998, 999, 1,000!

by Robin Hanson

The Alliance was excited to reach a huge milestone in 2017 — reaching 1,000 members! We have experienced tremendous growth, going from 750 members in 2015 to 1,000 in 2017. To celebrate, we gave away $1,000 to three lucky nonprofits at our Annual Conference in September.

 

Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank provides a number of programs to help our neighbors in need with hunger relief. Meals to Grow is our food bank’s outreach to combat childhood hunger. The $1,000 we received from the Alliance is being used to help us underwrite the cost of food that we put in backpacks and on-school-campus food closets. Currently, Matthew’s Crossing is distributing about 300 backpacks each week to East Valley schools (increasing to more than 500 in the spring). The backpacks are a key component of weekend hunger relief. The funds will also support our food closets — an alternative to helping with weekday hunger relief. We are currently stocking two high school food closets and two community college food closets (increasing to 10 in the spring).

Teachers are reporting that attendance has improved on Fridays because students are eager to get their backpacks. Attendance is also on the rise on Monday and students show up more energetic and eager to learn — all indicators of better performance in school. The better a child preforms in school, the more likely they are to do better in life.

Jan Terhune, Executive Director, Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank

 

We were so excited to win the $1,000 prize at the Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits Annual Conference for the Mesa Arts Center Foundation this year! Due to a generous Matching Grant from Bill Passey and Maria Silva to the Mesa Arts Center Foundation, I was able to double our money. The $1,000 prize became a $2,000 gift for our outstanding engagement program, Project Lit. Project Lit engages students through Hip Hop, Drama, Improv and Spoken Word, which provides tools to enhance K-12 critical literacies. Beginning by building safety in a student-centered environment, Project Lit then builds traditional literacy, 21st century job skills and resiliency. I want to thank the Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits for this generous prize and wonderful opportunity for our organization.

Renee Lopaka, Development Director, Mesa Arts Center

 

The $1,000 was an unexpected and welcome surprise! The award helps TCAA to further its mission to foster dignity and self-reliance for the economically vulnerable in the communities we serve. We do this through programs that provide relief from hunger, shelter and permanent housing for men and women experiencing homelessness, services that support seniors’ ability to live independently and age in place, and support for families as they strive to raise healthy families and improve their level of economic independence. The agency serves more than 19,000 seniors, adults and children through these programs each year.

Deborah Arteaga, Executive Director, Tempe Community Action Agency

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