Chance Peterson has spent much of his 12 years in and out of Phoenix Children’s Hospital as the result of a rare kidney disorder. Despite his age, Chance has seen the needs of other children and committed to do what he can to make lives better for needy youth by forming his own nonprofit, Giving Chances. On Saturday, Sept. 9, Chance’s organization is partnering with Arizona Helping Hands to take truckloads of supplies and basic needs to assist children in foster care in Tuba City.
This is the first project initiated by the Giving Chances Foundation, which the Peoria youth started in 2016. The foundation’s is “to assist children in foster care as well as other under privileged children in Arizona.”
The idea to help children in northern Arizona started when Chance met a young girl during one of his stays at Phoenix Children’s Hospital who is a member of the Navajo Nation and in the tribe’s foster care system. Through her, he also met Elsie Elthie, a foster care licensing specialist for the Navajo Nation.
Elsie, who is based in Tuba City, shared with Chance the huge need for support for kids in northeastern Arizona. There are about 500 children in foster care spread over the reservation’s 27,000 square miles. Elsie’s caseload averages 65 children and spans 5,549 square miles in north Coconino County. Many of her families do not have running water or electricity, and their needs are extensive.
Chance decided he wanted to help Elsie, her families and other children on the reservation. Using his youthful initiative, he connected with local schools and collected their unclaimed lost and found items. He solicited other community support and gathered cases of water, plus toiletries, feminine hygiene products and more. Through social media, Chance connected with Dan Shufelt, president and CEO of Arizona Helping Hands.
Hearing of Chance’s dream to help the children on the reservation, Dan offered the use of the AHH box truck and much more. Arizona Helping Hands will be adding to Chance’s efforts by providing beds and cribs to children on the reservation. Backpacks filled with school supplies, diapers, toys, lunch bags, personal care items and other needs will all be loaded onto the AHH truck for the four-hour drive to make a difference for so many boys and girls.
“Arizona Helping Hands is so proud to partner with a wonderful young man who is teaching us all the importance of caring for kids,” Shufelt says. “This effort will have a huge impact on needy children of the Navajo Nation.”
Additional donations of feminine hygiene products, deodorant, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, bar soap, baby care items, snacks, juices, granola bars and more are still needed for this effort. Monetary donations are also welcome at www.azhelpinghands.org.
- 9/8/17 at 10AM – Truck loading at Arizona Helping Hands, 7850 E Gelding Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
- 9/9/17 at 5AM – Caravan to leave AHH for travel to Tuba City
- 9/9/17 – 10AM to Noon MDT – Unloading at Louise Yellowman Park, North Main Street, Tuba City
Arizona Helping Hands is the largest provider of basic needs to Arizona’s kids in foster care. For more information visit www.azhelpinghands.org.
ABOUT CHANCE PETERSON
Chance Peterson, 12, was diagnosed at age 5 with a rare kidney disorder that required multiple hospitalizations at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Chance became a part of the hospital’s Children’s Advisory Board at age 8, the youngest member ever appointed, and became a visible spokesman for the hospitals various charitable organizations. He has advocated to Arizona state government for continuance of its Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCS), the insurance that provides health care for needy families. He founded the Giving Chances Foundation in 2016. He is a student at Frontier Elementary School in Peoria, AZ. Connect with on Facebook at www.facebook.com/givingchances.
ABOUT ARIZONA HELPING HANDS
Scottsdale-based Arizona Helping Hands is one of the state’s largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping children in foster care. It was founded in 1998 and has become known for supplying beds to foster families, as well as a multitude of other much-need supplies from backpacks to toiletries. Visit www.azhelpinghands.org to learn more.