Gila River casinos donate nearly $175K to Arizona nonprofits

With the help of generous guests, Gila River Resorts and Casinos has been able to donate nearly $175,000 to four Arizona nonprofits.

All people have to do is take their winning ticket and put it in the machine. Once that ticket is in, guests have the option of donating as little or as much as they want.

"Sometimes that five cents doesn't get you [much], but that five cents, if they give it back to an organization, it adds up," said a casino representative. "It makes a difference in the community for local families, children and organizations."

Over the last year, Gila River guests donated $173,751.52 to four local nonprofits, including Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation, Special Olympics Arizona and Homeless Youth Connection.

"This kind of donation is rare for an organization our size and what that really entails for us, it can pay for an entire program," said a spokesperson for Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona.

The nonprofit provides therapeutic arts programming for children who have experienced trauma due to abuse, neglect or homelessness. They use a model called Art with Intention, and the casino's donation will help put about 250 children through a summer program.

This was the first year for the kiosk cash program for the resort and casino, and it was so successful, Round 2 is already underway.

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