Monday, January 11, 2010

January 2010
Andrea's Closet

On January 30th, we'll help Andrea's Closet ( by helping to sort, inventory, and organize donated toys for eventual distribution to hospitals around the state. This will be a good hands-on project for the kids and an opportunity to help the organization on the "back end" of its operations. The kids will be awed by the thousands of toys at the Andrea's Closet warehouse. Kenny Brunk will be on hand to talk about the organization he and his wife founded and thank the kids for their service.

Andrea's Closet is a non-profit organization founded by Kenny and Traci Brunk and named after their daughter, Andrea. Andrea died of acute lymphoblastic leukemia just days before her 10th birthday. The Brunks found that having a toy at her side helped Andrea deal with the pain and fear of being in the hospital. Knowing the impact that a simple toy could have on Andrea's treatment, the Brunks decided to help other children have a more positive hospital experience by providing toys to children when they are undergoing frightening medical procedures and treatments. Since opening its first Andrea's Closet in 2002, the organization has created 40 toy resource areas in 17 hospitals throughout Arizona. In 2008 alone, Andrea's Closet gave away over 350,000 toys to children in hospitals! Your time and effort will bring comfort to countless sick children.

The details:

When: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30pm, Saturday January 30th
Where: Andrea's Closet Warehouse, 2030 W. Deer Valley Rd., Suite B, Phoenix, 85027
Dress: It can get chilly in the warehouse, so bring jackets and dress in layers

Snacks will be provided.

The warehouse is near I-17 and Deer Valley Road, so carpools are encouraged.

In addition to the sorting, the kids are encouraged to bring their own new toy donations. If each Arcadia Kid asked friends and relatives for three toys, just think of the donation we could make! Andrea's Closet has a particular need for girl toys of any age. Cash donations are also accepted.

Thank you so much for supporting our community and showing our kids the difference volunteering makes!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 2009
Graffiti Clean Up

On Sunday, October 25th, we teamed up with the City of Phoenix Graffiti Busters program to help clean an area of our community tagged with unsightly graffiti. The City of Phoenix provided the paint and supplies -- we provided the labor!

Messy painting is always fun. Helping a neighborhood at the same time made this a terrific event! Thanks to Dave and Sheila Pimnser for scouting the area, working with the city, and delivering supplies and snacks.


Monday, September 07, 2009

September 2009
UMOM New Day Centers

Our September project was in support of the UMOM New Day Centers. UMOM is the largest homeless shelter for families in the state, housing approximately 400 men, women and children each night, with over 2/3rds of these being children ages 0-15. Since 1964, UMOM has provided homeless and low-income families with food, shelter and tools to build a bridge to self-sufficiency. The UMOM campus offers a wellness center, chapel, Kids Den for after-school activities, a Clothes Closet retail establishment for residents and the public, and a community dining facility providing 3 nutritious meals daily plus culinary skills education.

The need for services provided by UMOM is at an all-time high. A new subset of homeless families has formed due to job loss and foreclosures. As a result, the UMOM waiting list has grown to as much as 120 families. Now more than ever UMOM needs help to meet the basic needs of our community's less fortunate children and families.

On September 26th our kids had an opportunity to tour the UMOM campus and learn about the services provided and the new UMOM facility opening across the street in October. Then we spent some time sorting and organizing items in the UMOM thrift store. We finished by hosting a Ice Cream Sundae Bar for UMOM families.

The kids also collected and donated several bags of hygeine and baby items and clothings. This was a great way for the kids to learn about the homeless in our community and help an organization that provides much-needed services to the homeless population.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 2009 (2)
Lost Boys of Sudan

For our second March event, we heard the amazing story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. There was a short video and then we heard from one of the Lost Boys about his journey and his assimilation into America.

The kids also did an art project. Partial funding for the Arizona Lost Boys Center comes from the sale of their hand made cows. We supported this truly inspiring human story by taking home cows to help remind our families of the incredible blessings we have received.

For more questions, please contact Cindy Beers at

To learn more about the AZ Lost Boys Center, visit:
1918 W Van Buren St
Phoenix, AZ 85009
(602) 262-2300


Monday, February 16, 2009

March 2009 (1)
Creature Comforts

For our first March event, we decided to sponsor a CREATURE COMFORT COLLECTION to benefit Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC).

Everybody likes to have soft, clean places to sleep -- that includes the dogs and cats in animal care facilities!

We helped the homeless pets at MCACC feel more safe and comfortable. The shelter uses old towels, sheets, and blankets in their kennels to make beds for the animals. Last year, they took care of over 55,000 animals --that is a lot of beds! Many people have old towels, sheets, and blankets that they no longer use. Arcadia Kids collected those items to help the animals. We collected the donations and then tie-dye bandanas for the animals in the shelter.



February 2009
Plant a Garden at Hopi

On February 6, Arcadia Kids took over the Hopi garden, planting vegetables that will be harvested in May. The plan is to take the bounty to a local food bank, giving people in need fresh, organic produce. The kids had a blast digging in the dirt, eating organic hummus and chips and drinking fresh lemonade.

Thank you to our organizing families:

Christina, Donia and Dominic Surrano
Barbara, Lena, Maya and Marco Halden
Donna, Danny and Nicholas Wirtel


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

November 2008
Yard Sale for St. Mary's Food Bank

In November we cleaned out our closets for the holidays and sold toys, clothes and anything else we could find to raise money and buy turkeys and provide cash for St. Mary's Food Bank. Food banks are hurting right now. Because of the economy, donations are down, but the need is growing. We helped!

Our five hour sale raised $1,010 for St. Mary's! We delivered 12 turkeys to the St. Mary's Food Bank and turned in nearly $900 in cash donations! Items remaining after the sale were donated to Interfaith Cooperative Ministries (many bags of useful men's, women's, and children's shoes and clothing) and Goodwill of Arizona (lots of useful household items and furnishings).

Thanks to all of the Arcadia Kids families for their donations of sale items, time, and money to make this event a HUGE success. And thanks, also, to Prince of Peace church for providing tables, space, and support for the sale. It was a lot of work over two long days, but the outcome was worth it. Every dollar donated provides enough for seven meals. Our cash donation will feed over 6,000 people in our community, and our turkeys will be the main course for many this holiday season.


Monday, September 15, 2008

September 2008
Arcadia Kids "Kick-Off" Shoe Drive

Welcome to another year of Arcadia Kids!

To kick off our year, we held a get-to-know-you event on Sunday, Sept. 28 at the R&G Ranch. At the "kick off" event, we collected over 150 pairs of new and gently used shoes for Interfaith Cooperative Ministries! ICM provides basic services to the inner-city needy. We have partnered with them many times in the past, and they very much appreciate our help.

At the event we heard from Gene Dadamo, who is in charge of community relations for The Arizona Republic. He spoke to the kids about ways they can help the community and engaged them in a discussion about what they'd like to do in the coming year. Gene is an inspirational leader who is also beginning a weekly newspaper column on ways to give back.

Thanks to everyone that participated and brought shoes for ICM! Our next event will be on November 14/15. Check back soon for details.


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