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Community Partners Help Create Bright Memories in 2020

SWK Shelters 2020 In Review graphic

Last year started like any other in recent memory, but as we all know, things changed quickly in 2020. That didn’t stop us from getting creative with our events and celebrations for the youth in our shelters, though! Despite all the challenges, we were able to share new experiences with kids and celebrate safely. Join us for a look back at 2020’s biggest moments for the youth of Southwest Key’s shelters with the help of our wonderful community partners!

In February, we were able to send a group of about 50 kids to tour Grand Canyon University and to hear from Dr. Noe Vargas, Assistant Dean of GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences. During the conversation, he spoke to them in Spanish about the importance of obtaining an education.

Then, in early March, the Phoenix Suns donated tickets for about 60 of our youth to attend a basketball game during the arena’s Hispanic Night. The kids  enjoyed mariachi music and even met the team’s famous Selena Quintanilla impersonator!

Also in March, a group of 20 girls had a lovely spa day, getting their hair and make-up done by volunteer hair and makeup artists at Ramon Bacaui Hair Salon and MedSpa in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Through Spring and Summer, we put a pause on our events in order to prioritize safety for the youth in our shelters and took time to reimagine what events would look like in the “new normal” of 2020. Fortunately, by the time Autumn rolled around, we were able to set up a safe, socially distant Carnivale at Casa Lighthouse where kids could safely enjoy carnival games, costumes, treats and more!

Creativity is uncancelled! With the help of local artists and Free Arts of Arizona, we were able to share some art classes and art therapy with youth in our shelters. You can even get a little taste of art class for yourself, right here in our Christmas celebration photo album.

To cap off the year, our Arizona shelters teamed up to create a wonderful Christmas tree to celebrate the holidays! Youth from each shelter created the ornaments and staff came together to decorate the tree.

2020 will certainly be a year to remember. As we look back at events both before and after the days when social distance became necessary, we want to thank our partners for helping us create such positive memories for the youth in our shelters. COVID didn’t stop us from connecting last year, and we’re going to make sure everyone can safely celebrate this year too.