Dozens of volunteers work tirelessly at Helen’s Hope Chest, Mesa United Way’s free clothing, school supply, book and clothing “store” for foster children. It’s a rewarding, enriching experience, and they love to share stories.
At age 13, when most young girls are dreaming about boys and navigating their way through the perils of junior high, Ashleigh Gonzales was diagnosed with optic nerve atrophy. You can imagine how devastated she was to learn that her vision loss was not treatable.
It’s a scary fact for many parents that Arizona is ranked 49th in the U.S. for its education system. Most parents are unsure of the alternative options that exist for their child’s education aside from expensive private schools or moving out of state.
At 10 months old, Cupcake still has kitten energy to spare. The folks at AZ RESCUE say she LOVES to play, whether it’s chasing a tossed ball or toy mouse or capturing a wand toy. But this sweetie is just as enthusiastic about cuddling up to a human and enjoying lap warming, brushing, petting, ear rubs, chin scratches and head massages. They say if you pick her up, she’ll snuggle up as close as possible – and may even drape herself around the back of your neck.
Divorce affects every member of the family — even the pets. Such is the case with Boomer, a 12-year-old male cattledog mix who was adopted many years ago, but is now homeless due to a divorce in the family. The folks from Friends for Life animal rescue say Boomer is a sweet, gentle guy with a very waggily tail. He loves being with people, but does not like cats. He thinks cats are there simply for him to chase.
One-year-old Contessa, “Tessa” for short, is experiencing things now she should have experienced when she was a puppy. But as a pup, Tessa lived in the backyard instead of being part of a family. As a result, she now needs the training she should have had from the beginning.
Butterfly, described by Arizona Friends for Life as "an absolute sweetheart of a dog," needs a special, loving home while she recovers from tick fever. This adult American bulldog mix was also suffering from a skin condition and untreated allergies when she was found as a stray.
When Maxie, a 2-year-old dachshund mix was rescued, she had already been a mom to several litters of puppies, was skinny, hairless, and scheduled to be euthanized. But the folks at AZ RESCUE took her in and today, Maxie is back on her feet, full of energy — and full of love to share. Referred to as the “kissing bandit,” Maxie loves other dogs and people, jumping into your arms to give you a kiss.
Like too many pets in the Valley, Mischief, a 6-year-old rottie/hound mix, is a victim of the economy and housing crisis. He was adopted as a puppy six years ago – at the time, his name was “Ian” – but was returned to Friends for Life animal rescue in August when his family lost their home. Sad and confused, this big, but gentle dog needs to live in a home again instead of an animal shelter.