Desert Financial is committed to giving back to our local community through volunteer work, donations, financial education programs and more. By supporting Valley organizations, we are able to foster community connections and strengthen the community we all share. We know that a strong community helps create more opportunities for everyone.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A KINDNESS PARTY
We performed Random Acts of Kindness at the 2018 Fiesta Bowl Parade!
Desert Financial was the title sponsor for the 2018 Fiesta Bowl Parade, and we wanted to make sure that we brought our Kindness Revolution to this celebration. We started off the day by providing $2,000 grants to five deserving charities; Ryan House, Arizona Helping Hands, Special Olympics Arizona, Elevate Phoenix and Play Works Arizona. But our kind acts didn’t stop there. During the parade, our team handed out $25,000 worth of gift cards to attendees as our final Random Act of Kindness of 2018! The smiles we received were a great way to end an amazing year!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: BEAUTIFUL GIFTS
Occupants of a retirement home received a flowery surprise.
Recently, there has been a rising trend of brides and grooms donating their flowers after their wedding. We thought this was a wonderful idea, since the gift of flowers can brighten someone’s day. Our team members decided to purchase $500 worth of flowers and shower the residents of a retirement home with beautiful blossoms!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: An Artistic Surprise
We surprised a member and her son with tickets to Aladdin and more!
Jaben was diagnosed with a rare brain condition called Hydrocephalus when he was born. This condition has left him unable to speak or walk and has resulted in about two surgeries per year. Jaben’s mother, Tori, is a single mother who works tirelessly to provide him with the best care possible. Through years of care, training, and physical therapy, he went from not being able to hold Tori’s hand to holding a paint brush. With that paint brush, he creates wonderful works of art that are not only a form of therapy to him, but they also put a smile on the faces of those who receive them. After learning about Jaben’s story, we surprised him and his mother with tickets to the Broadway musical Aladdin and art supplies to help inspire him!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A Grand Gesture
We provided a family with food and gifts just in time for the holidays.
Toni goes out of her way to help her daughter, who is a single mother of two young children. In addition to supporting herself, Toni has taken on the task of helping to raise her grandchildren and providing financial support to them whenever she can. Knowing the holidays were right around the corner, we decided to surprise Toni, her daughter and her grandchildren with food and toys to help make their holiday a little brighter!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: Driving with Peace of Mind
We partnered with LeSueur Car Company to fix Jessica’s vehicle.
Jessica is a longstanding Desert Financial member, as well as a single mother to newborn triplets. Raising three children on her own has had its challenges, especially financially. Jessica had been having some major car issues that were just too expensive to fix on her own. We admire Jessica and how hard she works to provide for her three children, so we wanted to surprise her by having her car fixed! We partnered with LeSueur Car Company to change her oil, fix her brakes and complete a few other repairs. We hope this gives Jessica peace of mind knowing that she has a safe vehicle to travel with her newborns in!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A Trip for Healing
We provided the Williams family with funds for a trip after their dad passed away.
Despite his ailing health, John Williams was determined to see his oldest daughter play in her softball tournament in Florida. Only six weeks after making this dream a reality, John ultimately succumbed to his cancer, leaving behind his wife, Laura, and their four young children. Knowing this holiday season would be a difficult one, we chose to surprise this family of Desert Financial members with $1,500 to allow them to go holiday shopping or take a family trip. We hope that this act provided some light for the Williams family during the holidays!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A Re-Opening to Remember
We gave away donations and one Arizona Cardinals prize pack!
To celebrate the re-opening of our East Bell branch, we decided to spread the some of the excitement to our members and visitors of our newly remodeled branch! One lucky winner received an Arizona Cardinals swag bag, along with a $500 check that was presented by Big Red himself. Two local organizations also received donations — the Bell Road Assembly Youth Group received $500 to help build a dance studio, while AZ Search Track and Rescue also received a donation of $500 that will help train more dogs to assist in search and rescue events!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: Surprising a Foster Family
Our followers voted to give one family gifts for their foster kids!
Our social media followers were able to vote on this Random Act of Kindness! They chose to shower one local foster family with gifts and supplies for their three young foster kids. We not only provided gifts for the kids just in time for the holiday season, but we also gave them clothes, diapers, toiletries, and other essentials a family with kids would require. We hope this Random Act helped spread some cheer during their holiday!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: Fulfilling Schooling Needs
We purchased school supplied for two boys who were dealing with a loss.
Danny and Angel tragically lost their father just before the holiday season began. Their father was a single father who did everything he could to support his young boys, including helping with their schooling and encouraging their love of sports. When we heard about the tragedy that occurred, we wanted to provide the boys with something to shine a little light during this difficult time. We purchased a laptop and laptop supplies for the boys, as well as a gift card to help them with other educational needs!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: Providing Healthcare Help
After Ekpeno lost her sister, we stepped in to help with some unpaid medical bills.
Ekpeno had been saving money to move her sister from Nigeria to the United States. Unfortunately, her sister passed away before Ekpeno could bring her here; Ekpeno was required to pay for her late sister’s medical bills and burial costs upfront, which left her in debt. Knowing how hard Ekpeno had worked to try and help her sister, we provided her with a check for $1,000 to assist in paying for some of those costs. We hope that this relieved the hardship she was facing and brightened her day!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: Small Gesture, Big Smiles
We surprised individuals across the valley with gift cards!
Sometimes the smallest gestures can make the biggest impact! With that in mind, we provided each of our service managers with a $50 gift card to give to someone in the community! Our team created smiles all around the Valley when they surprised unsuspecting community members with the gesture. One of our favorite stories in this act involved the father of a 16-month-old daughter. Not only were we able to help with the costs of diapers and wipes by giving him a Walmart gift card, but after learning about the family’s additional needs, we were also able to assist him with childcare resources!
HELPING TO BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY
Our team is working to change lives.
At Desert Financial, having a passion to help is one of our core values. We encourage our employees to contribute their time or funds to charitable causes because we believe it is the right thing to do. It’s all part of how we share our success with our members and our community. We are extremely passionate about helping United Way work to end poverty in Maricopa County, which is why many of our team members donate every month to that organization. In fact, over the last six months, our team has donated $130,000 to Valley of the Sun United Way!
Desert Financial gave an extra donation to an organization that makes a difference.
Last year, many of our team members registered to donate some funds from their paychecks to Valley of the Sun United Way. However, Desert Financial did not stop there. We also made an additional donation to help this organization that we believe in. In addition to the $260,000 that our team members donated in 2018, Desert Financial also made a $25,000 contribution to United Way.
HELPING CHILDREN LIVING IN FOSTER CARE
Our Desert Financial team donated $4,500 in toys.
Thanks to the generosity of our team, we collected more than 700 toys for Arizona children living in foster care! Together, we filled 34 boxes with toys, with an estimated value of $4,500.
Arizona Helping Hands is the largest provider of essential needs for Arizona children living in foster care. Their annual toy drive provides gifts for the holidays, as well as birthdays and special occasions.
The staff and volunteers at Arizona Helping Hands were thrilled to receive all of the toys and gifts from Desert Financial.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: LEARNING WITH TECHNOLOGY
Six students will receive laptops to help support their education.
Laptops 4 Learning is a nonprofit organization focused on helping students reach their educational and career goals. Dwayne Baker started the organization because he saw that many students were only able to use school-provided laptops. Without the use of their own personal computer at home, students can easily fall behind in their assignments. We wanted to support this organization’s mission, and so we donated $750, which is enough to pay for six laptops!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A SUPPORTIVE GIFT
We helped a student pay for college.
Getting into college is a huge accomplishment, but sometimes paying for it can be a big hurdle to overcome. At Desert Financial, we fully support educational initiatives and wanted to help assist someone with college expenses. We surprised a student with a $500 scholarship to apply to her Arizona State University tuition.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A VETERANS DAY SURPRISE
Our social media followers voted for us to deliver snacks to veterans.
We wanted to send out a thank you to honor veterans since they put their lives on the line and sacrifice so much for our safety. We stopped by the VA hospital in Phoenix and provided them with $250 worth of snacks. One of our team members that is a veteran even took time out of his day to help us deliver the goodies!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A TRIP TO THE CAPITAL
We donated funds to help a student fulfill a dream.
Desirae, a senior at a local high school, had aspirations to attend The Close Up Foundation’s Washington D.C. Civic Education Program. However, the cost of the trip seemed a bit out of reach. Next year, Desirae will become the first person in her family to attend a university, and when we heard about her commitment to education, we knew we needed to step in and help. We surprised Desirae at her high school with a check for $2,500 to fully fund her trip to the nation’s capital!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING STUDENTS LEARN
We provided supplies for a low-income school.
A local valley school was in need of headphones for a classroom full of English-language learners. It can be such a hard transition for students to have to learn a new language, but the right classroom supplies can help make the transition easier. To support this low-income school, we paid for headphones to be added to the classroom. This will give educators a new way to teach their students.
SUPPORTING ABILITY 360
Our contribution will help individuals with disabilities live more independently.
Living Well with a Disability is a program provided by Ability 360. It is a 10-week course that helps adults with physical disabilities set goals for their lives and create detailed plans for how to reach those goals. Programs such as this one help people improve their mental and physical health. We are proud to sponsor this program so that the attendees can join the course for free.
OFFERING PARENTS DAILY TIPS AND RESOURCES
We sponsored Vroom, a new program from the Association for Supportive Child Care.
Vroom is a program that helps support parents and families. The program was developed by the Bezos Family Foundation with input from early childhood experts, neuroscientists, parents, and community leaders. We provided funds to help create Vroom because we love that it gives parents and family members daily tips and resources for supporting their children’s growing minds.
BUILDING TOWARD A BRIGHTER FUTURE
We supported an organization that is helping children find hope.
Future for KIDS is an after-school mentoring program for children who are facing adversity. The program gives these kids a chance to develop coping skills. The elementary and middle school-aged children get to participate in camps that help them learn how to build healthy relationships. To show our support for the good that this organization does for the youth in our community, we donated $10,000.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Desert Financial supports the organization Kitchen on the Street.
In Arizona, there is a large population of children that go hungry on the weekends. They can receive breakfast and lunch during school days, but they often do not have food when they go home for the night or have a break from school. Kitchen on the Street is a nonprofit organization that fights childhood hunger by bringing food to children in need. We gave $10,000 to this organization, which will support up to 30 different school sites.
HELPING CHILDREN GROW
We are working to help kids in need
Desert Financial donated $15,000 to MentorKids USA. Our grant will make it possible for at-risk high school students in South Phoenix to work through MentorKids USA’s program during the full school year. There will also be a “Youth Leadership Summit Presented by Desert Financial” where youth-led workshops will help other children in the community learn about financial empowerment.
PROVIDING HOPE FOR THE HOMELESS
Our grant will help those in the Native American community who are struggling with homelessness.
Native American Connections is an organization that focuses on helping people understand behavioral health, find affordable housing, and develop projects in the community. We supported this organization’s Resident Services Program by donating $10,000, which will help homeless and formerly homeless families get affordable permanent housing. This program serves over 400 families, and we are happy to support it.
FUNDING LEADERSHIP TRAINING
Our donation will pay for a summer program for high school students.
The Center for Neighborhood Leadership focuses on supporting and training leaders in our community. Desert Financial has supported this organization by funding a summer program for high school students. The leaders of the program will help promote civic engagement at the city and school district level in areas that have very few programs for the youth.
FINDING WORK THAT CHANGES LIVES
We supported a program that focuses on training individuals to work in the banking industry.
BankWork$® is a program created by A New Leaf organization, which focuses on providing training for individuals looking to join the banking industry. The eight-week long program launched in 2016 and 75% of the graduates have found careers in banking since it began. At Desert Financial we are happy to donate to a program that helps people support their personal lives by creating successful professional lives.
SPONSORING PRESS FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY EVENTS
We supported a daily radio program that helps community members in Payson get involved in events.
The KRIM’s Community Spotlight Program provides its audience with nonprofit informational resources. The program also hosts guests who give details about community events that are happening in the area. At Desert Financial, we support community involvement and community development, so we have helped sponsor this radio program.
A DOG DAY
Desert Financial was a sponsor for the 2018 Runnin’ with the Pups.
To support the Humane Society of Payson, we donated $500 to their annual event. This year was the 5th year for the Runnin’ with the Pups event, and we wanted to help make it a success! We also invited our team members to join in the fun by attending or volunteering to work the event! Lots of smiles and tail wags were seen that day!
SHOWING SUPPORT FOR START-UPS
Desert Financial sponsored a conference about innovation.
The DAS Foundation’s Expo Foro-Business Conference centers on providing entrepreneurs with the tools and resources to start their own businesses. We gave the foundation $1,500 to sponsor the event and hosted a booth to provide financial information for new businesses. Entrepreneurs change our world, and we were proud to support so many people who are striving to be tomorrow’s leaders.
AUNT RITA’S FOUNDATION’S ANNUAL AIDS WALK
We showed our support for those living with HIV & AIDS.
Every year Aunt Rita’s Foundation hosts the largest AIDS Walk in Arizona. This year, Desert Financial joined the event by holding a booth and sponsoring a walking group of our team members. The walk itself helps raise awareness for the need for HIV & AIDS funding within the community, and the proceeds raised from the event support those living with HIV & AIDS.
HEALING HEARTS THROUGH THE ARTS
Free Arts changes local children’s lives, and that organization has our support.
The mission of Free Arts is to use the healing power of artistic expression to help abused and homeless children, and at Desert Financial, we fully support this. Many of our team members even volunteer with Free Arts. That is why it was a great honor to sponsor the Free Arts 25th Anniversary Gala.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: GETTING THE RIGHT TOOLS
Phil goes out of his way to help others, so we supported him when he went through a hardship.
The Junkie Garage is a local group of mechanics who offer free repair services to those that cannot afford to fix their cars. As long as the parts are supplied, the mechanics complete all of the labor for free. Our member Phil, who works with this group, recently had all of his tools stolen. This was a huge loss for him because not only can he no longer help with those that come to The Junkie Garage, but he also cannot work and support his family. To help out, we covered the cost of replacing his tools.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING A FAMILY AFFORD TO FIX THEIR A/C
We provided funds to a family that needed help cooling down.
Jason is a Choir Director at a local high school and his wife, Janell, is a director of a home school learning community. They have three young children and have been struggling with their air conditioning in their home. It stopped working, and even after fixing it once, the a/c went out again. The family is now looking at needing to completely replace their air conditioning unit, which is an expense they cannot afford. We gave this family $1,500 to help them with the purchase of a new unit for their home.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: BRIDGER BRIGADE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
One of our members is finding a way to help others after experiencing a tragedy.
Alysa Giguere’s son Bridger was diagnosed with a very rare form of childhood cancer. Even with treatment, the cancer spread, and eventually the family lost Bridger. Alysa and her family are now spending their free time spreading the news about this rare cancer in hopes of making more people aware of it and to encourage more research focused on finding a cure. They started a foundation called the Bridger Brigade Memorial Foundation, and they have used funds from that to help support other families dealing with this same form of cancer. We were happy to donate $2,500 to this foundation!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A SURPRISING TIP
To thank two waitresses for jobs well done, we left them a little something extra.
Our team members were asked to vote on several Random Acts of Kindness, and one that was chosen was to surprise two waitresses with a $250 tip each. Several team members went to a local restaurant, grabbed two tables and set the plan in action. After dining for lunch, they surprised the waitresses at each table with cash to thank them for their hard work.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: SNACK ATTACK
Teachers at a local school received a hearty surprise.
October 5th is both World Teachers’ Day and National Do Something Nice Day, so we wanted to celebrate by surprising local teachers with gifts. We asked our social media followers to vote for what gifts we should bring and what side of the valley we should visit. The results told us that we were going to bring snacks to teachers in the West Valley. Armed with boxes and bags of goodies, we were able to stock the breakroom for a local school.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A PLACE TO REST HER FEET
When a little girl needed someplace to sit when she was not in her wheelchair, we offered our help.
Linda Landwehr’s granddaughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at eight months old. Now eight years old, she has spent a lot of her life in the hospital. In 2017, she had 16 surgeries and spent 99 days at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Because she is unable to support her own body weight, she cannot sit properly on the furniture in her family’s house. When she is not in her wheelchair, she has to spend most of her time laying down. The family wanted to purchase a specialized chair for her to use when she is not in her wheelchair, and so they started a GoFundMe account to raise the money. They had received $500 from that account, and we donated the rest of the $3,000 that the family needed in order to help this little girl!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: FEEDING LOCAL FIREFIGHTERS
We wanted to show gratitude to our everyday heroes.
Firefighters work so hard to saves lives, and we appreciate their dedication and commitment to making enormous sacrifices for the betterment of their community. Not only do they put their lives on the line every day, but they also miss time and holidays with their families in order to protect our families. To thank them, we surprised a local fire station with a catered lunch from Costa Vida and Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A NOVEL IDEA
We are helping children go on adventures while they receive treatment in the hospital.
Oftentimes, children with illnesses can have a long journey to recovery, and we wanted to provide them some kind of escape. We donated $500 worth of books to Phoenix Children’s Hospital to help the kids open their worlds without leaving their beds. We hope that while the children work to recover, they find comfort and excitement in reading those stories.
A BENEFIT FOR BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS OF CENTRAL ARIZONA
Desert Financial was a key partner for the 2018 Paul’s Pay It Forward Car Wash.
Volunteers, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona staff members, 3TV team members, and CBS 5’s Chief Meteorologist, Paul Horton, teamed up for five days to wash cars and donate the proceeds to charity. Desert Financial joined in by becoming a key partner for this event. The funds raised, including our $2,500 contribution, were used to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. With food, fun and entertainment, Paul’s Pay It Forward Car Wash was a huge success!
ANNUAL AUTISM SPEAKS WALK IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SARRC
We contributed funds to help increase autism research.
Autism Speaks and SARRC (Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center) have been partnering since 2005 to host an annual walk. All of the funds raised during the walk go to paying for more research on autism and supporting programs that help people with autism and their families. For the 2018 event, we donated $2,500 to these amazing organizations.
Adelante Y Exito Celebration
We are helping students with their educational ambitions.
The Adelante Y Exito Gala is held by the East Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to provide special recognition for individuals who are dedicated to advancement within the Latino community. There is also a presentation of scholarships to students who are trying to reach their educational goals. We donated $5,000 to be used for funding future scholarships.
TIME FOR A PARTY
Desert Financial helped support a festival and the proceeds were donated to charity.
In October 2018, the West Valley Mavericks Foundation hosted The Roundup Food Truck and Music Festival, which had live bands, delicious food trucks, golfing activities and fun for the whole family. This event was held to raise funds for charity, and we were excited to be a presenting partner! Not only was The Roundup a success with many donations coming in, but Desert Financial also provided an additional donation of $10,000!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: SHOWERING A TEACHER WITH GIFTS
Our social media followers were at it again; they voted for us to present a spa-themed gift basket to an educator at a local school.
We loved having our social media followers vote for a random act of kindness, so we held another poll for a new random act. This time, our followers voted for us to give a spa-themed gift basket to a teacher. We picked a local school in our community and presented the gift to a teacher who needed a little happiness that day. To thank us (and our followers), she posted a very sweet comment on our Facebook page mentioning how she was having a rough day and our gift made up for it. She also mentioned that she was going to share her gift basket with her assistants. Just by sharing her gift, she joined our kindness revolution!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: GIVING TO THE TEACHERS AT ONE DARN COOL SCHOOL
We donated wagons full of school supplies to the educators at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
At Desert Financial, we frequently support Phoenix Children’s Hospital because we believe in the good that they do for the children in our community. Many of the kids that are admitted to the hospital are missing school in order to have their illness treated. Because of that, Phoenix Children’s Hospital has its own school — One Darn Cool School, which helps the kids stay on track with their studies while they heal. To assist the teachers of this school in supporting their students, we surprised each of them with a wagon full of school supplies!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: GETTING EXCITED WITH GIFT CARDS
Our team hit the streets of the Valley to surprise strangers with $50 gift cards.
With ten gift cards in hand, a few Desert Financial team members went to a local gas station to give out a small surprise to people. They found ten strangers and offered to pay for their gas with a $50 gift card. The recipients were so excited about this random surprise!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: SUPPORTING KIDS IN NEED
Because of our donation to Barrio Nuevo, a nonprofit in Phoenix, at-risk youth will be receiving tutoring help and life-skill lessons.
Dave prepares for the start of each new school year by providing backpacks and school supplies to students in low-income areas. Through his nonprofit organization, he also provides tutoring and life-skills courses to help at-risk kids build brighter futures. At Desert Financial, we believe in the value of education and helping children plan for their futures, so we offered to support Dave’s mission this year. We donated $1,500 to Barrio Nuevo, which will be used to help continue these programs for the children that rely on them.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: CREATING A COMFORTING PLACE FOR STUDENTS
We purchased $2,000 worth of supplies to create “calming corners” for special education students.
When upset students need a minute to step away from their studies and de-escalate, it can help them to have a “safe place” to go to in their classroom. An area like that allows students to better understand and effectively handle their emotions. When we heard that Ms. Rayfield, a teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School in Mesa, wanted to create comforting places in the six special education classrooms in her school, we were happy to support her efforts. Since she could not afford the necessary supplies for each classroom, we took on the cost and paid for the items needed to create these “calming corners.”
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING A CARDS FAN FEEL SOME CHEER
James was diagnosed with kidney failure, so to brighten his day a little bit, we partnered with the Cardinals to give him a few surprises.
James has been a member of Desert Financial for many years, and often visits our branches with the sweet gift of donuts to show his appreciation for the assistance he receives. Unfortunately, James has been diagnosed with kidney failure, which has dampened his usually bright spirit. Since James is a huge Cardinals fan, we partnered with the team to give James a few memorable gifts. The Cardinals surprised him with a jersey and tickets to a game, and we covered some of James’s health costs by jumping in and giving him $500!
DONATING TO PACKAGES FROM HOME
We supported an organization that helps our military.
Packages From Home is a nonprofit that collects donated items. The staff and volunteers then box up the donations and send them to deployed U.S. troops. Recipients of the packages get to enjoy things that remind them of home, and they appreciate that someone is thinking of them. Our team members often volunteer for this organization, so to support it, we provided Packages From Home a grant of $2,500!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: PROVIDING A “COOL” RIDE
We paid for Marina to enjoy some cold air while driving.
Marina was suffering through the Arizona summer without any air conditioning in her car. Her social security checks cover her living expenses, but paying to fix her car’s air conditioning was a luxury she could not afford. Being local to the Valley, we understand the struggle of the heat during the summer months, and we hated to see how that was negatively affecting Marina. We knew that she needed a little help to keep cool, so we paid to fix the air conditioning in her car. As an added surprise, we also paid for two of her tires to be replaced!
ARIZONA COMMUNITY ACTION ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE
We provided financial support at the 2018 conference.
Desert Financial was a sponsor of the 2018 Ignite Lasting Change Conference, which was hosted by the Arizona Community Action Association. This association focuses on uniting communities to end poverty through community-based initiatives and solutions. By collaborating with nearly 300 organizations and individuals, this association has continually changed lives since its inception. Because we believe in this organization’s mission, we donated $2,500 to help them continue driving change in our community.
BEING A BIG BROTHER OR BIG SISTER FOR A DAY
Team members helped children who are on the waitlist for an adult role model.
Desert Financial team members volunteered for a day of fun with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. Children who are waiting for their match with an adult role model were invited to spend time with a Big Brother or Big Sister for a day. Everyone enjoyed bowling, playing pool and challenging others at foosball. Not only did the children gain amazing memories, but they also received backpacks fills with school supplies and snacks.
CONTRIBUTING TO A WORTHY CAUSE
We gave support to an organization that is feeding hungry families.
The Midwest Food Bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger and poverty by gathering and distributing food donations to not-for-profits and disaster sites. With several devastating hurricanes in 2017, the Midwest Food Bank was working tirelessly to get assistance to those recovering from the aftermath of those natural disasters. We donated $5,000 to this organization to support their mission and help more families.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: GIVING SUPPLIES TO A LOCAL SCHOOL
We purchased classroom materials to help students.
At Desert Financial, we are dedicated to supporting our local schools. When the new school year was approaching, we learned that Peralta Trail Elementary in Gold Canyon was in desperate need of school supplies for the new academic year. We wanted to ensure that the students had the materials they needed to be successful in their studies. To help out, we went on a shopping spree and purchased $400 worth of supplies based on the school’s needs list.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: BIG RED HELPED US SURPRISE A BOY IN NEED
We provided a gift that will improve Andrew’s health.
“Little” Andrew Burkhart has cerebral palsy, and while he tries not to let it slow him down, the impurities in his home’s water was negatively affecting his health. Our team member, also named Andrew, works with the Burkharts frequently and wanted to help this family. We donated a water filtration system that will clean out harsh chemicals from all of the water in the Burkhart’s home. This is a big step in helping Andrew’s health improve. To make it an even more special day, the Arizona Cardinals mascot, Big Red, joined us to present the gift to Andrew and his family!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: CELEBRATING WALTER’S MEMBERSHIP ANNIVERSARY
We thanked Walter for his many years as a member of Desert Financial.
Desert Financial has been around for nearly 80 years, and Walter has been a member for 70 of those years! Walter became a member in 1948, and because of that, he has been a member of Desert Financial longer than anyone else has. We wanted to show Walter our appreciation by acknowledging his 70th membership anniversary with a few surprises. We threw a celebration party in Walter’s honor and gave him $3,500 — $50 for every year he has been a member!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A SMALL GIFT FOR A GENEROUS PERSON
Lucy is always putting others first, so we wanted to recognize her giving attitude.
Lucy is always smiling when she visits our branches. She is a strong, kind woman who has overcome cancer and is always providing a helping hand to others. Even though she is slow to recover from any health issues now because of her weakened immune system, Lucy still uses her energy to run errands for others or do them favors. She is always thinking of ways to help others, so we wanted to think of a way to help her. We gave Lucy a $500 check and a $200 spa gift card to remind her that her kindness never goes unnoticed!
DESERT FINANCIAL SUPPORTS BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
We provided a donation that will be used to help businesses grow.
At Desert Financial, we believe in sharing success and promoting business growth, especially within our home — the Valley. We donated $1,000 to the Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce to support their purpose, which is to provide leadership; support local businesses; and build strong partnerships dedicated to promoting business, education and community interest in Buckeye.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: A SOCIAL MOVEMENT
Those who follow two of our social media channels were invited to help us select our next random act!
Through several polls conducted on Facebook and Instagram, we let our followers decide what our next kind act would be and where we would perform it. The results of our polls had us set out to give a $250 gift card to someone pumping gas at a local gas station. With the gift card in hand, our team members hit the streets of the Valley to brighten someone’s day. We surprised Sarah and her daughter Payten with the gift card on their girls’ day! Since it was a day of shopping before school started, they planned to use the money to get Payten some new school clothes!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR A NONPROFIT
Jim Shoaf dedicates his time and money to ensure that children have clothing, school supplies and food.
Because of his passion for helping others, Jim Shoaf has created a nonprofit organization that works to provide the necessary life resources for children. Being an employee of a local Valley school district means that Jim has seen firsthand the amazing things that children can do when they have the resources that they need to be successful. On evenings and weekends, Jim spends his time calling organizations to secure donations, taking on projects to ensure that low-income children have enough food to eat, and often spending his own money to purchase supplies. We are proud to know Jim, and to support his goal of helping children, we donated $1,000 worth of supplies to his nonprofit organization!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING A FAMILY AFTER A TRAGIC EVENT
We supplied the funds for a new car to a family in need.
The Buvala family lost many of their precious possessions when they had a devastating house fire in July 2018. Thankfully, the family and their two dogs were uninjured, but they did lose their ability to live at home while the damage is assessed and fixed. Until they have a house to return to, they are living in a hotel. The family lost a vehicle in the fire, and it has been challenging sharing one car for transportation to work, to the children’s school, and to run other necessary errands. To support this family during this difficult time, we gave them $20,000 to help them get a second vehicle.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING WITH MORE THAN JUST CAR REPAIRS
We covered Richard’s car maintenance bill.
Richard is 84 years old and living on a fixed income. His car started having issues and required $600 worth of repairs, which he could not afford. This unplanned expense caused him to struggle with paying his electric and water bills. He was even hospitalized for stress over this situation. We provided Richard with enough money to help ease his financial burden!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: SUPPORTING A FAMILY AFTER A HOUSE FIRE
A family received exciting surprises to help them move on from a devastating situation.
Our member Alyssa and her family experienced a heartbreaking house fire in June 2018. Thankfully, the family — including their dog — was okay, but they lost everything in the fire. Alyssa was grateful that community members had given the family some clothing to help them get started, but it was hard for the family to move forward from this event since they didn’t even have mattresses to sleep on. Alyssa and her family are working toward rebuilding their lives and are hoping to move into a rental house soon, but they are still in desperate need of support. We were able to help by giving this family multiple surprises! We provided them with $2,500 and bought flowers for Alyssa, gift baskets and clothing for the children, and a BarkBoxTM for the family dog. We also gave them suite tickets to a Diamondbacks game so they could shift their focus on something fun for a little bit!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: CONTRIBUTING TO A MEMBER’S SURGERY COSTS
Augustin took home a gift he never expected.
Augustin lost his wife in early 2018 and decided to move in with his son to help raise his three grandsons. He does not want to add any additional stress or financial burden to his family, but he will need surgery soon. Augustin is very kind to others when he visits our branches and is always telling others to take good care of themselves. We wanted to provide some support and help take care of Augustin, so we surprised him with $500 to cover some of his surgery costs.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: PAYING FOR GROCERIES AT CHECKOUT
Shoppers at local stores were surprised with a little gift!
Team members at several of our branches wanted to do truly random acts that would brighten people’s days. They decided to visit their local grocery stores and help customers purchase grocery items. A total of $750 in gift cards was given out over the course of a few weeks! Everyone our team members helped was so excited and thankful for the wonderful surprise. It was a terrific way to give back to the community.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: SHARING SUPPORT
We gave Susan some help when she needed it most.
Susan has been facing health hardships for a long time. She is unable to work but has yet to become eligible for disability. Unfortunately, she also does not have any close relatives, so she has been struggling to handle her health concerns and finances on her own. Even without a steady income, she is still trying to pay off her bills and catch up on her finances. To provide her some needed support, we presented her with gift cards totaling $500!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: CONNECTING WITH A MEMBER IN NEED
We helped Mark pay for food and find resources to get more assistance.
Mark lost his wife in June 2017 and has been trying to learn how to pay his bills since then. While coping with his loss and learning how to cover his expenses, he fell behind. He is living only on his social security check, which is not enough to pay for all of his bills each month. As a result of his struggles, Mark had to move out of his apartment and live in his car. After paying his bills, he is living on less than $100 a month. We were able to give Mark $500 worth of gift cards to help him pay his bills and have money to eat! We also provided him with leads for some nonprofits that could offer him additional benefits. Mark was so happy for the help that he cried while thanking our team members!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: CONTRIBUTING TO A CHILD’S HEART SURGERY EXPENSES
When a family needed more than $10,000 to meet their fundraising goal, we provided them with a big gift.
Zion has a life-threatening heart condition, and his family has spent over a year raising funds to pay for his medical bills and a future heart transplant. His family started selling homemade salsa to raise money to cover all of the health expenses. They also started a GoFundMe account and even offered to clean homes for people in exchange for donations. With that account being active for 18 months, they were only halfway to their $25,000 goal. This little boy and his family are fighters and just needed some support, so we gave Zion’s family a $15,000 check — more than enough to meet their fundraising goal!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: PROVIDING A GIFT FOR TWO LOYAL MEMBERS
Matt and Christina’s kindness is appreciated by our team members.
We always enjoy working with Matt and Christina, who have been members for over 20 years! Their cheerful attitudes when visiting our branches never go unnoticed. Matt is a cancer survivor who has a very positive outlook on life, and his happiness is contagious. He and Christina are trying to handle all of their monthly bills, but at times, their expenses can be overwhelming. To show them how much our team loves working with them and to recognize their longstanding relationship with Desert Financial, we gifted them with $500!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: SURPRISING JERRY WITH A SMALL GIFT
Our member Jerry donates his time to helping his roommate.
Jerry and his disabled roommate visit our branches weekly. While his roommate conducts his banking activities, Jerry sits in the lobby and waits patiently. Jerry’s compassion does not stop there; he also helps his roommate buy groceries and assists him at home. Jerry works hard to cover his own bills and goes out of his way to use his gas and time for his roommate. We wanted Jerry to know that we recognize and appreciate his kindness, so we gave him $100. He said this gift was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for him!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: REDUCING THE BURDEN OF MEDICAL BILLS
Eddie is the sole provider for his family and needs help covering his son’s hospital bills.
Our member Eddie has a 10-year-old son who was diagnosed with Leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, Eddie’s wife is a match and is preparing to donate her bone marrow to their son. However, she did leave her job to have time to go through the pre-donation process and spend time with her son in the hospital. With medical bills adding up, and Eddie suddenly becoming the sole provider, this family is in need of support. Eddie received money from a fundraiser, but with more upcoming medical bills, we wanted to help out as well. We gave this family $1,000 to help ease their financial burden.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: GIVING TO A CANCER SURVIVOR
When medical bills put stress on a family’s finances, we offered our support.
During our Love My Home Sweepstakes, Desert Financial member Jeff posted a comment on our social media page saying, “Upkeep on our home has taken a back seat to medical bills, but my wife is a three-time cancer survivor, and we have that to be thankful for. Hope some luck will shine on us.” Though this family was not our sweepstakes winner, we wanted to present them with a gift. We surprised Jeff with a $500 check! He thanked us for the money that was a “godsend” for him and his wife, since they live on a fixed income.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: ASSISTING WITH A BABY’S HEALTH COSTS
When medical bills caused Ken to fall behind on his loans, we stepped in to help.
Longtime Desert Financial member Ken and his family welcomed a new addition last year — a sweet baby girl who was born with a very rare protein deficiency. This medical hardship caused the family to fall behind on their loans with Desert Financial. To help alleviate some of their financial burden and stress, we surprised this family with $3,200 — enough to cover one month of payments on their loans! We also gave their two girls fun gift baskets that included stuffed animals, books and treats.
INVITING OTHERS TO SHARE KINDNESS
We surprised the guests at the BBB Torch Awards event with a chance to perform a Random Act of Kindness.
Desert Financial was the title sponsor for the 2018 Better Business Bureau Torch Awards for Ethics event. We surprised guests at this event by inviting them to join our Kindness Revolution and perform a Random Act of Kindness. We gave 378 of them a $25 gift card that they could use to perform a kind act, while another 37 lucky guests received a $500 gift card to donate to the charity of their choice. A total of $18,500 was donated to 37 organizations, and we made an additional $10,000 donation to the Better Business Bureau Foundation. All of this in combination with our sponsorship for the event brought the night’s total to $65,000 given out by Desert Financial!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: THROWING A PARTY FOR A BIG DESERT FINANCIAL FAN
We surprised Werner for his birthday!
Werner works as a Fry’s cart attendant and absolutely loves the Desert Financial team members who work with him. He always donates any change he finds to our charity drives and makes sure our members don’t forget any of their items when they leave the branch. As a special-needs individual, he lives with his older brother and had spent most of his free time watching movies on his TV until it broke. Since Werner is always supporting Desert Financial, we wanted to return the favor. To celebrate his birthday, we threw him a surprise party. He got to eat his favorite food — pizza — and was given a new TV, mini refrigerator and DVDs!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING A MEMBER HANDLE HOSPITAL BILLS
We reached out to support a member whose son is in the hospital.
Dorina’s son has not been able to leave the hospital for more than a few weeks since December 2017 — he even had to celebrate his 18th birthday there. He had to have a heart transplant and is undergoing dialysis for kidney failure. In order to be by her son’s side through all of this, Dorina had taken a month off work — without pay. Some Desert Financial team members wanted to help reduce this family’s financial burden during this challenging time. The team members surprised Dorina at the hospital with a check for $3,000! This donation will help support Dorina’s family while they focus on handling her son’s health concerns.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING A SINGLE MOM WITH HER MEDICAL EXPENSES
We helped Tiffany pay some of her health care costs.
Tiffany has Stage 4 breast cancer, and when her medical coverage was discontinued, she could no longer afford to pay all of her medical bills. Tiffany was stuck trying to cover a past due balance and figure out a plan to pay for upcoming treatment costs. On top of that, Tiffany is a single mother struggling to provide for her daughter. We gave her $5,000 to ease the burden of her medical and living expenses.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: PAYING THE REGISTRATION COST FOR BOY SCOUTS
We helped families to afford the cost of Boy Scouts registration.
The cost of registering a child in Boy Scouts Troop 803 rose from $6 to $63 in 2018. This rate increase could have prevented some of the children from participating, since the cost would’ve been prohibitive for their families. We provided $1,000 to sponsor Troop 803 to ensure that the children could still enjoy all that the Boy Scouts has to offer.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING A MOTHER REACH HER FUNDING GOAL
We helped a mother meet her goal of providing funds for her son’s health care bills.
Because her son, David, had been unable to work for six months due to receiving treatments for Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Carrie hosted a fundraising event to help pay for his medical bills and his family’s expenses. When the fundraiser fell $700 short of its goal, we stepped in to make up the difference! The money that Carrie raised will go a long way toward helping David and his family.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: GIVING FUNDS TO A MEMBER ON A FIXED INCOME
Wilma needed some assistance to break the cycle of overdrafts on her account.
Desert Financial member Wilma, 87, lives on a fixed income and had been struggling for several months to keep a positive balance in her account. Although our overdraft protection program — Privilege Pay — was covering the cost each time her account became overdrafted, she was charged a fee each time it happened. Since we knew her income would not be changing, our team provided her with a $1,000 donation to break this cycle.
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: HELPING WITH RENT
We covered Allan’s rent during a difficult time.
After his mother passed away, Desert Financial member Allan was struggling to pay his rent. He had been trying to find the money to prepare for her funeral and cover her portion of their housing, but these were bigger expenses than he could afford. We wanted to give Allan some time to catch up financially, so we provided him $1,500 — enough to cover his rent for more than two months.
DONATING TO AN ORGANIZATION WE CARE ABOUT
Each month, many Desert Financial team members contribute to a great cause.
Numerous Desert Financial team members contribute monthly to United Way by having a donation deducted automatically from their paycheck. With a combined donation of over $20,000 per month, we have already given $133,038 in 2018! We are invested in supporting and contributing to United Way because the organization’s mission is to help break the cycle of poverty in our community.
Kits for Kids that benefit Project CURE
Desert Financial’s next generation paid it forward by helping others on Take Your Kids to Work Day.
On Thursday, April 26th, the next generation of Desert Financial team members joined their parents on the job for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day 2018. As part of their learning activities for the day, these pint-sized participants were tasked with putting together personal hygiene and first-aid “Kits for Kids,” which will be donated to families in the developing world. The children also wrote personal notes to include in each kit, and they added their email addresses so recipients can let them know where in the world their packages end up. Our youngest workers did a fantastic job of giving back — not just to our community, but to families everywhere!
RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS: BUYING LUNCH FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL
Desert Financial’s CEO surprised a group of military service members by covering the cost of their lunch.
Jeff Meshey — Desert Financial’s CEO — joined our kindness revolution when he bought lunch for a table of military service members. With our Random Acts of Kindness campaign in mind, Jeff showed his appreciation for the hard work and dedication of our military personnel by covering this group’s lunch. He paid it forward as a reminder that one small gesture can help others feel valued!
CMNH Change Drive
Our members donated generously to help kids at Phoenix Children’s Hospital keep up with their studies!
We’re proud to sponsor the 1 Darn Cool School program, which provides learning opportunities to kids who are receiving treatment at Phoenix Children’s Hospital! This spring, our members were invited to join us in raising funds for the school by making an online donation or by letting us “keep the change” on their debit card purchases. The total amount raised was more than $45,000 — enough to make a difference in the lives of PCH patients who will receive the individualized instruction they need to keep up with their studies. Our deepest thanks to all who participated!
Kidney for Kvam Campaign
We’re trying to help our friend and team member, Jason Kvam, find a kidney.
Jason Kvam, loving husband to Shanna and father to six-year-old Conner, experienced complete renal failure at age 26 due to a rare genetic condition. He received a kidney transplant from his sister, Michelle, but later rejected the kidney and has been awaiting a new donor for the past seven years. As part of our Random Acts of Kindness campaign, we’re spreading the word about Jason in hopes that he will find a kidney donor. We received an amazing 74 responses on the first day we announced our Random Act — but we’re still looking for a match! Watch the video and learn how you can help at DesertFinancial.com/Kidney.
“MAY THE FOURTH” BE WITH YOU
We celebrated Star Wars Day by donating to Phoenix Children’s Hospital!
May 4th is Star Wars Day, and Desert Financial celebrated more than just awesome Star Wars memes. While dressed in our best Jedi attire, we held a BBQ and raffle to benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which provides life-saving treatment for young patients. Our Star Wars-themed lunch, games and raffle prizes were so great that no one joined the Dark Side. We were able to donate over $12,700 to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital from the proceeds!
A SURPRISE DONATION TO CHARITY
Our scholarship winners were each surprised with $250 to donate to a charity.
The 10 high school seniors who won our scholarships demonstrated their dedication to our community through their volunteer work. Desert Financial wanted to recognize their generosity by providing them another way to give back. At the celebratory and scholarship award dinner, we surprised each of our scholarship winners with $250 to donate to a charity of their choice, which totaled $2,250 provided to charities around the Valley!
OUR VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Team member Janet L. was named our Volunteer of the Year and was provided with $1,000 to donate to a charity.
Having volunteered an outstanding 260 hours in 2017, Desert Financial team member Janet L. was named our 2017 Susan C. Frank Volunteer of the Year! Most of her volunteer hours were dedicated to projects benefiting, supporting and helping American veterans — who are her passion. In recognition of her exceptional dedication to others, she received an award, a gift card and $1,000 to donate to the charity of her choice! Thanks for giving so much back to our community, Janet!
National Puppy Day
Fourteen dogs found new homes on National Puppy Day!
Desert Financial worked with the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA to help dogs get adopted.
On March 23rd, in celebration of National Puppy Day, Desert Financial and the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA worked together to help dogs find new homes. We paid the adoption fees for 10 adult dogs — and four puppies also found their new pack! It was a great way to celebrate the least “ruff” day of the year. Congratulations to all the new “fur-ever” families!
Lucky 7 Raffle
Seven days. Seven prizes. More than $10,000 for PCH!
Desert Financial‘s “Lucky 7 Raffle” benefitted the 1 Darn Cool School program at PCH.
For one week in the month of March, Desert Financial team members were given an opportunity to help the community by participating in a fundraising raffle. Seven lucky ducks won tickets to concerts or sporting events, but the biggest winner of all was Phoenix Children’s Hospital! Through our raffle ticket sales, we raised a total of $10,540 for PCH’s 1 Darn Cool School program, which helps kids undergoing medical treatment keep up with their studies. Way to go, team!
Random Acts of Kindness: Assisting Valley Seniors
We surprised an 84-year-old member and her furry friends.
Longtime Desert Financial member Barbara F., who lives primarily on her Social Security income, was struggling to make ends meet after her rent was increased by $300 per month. Imagine her surprise when one of our team members handed her a check for $5,000 to cover her increased rent and essential expenses — including food for her beloved kitties! Barbara was so grateful to Desert Financial for this Random Act of Kindness that she offered to do sewing projects for our team members at the 44th Street Branch she visits every month (we didn’t take Barbara up on her offer, of course). We’re glad to be able to help Barbara and her four-footed family members!
Charity Golf Tournament
The Desert Financial Foundation’s 1st Annual Charity Golf Tournament was a hole-in-one for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Professional and amateur golfers from around the Valley played 18 holes at Encanterra Country Club on March 29th to support Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Proceeds from the event went toward funding the 1 Darn Cool School program, which provides onsite learning opportunities for students receiving medical care at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. After the last putt was taken, we added up the event proceeds for a total of $450,000 donated to help these inspiring kids keep up with their studies. That’s a lot of green raised on the greens!
Random Acts of Kindness: Making Life Better for Shelter Animals
Pets awaiting their fur-ever home get a comfortable place to sit, stay and play
As a no-kill facility, Home ‘Fur’ Good Animal Rescue & Placement provides a safe and comfortable home for pets awaiting adoption. They also offer low-cost pet vaccinations and dental cleanings for the pets of families who otherwise might not be able to afford them. Through a Random Act of Kindness, we helped to improve living conditions for the furry pals awaiting their forever home. The shelter received new flooring, supplies and a play area with a bone-shaped bench. We know Home ‘Fur’ Good’s residents will love their “pawsome” new play space!
Random Acts of Kindness: Lending a Helping Hand
Desert financial team members hand out hope to locals in need
As part of our Random Acts of Kindness program, several Desert Financial team members were given gift cards valued at up to $25 to hand out to locals who are either contributing to our community or who are struggling with financial difficulties. Team member Megan C. helped two construction workers whose vehicle was vandalized, while Lynette T. gave a $25 gift card to a Valley EMT for his service to our community. “He had a big smile on his face and thanked me and gave me a big hug,” says Lynette. “My heart was full of happiness to be able to give like that.” Great job paying it forward, team!
PCH TELETHON RAISES A RECORD AMOUNT
Desert Financial helped sponsor ABC15’s 2018 Phoenix Children’s Hospital Telethon
On Tuesday, April 10th, several Desert Financial team members helped to field donation phone calls for ABC15’s seventh annual telethon benefitting Phoenix Children’s Hospital. It was an amazing event staffed solely by volunteers, and it included celebrity appearances and touching stories shared by the children receiving medical treatment at the hospital. Overall, the telethon raised $810,857 $— a record-breaking amount for this event! In addition to volunteering, we also presented a check for $10,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital; a donation that was collected from Desert Financial team members in just one week. Nice work, team!
GRANT SUPPORT FOR LOCAL FIRST ENTREPRENEURS
Desert Financial Sponsors Local First Accelerator Graduation
The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program is a six-month program delivered by the Local First Foundation and is designed to teach underserved micro-entrepreneurs important basics for financial literacy and business development. Participants attend weekly classes on a variety of topics including marketing, business planning, cash flow management, and many more.
Participants also gain critically important support through participating in a lending circle, which requires them to make on-time payments every month they are in the program. These payments are reported to Experian, building a credit history for the small business owner, often for first time. Their savings are then matched by a scholarship from the Local First Arizona Foundation.
Desert Financial has provided grant support to the program the last four years, and was the title sponsor of the January graduation to help offset the costs for the event. The participants had the opportunity to showcase their businesses and host an expo for the evening. Fifty-five individuals graduated from the program, and there were over 500 individuals in attendance.
VOLUNTEERS RECEIVE $1,000 TO DONATE TO A NONPROFIT
Desert Financial Credit Union Board and Supervisory Committee Volunteer Donations
To appreciate and honor the individuals who have provided more than 20 years of volunteer service in their role as Desert Financial Board and Supervisory Committee Members, the credit union provided a $1,000 gift on their behalf to the non-profit organization of their choosing. The following gifts were awarded for the year.
- ASU Foundation — Camp Broadway Scholarship — $1,000
- G Frank Davidson Elementary — Student Rewards Scholarship — $1,000
- ASU IRA A Fulton School of Engineering — Engineering Scholarship — $1,000
- Northern Arizona University Foundation — Scholarship — $1,000
- Northern Arizona University Foundation — Education Fund Scholarship — $1,000
- Phoenix Union Foundation for Education — College Scholarship — $1,000
- MentorKids USA — Grant — $1,000
- Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation — Iggy Fund Grant — $1,000
- Tempe Preparatory Academy — Scholarship — $1,000
- Maricopa Community College — Scholarship — $1,000
JOB TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Our grant helps people living in poverty find jobs.
St. Joseph the Worker received a $15,000 grant in support of their Employment Heals Communities Outreach project. The program addresses the social needs of individuals who are living in poverty or experiencing homelessness by providing job readiness classes, job leads, individual job searching support, resume development, and financial coaching. Additionally, clients receive tangible employment resources in the form of professional clothing, bus passes, work boots, uniforms, tools, and certification fees that often "make or break" a job search. Desert Financial has been providing monthly budgeting workshops for SJTW clients for many years.
HELPING AT-RISK YOUTH
Our grant supports mentoring, training and career guidance for teens and young adults.
New Pathways for Youth received a $10,000 grant for their Workplace Development, and College and Career Program for teens and young adults. Through this unique program, at-risk youth receive information and support to graduate from high school and receive on-the-job training and access career opportunities that lead to college/career success. New Pathways for Youth has transformed the lives of more than 6,500 youth in our community by focusing on improving social, emotional, and academic well-being through an integrated approach.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
We’re proud to help entrepreneurs from low-income areas build and grow their businesses.
A $15,000 grant was awarded to Local First Arizona Foundation for support of the Fuerza Local business accelerator program. Small business owners participate in a six month program that helps them access resources, make connections in their communities, and learn valuable management skills. Almost 200 graduates of the program have gone on to grow their businesses and create new jobs in underserved communities.
LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM
We’re helping new Americans build successful lives.
International Rescue Committee was awarded $15,000 in support of their programs that help new Americans become financially self-sufficient. The program provides basic financial literacy and banking knowledge, access to capital, and transportation options to help create sustainable employment opportunities. Through their programs, their Financial Coaching Officer works with almost 200 individuals throughout the year. Additionally, the IRC has partnered with Desert Financial for more than five years to provide financial literacy training and tools.
HEALING THROUGH ART
Our grant helps Valley children heal through art therapy programs.
Free Arts provides healing arts programs to help counteract the effects of severe abuse, neglect and homelessness. Free Arts serves more than 8,000 children at 100+ sites run by their social service agency partners. Over 900 trained volunteers help children create a positive vision of themselves and their futures and begin to heal from the traumatic situations they’ve endured. Since their inception in 1993, Free Arts has helped more than 125,000 children in Maricopa County.
SUPPORTING SENIORS IN NEED
Our grant helps Duet provide resources for grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Duet Partners in Aging received a $15,000 grant for their Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. Duet provides free-of-charge services to more than 1,300 grandchildren and grandparents (or in some cases, other relatives). Through ongoing support groups, benefit counseling, educational workshops, family activities, legal assistance, and respite opportunities, grandparents receive the support they need to help their grandchildren have safety and stability in their lives.
PROVIDING MENTORS FOR STUDENTS AT SCALES TECHNOLOGY ACADEMY
Our grant helps teens become successful adults.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona received a $5,000 grant in support of the Scales Technology Academy Site Based Mentoring Program. The program is a partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters, Desert Financial, Scales Technology Academy, and neighboring businesses in the City of Tempe. Students will be matched with mentors to provide friendship, support, guidance, tutoring, and a fundamental basis of trust and compassion that so many children lack in their personal lives, to help students at Scales thrive in school and in life.