Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) is fulfilling the vision of its two co-founders, Barbara Norton and Lupe Esquer, two local Tempe residents who saw the great need experienced by their Tempe neighbors in 1966 and sought to make a difference by organizing their community into action. 52 years later, they are still furthering their vision with an expanded array of basic need programs and services that promote independence and self-reliance.
They now run Tempe’s longest running and largest Food Pantry program, including a partnership with Tempe Schools, Tempe’s I-HELP shelter program (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program) for men and women experiencing homelessness – the ONLY homeless shelter program in Tempe, their Family Economic Advancement program –helping single parent households improve their financial stability through credit repair, increased wages, microenterprise and home-ownership opportunities, a Community Action Program – providing rent and utility assistance to prevent homelessness, two community gardens (Escalante Community Garden and Clark Park Community Garden), Health Start – a pre and post-natal program for low income expectant families, three Senior Centers offering a lunch service and activities, and a Home Delivered Meals program which delivers nutritious meals and wellness checks to homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities. As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking and thankfully TCAA is supported by more than 1,000 volunteers resulting in more than 27,000 volunteer hours.
Listeners will be inspired by the stories our guests shared about the impact their programs are having on Tempe residents and the numerous opportunities for businesses and/or individuals to get involved. TCAA has ongoing volunteer orientations every month for folks to learn about TCAA and how they can volunteer in any of their programs and services. They also have the ability to facilitate corporate presentations throughout the community to increase awareness of their services and ways to get involved. This includes volunteering in their Food Pantry, serving meals in the I-HELP shelter program, conducting a variety of drives including food, laundry pod and dryer sheet drives for their new mobile laundry trailer – first of its kind in AZ, holiday gift drives, administration support, onsite volunteer opportunities at your place of work, conducting a variety of workshop or classes to seniors, volunteer work days at the Community Gardens (great for families), and helping out with any number of special events.
If you’re looking for a unique fundraiser featuring an elegant evening event that showcases Tempe’s culinary and cultural diversity, along with a fabulous silent auction, music and entertainment all under the Arizona stars, mark your calendars for VICINITY Friday, Oct. 19, 2018 at Big Surf Waterpark. All proceeds go to support TCAA’s programs.
Since 1966, Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) has endeavored to be the voice and catalyst of empowerment and opportunity, providing hands-on assistance to Tempe residents in need and responding promptly to emerging human services issues. What started off as a small grass-roots neighborhood self-help initiative eventually incorporated in 1971 and expanded its array of basis need programs and services for those in need.
Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA)’s mission is to foster dignity and self- reliance for the economically vulnerable in the communities it serves. It accomplishes this mission through five focus areas: Hunger Relief, Homeless Prevention and Intervention, Senior Independence, Healthy Families, and Family Economic Advancement. Current programs include: Tempe’s largest and longest running Food Pantry program, I-HELP- the City’s only homeless shelter program for adults, a Community Action Program (providing emergency rent/utility assistance), three senior centers, Home-Delivered Meals, Health Start – providing home-based pre/post-natal support, two community gardens (Escalante – the City’s first community garden and Clark Park), and the Family Economic Advancement program which seeks to improve the economic stability of families by moving them out of poverty through employment, education and/or homeownership. As Tempe’s largest social service agency, TCAA operates from four sites in Tempe and Scottsdale. It remains the primary entry point for low- income households experiencing crisis and seeking to improve their quality of life. Its capacity to bring about positive change impacts over 22,000 unduplicated children and adults annually.
Sophia Campbell currently works as the Director of Philanthropy at the Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA). She is an experienced non-profit professional with a demonstrated history of successful fundraising within the human services sector. Sophia is a highly skilled grant writer and fundraising professional whose passion includes donor cultivation, building corporate and foundation partnerships, volunteer management and special events. A licensed social worker for many years, Sophia has worked with a variety of vulnerable populations including at-risk children, youth and families, the homeless and survivors of domestic violence.
No longer working directly with clients as a social worker, Sophia currently enjoys utilizing her fundraising skills, and expertise to build TCAA’s organizational capacity to support vulnerable individuals and families in need. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Sophia moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1999. She resides in Chandler with her husband, children and three dogs.
Theresa Mckenzie has 13 years of experience in the arena of volunteer/event management. Her passion for connecting volunteers to their sweet spot is evident in the leaders that have grown out of her mentoring. Theresa began her volunteer leadership in Mesa, AZ at Central Christian Church as
the director of the 450 member First Impressions Team. She has worked in volunteer management at House of Refuge in Mesa and Hilltop Community Resources in Grand Junction, Colorado. She is now motivating the amazing volunteers at Tempe Community Action Agency and recently led the agency through Service Enterprise training and hopes to have the certification process complete by January 2019. Theresa is also certified in Volunteer Administration through the International Council for Volunteer Administration. Theresa also loves to volunteer and until recently was a volunteer on air programmer for KAFM 88.1 in Grand Junction, CO. She has 3 children, 2 1⁄2 grandchildren and one cat named Kosmo Kramer.