“My foster child was in desperate need of clothes, shoes, and other items. Arizona Helping Hands provided all of that, including a bed for him to sleep in. I am very much appreciative,” says Jessica, a foster parent.
If you are looking for ways to get involved in your local community and give back, consider volunteering at Arizona Helping Hands. A variety of individual and group volunteer opportunities for those 16 years of age and older are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, visit azhelpinghands.org/volunteers.