Shufelt: Arizona Helping Hands qualifies as a foster care charitable organization

Children are assisted on their “shopping spree” for clothing to start the new school year in style.
Children are assisted on their “shopping spree” for clothing to start the new school year in style.
(Submitted photo)
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The Arizona Department of Revenue certifies charities as qualifying foster care charitable organizations for purposes of the Arizona state tax credit.

Among the stated criteria: a charity must provide services that meet immediate basic needs, spend at least 50% of its budget on qualified services to Arizona residents, and serve at least 200 individuals in the foster care system.

Meet these criteria and a charity can receive donations from married couples of $1,000 per calendar year ($500 for single taxpayers), and the taxpayer will be entitled to a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their Arizona state income tax return.

The state recently published an updated list of QFCOs, and Arizona Helping Hands is included, as we have been for the 7 years of the credit’s existence. We have no problem meeting the requirements; in fact, we accomplished these objectives in the first two business days of 2020!

On Jan. 3, two buses from the Assistance League of Phoenix pulled into our parking lot for a back-to-school dressing event. Over the course of the day, a complete wardrobe of clothing, from underwear, to shoes and sweatshirts was provided to 200 boys and girls. Indeed these are basic needs.

This collaborative effort funded by the BHHS Legacy Foundation put smiles on the faces of so many youngsters. They can set aside the abuse and neglect that has riddled their lives and start the spring semester standing tall in new clothing.

The smiles on so many kids’ faces was a great way to start 2020.

Over those first two days, our regular service to Arizona’s foster care population continued, as we provided beds, cribs, clothing and diapers to children from throughout Arizona. Our Birthday Dreams program continues non-stop, preparing 12 personalized birthday packages every day for boys and girls who often would not celebrate their special day without our work.

At Arizona Helping Hands, we don’t deal in little numbers. We served thousands of children in 2019, setting records in virtually every service category --- 3,560 beds for children to sleep safely on, 3,596 birthday celebrations, 6,500 backpacks filled with school supplies --- the numbers are truly dramatic.

We are proud to be the state’s leader in providing basic needs to the 14,000+ children in foster care. Without any governmental funding, we rely on the Arizona foster care tax credit to keep pace with the demands for assistance we receive.

We are grateful to all who do the research and understand the importance of the work we undertake to help Arizona’s most fragile children. We can’t continue without your assistance, and we hope to always be able to step forward and lend our helping hands to the boys and girls who need us.

I encourage you to do your research --- you should investigate charities before you donate. Learn the impact they have in our community and how they utilize donor dollars.

Arizona Helping Hands’ impact on the foster care community is unduplicated --- there is no service like ours serving the number of children we do.

Additionally, $.93 of every dollar donated goes directly to program expenses.

We put every dollar to maximum use for the kids who need our help.

Learn more and put your tax dollars to work at azhelpinghands.org.

Editor’s Note: Dan Shufelt is the CEO of Arizona Helping Hands.

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