PHOENIX – Arizona Helping Hands kicked off its back-to-school season Thursday by opening a mobile unit that will distribute backpacks to foster children and provide services to foster families throughout the state.
“We want all kids in Arizona to win,” said Maureen Noe, CEO and president of Arizona Helping Hands. “Our philosophy is that these kids deserve the best, and our shelves will always reflect that – as they will only be stocked with new items for them.”
The new mobile unit delivery program will allow Helping Hands to provide basic needs for foster kids throughout Arizona. More than 2,700 foster children were served in 2022, and the organization expects to help more this year as they are averaging assistance for 70 to 80 children each week.
Tanya Abdellatif, program administrator in the Office of Licensing and Regulation for the Arizona Department of Child Safety, said the mobile unit is a great opportunity to serve “our most needed community, as many people drive hours to come to Arizona Helping Hands. Now they won’t have to do that.”
The Phoenix nonprofit plans to send the mobile unit to deliver essentials to foster families in smaller and rural cities, including Flagstaff, Tuba City, Prescott, Kingman, Window Rock, Show Low, Tucson, Casa Grande, Globe, Mesa, Yuma and Buckeye, according to a news release.
Helping Hands helps foster children with basics such as beds, clothing, school supplies, diapers, holiday gifts and birthday gifts. It also helps kinship families and foster families with required licensing safety items such as fire hydrants, smoke detectors and other items needed to prepare a home for inspection to host a foster child.