Fall 2014 Newsletter
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We are happy to send you our Fall E-Newsletter.  We have much going on in anticipation of the holidays—especially collecting toys and gift cards for as many of the children in foster care as we can.  This year we hope to provide for more than 3,000 children.  We count on your help and know that together we will achieve great things!

We have some new programs that we hope to start after the first of the year.  We will tell you more about them in our next newsletter.
Thank you for your support!  Aviva is proud to partner with you in serving children in foster care.

Robert Heslinga
Executive Director
Breaking new ground for children in foster care
Construction of Aviva's Outdoor Visit Center is Underway

Aviva Children’s Services Outdoor Visit Center is now under construction.  The record number of children in the care of the Department of Child Safety (DCS) in Pima County adds urgency to creating new and innovative ways to deal with their needs, among them court-mandated visits between children and their birth parents. This outdoor playing space is the first of its kind in southern Arizona dedicated exclusively to help DCS families in the process leading to reunification. It is designed to provide opportunities for positive family interaction in a safe and secure setting. The addition of this new area will increase Aviva’s capacity to host 20% more visits, benefiting more families and children in need of supervision. DCS families will have the opportunity to play in an interactive park setting, something that otherwise would not be possible.The therapeutic value of play is necessary for both parent and child. True healing and reconciliation takes place in a climate of mutuality—how better to foster that climate than in play?

The total estimated cost of the 1,000 square foot the Outdoor Visit Center is $425,000. This project is made possible in part by a $250,000 grant from Angel Charity, an all-volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children in Pima County. The construction is expected to be completed in December.
Design for Outdoor Visit Center
Playground vision taking shape

The Arizona Foster Care Charitable Tax Credit
You can now take credit for helping children in foster care

Reduce what you owe in state taxes up to $400 (individuals) or $800 (married couples) when you make a donation to a Qualifying Foster Care Organization like  Aviva Children's Services. This tax credit comes directly off the top of your Arizona tax bill!

The Arizona Foster Care Charitable Tax Credit is easy to claim, repays you for your generosity, and makes a real difference in the life of a child in foster care.

To claim this tax credit, we must receive your online contribution by midnight, December 31st of the current year.  If donating by US mail, contributions must be postmarked by December 31 and sent to:
Aviva Children’s Services
153. S. Plumer Ave.
Tucson, AZ  85719

Why wait . . .  DONATE NOW!

Parental Support Program Expands
Parents Helping Parents Through Dependency

Aviva's Parental Support Program has expanded to offer mentoring to parents who are new to the dependency process. Recently launched, this one-on-one mentoring program is led by parents who have successfully completed their dependency case and received special training to help others understand the dependency process.  Mentors have knowledge of addiction and recovery, and can offer their experience, strength and hope to those they mentor. The goal is to support parents with encouragement and inspiration to work towards family reunification.

This parent mentoring program is building on the success of our Parent Peer Support Group that to date has served 300 participants and achieved an impressive success rate -less than 1% of participants have returned to court supervision.
Help us bring cheer this holiday to children in foster care.  Last year, Aviva distributed toys and gift cards to 2,700 children in Pima County and this year the number of children in State care is close to 4,500.  Donate new unwrapped, age appropriate toys for children and gift cards for teenagers. The gift cards can be of $25 or less in value from Target, Old Navy,  H & M, Wal-Mart, GAP or other stores that are favorites among teens. The Drive ends on Friday, December 12th. Drop-off donations at our office located on 153 S. Plumer Ave. – Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 4:30 pm.

Volunteers are needed to help set-up distribution venue, sort gift items and help fulfill toy requests on Dec.15 and 16, from 9 am to 8 pm.  For more information, contact Michelle Rios at 520.327-6679 Ext. 11.

Sponsored by Tucson Electric Power, IBEW Local 1116, American Legion Riders District 2, 96.1 KLPX, America's Overwatch and Harley Davidson of Tucson.

Ride in the parade, or join us at the after party for music, raffles, food and lots of fun! Net proceeds will benefit Aviva’s Holiday Program and help provide other needs for children in foster care. If not riding in the parade, join us at Reid Park for the parade send-off or at the after party at the Sabbar Shrine Temple.

Parade Date: Saturday, December 13
Registration:  8:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. at 700 S. Randolph Way (Hi Corbett Field)
Parade Procession Begins at: 12:00 p.m.
Parade Ends at: Sabbar Shrine Temple at 450 S. Tucson Blvd. (between 22nd and Broadway).


The Divas at the Holiday Arts and Craft Fair at Reid Park

The Aviva Divas will have a booth at this year's fair  and will be selling their handmade items. Purchase beautiful quilts, table runners, bags and lots more for those dear ones on your holiday list.  All proceeds from sale will go to support their charitable work.
Pajama Party Sewathon
Our New Community Service Event

The first annual Pajama Sewing Party took place on September 27th at the Sabbar Shrine Temple. More than 80 volunteers completed 456 pajama bottoms and packaged them with a book and T-shirt. These items will be distributed to children in foster care as part of our Holiday Program.  We want to thank our event partners Angel Heart Pajama Project and the American Sewing Guild - Tucson Chapter for contributing to the success of this event.
Volunteers sewing pajama bottoms at the first annual Pajama Sewing Party at the Sabbar Shrine Temple.
Graciela Lopez, founder of Angel Heart Pajama Project, and Adia our youngest volunteer packaging pajamas, books and pillowcases.
TEP awards Aviva a $5,000 grant for The Life Book Project

TEP Grants that Make a Difference awarded Aviva's Life Books Project $5,000. Life Books are personal biographies written for children in foster care to help them develop a sense of self-worth and make sense of confusing and difficult circumstances that led to their placement in foster care.
We want to thank TEP for their continued support to Aviva and to Tucson's nonprofit community.
Undies and Socks Drive
Sets New Record

Over 6,000 underwear and socks were collected during our summer Undies and Socks Drive, surpassing last year's drive by 1,000 units. So far this year, we have distributed 4,000 units to children in DCS care. The need for these items is continues throughout the year, so donations are always welcome and appreciated. Thanks to all individuals, organizations and businesses that contributed to making this drive a success.  Our mascot Elmo is elated with your kindness!
Wish List
We are in currently in need of the following items:
  • New or gently used winter clothing for babies
  • Warm winter clothing for children (new or gently used from toddlers to teens)
  • Hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, combs, small shampoos, conditioners, lotions, deodorants, and soap
  • Socks and Underwear (new only)
  • Fabrics for volunteers to make duffel bags, quilts and pajama bottoms
Copyright © 2014 Aviva Children's Services, All rights reserved.

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