News and Events

Mom’s Day 2013 Honor your Mom (or other special lady) with a donation to Helping Hands for Mother’s Day

website promo pic- moms day cards  2013

Remember all the special moms you know with a meaningful gift this year – a donation to Helping Hands for Single Moms!  Your donation for this special Mother’s Day Event includes a card of your choice, and your personal signature.  We will mail it for you, to the person(s)  you choose.
You and that special “Mom” in your life will both feel good, knowing that your thoughtful gift, made in celebration of her, will help single mom college student families while the moms pursue their education and financial independence for their children.  Click Here

2012 – A Holiday for Heroes

He·ro  Noun
hfh gift wrappers

Webster: one who shows great courage or is admired for achievement and noble qualities

On December 14th, over 350 guests/gift wrapping volunteers gathered in the Arizona Ballroom at the Phoenix Marriott Airport Hotel for the Second Annual Holiday for Heroes event.   The event is named in recognition of the courage exhibited by our single mom college students who are making great sacrifices to work, attend college full-time, and raise their children in order to earn a college degree.   However, they weren’t the only heroes in the room that night.  Others included:  

narpro award
Alan Tarr of NARPRO receives the Helping Hands Extra Mile award for 6 years of service to Helping Hands moms
  • Honored guest speaker Anthony Robles -who despite being born with only one leg became a 2011 NCAA Wrestling Champion
  • Honored guest speaker and Anthony’s mother, Judy Robles – who as a single mom raised her son to be a winner in life as well as on the wrestling mat.  Judy was the recipient of the inaugural Helping Hands’ “My Mom My Hero” award
  • Honored guest speaker Bay Buchanan -author of “Bay and Her Boys – Unexpected Lessons I learned as a Single Mom,” who refused to feel sorry for herself as a divorced mother of three young boys, but chose to focus on giving her all to raising strong, healthy, and successful sons.
  • A room full of gift donors who made the holidays special for single mom college student families by providing over $19,000 in gifts to them .  The evening included a dinner buffet, an inspiring program, and a present wrapping session

And the seventy eight single mom college students.  Though they arrived tired – after a long semester and a week of finals – they walked out encouraged and with smiles on their faces.

suns2012 group christmas photo
Markieff and Suns Team pose with a Helping Hands family
Phoenix Suns Markieff Morris Delivers Holiday
Cheer to Helping Hands moms

On December 15th Markieff Morris of the Phoenix Suns delivered bags filled with gifts for the children of four Helping Hands families.  The kids were delighted as they opened the bags to find I-pods, video games, talking Elmo, and dozens of other gifts.  This was the second year in a row that Markieff has reached out to be a blessing to Helping Hands moms and we deeply appreciate it!

The Arizona Holiday Decorators Company adorned each mom’s house with holiday lights and provided Christmas trees – which the Suns filled with ornaments and tinsel.  Of course, the evening wouldn’t have been complete without an appearance by the Gorilla and Suns cheerleaders.   It was a night the moms and their children will never forget.  And, the gifts kept coming — Markieff donated 104 tickets for Helping Hands families to attend a game against the LA Clippers on the following weekend.  Thank you Markieff and thank you Phoenix Suns!

We are blessed.

On behalf of Helping Hands, thank you to all of our volunteers, community partners, donors, and board members.  It has been another successful year.  We also thank God for the grace to continue to serve single mom college students.

It is not too late to make a year end donation to Helping Hands for Single Moms.

You can donate online by clicking HERE or mail a check (postdated by December 31) to:

Helping Hands for Single Moms

P.O Box 7737
Goodyear, AZ 85338

Change for Change

Alison Binford -2011 grad-Sth Mtn websize  199 Angelique and Kahlai 189

Dear Friend of Helping Hands,

Perhaps you are like many people who get discouraged when you see stories of poverty – not because you don’t care but because you recognize that efforts to solve the problem through government handouts or charitable gifts can sometimes be nothing more than temporary band aid solutions.  In other words, despite efforts to provide aid to those in need, those caught up in poverty are too often in a never ending cycle of dependency.  Hence, nothing changes. 

We have good news:  At Helping Hands, we specialize in creating real change, not temporary relief.   When you donate to Helping Hands your gifts support hard working moms who are committed to making the necessary sacrifices to lead their families out of the cycle poverty through educational achievement and gainful employment.   For these moms and their families, with your assistance, true change is achieved and the cycle of poverty is broken.

Here is our challenge to you for the holidays.  Take the pocket change that you have been throwing in a jar and go cash it in.  Then use that money to make a donation to Helping Hands.  Your loose change will result in long-term change for the single mom families that we serve.*

You can make an online donation to Helping Hands for Single Moms by clicking HERE or, mailing a check to Helping Hands for Single Moms at:

P.O. Box 7737
Goodyear, AZ 85338 

* It is that special time again when some of you have the opportunity to give to Helping Hands and get your donation back.  If you are a resident of Arizona, the Arizona State Charitable Tax Credit allows you to reduce your current year’s state tax bill by either $400 (married filing jointly) or $200 (single individual or head of household), when you make a donation to Helping Hands for Single Moms. To qualify for this tax credit you must itemize your taxes.


Things we are thankful for – Candice’s Story


As we celebrate the beginning of the holiday season, here are five things our organization is thankful for: (more…)

Single Mothers Fulfill College Dreams

[Helping Hands for Single Moms on Channel 12]

By Connie Cone Sexton
The Republic | Sun Nov 11, 2012 12:05 AM

For 21 years, Candice Johnson managed to just keep going.

She coped with near poverty, supported only by a mother whose life was ravaged by drugs.

She deflected the sorrow of never knowing her biological father.

And she pushed through her fears when, as a teenager, she became pregnant.

In 2003, after the birth of her daughter, Aaliyah, Johnson dropped out of school. Deciding to no longer live with her mother, she stayed with friends and family until she was old enough to receive government assistance.

By 2007, she finally had her own place, a small low-income apartment in south Phoenix, but was existing day to day.

“I was down and out. I didn’t have two quarters to my name,” Johnson said.

Then, a few days before Christmas, Aaliyah asked for some change for the ice-cream man. “I didn’t have it,” Johnson said, her voice breaking at the memory of her daughter’s disappointed face.

Not wanting to fall apart in front of her, Johnson fled to her bedroom closet.

“I sunk to the ground and started crying so hard. It was a long time coming,” she said. “I felt like, ‘The bottom is really here. If I don’t do something different, I’m going to have a horrible life.’

[Read the rest of Candice’s story here]

Phoenix Suns Forward Markieff Morris spread the holiday spirit to 10 families from Helping Hands for Single Moms

Suns rookie Markieff Morris gave back to the community this holiday season when helping out some single-parent mothers. Thank you, Markieff, for sharing your time!

Meet the Moms Event

A Special Event to Thank Our Donors

Our annual meet the moms event is a special night that gives us a chance to show how much we appreciate you, our donor! This is an opportunity to converse with the very women you have heard about, supported and encouraged, while enjoying wonderful hors d’oeuvres and cocktails under the stars.

We promise a delightful evening as you mingle and learn, first hand, about the very special single mom college students and alumni of Helping Hands for Single Moms. At this event we will share a few brief highlights along with a glimpse into our future.

Please stay tuned to find out about our next Meet the Moms event!



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News & Events 5K Update

Phoenix-area non-profit gives single moms college help

Carlos Chavez/The Arizona Republic

by Michelle Ye Hee Lee – Dec. 2, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

College life isn’t always conducive to single mothers, who must juggle classes, homework, jobs and motherhood.

But a helping hand can make a big difference in a single mother’s daily life: someone to fix her car when it breaks as she’s on the way to pick her child up from school, or someone to lend her a laptop if she can’t afford one.

That is where Helping Hands for Single Moms, a non-profit organization, steps in. The group provides scholarships to help the 50 low-income single mothers enrolled in the program graduate from college. Women can use the $255 monthly stipend for whatever they need to help them finish their degrees.

It’s one of more than 130 agencies supported by the annual Season for Sharing campaign. Last year, the campaign raised about $2.86 million to assist Arizonans in need.

Helping Hands for Single Moms began in 2001. Since then, 32 women have graduated from college, and the average annual salary of those moms is $42,600, said Chris Coffman, the program’s executive director.

In addition, the organization has 47 community partners that offer a slew of in-kind services, such as auto and computer repair, AAA membership, medical and dental assistance, carpet cleaning and even tickets to Phoenix Suns games for the family.

Shawna Harrison, 35, graduated from Mesa Community College last year with an associate degree in nursing. Helping Hands for Single Moms focuses on the mom, knowing that her life revolves around her children, said Harrison, who has two sons.

In-kind services help clear obstacles that could set a mom back in pursuing her degree, Harrison said. Even a flat tire can create a ripple effect.

In order to stay with the program, women must have at least one child younger than 11, attend college, take a minimum of nine credit hours a semester, maintain at least a 2.5 grade-point average and participate in monthly single-moms network meetings.

There are four networks across the Valley. At meetings, moms learn practical skills and talk with other women who are going through similar experiences.

Speakers teach them how to manage their finances, raise children or cope with stress. Older single moms or women who graduated from the program offer mentorship to younger and newer single mothers.

The point is to provide women with skills and a support network to help them become successful post-graduation, Coffman said.

Patty Farias, 36, said she left an abusive 12-year relationship and moved to Arizona with her daughter and a little bit of money. She started a new life here with no friends, family or even a car.

Two years later, Farias is pursuing a nursing degree at Phoenix College with assistance from Helping Hands for Single Moms.

She works 20 hours a week, attends classes and tries to spend as much time as possible with her 11-year-old daughter.

“That’s one of the reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Farias said, “to prove to my daughter – show her, I guess – that education is going to take you wherever you want to go.”