2017/2018 VALLEY KIDS FOUNDATION GRANT RECIPIENTS

Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services (ALWAYS)
ALWAYS is a nonprofit community legal center committed to balancing the scales of justice for Arizona’s vulnerable young people. They open doors to opportunity by providing no-cost legal services for vulnerable children and youth, and survivors of human trafficking. Working through referrals from their social service partners, they help clients lift the legal barriers that stand in the way of opportunity, stability, and self-sufficiency. They are proud to represent young people who do not have the resources to fully engage in the justice system. On any given day, they are serving eligible youth who are seeking employment, education, or housing but are denied opportunities due to legal issues, are survivors of sex and labor trafficking, are in flight from abusive relationships, and are eligible for legal immigration status, but lack the resources to apply. In addition, they also serve women and men of any age who are survivors of sex or labor trafficking.

Amanda Hope Rainbow Angel’s
Amanda Hope Rainbow Angel’s is a nonprofit, support and educational organization in 2012 in celebration of Amanda Hope’s life that ended all too soon when she lost her battle against Leukemia. During her four year fight, Amanda Hope dreamed that one day she would design a fun clothing line for kids just like her that would provide comfort and dignity during chemo treatments. Amanda Hope’s life ended all too soon when she lost her battle with Leukemia, but her dream lives on! Comfycozy’s for Chemo is advocating for children who are currently undergoing chemotherapy. We are making Amanda’s dream come to life by providing those children with the comfort and dignity they deserve during their diligent fight. Comfycozy’s is advocating for your children, providing dignity for the journey, and giving a voice to the innocent. Comfycozy’s for Chemo are currently in 94 hospitals across the country!

Arizona Helping Hands
Arizona Helping Hands provide twin beds, cribs, clothing, diapers, books and other items to help boys and girls in foster care. Boys and girls in foster care are frequently placed in care with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Foster families, especially kinship placements are often not adequately prepared to fill the needs of the kids who arrive at their doorstep. So many kids sleep on the floor of DCS offices, or on Grandma’s sofa until they learn of our services. Arizona Helping Hands also provides back to school items for children in foster care as well as personalized birthday gifts to help make their birthday special and celebrated.

Best Buddies Arizona
Best Buddies International is dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities. Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with IDD. For individuals within this community, Best Buddies helps them form meaningful friendships with their peers in middle schools, high schools and colleges, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communications skills, and feel valued by society.

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Arizona
Since 1989, BHGH of Arizona has been helping scholars rise up from disadvantaged backgrounds and strive for more. BHGH of Arizona serves youth who want to go to college and create successful futures for themselves. Their scholars have joined the program to receive support on their journey to college and beyond. They seek the academic resources, extracurricular opportunities, and mentor relationships they can provide. Their goal is to graduate young people who are physically, emotionally and academically prepared for post-secondary education and a productive life, breaking the cycle of poverty. Boys Hope Girls Hope firmly believes that children have the power to overcome adversity, realize their potential, and help transform our world. Children create these successes when we remove obstacles, support and believe in them, and provide environments and opportunities that build on their strengths.

Child Crisis Center of Arizona
Child Crisis Arizona operates the only licensed emergency shelter for children from birth to 10 in Maricopa County. Children arrive to due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or other forms of maltreatment when a family relative or licensed foster care family is not available. More than just a place to sleep, their home-like shelter meets all of a child’s needs. Specially trained staff and volunteers provide help, comfort, care and support. Children in the shelter receive nurturing care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, balanced meals and healthy snacks, clothing and personal care items, attention to medical screenings and health issues, including vaccinations and visits to the doctor and dentists as needed and educational support and counseling. While kids are at the shelter, they participate in activities like art, music, dancing and swimming lessons as well as visits from therapy dogs. Many of these services are provided free of charge by the business or organization. Parents and caregivers experiencing an emergency may also rely on the shelter if no other care options are available. The program provides a safe place for children to stay and is open to anyone in need of help caring for their children, based on availability.

Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona
Since 1998, the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona has served abused and neglected children by providing treatment, intervention and investigation services. The goal of the center is to provide medical treatment, mental health therapy, efficient investigational resources, and victim support services to address the immediate safety and complete well-being of children referred to the center. Before children’s advocacy centers, child victims were forced to relive their abuse by telling their story to one official after another. At the Childhelp Children’s Advocacy Center of Arizona, a specially-trained forensic interviewer meets with each child, asking age appropriate, non-leading questions to allow abused children to share their story in a way to withstand court scrutiny, aid in the prosecution of abusers, and minimize additional trauma to the victim. As part of this process, children also may receive a specialized medical exam to gather evidence of physical and/or sexual assault. Services provided at the center support safe placement of abused children and court preparation assistance for victims. As an outpatient clinic with licensed counselors and licensed clinical director, abused children and non-offending family members receive individual and family counseling/therapy.

Florence Crittenton
Florence Crittenton’s mission is to give every girl whose life we touch safety, hope and opportunity. The agency’s vision is to be the national leader in changing the future for girls by being the foremost expert in gender-specific services, growing to serve all girls in need and achieving excellence in all we do. Florence Crittenton requests programmatic support for its Therapeutic Group Home (TGH), a 40 bed residential treatment facility providing 24-hour supervision and care to approximately 200 at-risk and disadvantaged girls and young women, ages 10-18, annually. At the TGH, girls in crisis can receive the support, treatment and life skills necessary to overcome their challenges and lead healthy, stable lives. At the TGH, girls receive gender responsive, culturally competent and trauma-informed care which includes basic needs, behavioral health therapy, substance abuse treatment, leadership development and empowerment, life skills, medical care, education and social and recreational activities.

Homeless Youth Connection
Unaccompanied homeless youth, often referred to as “youth on their own,” is the most difficult subpopulation of homeless to quantify. Many homeless youth do what they have to do in order to survive, such as sleeping in cars, bartering sex for shelter, “couch surfing” from one friend’s house to another, or residing with abusive family members who threaten to “kick them out.” Without real support, such youth may find themselves in and out of jail, dependent on the welfare system, or living their life in a chronic state of crisis. HYC is a preventive measure to the potential negative life experiences above. If a homeless youth does not have to worry about where he is going to sleep that night or where his next meal is coming from, he can focus on staying in school and getting his diploma. HYC serves homeless youth ages 13-19 who are attending local high schools. Youth are provided with basic necessities, case management, housing if needed, life skills and mentors to ensure they have the resources to stay in school, complete their education and have a chance at a brighter future.

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound is a nonprofit based in Arizona that serves the needs of families going through homelessness. They serve over 130 homeless families every year, providing them with not just housing but an in-depth program that helps them get back their own two feet. Our mission is to create pathways out of poverty for homeless families ready to make a change. Homeward Bound families are provided with affordable housing that is safe and well-maintained. Each family is required to pay 30% of their adjusted gross income to assist with housing and utilities.

Mission of Mercy Arizona
Since 1994, Mission of Mercy has been providing free healthcare, free dental care and free prescription medications to the uninsured, underinsured and those who “fall through the cracks” of our healthcare system. An independent nonprofit, faith-based community organization, Mission of Mercy receives no government funding. Because of this, they can provide healthcare without any pre-qualifications. None of their patients must prove their poverty or residency.

New Pathways for Youth
New Pathways for Youth has transformed the lives of nearly 5,500 youth through the development of core social, emotional, and academic skills with the help of committed volunteers and community support. New Pathways for Youth connects youth ages 9 to 21 with caring and dedicated adult mentors to help these youth reach their greatest possible potential. We ground our mentoring practices in evidence-based curriculum that focuses on social and emotional learning. The curriculum involves intentional programs through which youth, with the support of their mentors, acquire and effectively apply knowledge, attitudes, and skills.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation
Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation (PCHF) mission is to provide hope, healing, and the best health care for children and their families. Donations and support from caring organizations make it possible for PCHF to offer the very best medical specialists, cutting-edge technology, and family-friendly services without regard to the family’s ability to pay. They have transformed from a clinically-based children’s hospital to a pediatric medical center with a laser-like focus on building research infrastructure, recruiting leading physician-scientists, and forging important research collaborations with partners of note from across the country. In 2012, they launched the Ronald A. Matricaria Institute of Molecular Medicine, with the ultimate goal of finding improved treatments for children with cancer, and someday even cures for a host of devastating childhood illnesses.

Playworks Arizona
In 1995, Playworks Founder Jill Vialet got an earful from a principal she was visiting in Oakland, California. Rather than recess being a happy, playful time for the kids, the principal lamented that it had become the most chaotic period of the school day, with kids getting hurt, getting into trouble and getting left out. When recess becomes a healthy, integral part of the school day, kids carry that positive experience with them beyond the playground. On Playworks playgrounds, everyone plays, everyone belongs, everyone contributes to the game. Coaches encourage kids to bring out the best in themselves and each other, and kids learn the value of fair play, compassion and respect. On Playworks playgrounds, kids become leaders. They run their own games and settle their disputes quickly (rock-paper-scissors is the problem solver) because getting along is more fun than fighting. On Playworks playgrounds, kids play hard, cheer loud and high five with joy. And they carry that feeling of peace and belonging with them into their classrooms, back to their neighborhoods, out into the world.

Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)
Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC) is an internationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to autism research, education, evidence-based treatment, and community outreach. They are one of the only autism organizations in the world that provides a lifetime of services for individuals and their families while also conducting cutting edge research. SARRC’s Research Department is focused on three initiatives: (1) improve early detection of ASD, (2) improve treatments for ASD, both behaviorally and pharmaceutically, and (3) educate various professional communities to improve their capacity to serve individuals with ASD. SARRC is among the most robust sites in the United States for recruiting subjects for molecular / genetic, pharmaceutical, and clinical research trials.