Aris Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to helping the homeless community in Tempe, AZ and the surrounding areas.
You can donate to Aris Foundation by visiting our website and clicking on the Donate button, or by sending a check to our mailing address: 475 E. Joseph Way, Gilbert, AZ 85295.
Yes, Aris Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation is tax-deductible.
Yes! The Aris Foundation is an approved Qualifying Charitable Organization (QCO), so every dollar donated up to $400 single/$800 couple is a CREDIT on your AZ state taxes.
Transportation Clients need to get around town to get jobs, make appointments, get to the doctor/dentist. We buy many bus passes to help with this. There are also situations where we will purchase Greyhound bus tickets to get them "home" if they can prove they have a safe place to go to.
Food When kids get a place, they often have trouble making ends meet. We will supply food boxes and give them hygiene items. We buy Subway for kids who are on the streets who are in emergency food situations.
Medical Expenses We pay for our kids to get glasses and have emergency dental services. We also pay for prescriptions.
Clothing We occasionally have a client who has a need. For example, we have a client with size 18 feet, which is virtually impossible to get in a donation.
Rental/Utility Assistance In rare occasions, we provide funds to help keep a kid in housing when they fall on difficult times.
Miscellaneous We purchase batteries, deodorant, razors, hand sanitizer, readers, sunglasses, art supplies, coloring books, etc. We love the Dollar Store!
In 2022, Aris's administrative costs were 3.4% of the budget. We have no salaries and very little operating expenses.
We serve every Tuesday (rain or shine) at Mountain Park Health Center in Tempe, Arizona at 5pm. MPHC is located at 1840 E. Broadway Road in Tempe, AZ.
We serve between 125 - 200 people every week.
We love it when people bring out their children! There is no age limit, but we do recommend parents come out once first, before bringing their children. And parents must stay with their children at all times.
Things to know
* There is foul language out there. They try to curb it when they see little people volunteering, but it's part of their vernacular and sometimes it slips.
* Our clients have dogs and the dogs are their protectors - please don't let your kids think it's okay to go up and pet the dogs.
* This experience leads to many good discussions. My kids have been coming out since they were little.
This is difficult to answer because everyone experiences something different when they come out. Our clients are polite and kind, grateful and loving. We've heard from previous volunteers, "Your kids are more polite than my daughter's swim team!" "I couldn't believe how kind they were. They all said thank you."
From Katherine: When I started volunteering with this community, I was working at Tumbleweed and we served youth from 18-25. When they started calling me "Mom", I started calling them my "kids" and it stuck. It is not meant to be condescending in any way. I love them like they are my kids.
We ask volunteers to be at the park at 4:00pm to help set up. Volunteers can be asked to do anything from handing out hygiene items to distributing dog food. You may be asked to help serve dinner or distribute items. The schedule is typically as follows:
4:00pm Tables and pop-up tents are set up
5:00pm Dinner is served by the group that is hosting the meal
6:15pm Cleanup begins (we try to leave the location as we found it - so cleanup is important)
Please contact Summerr at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. She will provide all the information you will need.
* Please plan on serving 150 people.
* If you do not have servers available, let us know - we have plenty of people willing to help!
* We will provide four rectangular tables for serving.
* There is no electricity available - so everything needs to be prepared ahead of time.
* We ask that all utensils (plates, napkins, forks) are included in your planning, but please feel free to reach out to us if you need some help!
* We provide all drinks including water, milk and Gatorade.
Our clients come out week after week because we offer them kindness. We love them. Just your presence alone is what they need. Look them in the eye. Smile. Remember that you may be the only kind face they've seen all week. And please remember that they are in survival mode; struggling for shelter and food. What we provide is a reprieve from that struggle. Don't be afraid to talk to them. Shake their hands. Introduce yourself. Be present. This experience can be life altering for both you and them!
We have two homes that serve as drop-off points for all physical donations. You may drop off at any time. Tax receipts are located on the tables.
475 E. Joseph Way, Gilbert
1425 E. Libra Drive, Tempe
Unfortunately, drugs are rampant on the streets. These "kids" are literally sleeping under bridges and struggling to survive. They "use" to make it through the day, to deal with the trauma of their pasts, to feel nothing for a little while. They do not need our judgment. We go out to give them a reprieve - to help them feel a little bit of comfort in their lives. Having said that, you should not see ANY drug use during your time volunteering. We ensure the environment is a safe one for everyone.
We are not affiliated with a church or religious organization. At Aris, we accept our "kids" for the amazing beings they are, no matter what they believe. We are there to love them all.
Our success is in day-to-day triumphs . . . . But, we are also very proud of the fact that we have helped nearly three hundred people get off the streets. Some have jobs, some have cars, some have kids of their own, some even have health benefits. And the icing on the cake is that many of them come back to volunteer with us!
Absolutely nothing! Aris Foundation was named after the town Katherine's father was born in. It is a small village in the south of Greece. But, we are trying to come up with a neat acronym to tell people! :-)
We feed our "kids" in a parking lot because there is currently not one indoor location in Tempe where we can care for them. As soon as there is, we will consider moving our services. Until then, we will keep our goal in mind - we will love them where they're at. And right now, that's a parking lot on Tuesday nights!
In the twelve years I have been working with this population, I have seen three fights. The kids respect what we do and keep the drama away from the park at all costs. But, having said that, we are very grateful to Mountain Park Health Center for providing a security team for us every Tuesday. In addition, we have an Aris volunteer security team dressed in tie-dye t-shirts so they're easy to find them if we need them!
Please clean out your closets! We take all adult-sized clothes, travel-sized hygiene items, bath towels, washcloths, blankets, backpacks, camping supplies . . . .
We love to share what we do! Please reach out to Katherine at email@example.com to discuss the possibility of a volunteer coming to present to your group.
We have had many teen groups come out to volunteer including AZ National Charity League, Boys Teams Charity, Girl Scout Troops, Pageant Ladies, Campo Verde Basketball Team, Basha Soccer Team, Williams Field High School Football Team . . . .
We recommend a "special event" be coordinated for any groups coming out: host a hot cocoa booth, an ice cream booth, etc. That will keep your kids busy and our "kids" will love it!