Newsroom

FREE SUMMER FOOD PROGRAM FEEDS CHILDREN AND PROVIDES JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

PHOENIX (June 6, 2018) –  This summer, children are enjoying free nutritious meals and snacks created by individuals with disabilities from the Civitan Foundation. Through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), low-income children,18 years and younger, are eligible for the meals at select locations when school is out.

“The Civitan Foundation is honored to be a part of such an important program for our underserved youth in the community,” said Dawn Trapp, CEO of Civitan Foundation, Inc. “Through the Summer Food Service Program, we are not only making a difference in our community, we are also providing valuable career training and employment for people with disabilities.”

Civitan Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization, located in Phoenix, providing statewide high-quality programs that focus on education, nutrition and health, life skills, socialization, job training and employment for people with disabilities.

This summer, Civitan is partnering with several sites in the Phoenix metro area and Williams, Arizona, to offer healthy meals, based on USDA nutrition guidelines. Supervised members of Civitan’s culinary program prepare and deliver the food to locations in north Phoenix, including the Civitan Village at 12635 N. 42nd Street. Meals served in Williams are prepared at Camp Civitan. Contact Civitan Foundation, Inc. for more information and locations.

The SFSP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child Nutrition Program created to provide free meals to low-income children. It is administered by the Arizona Department of Education. In addition to the funding from the USDA, Civitan Foundation received a grant from the Walmart Foundation to help expand and support its Hunger Relief and Transitional Employment program in 2018.

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ARTISTS SHOWCASE FINE ART IN YOGURT SHOP

PHOENIX (May 25, 2018) –   Art on display, and for sale, in a gallery or store is not unexpected, but in a frozen yogurt shop it is. However, in a store that often has lines and a full eating area it was the perfect destination for paintings created by artists from the Civitan Foundation.

“I was at the Yogurtini with my family and the place was packed!” said Bo Larsen, director of marketing and business development for the Civitan Foundation, Inc. “There were some paintings on the wall and I just knew our guys’ art was better. With so many people in one place, I thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase our talent.”

Yogurtini Bell Towne, a frozen yogurt shop, is located at 475 E. Bell Road in the Bell Towne Center.

The Civitan Fine Art Group is part of the Civitan Foundation, a non-profit organization providing people with disabilities superior life experiences, vocational training, and independent living-skill development.

“The artists earn an income by selling their artwork,” said Merilee Adams, creative arts director for Civitan. “Opportunities to show and sell their works builds confidence and inspires them to create. It’s a fun environment when we’re all working in the gallery painting.”

The Civitan Fine Art Group has a gallery and workshop located within Flerish Design and Resale, Civitan’s thrift store located at 12625 N. Cave Creek Road. The thrift store supports programs and services of Civitan, as well as provides job skill training for many of its members.

The Civitan Foundation, headquartered at 12635 N. 42nd Street includes the Civitan Village Life Learning Center providing members vocational training, music instruction, culinary and catering services, an arts and drama program, media services, yoga classes and more. Other programs include Camp Civitan in Williams. Founded in 1968, Camp Civitan is a unique camp for children and adults with disabilities. Flerish Design and Resale, where members learn retail skills, earn an income, and serve the community. The foundation’s Home and Community Based Services provide individualized services for members and families in the home. Other services offered by Civitan include a respite house for families, weekend community based recreation activities and, adult day programs in the towns of Williams and Maricopa, as well as the Civitan on 66, a boutique thrift store in Williams.

The art at the Yogurtini Bell Towne is on display through the end of July. For more information about the Civitan Foundation and its programs go to www.CivitanFoundationAZ.org.

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VOLUNTEERS AND DONORS ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES OF NON-PROFIT

PHOENIX (May 24, 2018) –   On a recent Saturday morning in May, Boy Scouts from Troop 11 in Cave Creek arrived at the Civitan Village in Phoenix to remove an old decaying wood deck, making way for the construction of a new cement patio. In just a few short hours, Troop 11’s Scouts and families moved heavy cement pots, cut-up the old platform structure, and cleared the area of debris to have it hauled off by the city. Members of organizations, such as the Fraternal Order of Eagles, lend helping hands at the Village by doing odd jobs, running crucial errands, and making deliveries of food for our commercial kitchen. The Village is also fortunate to have donors who provide financial support, materials and supplies. A few weeks ago, Civitan received yoga mats from strangers who read an article that Civitan’s members were in need. One gentleman gave a generous check to help purchase mats and yoga equipment with instructions to spend the rest on any other items that members would find useful.  In Williams, Arizona, teenage volunteers spend a week or more at Camp Civitan from June through early August helping implement social, recreation and adventure programs for over 50 campers with disabilities.  Volunteers and donors are an invaluable community resource supporting Civitan’s work.

Civitan Foundation is a non-profit organization providing people with disabilities superior life experiences, vocational training, and independent living-skill development. In 1968, thanks to community volunteers and donors, Camp Civitan was created to provide a unique camp for children and adults with disabilities. Today, Civitan Foundation has grown into a comprehensive organization with a range of services.  The Civitan Village Life Learning Center provides members vocational training, music instruction, culinary and catering services, an arts and drama program, media services, yoga classes and more. Flerish Design and Resale, located at 12625 N. Cave Creek Road, is a thrift store where our members learn retail skills, earn an income, and serve the community. Sales from the store support the programs and services of Civitan.  The Foundation’s Home and Community Based Services provide individualized services for members and families in the home.

Other services offered by Civitan include a respite house for families, weekend community based recreation activities, Adult Day programs in the towns of Williams and Maricopa, as well as the Civitan on 66 boutique thrift store in Williams.

Civitan Foundation is an innovative and successful organization celebrating 50-years of providing services for people with disabilities. With support from our unsung volunteer and donor heroes, dedicated staff, strong leadership and creative service development, Civitan Foundation will continue to meet the needs of people with disabilities for years to come.

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IT’S NOT A STRETCH. CIVITAN FOUNDATION NEEDS YOGA MATS.

PHOENIX (April 19, 2018) –  Each summer, the Civitan Foundation’s Camp Civitan, an overnight summer camp for children and adults with disabilities in Williams, serves more than 500 campers over 10-weekly sessions. Campers experience the same adventures as traditional camps, including swimming, art and drama classes, field-trips, sports and other activities, such as yoga and movement classes. The mats campers use have become very worn and damaged and Civitan is looking to replace them with 100 fresh new mats or slightly used ones for the upcoming summer.

“We use yoga mats daily for all sorts of stretching, movement and yoga classes,” said Camp Director Rob Adams. “For some of our campers, the stretching and low-impact strength building is critical to their quality of life when restricted with physical limitations. Staying limber, and being taught how to properly do so, is so important.”

Camp Civitan was founded in 1968 by parents and volunteers who wanted their children with special needs to experience the same overnight summer camp experiences other children had. Today, the camp is nationally recognized and is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The Civitan Foundation serves more than 1,200 families and individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Civitan provides a plethora of services and programs in Phoenix and Williams which include; the Life Skills Center at the Civitan Village in Phoenix, an emergency respite house, Flerish Design and Resale thrift shop, Day programing in Maricopa and Williams, as well as home based community services, including respite, habilitation and attended care.

To give a new or slightly used mat to Camp Civitan, deliver to the Civitan Village at 12635 N. 42nd Street in Phoenix. Tax deductible donations may also be made at www.civitanfoundationaz.org.

 

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Summer Job Becomes Lifelong Passion

PHOENIX (March 16, 2018) – Getting out of the summer heat of Phoenix is a great attraction for many high school and college students. Especially if the job is in the cool summer town of Williams – gateway to the Grand Canyon and home to the Bearizona Wildlife Park. For 50-years, there has been another job attraction which has changed the lives of young adults.

Camp Civitan is a 10-week summer camp for children and adults with special needs. This 15-acre wheelchair accessible facility has changed lives of high school volunteers and college-age staff since 1968. It is not unusual for many of these young adults to have life-changing experiences working with individuals with developmental disabilities.

Each week-long camp session offers special needs campers, some as young as 8 and as old as 65, the opportunity to make new friends, sing, dance, create art projects, do skits, visit the Canyon or Bearizona, and so much more. The experience allows individuals to blossom and grow away from home and family routines offering the most important and much-needed respite time for the families and caregivers at home.  Our campers and staff, as well, gain many new life skills which include, self-confidence, and independence.  Camp Civitan programs are designed to promote positive, healthy lifestyles while building meaningful and lasting relationships.

Volunteers and camp staff, share the same experiences as the campers and often find themselves looking at their future academic and career choices after a summer at Camp Civitan. “I will never forget my time at Camp Civitan, it has impacted my life forever, I view disabilities in a whole new light, my fears are gone and the friendships I’ve built will last a lifetime, I will be back,” said John, a 15-year-old camp volunteer.

Many volunteers and staff look at social service careers, special education, health care and legal professions, and other pursuits which help individuals and families thrive, many have changed college studies after just one summer! The experiences and the relationships developed with the campers build a higher level of empathy and respect for individuals and families living with special needs.

On average, young college summer staff return to Camp Civitan for four summers, and many work weekends during the entire year. They don’t only return to camp for the fun and relationships with other staff and returning campers, but they these positions are also paid, on average, for the entire summer, 10-week-long sessions will earn about $6,000, not including all meals, lodging, and all the entertainment and fun. There is no better way to spend the summer, and help pay for college, not to mention, will be the most memorable summer you will ever have.

To learn more about Camp Civitan and the volunteer and staff opportunities available, go to www.CivitanFoundationAZ.org. or call 602-953-2944.

 

Camp Civitan has paid, volunteer positions for a summer to remember

PHOENIX (March 16, 2018) – Getting out of the summer heat of Phoenix is a great attraction for many high school and college students. Especially if the job is in the cool summer town of Williams – gateway to the Grand Canyon and home to the Bearizona Wildlife Park. For 50-years, there has been another job attraction which has changed the lives of young adults.

Camp Civitan is a 10-week summer camp for children and adults with special needs. This 15-acre wheelchair accessible facility has changed lives of high school volunteers and college-age staff since 1968. It is not unusual for many of these young adults to have life-changing experiences working with individuals with developmental disabilities.

Each week-long camp session offers special needs campers, some as young as 8 and as old as 65, the opportunity to make new friends, sing, dance, create art projects, do skits, visit the Canyon or Bearizona, and so much more. The experience allows individuals to blossom and grow away from home and family routines offering the most important and much-needed respite time for the families and caregivers at home.  Our campers and staff, as well, gain many new life skills which include, self-confidence, and independence.  Camp Civitan programs are designed to promote positive, healthy lifestyles while building meaningful and lasting relationships.

Volunteers and camp staff, share the same experiences as the campers and often find themselves looking at their future academic and career choices after a summer at Camp Civitan. “I will never forget my time at Camp Civitan, it has impacted my life forever, I view disabilities in a whole new light, my fears are gone and the friendships I’ve built will last a lifetime, I will be back,” said John, a 15-year-old camp volunteer.

Many volunteers and staff look at social service careers, special education, health care and legal professions, and other pursuits which help individuals and families thrive, many have changed college studies after just one summer! The experiences and the relationships developed with the campers build a higher level of empathy and respect for individuals and families living with special needs.

On average, young college summer staff return to Camp Civitan for four summers, and many work weekends during the entire year. They don’t only return to camp for the fun and relationships with other staff and returning campers, but they these positions are also paid, on average, for the entire summer, 10-week-long sessions will earn about $6,000, not including all meals, lodging, and all the entertainment and fun. There is no better way to spend the summer, and help pay for college, not to mention, will be the most memorable summer you will ever have.

To learn more about Camp Civitan and the volunteer and staff opportunities available, go to www.CivitanFoundationAZ.org. or call 602-953-2944.

Civitan Foundation Receives $80,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Renovate Camp Civitan’s Multi-Plex Activity Field

PHOENIX (February 27, 2018) – Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Civitan Foundation, Inc. $80,000 to renovate the sports and recreation field at Camp Civitan in Williams, Arizona. The Thunderbirds Charities originally built the multi-plex field with a grant in 2004.

In 1968, the vision to create a summer experience of adventure for individuals who are often forgotten or shielded from the same adventures many families take for granted was started. Today, the 15-acre wheelchair accessible Camp Civitan is one of the largest year-round camps of its kind in the nation and spawned additional programs and services for the developmentally disabled.

“Thanks to this generous grant from the Thunderbirds, nearly 1,000 children and adults with special needs have a safe and accessible state-of-the-art multi-plex field for games, activities, and peer socialization.” said Dawn Trapp, CEO of Civitan Foundation, Inc.

Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona to help improve the quality of life in our communities. In 2004, Thunderbirds Charities, supported and built the original multi-plex sports and recreation complex at the camp, this dedicated field has provided not only great fun, but recreation, competition, and physical activity to over 13,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We use the field year-round for camp events and activities,” said Camp Director, Rob Adams. “The field, along with our miniature golf course, hiking trails and outdoor stage, allows us to provide outdoor programming that builds relationships and team-building.”

Programs offer camp participants a variety of enriching and fun experiences that promote positive self-esteem and expression, teamwork, socialization, and healthy activities. They include adaptive educational and physical activities, community field trips, arts and crafts, nutrition classes, gross and fine motor skill training, and peer socialization.

The Civitan Foundation, a non-profit 501 c (3) headquartered in Phoenix, grew from the experiences of Camp Civitan and is now a leading voice in Arizona in providing unmatched, innovative services to individuals with special needs. Serving nearly 1,200 children and adults with disabilities throughout Arizona, Civitan expanded programming to encompass educational and vocational activities. This expansion was designed to meet the direct needs of families and their loved ones.

In addition to Camp Civitan, the Foundation now includes other locations and services to provide job and life-skill training for members to grow independently, socialize with peers and practice self-sufficiency.

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People With Special Needs Drive This Thrift Store

PHOENIX (January 30, 2018) – Most thrift stores have a sameness to them: they sell used clothing, furniture, books and kitchen items and the like. The workers you meet in these shops are generally volunteers and very nice, and the stores most often raise funds supporting not-for-profit organizations. This would be your typical thrift store in the Phoenix market.

However, there is a store which offers something different. Flerish Design and Resale is a thrift store, too, but the workers who greet you at the door have special needs. The store is one of the training centers for the Civitan Foundation, which provides a variety of vocational, recreational and educational services for the developmentally disabled.

At Flerimember Cathy Bernardo and coach Modena Barclay - FLERISH REV 2sh, located at 12621 N. Cave Creek Road in Phoenix, Civitan “members” have job coaches which help them with tasks. These tasks may include instruction on how to properly take inventory, fold and hang clothing, where to put items, as well as how to properly greet a customer and being timed in how long it takes to carry out some of these tasks. In addition, while the members are working at Flerish they are being paid by Civitan.

A major part of the Civitan Foundation’s mission is to provide the highest level of vocational skills, matched to each participant’s individual goals and aspirations. Programs are structured to showcase the member’s talents, while they earn fair compensation for the skills they have worked hard to learn. Currently, there are more than 140 weekly shifts of Civitan members working at Flerish.

Civitan strives to develop programs which help developmentally disabled individuals build confidence and life skills to enrich their lives and live more independently. Other vocational programs offered through Civitan include: Janitorial and custodial, fleet vehicle interior and exterior cleaning, light grounds keeping, clerical and reception, and food services and catering.

Flerish Design and Resale may be like most other thrift outlets by connecting community donated goods with sustainable shoppers, but we’re different. Not only does this store help fund Civitan programs, it also provides and promotes employment opportunities for people with special needs.

Learn more about the programs and services of the Civitan Foundation, as well as Flerish Design and Resale at www.CivitanFoundationAZ.org.

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Civitan Receives Grant From Walmart for Summer Meals Program

Arizona non-profits receive $170,000 from Walmart Foundation

Grants support local organizations working to address hunger, homelessness, veterans’ services & related issues in their communities

 PHOENIX, Arizona (Feb. 6, 2018) – Today, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation proudly announce the donation of $170,000 to six charitable organizations across Arizona. These grants recognize and support local non-profit groups working to meet the needs of the underserved and positively impact Arizona communities.

“As one of Arizona’s largest private employers, we consider it our responsibility to give back to our communities – and that includes supporting outstanding philanthropic organizations working hard every day to make Arizona a better place,” said Paula Ginnett, Walmart vice president and regional manager in Arizona. “We are grateful to these groups for dedicating their time and talent to worthy causes that create opportunity and improve quality of life for our friends and neighbors. Walmart will continue to be a proud partner in their efforts.”

The recipients of Walmart State Giving grants include three organizations in the greater Phoenix area.

  • Civitan Foundation, Inc., based in north Phoenix, is a nonprofit that provides innovative programs and services aimed at educating and empowering Arizonans with developmental disabilities. Civitan’s $30,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will help support its Hunger Relief and Transitional Employment program, which delivers free, USDA-approved meals and snacks to low-income children in north Phoenix during the summer, while providing career training and employment to individuals with developmental disabilities.

“Thanks to this generous grant from Walmart, Civitan is able to expand our culinary program for our members and increase the number of meals we can provide to children who often go hungry when school is not in session,” said Dawn Trapp, CEO, Civitan Foundation.

  • Military Assistance Mission’s receipt of $40,000 will help support the organization’s GI Gap Grant – a program that was created to financially assist active duty and Reserve service members as they transition into college or a trade school after military service.

“It is important to Military Assistance Mission that Arizona heroes can focus on the next chapter of their lives, versus worrying about how they’re going to pay for basic needs or feed their families,” said Margy Bons, CEO, Military Assistance Mission. “We are pleased to partner with Walmart in helping our service members further their education as they transition to civilian life. Their commitment and patriotism will benefit generations to come.”

  • Operation Welcome Home AZ has received $25,000 to support Welcome Home Veterans Park, a 7.7 acre park located in the Town of Gilbert which will serve as a place of reflection, healing and inspiration to veterans, their families and the community.

“We are so grateful for Walmart’s generosity. Their contribution will help veterans and their families get the resources they need for healing,” said Lisa Rigler, President of Operation Welcome Home. “There is no better way to teach youth gratitude and patriotism than to introduce them to a Veteran. Operation Welcome Home Veteran’s Park is a remarkable opportunity for us to connect the community to our Veterans and to begin to understand the price of freedom.  This site will be hallowed ground for every American.”

The Walmart Foundation supports organizations by awarding grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S. This most recent round of grants brings the total amount in awarded to Arizona non-profits by the Walmart Foundation in 2017 to $630,000.

In 2016, Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs and the Walmart Foundation awarded $28 million in cash and in-kind donations to Arizona charities, including 15 million pounds of food donated to local food banks, which is the equivalent of 12.5 million meals. For additional information on Walmart’s economic impact in Arizona, please visit http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/our-locations#/united-states/arizona.

 About Philanthropy at Walmart 

By using our strengths to help others, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation create opportunities for people to live better every day. We have stores in 28 countries, employing more than 2.2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. We are helping people live better by accelerating upward job mobility and economic development for the retail workforce; addressing hunger and making healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality; and building strong communities where we operate and inspiring our associates to give back. Whether it is helping to lead the fight against hunger in the United States with $2 billion in cash and in-kind donations or supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment through a series of grants totaling $10 million to the Women in Factories training program in Bangladesh, China, India and Central America, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are not only working to tackle key social issues, we are also collaborating with others to inspire solutions for long-lasting systemic change. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit http://www.foundation.walmart.com.

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What Started as an Idea Continues to Grow After 50 Years

PHOENIX (December 28, 2017) – When a small group of dedicated volunteers had an idea to build an accessible residential summer camp for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities becomes a reality it is sometimes hard to believe that that dream would last one year, let alone 50. As parents and volunteers, they were driven by the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the unique joy of summer camp – regardless of their abilities.  “Camp Civitan” created one of the first year-round camping experiences in Arizona.

In 1968,CM3B0255 the vision to create a summer experience of adventure for individuals who are often forgotten or shielded from the same adventures many families take for granted was started. Today, the 15-acre wheelchair accessible Camp Civitan in Williams, Arizona is one of the largest year-round camps of its kind in the nation and spawned additional programs and services for the developmentally disabled.

The Civitan Foundation, a non-profit 501 c (3) headquartered in Phoenix, grew from the experiences of Camp Civitan and is now a leading voice in Arizona in providing unmatched, innovative services to individuals with special needs. Serving nearly 1,200 children and adults with disabilities throughout Arizona, we’ve expanded our program to encompass educational and vocational activities. This expansion was to meet the direct needs of each one of our families and their loved ones.

In addition to Camp Civitan, the Foundation now includes other locations and services to provide job and life-skill training for members to grow independently, socialize with peers and practice self-sufficiency.  The Civitan Village, located near 42nd Street and Cactus Road in Phoenix is a multi-disciplinary day program, vocational training site and employment center. Members at the village participate in daily programs which include the arts, culinary, yoga/movement, goals training, theater and media. The programs at the village are designed to promote creativity and help foster healthy, long-lasting relationships.

Flerish Design and Resale is Civitan’s thrift store on 12621-25 North Cave Creek Road. The store provides 70 paid shifts weekly for members learning all aspects of retail sales. Within the store we house our “Art Gallery” where members who have trained with a third-generation Arizonan artist are showing and selling their one of a kind fine art. Civitan also operates a boutique and resale store in Williams AZ, Civitan on 66, also providing the local members an employment opportunity.

The Respite Ranch, a home like setting on almost an acre, located near our main campus, provides the much-needed respite and reprieve from constant care-giving, or as a last minute option during times of critical need. This service is available 365 days a year.

In addition to the facilities offering training and work opportunities for the Civitan Foundation members, we also provide home and community based services. Our staff provide individualized services to families and caregivers of loved ones with special needs living at home. We also have day-training programs in Williams and Maricopa.

What drove the parents and volunteers to start a camp for the disabled 50 years ago is still the fire that drives us today. As Civitan moves forward, our goals are to continue exploring new opportunities to improve the quality of life for our members.

About Dawn Trapp:

Dawn TrappAfter serving the organization for countless years in a volunteer capacity, in 2001 Dawn Trapp founded and was elected the first Executive Director of what is now known as the Civitan Foundation, Inc. Since that time, Dawn has transformed Civitan from a single-service, single-location volunteer organization to a multi-faceted enterprise which offers countless programs and services to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the state of Arizona.

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