JANUARY 18, 2012
Foothills Food Bank Adopt-a-Family program assists more than 200 families
The holidays bring joy to many; however for families in crisis, they can be stressful on many levels. The Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center, which serves northern foothills communities, stepped up to help people in need through its Adopt-a-Family program, which offers holiday gifts, meals and support for children, families and seniors.
According to the food bank’s executive director, Pam DiPietro, 205 donors provided gifts for 220 families and seniors in need partnering with Cave Creek Unified School District and St. Vincent de Paul at Our Lady of Joy and St. Gabriel who helped an additional 100 families.
“Hundreds of individuals helped make the 2011 Adopt-a-Family Program an amazing success,” says DiPietro. “Many of the families we helped wrote touching thank you notes to pass on to the donors. It was a heart warming effort that meant so much to so many.”
Highlights of this year’s program include:
• The Rural Metro fire department (Carefree and Cave Creek) provided toys for 182 children. One hundred were children from a Phoenix-based school who would not have received anything for Christmas had it not been for this generous donation.
• For the third year in a row, the Foothills Community Foundation staff provided storage space for all of the gifts until the December 18 Christmas party and helped with the event.
• Foothills Community Foundation placed a tree in its lobby that featured a request for toiletries. Paradise Valley Community College also pitched in, resulting in a large donation of needed toiletries.
• The Soroptimists created 50 beautiful bags filled with toiletries for families, and helped with the party. Group members brought Santa Claus along to create fun and happy memories for the children.
• Several members from Desert Mountain paid for sandwiches and cookies for the Christmas party.
• One donor called and wanted to take a family shopping so they could pick out exactly what they needed.
The Foothills Food Bank and Resource Center located a family that was thrilled to have someone take them on the shopping spree. The donor also plans to mentor the woman, and head of the family, who has two teenagers with disabilities.
• Another donor who sends the food bank a check each year to help families, called before sending the 2011 check to inquire where the money would go. This year, the man’s generous donation helped a gentleman who needed an eye exam and glasses, and helped a woman move into an apartment. She previously had been living in her car with her daughter.
• Kiwanis provided several thousand dollars in gift cards so that Foothills Food Bank could provide a turkey for each family that came in during November and December.
• The North Scottsdale Rotary Club provided more than $1,000 in donations for the "fixin" bags that accompanied the turkey gift card.
• Several members of the food bank’s volunteer staff helped shop and wrap for families who came in at the last minute. Substantial cash was donated to help purchase those gifts along with thousands of dollars in gift cards. Volunteers also helped needy families fill out their respective wish lists.
“All of the wonderful individuals and organizations who made this great program a success deserve heartfelt recognition from the communities they serve,” says DiPietro. “The Foothills Food Bank also wants to thank the chairs of Adopt-a-Family, Cathie Rosenbaum and Robin Kilbane, who made it all happen,” says DiPietro. “We would be remiss if we did not also thank Miriam Martinez who made numerous phone calls, was present the day of the party to help with translation needs, delivered gifts to families who could not make it to the party and who steadfastly remained available to help people with gift pick-ups up to New Year's Eve. In addition, Andrea Hershberger gave her time and talent to manage our information system needs.“
All in all, hundreds of people made the 2011 Adopt a Family program a huge success.