What would happen in Arizona if Valley Leadership alumni were mobilized, along with members of the community and partners to find solutions to some of our most pressing issues? It was a question Valley Leadership asked two years ago as it considered how it could better serve the community and make a difference.
The answer became Impact Maker, an initiative of Valley Leadership that works to fuel long-term impact on Arizona’s most pressing issues by bringing together VL alumni, community champions and Arizona organizations to collaborate and find solutions together.
Read on to see the impact they’ve had so far, and join us on Thursday, Oct. 29, at our 71st Annual Man and Woman of the Year (tickets are complimentary; RSVP here) to hear from VL alumni who are leading Impact Maker.
5,000 N-95 Masks. Our Covid-19 Response Team was able to facilitate a donation of the Honeywell masks to Tuba City Regional Health Care, a clinic serving Navajo Nation. The team is likewise creating a database of vetted PPE (personal protective equipment) and sanitation vendors.
4,000+ Bags of Produce. The Health: Food and Nutrition Team has worked with its partners to support volunteer efforts on for a fresh food program that has fed more than 200 families in South Phoenix each week since April.
2,500+ Books. The Education: Early Literacy Team has led an effort to restock Little Free Libraries across the Valley – placing more than 2,500 books in 110 libraries, with more than 95% placed in “acceleration zones” identified by our strategic partner, ReadOn Arizona.
10 CASA Community Champions. The Child Well-Being: Child Welfare Team is working to engage more Court-Appointed Special Advocates to advocate on the best interests of foster children in the child welfare system – support that not only helps them through that system but leads to better educational outcomes. To spread the world about CASA and engage more volunteers, the team has been trained to become CASA Community Champions. If you’re interested in learning more about CASA, contact one of our Champions for a presentation.
3 One-Stop Resources. As the teams have gone out into the community, one discovery has been that awareness of resources – or a centralized location for them – may not yet exist. Our team has worked to solve that issue on two important issues. On the education front, they created a toolkit for educators and counselors to help students complete FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – and are rolling out a similar toolkit for employers. Meanwhile, our Health Team is building a website for employers who want to adopt more informed and compassionate policies and procedures in their workplaces related to opioid and substance use disorder. Our Jobs and Economy Team is working with education and industry partners to create the first statewide career exploration, training and employment support solution for students and job seekers, while providing employers of all sizes and industries with the talent pipeline they need now and for years to come.
We thank the Impact Maker Team members, contributors and partners who fuel this work: