Collage of refugees, children, and essential workers during the pandemic

We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grants: Round Four Recipients

In partnership with the City of Tucson’s Mayor and Council, CFSA is pleased to announce the fourth and final round of We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grant recipients.  In this round, an additional $394,670 in Federal CARES Act funding was awarded to twenty seven nonprofit organizations to support the continued provision of essential services to vulnerable members of the Tucson community during the pandemic.

Mayor Regina Romero shared, “The pandemic impacted the very organizations that help those most in need: our nonprofits. I am thankful to CFSA for facilitating the equitable distribution of CARES funds and ensuring our nonprofits have the funds they need to offer vital services and resources to vulnerable communities.”

This grant round brings the total funding provided in partnership with Tucson’s Mayor and Council to over $1,187,500 and CFSA’s total COVID-19 relief funding to nonprofits in Pima and Santa Cruz Counties to over 3.5 million.

Round Four: We Are One | Somos Uno Nonprofit Continuity Grant Recipients

Flowing Wells Extension Program enhances the educational process through a variety of extracurricular and supplementary activities for those in the Flowing Wells School District and the surrounding area.

Martha Damron, Executive Director, shared about the students in their YES program, “We are so lucky to work with these little Super Heroes on a daily basis. The students of the YES Program are resilient and prepared to deal with the changing world ahead of them.   We have been so fortunate to provide a  services to the essential workers in our community.”

Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Southern Arizona has specialized counseling that offers hope and healing to people who are dealing with anxiety, depression, family conflicts, loss of a loved one, and other life issues. Their person-centered therapy helps heal children and adults who have lived through traumatic events.

Victoria Moses, Grant Writer for JFCS of Southern Arizona, stated, “We continue to safely serve the Tucson community during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have expanded our services during this time, providing telehealth for counseling, grocery and rent assistance, and other important community needs.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona provides a warm and welcoming environment for families with critically ill children who come to Tucson for medical care.

Kate Maguire Jensen, President and CEO, shared that this year was different in many ways, including the need to close  the Ronald McDonald Houses to curb the spread of COVID-19. However, they decided to continue serving families in need by covering their hotel costs for the five months the House in Tucson was closed.

Maguire Jensen stated, “The We Are One/Somos Uno grant funds covered all the un-budgeted COVID-related expenses (including the hotel costs), allowing us to fully meet our mission of ‘nurturing the health and well-being of children and their families.’  We are extremely grateful.”

Spreading Threads Clothing Bank provides gently used and new clothes and items to foster, foster/adoptive, and kinship families in southern Arizona in order to decrease their financial burden and provide clothes that children feel good wearing.

Michele Wright, Executive Director & Cofounder, shared that the need for these services has increased during the pandemic due to many other services for foster children shutting  down. Wright shared that Spreading Threads has continued to provide clothing to foster families during the pandemic, stating, “These kids deserve to feel valued and to have dignity, and I’m a big believer in that.”

Planned Parenthood Arizona promotes and protects every person’s freedom and right to enjoy sexual health and well-being, to make reproductive choices, and build healthy, strong families.

Dana Haynes, Organizational Advancement Program Coordinator for Planned Parenthood Arizona, shared, “The funds we received from We Are One/Somos Uno fund are helping Planned Parenthood Arizona keep the doors open at the Southern Arizona Regional Health Center and keep our patients and health care staff safe. We are doing all we can to continue providing the time-sensitive care we are known for during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are extremely grateful to the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and the City of Tucson for providing this much needed funding.”

Through dynamic educational experiences, BorderLinks connects divided communities, raises awareness about the impact of the border and immigration policies, and inspires action for social transformation.

Michael Krepps, Co-Director of BorderLinks, stated, “These funds have provided critical resources for our organization as we do more virtually, protect our community as they enter our building, and support members of our community in great need.”

Tucson Refugee Ministry engages and equips their staff to bring hope and essential services to refugees in Tucson.

Jennifer Tompkins, Executive Director of Tucson Refugee Ministry, shared, “We are so very thankful for the Somos Uno/We Are One Grant that is allowing us to safely connect with refugees in our community during this important time! This most is one of our most vulnerable populations and it is so important that they know the Tucson Community is supporting them in this time.”

The Erik Hite Foundation provides a child care center and family outreach programs for the children of first responders and military personnel.

Nohemy Hite, Founder and Executive Director of the Erik Hite Foundation, shared, “We are grateful for the award of the Somos Uno/We Are One grant. With this grant we were able to help 50 children with out child care and nanny programs to receive care, love and support while their parents stand in the frontlines of the pandemic.” Hite further shared that the funds will keep staff members fully employed while they continue working during the pandemic, allowing first responder parents to provide essential services while their children are safely cared for.

Habitat For Humanity Tucson works to create a more compassionate and just world by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope.

Cythnia Wasco, Foundation and Corporate Relations Manager for Habitat for Humanity Tucson, detailed COVID-19’s impact on the fundamental importance of a having safe, decent and affordable shelter. Despite many setbacks, Wasco shared, “But thanks to generous community support from CFSA, Habitat Tucson is continuing to build affordable homes in Southern Arizona alongside families. These homes are needed by low-income veterans, single parents, and multigenerational families.” 

T. VanHook, CEO Habitat for Humanity Tucson, further stated, “Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive. The impact of a safe and decent home has never been clearer. With increased precautions and community support, volunteers can continue building for families in our community.”

American Heart Association has grown into the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.

Danielle Hammons, Associated Advisor/Foundation Relations, shared that these funds will support their infant CPR kit program. Hammons further provided the following quote from an American Heart Association partner, “unfortunately, cancelled class due to COVID-19 limit our availability to provide effective CPR training to parents and families of newborns let alone send them home with training kits for their own to use to train other caregivers like siblings, grandparents and babysitters… Thank you for the opportunity to share our support for the lifesaving program.” 

Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest stabilizes people during crisis and transition, builds a foundation where people can thrive, and preserves dignity and respect for the most vulnerable.

Joanna Kitts, Contracts & Impact Manager for Lutheran Social Services, shared that 752 refugees have been provided essential services through their organization since August. These services include in-kind donations of school supplies, diapers, hygiene supplies, rent support, food, bicycles, laundry money, and rent support. An employment specialist for Lutheran Social Services, Mukadesa, further shared that refugee families have all appreciated the donations, and assistance in finding employment.

Assistance League of Tucson works in the Tucson community to help those in need. Through their programs and auxiliaries, they help more than 13,000 people each year.

Jeanie Byrd, Grants Chair of Assistance League of Tucson, shared, “The two programs that enjoyed a boost were Assault Survivor Kits® (clothing for children and adults who are victims of assault and trauma) and Operation School Bell® which provides new school clothing for poverty level children in Title 1 schools.”

Coyote TaskForce works to create, “an intentional community of support to individuals living with serious mental illness in our community, along with employment services that create paths toward stability, growth, and independence,” stated Executive Director, Jeff Grobe.

Grobe further shared, “With this funding we can continue our work to provide a safe, welcoming community for people in recovery who might otherwise suffer in the silence and isolation that COVID has magnified for so many. We all deserve to have a place where we are safe, where we are welcomed, where we are supported and challenged to be our best selves.”

Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF) works to provide accessible science education for all. Their programming centers on helping young people find their inner scientist through real and practical experience.

Julie Euber, COO of SARSEF, shared that these funds will be utilized to further SARSEF programs, such as Arizona STEM Adventure. This program engages 4th – 8th grade students in STEM through hands-on activities and interactions with STEM professionals and college students. 

Educational Enrichment Foundation was founded by Tucson’s community and business leaders in order to support the students and teachers within Tucson Unified School District schools.

Dawn Bell, Executive Director, shared, “Educational Enrichment Foundation is very grateful to receive this Somos Uno/We Are One grant and support the youth in our community during the pandemic. This generous grant will be utilized to purchase 26 laptops for disadvantaged TUSD high school students during COVID-19.”

Ben’s Bells Project teaches individuals and communities about the positive impacts of intentional kindness and inspires people to practice kindness as a way of life.

Paula Lopez, shared some of the work being done during the pandemic, including students from Empire High School’s National Honor Society providing new ware boards to be used in the Ben’s Bells studio.