In the spirit of the holidays, Bookmans Ina hosts Helpers of the Community, a day for the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Youth On Their Own, the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona and Toys for Tots to set up outside our store. Each group will provide information on the services they offer our Tucson community. These organizations rely on volunteers and generosity of the southern Arizona collective to provide their services.

Bookmans Partners

While the holiday season is a popular time to give, the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona fights hunger all year-around. Since 1976, they’ve created and partnered with multiple organizations across the country to provide nutritious food to those in need. The Community Food Bank provides emergency relief food boxes, has a senior brown bag program, an infant formula program and a snack pack program for school children in need on the weekends. They’ve combined efforts with Habitat for Humanity to provide fully-stocked cupboards to freshly moved-in families. These are a few of the many services this phenomenal organization offers our community.

Most of us come home to a family each night, even if it’s just Mr. Whiskers. Some young people in our community have no such experience. Youth on Their Own provides support, financial assistance and basic needs to students between the grades of 6th through 12th who don’t have a legal guarding to help them along the way. The program started when an Amphitheater school counselor noticed the district had a problem with teens who didn’t seem to have a home. With a few other local charities and teachers, they formed a program that also provides homework help, scholarship assistance, life management aid and assistance in finding jobs. YOTO provides services to over 1,300 youth in our community.

One of Southern Arizona’s prouder moments should be the opening of the Diaper Bank of Southern Arizona — the first one to ever open, anywhere! In 1994 a local business noticed the demand for families in need of diapers. They took it upon themselves to hold a diaper drive every year until it became such a huge event they were spending more than 6 months of the year preparing for it. Now, the Diaper Bank is its own fully functioning charitable organization. There are more than 250 diaper banks across the U.S. who modeled themselves after our very own. In 2013, with the help of the National Diaper Bank Network, the Diaper Bank donated two million diapers in our community. Let’s keep the streak running and make it even more this year!

First you feel the rumble and then you hear the roar. Every year Toys for Tots has its motorcycle drive to gather toys for less fortunate children in our community. Their goal is to provide a small spark of joy for children in hopes they’ll grow to be responsible, successful and patriotic citizens. Bring your brand new, unopened toys for Toys for Tots 2014.

Tucson stands strong as a community but with the help of our supportive and active charities we come even closer together. Stop by between 11 a.m. and 2 p. m. on December 7 at Bookmans Ina to get to know these organizations better this holiday season.