Arizona nonprofit helping foster kids facing major volunteer shortage

A Valley nonprofit that offers a hand up to foster kids is now needing one itself - Helping Hands Arizona is looking for volunteers this summer.

Becky McHolland has been a volunteer at Arizona Helping Hands for a few years now.

"I came on a tour with a local group about three years ago and was just really impressed with all they do here to help foster families," said McHolland.

Becky's main responsibility is organizing and folding clothes given to foster kids.

"Seeing the kids come in and pick out things for themselves, you know, its just really rewarding to know that these kids are being well taken care of," she said.

When she first started, she was making birthday bags for kids.

"We have all sort of volunteer opportunities from working in the warehouse with clothing, helping to sort toys," said a spokesperson for the nonprofit. "I have mentioned that Birthday Dreams program, so if you like picking out toys and wrapping stuff, that's a great place for you to come in and do."

According to Arizona Helping Hands, there are currently 1,400 kids in Arizona in the foster care system.

The nonprofit provides everything from special gifts to essentials like clothes, mattresses and diapers.

"Due to COVID, our volunteer rates are down 50%, but the need is not down," said the spokesperson.

Volunteers are essential in making sure the children and foster parents get what they need when they need it the most. By giving just a few hours of their day, volunteers like Becky are likely making a lifetime of difference.

The nonprofit also has special events, so if you cannot volunteer on a regular basis, there are plenty of other ways to give back.

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