Foster care organization to move into larger space, hold more donations

(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5)


The non-profit Arizona Helping Hands has been giving beds and other necessities to foster families for years. Last year, they gave away a record 2,908 beds and the organization continues to grow. Now they are starting a new chapter in a bigger, more centrally located space.

Melissa Tracy and her family have fostered 19 children over the past four years.

"Having the opportunity to love kids and be there for kids in their hardest days and moments is an honor," Tracy said. But she admits, becoming a foster parent can be daunting.

"You need beds, you need sippy cups, you need diapers, you need wipes," Tracy said. She turned to Arizona Helping Hands to get those necessities for free.

"Something like Arizona Helping Hands, it’s a way everyone can get involved," Tracy said.

[RELATED: Foster group aims to ease burden on families]

"Sometimes it can be a daunting task to realize all the things you need to buy to bring in a little kiddo, so to get beds and stuff like, that is a great resource," said foster dad Steve Vogel.

Now, Arizona Helping Hands is expanding and moving from Scottsdale to north Phoenix, off Thunderbird Road near the State Route 51.

[RELATED: ‘Arizona Helping Hands’ toy drive helps foster kids, families in need]

"We can put our racking up higher, we can store more goods, make better use of the floor space," said CEO and President Dan Shufelt. The old Scottsdale location is only 8,000 square feet; the new location more than doubles that –18,000 square feet. Shufelt said they no longer have to turn away big donations because they have no room to store them.

Arizona Department of Child Safety caseworkers took in 4,400 abuse and neglect reports in April — the highest month so far in 2018. Also, as of April, 14,927 kids and adults under the age of 21 are either in foster or group homes.

"The core issues are still there, the problems with drug and abuse and child abuse and other things that happen in our community," Shufelt said.
He added they do hope to have more partners for this project but they expect to open in September.

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