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February 2024 Newsletter

In 2023 Arizona experienced alarming levels of homelessness. This crisis has left countless families and individuals struggling for shelter, food, and safety. One family struck with homelessness was Jason and Karina.

Jason and Karina have three children, and were unexpectedly left without a place to live. Your contributions gave Jason and Karina the shelter they needed, and were able to start rebuilding their lives. They were able to find shelter at the West Valley Housing Assistance Center, gain new employment, and importantly, the safety for their children.

This homelessness crisis impacts families and individuals of all ages, including children and those already burdened by many other challenges. You are the reason that these families have a chance at a better life. Your commitment to taking care of those around you ensures that no one has to go without a roof over their head.

Your support, no matter the size, has the power to transform lives. When you contribute, you provide the shelter, food, and safety that these families and individuals need. Your kindness and love for your neighbors gives hope to those who need it most.

In February’s newsletter you will learn even more about how you can contribute to ending homelessness. Your support matters more than ever. Please continue to give love to those around you. Families just like Jason and Karina will thank you.


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Joe Dulin

Joe Dulin

Chief Philanthropy Officer

A New Leaf

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February 2024 Impact News: Your donation gave Jason and Karina’s family shelter!

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Jason and Karina ended up living in their care after rent prices skyrocketed. With three children, they were desperate to find a safe home. Thanks to supporters like you, this family got the shelter they needed.

Jason and Karina have always worked hard to provide for their three children. They had a nice home together, but with so many mouths to feed, they were living from paycheck to paycheck. When rising prices started to impact their budget, Karina became concerned.

“Things really financially tightened up for us after the pandemic. Rent went up, groceries went up, everything just became way more expensive. So we were already stretched, but everything started to unravel when we were both unemployed for a few months.”

After a few challenging months left them unable to pay rent, Jason and Karina were going to lose their home. They quickly asked relatives to take in their children while they found a solution and resolved to live in their car during the height of summer. They hoped it wouldn’t be long before their family could be together again.

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“Unfortunately, it lasted for months as we worked to pay off all the fees of losing our home, unpaid bills, and so much more. It’s actually very expensive to become homeless. Not to mention that finding work and keeping a job is really difficult without a permanent address. We slept in church parking lots and cooked on grills in local parks. The heat was just absolutely suffocating. Those were some of the worst days of my life.”

That’s when Jason and Karina reached out for help and got connected with A New Leaf’s West Valley Housing Assistance Center. A short while later, they received a call that a private shelter unit had opened up for them, allowing them to reunite with their children. Within a few hours, their lives had started to turn around.

“We got the keys to a private apartment, and it was such a huge relief. A New Leaf had given us a chance to get back on our feet and to get our children back. Our whole focus during this ordeal was to make sure the kids weren’t affected, so they had been staying with family. Now they could be with us again, and that was a huge relief.”

Camilla's Story Blog Photo 2

After a few weeks of settling in, the three kids joined their parents at A New Leaf’s shelter. With their children back, Jason and Karina started to work on a long-term plan to find employment and build a stable home again. Everything started to come together for this small family.

“Jason got hired on as a Behavioral Health Technician, and I was hired as a lead teacher at a local daycare. Pretty soon we were ready to move into our own apartment and get on with our lives – and we have! Our family is doing wonderful now.”

“Honestly we are so thankful for the help we got. Our family felt shattered from all the stress, uncertainty, and fear of being homeless. You gave us a chance to get our bearings and make some good choices, and now here we are! Thank you for all of your kindness.”

Contributed by:

Joe Dulin

Tanner Swanson

Communications Manager

A New Leaf

February 2024 Volunteer News: Kicking Off the Year With VITA!

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A New Leaf hosted the VITA Kickoff event, where we welcomed volunteers and sponsors to come together and network with each other. 

A New Leaf’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program just had its kickoff event to start the new year! VITA is all about giving a helping hand to families and individuals in our community by assisting them with filing taxes for completely free.

VITA is a program that relies on the kindness and expertise of volunteers. These volunteers are local accountants, financial experts, and others who generously give their time and knowledge to support their neighbors in need. These volunteers go through rigorous training to make sure they can provide the very best service to those who need it most.

Thanks to these amazing volunteers, we can offer free tax preparation services to low-to-moderate-income households. Your commitment means that families don’t have to worry about spending their hard-earned money on filing taxes, and that they receive all the tax benefits they deserve.

To all our VITA volunteers, we extend our heartfelt thanks. Your generosity is touching thousands of lives and making our community stronger. With your support, we’re helping families and individuals thrive financially, one tax return at a time. Thank you for being the heart and soul of our VITA program!

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Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities

If you are interested in helping your local community, get involved today! A New Leaf is looking for Shelter Support Volunteers at four locations: East Valley Men’s Center (EVMC), West Valley Housing Assistance Center (WVHAC), Faith House (FH), and the Community Alliance Against Family Abuse (CAAFA). As a Shelter Support Volunteer, you will play a vital role in helping those who seek shelter, food, and support. Your contributions will make a significant difference in the lives of so many families.

Here are some of the important tasks you’ll be involved in:

  • Helping with food donation pick-ups and meal preparations.
  • Sorting and organizing donations, including food, clothes, and toys.
  • Providing directions and essential information to shelter visitors.
  • Assisting with event preparations and clean-ups.
  • Keeping our facilities clean, sanitized, and organized.
  • Completing assigned tasks from the shift list, based on location.
  • Providing valuable support to our administrative team by assisting with tasks like copying, scanning, answering phones, and greeting visitors.

By volunteering, you’ll not only help those in need but also gain valuable skills and connect with other volunteers like you. Importantly, A New Leaf will provide you with the training and skills needed to serve those most in need in your community.

Your commitment as a volunteer at A New Leaf will make a lasting impact. Your service ensures that shelter, food, and hope are given to those who need it most. Please submit an application through our website or email us at

Contributed by:

Joe Dulin

Raven Jordan Yosick

Volunteer Program Supervisor

A New Leaf

February 2024 Donation Center News: New Sheets and Bedding for Those In Crisis

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A New Leaf invites you to make a direct impact in your local community by making a donation of items. Your gifts will help those facing homelessness, domestic violence, and other crisis situations.

This month, Abigail, a remarkable young woman, organized a donation drive to earn school service hours. She donated clean pillows, sheets, and essential toiletry items that will make a world of difference to our homeless population right here in our community.

Abigail’s donation of clean pillows and sheets will provide comfort and a good night’s sleep to those experiencing homelessness. A safe and comfortable place to rest is essential for anyone, and Abigail’s contribution helps create safety and comfort for those in need. In addition to bedding, Abigail was also able to donate toiletry items. These items are a lifeline for many across the Valley.

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Access to personal hygiene items can be a challenge for those without homes, and Abigail’s thoughtful gesture will ensure that our homeless neighbors have access to clean essentials, promoting their health and well-being. You can give these items and more for those experiencing homelessness this year. Our donation center is still looking for: 

  • Pillows
  • Paper products (plastic cups, silverware, plates, etc.)
  • Cleaning supplies (clorox, paper towels, etc.)
  • Ziplock Bag
  • Men’s and Women’s deodorant

These donations can make any place feel like a home. Those moving out of homelessness can start to focus on getting back on their feet without having to worry about basic necessities. Basic household items can be taken for granted, but you can donate today to change the lives of thousands of families and individuals across the Valley. 

For your convenience, our donation center (2245 W. Ella Street, Building A Mesa, AZ 85201) is open Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm, and on Friday from 9 am to 3 pm. If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to call us at (480) 464-4648 or email us at



Contributed by:

Joe Dulin

Alyssa Turley

Philanthropy Coordinator

A New Leaf

February 2024 Donor News: The Benefits of Non-Cash Giving

Did you know that donating to A New Leaf doesn’t have to mean writing a check or using your credit card? I invite you to view the short video below to learn about some smarter ways to support your passion for helping those experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, and other heartbreaking challenges:

Your contributions play a vital role in our mission to support those experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, or other heart breaking challenges. Your support helps provide shelter, food, and essential services to those experiencing this crisis. Eviction rates continue to rise, and these families and individuals need your help. 

Please consider making a non-cash donation so you are able to help those in need as soon as possible. You already do so much to help, and A New Leaf wants to make sure that you get something in return for your kindness to all of your neighbors who need it most.

For more information about giving from assets, year-end deadlines, and other charitable strategies, please contact Suzanne Percy, Charitable Giving Advisor, at (480) 708-1358 or email

Contributed by:

Joe Dulin

Suzanne Percy

Charitable Giving Advisor

A New Leaf

February 2024 Community Partner News: Growing Our Pack


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Living in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy childhood brain development. When in poverty, young students can experience poor academic performance and a tougher social experience. This is exactly what A New Leaf and the Arizona Coyotes have come together to change.

The Coyotes have partnered with A New Leaf for 20 years, providing more than $70,000 in financial and in-kind support. This year, funding from the Arizona Coyotes Foundation will support La Mesita Children’s Services, providing access to safe and fun out-of-school time opportunities!

A New Leaf is proud to partner with the Arizona Coyotes to support children experiencing homelessness by helping them succeed academically and socially. A New Leaf provides learning and fun onsite at the La Mesita Community shelter. The La Mesita community shelter includes an after school and summer program for children in grades K-6, and a special teen program for teens in grades 7-12.

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All of this comes at no cost, removing the financial burden that most families experiencing homelessness face when looking for educational programs. 

Each year, the Arizona Coyotes Foundation selects programs based on closing the education gap, improving health outcomes, and economic advancement for underserved communities. These grants help create change for those in need across the Valley, and touch thousands of lives every single year. 

A New Leaf wants to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Arizona Coyotes Foundation for giving these children a chance at getting a better education! For more information about partnering with A New Leaf, please contact Laura Bode, Director of Community Engagement, at

Contributed by:

Joe Dulin

Laura Bode

Director of Community Engagement

A New Leaf

February 2024 Event News: Tickets for Camaraderie 2024 Are Selling Fast!

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Group photo from A New Leaf’s 2023 Camaraderie Gala.

Camaraderie Registration is now open! Secure your tickets and tables at At this year’s “Night in Positano” Camaraderie Gala, you can bid to win prizes, while also supporting those experiencing homelessness. You could even bid to win a dinner and baseball game experience with Arizona Diamondbacks legend, Luis Gonzalez! 

The annual Camaraderie Gala is so important for families experiencing heartbreaking circumstances. All proceeds from the gala go towards those experiencing homelessness by giving shelter, food, and safety to those who need it most. Your participation makes a difference.

Date and Venue:


Mark your calendars for March 23, 2024, and join us at the luxurious JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, located at 5350 E Marriott Dr, Phoenix, AZ 85054.


Schedule of the Evening:


  • 5:30 pm: Begin the night with a Cocktail Reception and a chance to browse our Silent Auction.
  • 7:00 pm: Enjoy a sumptuous Dinner followed by an engaging Program.
  • 9:00 pm: The celebration continues with an After Party, featuring dancing and live entertainment.


Live Auction Prizes: 


Proceeds from the live auction all go to families in crisis.


  • Auction Item 1: Dinner and Baseball Game with Luis Gonzalez
  • Auction Item 2: A 7-day cruise!
  • Auction Item 3: A 5-night resort stay! 
  • Auction Item 4: A year-long membership in the Arrivia Travel Package!
  • Auction Item 5: An African Safari adventure!


Dress Code:


The attire for the evening is Black Tie optional. We encourage you to dress in your finest, ready to be whisked away to the Italian coast.

All of this is possible due to wonderful people just like you. A New Leaf would also like to thank our Gala sponsors for supporting those in need this year.

  • Desert Financial Credit Union 
  • Messinger Mortuaries 
  • The Wrigley Mansion 
  • Skinner Clouse Group 
  • Gateway Bank
  • Banner | Aetna 
  • Wells Fargo
  • SRP

You still have a chance to reserve a table and participate in a night of fun! Secure your tickets and tables at Share the excitement with your friends and family, and help those in your community at this unforgettable gala!

For any questions or assistance please reach out to me,!

Contributed by:

Joe Dulin

McCall Schnepf

Events Manager

A New Leaf


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