Press Releases

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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Camp Spring Schedule 2018

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Propelling a Partnership, “Pushing” Towards Change

Propelling a PartnershipFor the past two years, the Civitan Foundation, Inc. has been honored to partner with Push America charities to build a new, fully-accessible outdoor amphitheater at our Camp Civitan facility in Williams, AZ. Each year, over 50 male volunteers sacrificed their time and effort to give Camp Civitan’s facilities a “push” towards progress.

During the second consecutive Give-A-Push weekend Push America has granted to the Civitan Foundation, Inc., the men of Pi Kappa Phi built a costume room to complement the outdoor amphitheater and stage constructed during 2010’s GAP weekend. In addition to this facility, the volunteers completed construction of the new field house, laid mortar for the foundation of a new maintenance shed, contributed to the installation of the solar system and planted trees around camp. At the end of a hard day’s work, the men of Pi Kappa Phi joined Civitan clients around the campfire for an evening of singing, friendship and fun.

Founded in 1977 by the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, Push America strives to instill lifelong service in its members and enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities. Through their Give-A-Push grant program, Push America provided the Civitan Foundation, Inc. with $5,000 in 2010 and 2011 for building materials and supplies, as well as over 50 volunteers for a weekend of labor. We at the Civitan Foundation, Inc., as well as the clients we serve, could not be more grateful for their continued and generous support.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes for Civitan Thrift Store

Civitan Thrift & Trading CoTime may change it, but it’s certainly hard to trace where the time has gone. After seven wonderful years in their original location, the Camp Civitan Thrift Store is revamping, reorganizing, and relocating.

Civitan Thrift and Trading Co., as the shop is now named, opened its doors to the public January 29th from its new location on the main drag. Located at 129 W. Route 66, the shop boasts more space, more variety, and a new specialized clothing brand unique to Civitan. Civitan hopes that the shop will cater to both locals and tourists, providing a veritable gold mine of authentic, gently used western themed items. The company’s new clothing brand hopes to do just that, in fact. The “Western Worn” brand, designed to uncover the real cowboy in you, will be attached to hard to find vintage western wear and accessories.

In addition to the new brand, the Thrift and Trading Co. has a wide variety of treasures sure to suit anyone’s taste. From end tables to costume jewelry, jeans to wedding dresses, antique train memorabilia, and Route 66 artifacts, you’ll browse for hours as you search for your next great find.

If their merchandise isn’t enough to entice you, the smiling faces of the special needs clients that greet you from behind the counter will remind you that your dollars will contribute to a valuable cause. All proceeds from the Civitan Thrift and Trading Co. go directly to support the Civitan Foundation, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing vital services to individuals with developmental disabilities. According to Executive Director Dawn Trapp, clients from the organization’s Williams-based day program will work in the shop during the week as well.

In addition to checking out the new wares in the shop, you can support Civitan Foundation’s cause through the donation of your gently used items. “We value the support we’ve consistently received from the community of Williams,” Trapp said, “and we look forward to becoming an even greater contributor to town culture and commerce.”

The new thrift shop will be open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with plans to extend evening hours to 9 p.m. in the future.

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