A Little Sanctuary for 3,338 Kids!

As a new year begins, we all reflect on the blessings we’ve been given in life. It’s our wish that everyone has the love of a family, the security of a home and the warmth of friends. Unfortunately, 15,000 children in Arizona today struggle with each of these issues.

Think about little Johnny, who woke up this morning in the only living environment he’s known, one in which the smell of meth cooking on the stove is etched into his nostrils. This eight year old plays the parent role to his two younger siblings, scrounging in meager supplies for a few scraps of food to eat, reusing the baby’s soiled diapers, making sure the kids stay out of the way of mom so she can carry on her business.

When the Department of Child Safety shows up in the middle of the day, Johnny doesn’t see them as his savior, he sees them as the enemy, removing him from the only life he has ever known.

Moving to a new home, one with real walls, with furniture, with a new mom and dad is not a relief at first, it’s a dungeon. Johnny’s grandmother who agreed to take him and his siblings in is not prepared to have three more mouths to feed. Living on social security, she doesn’t have the ability to make her home comfortable for the group. Where can she go for help? What resources are out there to give her a hand to let these kids know they will be safe and comfortable?

When DCS drops the children off on the doorstep, with the clothing on their backs and a few meager belongings, they give Grandma some important resources to contact, often times the first of which is The Foster Alliance.

The Foster Alliance is the largest provider of basic needs to help Johnny and his brother and sister. Grandma can receive from us a Safe Place to Sleep – a complete new bed set for Johnny and his brother, a crib for the baby, clothing, diapers and more to ease their struggles in this very difficult transition.

I can think of nothing more important than protecting children who have been exposed to horrible circumstances by adults who decide to put themselves and their addictions ahead of the innocent children they have brought into the world.

This is the task we take on at The Foster Alliance. In 2018 we provided 3,338 children with their own little sanctuary – a bed to sleep on. We also assisted with clothing, diapers, personal care items, even birthday gifts and bicycles. All to put a smile on the faces of children who don’t smile enough, to bring a little bit of joy and hope to their lives.

Arizona taxpayers, we need your help to keep up this important work. You can help Johnny and his siblings at NO COST to you through the Arizona Foster Care tax credit program. Married couples can donate $1,000 to The Foster Alliance and receive every dollar back when you file your Arizona state tax return. The limit is $500 for single taxpayers. Donate $1,000, get it all back, and know that you have provided children with the simple comforts that they deserve.

Visit www.azfostertaxcredit.org today to put your tax dollars to work for kids in foster care. You can make a difference for Johnny, siblings and thousands of other boys and girls.

Dan Shufelt is the President & CEO of The Foster Alliance, the largest provider of basic needs to Arizona’s children in foster care. Learn more about the Organization atwww.azhelpinghands.org and contact Dan at dshufelt@azhelpinghands.org.

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When we work together, children in foster care have the opportunity to thrive. Whether you need a hand or want to lend one, get in touch.

Together we can make a difference.