Champions for Children & Families, Phoenix

Nearly 150 attendees gathered together for the 2016 Champions for Children & Families Dinner on December 8th at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix.

Guests mixed and mingled to the sounds of the jazz trio, Jazzola, and learned more about the mission and work of Child & Family Resources during an inspirational program, followed by our Champions for Children & Families Awards presentation.

Hosted by our emcee, Nicole Crites of AZFamly TV3, guests heard an emotional testimonial by Desiree Gutierrez, a recent graduate of our Maricopa Center for Adolescent Parents program, about how it had helped change her life. We then celebrated the winners of our 2016 Champions Awards who included Ava Castro with the Giving Heart Award, Valley Leadership Class 34 with the Gabe Zimmerman Emerging Champion Award, Carol Knight and Colleen Walski with the Champion for Children & Families Award, and finally, Nadine Mathis Basha with the Martha K. Rothman Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thank you to all of our winners, guests, and sponsors who made this year’s event so very special!

Honoring LGBTQ People as Equal: A Statement of Inclusion

At Child & Family Resources, we are proud to join Healthy Teen Network in their Statement of Inclusion for the teens and adults in the LGBTQ community. To Choose love-based responses—not fear—to honor our common humanity. Honor #LGBTQ youth as equals. #PrideMonth #Youth360. 

The most recent senseless act of terror based in fear and hate affirms this call to action to let love reign over fear. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of Orlando, and the LGBTQ community around the world.

“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt... If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.” 

- Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Healthy Teen Network declares it way past time to let go of fear of LGBTQ people once and for all and let love reign in its stead. Fear leads people to be intolerant of those different from us, including differences in our sexual orientations and gender identities. Fear leads people to say hateful things about others so as to safeguard our beliefs, and thus ourselves. Fear leads to judgment. And fear leads to violence.

Fear manifests itself in name-calling, bullying, and physical harm directed toward people who identify as a member of an other than heterosexual sexuality- or gender identity-based culture group (including, lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit, trans, intersex and queer cultures). Fear manifests itself in health and socioeconomic disparities among the LGBTQ population compared to their heterosexual peers, including in substance use, HIV disease, suicide, and homelessness. And fear manifests itself in public policies (approved by fear-motivated policymakers) that discriminate against people who identify as a member of an other-than-heterosexual sexuality- or gender identity-based culture group. This includes laws passed recently in several states in obvious reaction to the ever-broadening acceptance of and civil rights protections for LGBTQ people.

Healthy Teen Network envisions a world where all adolescents and young adults lead healthy and fulfilling lives. To reach this vision, all of us must repudiate fear-based responses to human differences. Instead all of us must choose love-based responses that honor our common humanity. For people who are LGBTQ, such loving action includes insisting on their rights to raise children without judgment, to sexuality education without shame or stigma, to health and social services without bias, to employment without harassment, and to public accommodations (including restrooms of one’s choosing) without interference.     

Healthy Teen Network declares it way past time to let go of fear of LGBTQ people once and for all and let love reign in its stead. Do you share our belief that a world with adolescents and young adults leading healthy and fulfilling lives includes young people who identify as LGBTQ? What are you doing already, and what more will you do, to honor their equal worth?

Visit Healthy Teen Network


Please consider adding your organization’s name as a supporter of this statement of inclusion. To do so, please complete this short sign-up form.

Honoring Gabe Zimmerman - The 2015 Triple Crown

Gabe Zimmerman, one of the people killed in the tragic shooting on January 8, 2011, was a Child & Family Resources board member and a wonderful advocate for children and families. To honor Gabe, his father Ross, who now serves on our board of directors, and the organizers of Southern Arizona Roadrunners created the Gabe Zimmerman Triple Crown, a series of three run/walk events. 

“If we can walk or run three miles in a hot summer night or get around the Saguaro loop, the ups and downs of daily life are certainly manageable. If we can climb A-Mountain, we can rise to our other challenges. Our goal is to celebrate Gabe and motivate the community to aspire to individual and collective greatness–-to work alone and work with others towards those goals we find valuable. To celebrate living, community, and good will. To live with love, to live with passion to chase dreams.” ~ Southern Arizona Roadrunners

Supporting Wellness

In honor of Gabe’s commitment to children and families, Arizona Roadrunners donates $10 from any registration for the Triple Crown to Child & Family Resources. This year, the community raised over $8,000! We use the funds here at Child & Family Resources to support the health and wellness programs in our offices. 

Team CFR

We had a great team of staff members participating at all three stages of the 2015 Triple Crown. We joined the kick-off close to home with the wonderful Meet Me Downtown 5k Night Run/Walk on May 30th. We enjoyed the wonderful weather of the Saguaro National Park Labor Day 8-Miler & 5k on May 30th. And we were so pleased to joins so many other walkers and runners at the closing Get Moving Tucson Half-Marathon Event featuring TMC A-Mountain Half-Marathon, Tucson Lifestyle 5k, and Cox Charities 1-mile, on October 25th. 

Special Thanks

At each event, we were honored to have our board member Ross Zimmerman bring the passion and spirit that Gabe brought to our organization. 

Board member Ross Zimmerman and CEO & President Eric Schindler before the Saguaro National Park Labor Day race

Board member Ross Zimmerman and CEO & President Eric Schindler before the Saguaro National Park Labor Day race

Thank you to Randy Acetta for his tireless work on the three great races of the Triple Crown. Thank you for keeping Child & Family Resources at the heart of these events.

Thank you to Southern Arizona Roadrunners for bringing health, wellness, and fun to our city. If you haven't yet, check them out and get involved in all the fun runs and serious races. Visit them at www.azroadrunners.org

Special thanks to all the runners/walkers who registered and contributed to the great donation to Child & Family Resources. 

Join us next year

Stay tuned to the Triple Crown page on the Southern Arizona Roadrunner's page to find the races for 2016. We look forward to seeing you at the races!

Diaper Banks: Changing Lives One Diaper at a Time

Child & Family Resources is proud to partner with the Diaper Bank to provide access to diapers for families in our program. Please enjoy our guest blogger, Claudette Langley, Americorps/VISTA and outreach/marketing coordinator with the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, as she explains the great work of our friends and partners at the Diaper Bank.

By Claudette Langley

Every day somewhere in the America a mother is hoping that her baby’s diaper can last just a little bit longer and an elderly person is deciding to stay home because they don’t’ have a dry incontinence item to take with them. These are the realities that sparked the birth of the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona 20 years ago.

The First Diaper Bank

The first of its kind in the nation, the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona was the brainchild of Hildy Gotlieb and Dimitri Petropolis, partners in a small Tucson-based consulting firm. In 1994, the duo held the first diaper drive and five years later they had collected 300,000 diapers. The organization became a freestanding organization in 2000 and this year expects to distribute more than 800,000 diapers and incontinence products throughout Southern Arizona. In the past 20 years the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona has distributed more than 8.5 million diapers and incontinence items to residents in 10 Arizona counties.

Since the founding of the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona, the issue of filling diaper need has become a national movement with diaper banks springing up across the nation, including a National Diaper Bank Network that helps coordinate the joint efforts. Presently there are about 200 diaper banks throughout the United States.

How It Works

There is a variation among the many diaper banks in what supplies they offer. Some provide diapers, formula and clothes, some provide adult items as well as children’s, some are free standing and others are part of larger organizations and are considered a program. However, despite the differences all of them have a mission to eliminate diaper need in their areas. In addition, breaking the cycle of poverty through partnerships with other community agencies is a common thread.

The Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona distributes its supplies through 46 plus partner agencies, including crisis nurseries, child abuse prevention programs, teen parent programs (school and community-based), and senior and immigrant and refugee programs.

Diaper Need

What is diaper need? Put simply it is the lack of adequate diapers and adult incontinence supplies and it strikes with regularity throughout the United States. While it may seem to some to be a fairly innocuous situation with an easy fix, that is just not the case for many Americans are forced to choose between buying these supplies or paying for other basics necessities such as food or a utility bill.  No assistance programs, including WIC (Women, Infants and Children) or SNAP (food stamps) cover the cost of the diapers.

It costs nearly $100 a month to keep one child in an adequate supply of diapers. Presently it is estimated that 30 percent of low-income mothers cannot change their babies’ diaper as often as they’d like. The latest census figures show that 15 percent of Americans live in poverty, in Arizona nearly 19 percent of the families are living at or below poverty levels and here in Tucson the number jumps to 27 percent.

Diaper need’s impacts don’t stop at hard financial choices. Babies are at times left in the same diaper all day as the parents try to conserve and parents report reusing soiled diapers. Both of these practices can lead to severe diaper rash and urinary tract infections.

In addition, diaper need creates mental and emotional hardships for parents. In July 2013, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics released the study “Diaper Need and Its Impact on Child Health." The study found that a high number of mothers forced to make this type of decision reported suffering from emotional distress and mental health issues.

While lack of diapers can cause immediate health and financial hardships, it also can also produce impacts that are detrimental to the families’ future. Day care centers require and adequate daily supply of disposable diapers, without these parents often have to forego pursuing academic or employment opportunities.

Why not cloth?

Diaper bank’s often hear from well-meaning community members the suggestion that these families use cloth diapers. Using cloth is often not an option for so many of these families living on the hard economic edge. Many do not have a washer or dryer at their homes and most Laundromats won’t allow diapers to be washed in their machines. Many families also rely on public transit, so getting diapers to facility to wash them is daunting

Adults Too

While diapers for infants and children are the majority of supplies provided by diaper banks, there is another segment of the population significantly impacted by need. The elderly and disabled adults too struggle with quality of life issues created by the lack of an adequate supply of incontinence items.

Approximately 20 percent of the supplies provided to the community by the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona are adult supplies. “If you want to find a topic nobody wants to talk about, just say the words “Adult Incontinence” said Bobby Rich of 94.9 MixFM. Rich’s words top the page on the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona’s webpage on adult incontinence. It is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of adults 65 years and older are incontinent

Anyone Can Help

The Diaper Bank movement is truly grass roots, all over the country individuals are making a decision to help meet diaper need and starting diaper banks of their own. Every day somewhere around the nation there is news of a drive by a school, a faith-based organization or a private business.

For more information on diaper banks and how to help visit www.diaperbank.org or http://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/.