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The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation gives $1M to Child Crisis Arizona efforts

Child Crisis Arizona to use award to support Center for Child & Family Wellness
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Child Crisis Arizona has been awarded $1 million by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation to support both the organization’s annual operational costs as well as its highly anticipated Center for Child & Family Wellness in Mesa.

Under construction, the 38,000-square-foot, climate-friendly, net-zero campus will expand Child Crisis Arizona’s ability to serve more people and offer health, wellness, and educational opportunities to the community, according to Torrie Taj, Child Crisis Arizona CEO.

“Since 2015, Child Crisis Arizona has more than doubled in size and scope of services, experiencing unprecedented growth in our Early Education Services, which increased by 200%, and our shelter bed capacity, which increased by 177%,” she said in a prepared statement.

“While this growth has drastically increased the number of children and families we serve, it has caused staff members and entire departments to become displaced and dispersed throughout the Valley to make space for additional classrooms and shelter beds as needed.”

The Center for Child & Family Wellness will centralize Child Crisis Arizona operations and become the new home to services for low-income children and families, including foster care and adoption services; family education; children’s counseling; health and wellness, including medical screenings and basic needs, Ms. Taj says.

Also, the facility will feature a centralized kitchen and food distribution; centralized administration and property-homes; foster teen programs; art, dance, and music therapy; and volunteer and staff training. It will also allow for strategic collaborations with such organizations as Ballet Arizona, United Food Bank, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona.

“Child Crisis Arizona is often the go-to resource provider for children and families in need,” said Bob Parsons, co-founder, The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. “Their new state-of-the-art campus will continue to improve how we take care of vulnerable children and families, offering hope and support when families need it most.”

At full build-out, the Center for Child & Family Wellness will feature:

  • Meeting rooms that can convert into larger spaces for community classes aimed at providing educational opportunities ranging from financial literacy to parenting skills to drug trends in teens.
  • A Health and Community Wellness area, which will include space for medical screenings and immunizations for low-income families, basic needs distribution, and food distribution.
  • An art and music therapy space, hosting partnerships with Ballet Arizona and bringing the arts to vulnerable children within our organization and community.
  • A Counseling Support Center with four sensory and play therapy rooms.
  • A Foster Care and Adoption wing, offering foster or adoptive families realistic training and ongoing support to prepare them for placement of children of all ages and backgrounds.
  • A donation center and a volunteer center.
  • A full-service kitchen to provide meals for our clients throughout the east valley.
  • A Safe Kids Car Seat Safety Station, across the parking lot, that will offer classes on proper car seat installation and will distribute free car or booster seats to low-income families.

Additional spaces include a children’s playroom, community partner hub, technology center, job skills center, and innovation space.“

Child Crisis Arizona has worked tirelessly to ensure that children and families who are economically disadvantaged, are experiencing homelessness, the foster care system or other such challenges can be safe and well cared for,” said Renee Parsons, co-founder of The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation. “Their new campus will not only allow them to continue making a positive impact on our community, but also increase that impact.”

Upon its completion in early 2024, in addition to the full range of services provided, the two-story campus will be among the first of its kind in Arizona to put sustainability at the forefront, meeting the highest level of standards for Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and attaining a Living Futures Petal Project Certification.

“We look forward to honoring the long-standing relationship with and support from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation by dedicating the lobby in the Center for Child & Family Wellness in their name upon opening in 2024,” Ms. Taj said.

The Center for Child & Family Wellness is at 424 W. Rio Salado Pkwy. in Mesa.

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