Giving Back During the Holidays
There is something magical about the holiday season here in the Valley. That something goes well beyond the sidewalks and streets lined with luminarias and the twinkling lights that adorn saguaros and palm trees just as frequently as they do spruces and evergreens. What is truly special resides within those groups in our community who embody the season of giving, but whose efforts are felt year-round. They may not be in it for the recognition, but we feel they should get a bit.
Foothills Animal Rescue
“It is our focus to try and change lives by saving lives.” – Victoria Cowper, executive director, Foothills Animal Hospital
One of the most established animal rescues in the metro area, Foothills Animal Rescue sets itself apart by a willingness to pull at-risk dogs and cats out of local shelters and private homes and provide the time and resources to help rehabilitate the animal through any medical or behavioral issues they may have to get them on track towards adoption.
Last December, the rescue was able to expand their mission with the opening of their Brynne Smith Memorial Campus, a 4,200-square-foot facility that provides a haven for dogs and cats who have not yet been placed in a foster setting while they await their forever home. The impact has been significant, as adoption rates since the campus opened have increased by 65 percent.
“Ours is a culture of love, and through that we have impacted so many thousands of young people about the importance of giving back, treating people right, and just not wanting to say no to anything” – Jim Thompson, Owner, Dutch Bros Arizona
Most people will recognize the Dutch Bros. name as the freestanding coffee stands scattered throughout the metro area with an always cheery staff helping to caffeinate their loyal guests, dubbed the Dutch Mafia. What sets the company apart, however, is a culture focused on giving back through fundraising and a commitment to helping others. The company as a whole donates more than $2 million a year back into its local communities, and out of that, there is no greater contributor than the local Arizona franchise group owned by Jim Thompson.
Dutch Bros raises money through initiatives such Dutch Luv on Valentine’s Day, where $1 of every drink goes to local food banks and Buck for Kids on National Coffee Day in September for local youth programs. They also spring into action when needs arise like Houston rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Harvey when Phoenix stores raised $26,000 in a single day. Jim and his team not only make an impact in the here and now, but with more than 700 employees, he understands the Dutch Bros. way is also shaping a new generation of philanthropists who will be working hard for other for years to come.
Arizona Helping Hands
“When it comes down to it, every child should have a safe place to sleep, and that is what we provide.” – Sherie Siegel, vice president, Arizona Helping Hands Inc.
Fostering a child can be a challenge for everyone involved, but Arizona Helping Hands is the organization behind the scenes trying to help ease the burden. Often, children find themselves entering foster care with little else but the clothes on their backs, which is where Arizona Helping Hands steps in with programs designed to provide beds, cribs, clothing, diapers and books whenever they might be needed. “Dream Kits” are also provided, supplying necessities such as shampoo, body wash, soap and a toothbrush to kids who were placed into care needing every little bit to get them comfortable.
Within the last few years, the organization has provided 5,200 backpacks filled with school supplies to help foster kids start the school year off right. Birthdays are also made special through Birth Dreams for Foster Kids, which is an initiative to provide a foster child with a wrapped gift and a book (and even an occasional bicycle!) any age through their 18th birthday.