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AmeriCorps needed to serve foster children and their families.

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ORGANIZATION: Mesa United Way - AmeriCorps

Helen's Hope Chest engages the community to provide for the basic needs of children and teens in foster and kinship care. We do this through our boutique-like facility where children can "shop" for free up to 4 times per year. We host programs such as JaKelle's Christmas Box, providing gifts to approximately 3000 youth annually; Foster360, navigation, and life coaching for youth aging out of foster care; K 2 College, preparing youth for the start of a new school year; and John's Room, a special program dedicated to the main job of a child -- to play.

Helen's Hope Chest (HHC) began as a project of Mesa United Way after the economic crash in 2008. A small clothing closet was opened in a borrowed church room in 2009 that provided 1,400 units of service to foster and kinship families. Since then, HHC has grown into an 8,000 square food building and provides over 12,000 units of service annually. The items distributed has an estimated value of nearly $2,000,000 in FYE 2019.

Before the COVID pandemic, HHC served an average of 650 foster and kinship youth per month for basic needs assistance. Items are provided without cost to the child or foster family, helping fill the gap in state benefit cuts. According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS), there are over 14,000 children in state care. The majority of these children are victims of neglect and abuse. Members may be exposed to stories about trauma.

Helen's Angel Description (AmeriCorps Member):
Helen's Angel is a team member that is dedicated to the service of children and teens in foster care. They are essential to the day-to-day operations of Helen's Hope Chest by ensuring that donations are sorted, cleaned, and readily accessible to the kids.

Duties:

  • Receive donations of clothing, shoes, books, toys, hygiene supplies, and more. A Helen's Angel is often the first contact that new donor has with Helen's Hope Chest.
  • Inspect donations to ensure quality and appropriateness.
  • Wash, clean, and prepare donations for display in "store".
  • Replenish storage bins with clean donations; this can involve climbing ladders, lifting and moving boxes, and reaching overhead.
  • Restock the "store" with clean donations.
  • Assist families and children pick out clothing and other items.
  • Help to maintain clean and organized workspaces and public spaces.

Ideal for someone who has these skills: Able to life 40+ lbs., able to stand for 2 hours, organization, communication, Spanish speaking (preferred but not necessary), friendly with a good work ethic, flexible and willing to help wherever needed.

Training and Support Provided: Formal training on Trauma Informed Care, Compassion Fatigue & Burnout Prevention, CPR/First Aid Certification, Opioid Addiction, and ongoing communication and support from the Executive Director and staff.

Time Commitment: 10 hrs/week (450 total hrs)
Service Commitment: September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023
Compensation: $3545 total living allowance (before taxes), $1,638 Education Award

More opportunities with Mesa United Way - AmeriCorps

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.

About Mesa United Way - AmeriCorps

Location:

137 E University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85201, US

Mission Statement

Helen’s Hope Chest envisions a community where every child in care understands their value and self-worth, and that they have a place in our community, while every foster/kinship parent knows that they are supported. We do this by providing our services in a welcoming shop-by-appointment storefront where foster youth come to pick out clothing, school supplies, and other basic needs free of cost.

Description

In 2009, Arizona foster families experienced a 50% reduction in basic needs financial assistance as well as an influx of children in need of their care. Difficult financial conditions and the high cost of caring for children forced many families o foster few children or close their doors to new placements entirely. That's why mesa United Way started Helen's Hope chest, a welcoming shop-by-appointment storefront where foster youth come to pick out clothing, school supplies, and other basic needs free of cost. Our AmeriCorps members have been critical in every step of the process. From sorting through donations, helping foster children find their favorite Barbi t-shirt, to implementing our annual Christmas program, AmeriCorps members get our children the items the need and want.

CAUSE AREAS

Advocacy & Human Rights
Children & Youth
Crisis Support
Advocacy & Human Rights, Children & Youth, Crisis Support

WHEN

We'll work with your schedule.

WHERE

126 E University DrMesa, AZ 85201

(33.4226,-111.82803)
 

SKILLS

GOOD FOR

  • People 55+
  • Group

REQUIREMENTS

  • Background Check
  • One year commitment - September 1, 2022 - August 31, 2023 450 Total hours, 10 hours per week
  • Background checks are required for service.

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