5 reasons to be thankful for Arizona nonprofits

Volunteers at St. Mary’s Food Bank packs and distributes more than 40,000 emergency boxes per month.

The Arizona Republic’s Season for Sharing campaign awarded grants to 164 Arizona nonprofits last year to help struggling children and families, to boost education and to aid older adults. Thousands of our neighbors in need got the help they needed.

Grantees receiving the largest amount were St. Mary’s Food Bank ($30,000) and the Arizona Food Bank Network ($40,000), both of which were scrambling to address urgent COVID-19 hunger issues.

Arizona nonprofits often fill the gaps between government services and what it actually takes to live day-to-day in a state with high inflation and spiking housing costs. We all should be grateful they’re there.

Donate now: To make a gift to Season for Sharing, go to sharing.azcentral.com.

Since 1993, Season for Sharing has raised and given away almost $72 million to make Arizona a better place to live for all. Here are five reasons to give again:

  1. When a child is seriously ill, the whole family suffers. Phoenix’s Ronald McDonald House received a $15,000 grant last year to provide a place to stay for out-of-town families traveling to the Valley for life-saving pediatric medical care. Similarly, Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels provides 200 families fighting childhood life-threatening and critical illnesses with food and emergency financial assistance. The Arizona Burn Foundation helps family members with lodging, transportation, meals and financial support while victims of any age are treated at the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix and at Tucson Medical Center.

  2. Educational gaps are real. The Republic’s reporting and academic studies agree: Home classes during COVID-19 lockdowns set lots of children and teens back on their studies. Groups like the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley and Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona use their Season for Sharing grant to provide homework help, tutoring, academic support and even supplies and snacks to keep learning on track . Programs at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, Arizona Science Center and Phoenix Public Library bolster science and literacy skills.

  3. In non-metro areas of Arizona, services can be few and far between. Get outside metro Phoenix or Tucson and services can be sparse. Meals on wheels drivers log hundreds of miles delivering food to older adults. In Payson and Parker, Time Out and Colorado River Regional Crisis Services, respectively, are the only domestic violence shelters for hundreds of miles. Flagstaff’s Family Food Center supports 13 hunger relief programs in sprawling northern Arizona.

  4. Arts and culture education is education, too. The price of entry is often a barrier to arts education for low-income students and their families. A Season for Sharing grant to Act One helps provide in-person and virtual field trips to arts venues around the Valley for 25,000 kids. A Heard Museum grant helps pay for tours and resources that educate students about American Indian culture and art. The Black Theater Troupe goes even further, instilling confidence and civic pride in students through a school-year weekend literacy through the arts program.

  5. We all want to live as independently as we can for as long as we can. Driving, home maintenance, even cooking a basic meal can become a challenge with age. Benevilla used a Season for Sharing grant to help more than 300 West Valley older adults and adults with disabilities with essential services such as grocery shopping and minor home repairs. In Glendale, the YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix delivers up to 120,000 meals a year and supports 1,000 seniors and disabled adults. Similarly, in Tempe, the Community Action Agency serves thousands of meals at senior centers and through delivery programs.

Benevilla volunteers pose before delivering meals to West Valley residents during the pandemic.

Benevilla volunteers pose before delivering meals to West Valley residents during the pandemic.

Ways to give to Season for Sharing

Scan the QR code with your smartphone camera and click on the link to donate to Season for Sharing.

Scan the QR code with your smartphone camera and click on the link to donate to Season for Sharing.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: 5 reasons to give to Arizona charities and easy ways to do it