We wish we didn’t need your support, but… - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

We wish we didn’t need your support, but…

September 4th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
We wish we didn’t need your support, but…

By Dan Shufelt, Guest Writer

I enjoy sharing the work we do every day at Arizona Helping Hands with our community. I believe it’s important to spread the word of a small charity making a BIG difference for the 15,000+ children in foster care in Arizona.

A safe place to sleep, a backpack to start the school year, a birthday gift and more all add up to make a huge impact on the lives of kids who have been abused and neglected.

These boys and girls, the victims of actions by people who claim to be adults, deserve every helping hand we can provide.

Our numbers document the enormity of the work we do.

In our service to kids in foster care we have provided more than 2,300 cribs to infants, most of whom have come out of the NICU with substance abuse issues; 6,600+ twin beds to give youngsters a spot of safety – their own bed to lay down on at night; 5,000 children with birthday gifts to celebrate their special day.

And we have done it all without any support from federal, state or local government.

Like most charities, we are left telling our tales of good deeds, and begging for support from everyone we can to help us keep the lights on, and to push the next bed out the back door for Samantha or Joey.

After a recent blogpost, I received a note that read, “I get so sick of all the do-gooders out there begging for help with everything. Arizona taxpayers already pay families to take care of children. I pay my taxes, so I believe I have given enough.”

I too pay taxes, I too am frustrated that more of my tax dollars don’t go to help kids in foster care.

You may not know that almost half of the children in Arizona’s foster care system are placed with kinship providers (mostly grandparents) who receive no governmental assistance for taking in and supporting children in foster care.

This presents a huge hardship on many who live on a fixed income, another reason that Arizona Helping Hands does everything we can to help.

I guess you’d have to call me one of the “do-gooders” who begs for help with everything. I believe that helping kids with basic needs in a life that’s been disrupted by the actions of ignorant adults is a worthy mission, and one that deserves community support.

I apologize for begging, but when it comes to helping that little baby I held just this morning who was born addicted to methamphetamine, or the teenager who is struggling with self-esteem issues after being removed from a toxic environment, my pride goes out the window.

I believe in our work, I believe in supporting children to give them a better chance at success. I wish we didn’t need your support, or have to beg for it.


-Dan Shufelt is president/CEO of Arizona Helping Hands, the largest provider of basic needs to Arizona’s children in foster care. Learn more about the Organization at www.azhelpinghands.org and contact him at dshufelt@azhelpinghands.org. Follow his blog at azhelpinghands.org/blog-post.

Special to the San Tan Sun News

Dan Shufelt holds a foster infant as part of his role as president/CEO of Arizona Helping Hands.