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Arizonans for Children Christmas event Dec 17th

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Arizonans for Children Christmas event Dec 17th

Post by Darth Rokahn on Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:13 pm

This is it gang! The event we've been trying for since we became a spire. Arizonans for Children is having their Christmas bash for the foster kids in their care on Dec 17th.

I reached out to them ahead of time seeing as how Rogue One will be coming out and will likely keep us busy as a club but real life and this time of the year. Arizonans for Children has been amazing to work with and I'm proud to say we've been working with them for the past 2+ years now

The details:

Mesa InterStake Center
830 E. 2nd Ave
Mesa, AZ 85204
11:30 Am—1:30 PM
Dec 17

I am waiting to see if the props/lightsabers will be ok but in the past they have been very enthusiastic about having them so I can't imagine this will be a problem. Also waiting to see if we'll have a changing area and access to water. Will update this when those details come in
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Re: Arizonans for Children Christmas event Dec 17th

Post by janalynn on Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:28 pm

I think we should be able to do this one. It is at a time that works for us.
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Re: Arizonans for Children Christmas event Dec 17th

Post by dark tabby on Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:35 pm

I will know more as we get a little closer to the date like by october
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Re: Arizonans for Children Christmas event Dec 17th

Post by Darth Rokahn on Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:54 pm

Here is the feedback we got from Arizonans for Children. They have always been very gracious of the time we give them and we almost always get some kind of letter or notification from them afterwards so it gives me something to share with all of you. You did a damn good job guys. Thank you


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Dear Jerome,

We wish to thank you and the other Star Wars people for attending our Holiday Party. The children loved you. You put so many smiles on children’s faces that day. We are forever in your debt. I thought that you might enjoy hearing about the entire December 17 Holiday Party.

And now for the report on the party:

Arizonans for Children's annual holiday party held on December 17 was an extraordinary production to behold. 962 people attended the party. There are many moving parts at work preparing for the event. It takes form because of the generosity of donors and volunteers. The City of Mesa provided us with free temporary warehouse space. Volunteers loaded and transported the toys to the warehouse where they were sorted by gender and age group over the course of two weeks. 133 people spent 325 hours in the ware house wrapping presents. Each child typically receives an assortment of five or six gifts which includes a blanket, book, ball, board game and another toy.

Then there is the set up the day before which was done by 35 volunteers from LDS Church who decorated the dining rooms of the Mesa Interstake Center, loaded and transported the presents from the warehouse, set up the table and chairs and made the signs for the present give away. Nothing could have prepared us for this year’s party. As the group homes and foster families started arriving you could feel the children's joy emanating from the small huddles at the check-in desks. This joy seemed to spread like wild fire to the volunteers and helped us get in the celebration mood for this wonderful event.

Boys and girls of all ages danced in line as their caretaker checked them in to enter the holiday party at Mesa Interstake Center. They hopped and squealed as they greeted acquaintances residing in other group homes. Some of the most touching scenes involved siblings that had been brought into foster care and then separated and sent to different placements. The only time they get to see their siblings is at our party.

Blankets for Kids donated most of the blankets that went into almost all the gift bags and were a heartfelt surprise. Due to the generosity of Dream City Church, every child between the ages of 5—10 got a bicycle. Kerry Feltenberg on behalf of Arizona Grand Resort, donated gift cards and sundries that were given to the 11-18 year old girls. ASU students and facility and Grace Walk Church donated massive amounts of gifts. Hundreds of other donors donated and collected gifts.

All 633 foster children ranging in ages from 2 months to 18 years found a reason to celebrate on this Saturday. Talking, laughing, eating, dancing, and receiving gifts were the order of the day from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM. The traditional Christmas meal was prepared by Native Grill and Wings and served by its employees and employees from Wells Fargo. The tasty desserts were provided by Café Valley Bakery. DJ Matt Figueroa kept the lively music and the trivia games going.

Cardinals Big Red Mascot spent 2 hours at the party entertaining the children, dancing to the music and posing for pictures. Star Wars characters, seen throughout the party, came from outer space just for this event. Santa Claus appeared for the duration of the party and held children on his lap and posed for pictures. Then Santa announced that the present give away would begin. The 103 volunteers dispensed bags of wrapped gifts and gift envelopes. So much excitement from so many displaced youths made every moment of work worth it.

Our Mentor/Tutor Coordinator, Laura Pahules, observed the following:

“I saw many of the children that I have interviewed over the past few months for the Mentor/Tutor program, all of which came up with a hug for me and wanted to tell me all about their mentors. One sweet little 7 year old girl who has been extremely shy during the interview was literally bubbling with excitement at all that was happening at the party. She told me how she saw Santa! How she danced and threw paper airplanes, how yummy all the food was and did I know that Star Wars and the football bird was there? This was all before she was given her presents.
I was on the opposite side of the gym from where the girls got their gifts but I happened to glance up and see this little girl coming towards me dragging her bag behind her with tears streaming down her face. I was so worried I hurried towards her and when I reached her she could hardly catch her breath. She said "Look at all the presents I got! Can you believe it? This is the best Christmas of my whole life!"
They were happy tears.

I saw many kids open their bags and wrap themselves up in the blankets that were inside. Seeing all the volunteers interact with the kids was incredible, watching them dance with the little ones was heartwarming."Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this" was the common statement made over and over again.”

Some of the comments from the foster parents were:

“Just wanted to thank you and all the volunteers for such an amazing party My children had a blast. Loved the paper airplane contest. The gifts and bikes were so nice . So appreciated all the volunteers who did everything to make this day such a delight! Thanks again Kaye. You are amazing !!” Brenda

“KAYE!!!
You and your Organization are incredible and all of us are thankful and so blessed to be apart of the endless acts of kindness and work you all put in. I mean, all our young men, boys and women/girls had a great time. They couldn’t stop speaking of the event and being apart of something so special. Well, it was great to see you even if it was for a few minutes and YES, the little green bikes will end up in deserving young boys hands. Again, we all at NHCC/NHYH have our hats off and hearts open after attending yesterday’s special event. MERRY CHRISTMAS & the Happiest of New Years!”
Hugs, Michael D.

“Thank you soooooo much for such a wonderful event!!!!!!! We had a great time and are overjoyed with the bikes!!!!!!” Shelly Kinyon

“Hi Kaye,
I want to thank you for the invitation to bring the children to this Holiday party. They had a blast, and are very excited with all the cool gifts they have received, especially the bicycles. My husband (Jay), and I are firm believers in writing Thank You notes/cards, and would like to know where we can send the children’s Thank You notes to.
Thanks again for a wonderful afternoon, and bless you for all that you and your organization do! “
Merry Christmas, Robin Kottke

New and positive memories were gifted to foster youth on Saturday, December 17th at this LDS Interstake Center.

This magical gathering happened because of YOU.

Without your donations, ideas and volunteer commitment the 962 attendees would not have been able to celebrate all together at this one festive venue. That common thread, though sad as it sounds especially at the holiday season, is that everyone who attended the party is linked through the foster care system. At a tough time of year when foster children miss their families, you brought them together and made the children smile---thank you for your generous spirit and your gift of sharing. At present time there are over 18,000 children in foster care in Arizona.

May hope and peace fill your heart as you reflect on the foster children we serve.

Thank you! Have a Prosperous New Year!

Kaye McCarthy
President
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Re: Arizonans for Children Christmas event Dec 17th

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