Features
With Open Arms
October 1, 2014 0 9

Like many communities in the Valley, Gilbert is prosperous and flourishing. But look a little deeper, and you will find hidden pockets of poverty. The faces of poverty in Gilbert may not be at all what you expect. Open Arms Care Center is a faith-based food and clothing bank serving Gilbert. It is an independent not-for-profit supported by a collaboration of local churches. A pastor and a group of volunteers founded Open Arms as a ministry of Sun Valley Community Church in 2000. Fourteen years later, Open Arms gives out upwards of 1500 food boxes each month. Co-director Tiffney Dale says that, in the early years, they mostly served a migratory population of Spanish-speaking day laborers and farm workers. But since the onset of what has been called “The Great Recession,” all of that has changed. Clients of Open Arms are now primarily working poor—families who were scraping by before, but now...

Like many communities in the Valley, Gilbert is prosperous and flourishing. But look a little deeper, and you will find hidden pockets of poverty. The faces of poverty in Gilbert may not be at all what you expect. Open Arms Care Center is a faith-based food and clothing bank serving Gilbert....

Like many communities in the Valley, Gilbert is prosperous and flourishing. But look a little deeper, and you will find hidden pockets of poverty. The faces of poverty in Gilbert may not be at all what you expect. Open Arms Care...

Like many communities in the Valley, Gilbert is prosperous and flourishing. But look a little deeper, and you will find hidden pockets of poverty. The...

Like many communities in the Valley, Gilbert is prosperous and flourishing. But look a little deeper, and you will find hidden pockets of poverty. The faces of poverty in Gilbert may not be at all...

Like many communities in the Valley, Gilbert is prosperous and flourishing. But look a little deeper, and you will find hidden pockets of poverty. The faces of poverty in Gilbert may not be at all...

Like many communities in the Valley, Gilbert is prosperous and flourishing. But look a little deeper, and you will find hidden pockets of poverty. The faces of poverty in Gilbert may not be at all what you expect. Open Arms Care Center is a faith-based food and clothing bank serving Gilbert. It is an independent not-for-profit supported by a collaboration of local churches. A pastor and a group of volunteers founded Open Arms as a ministry of Sun Valley Community Church in 2000. Fourteen years later, Open Arms gives out upwards of 1500 food boxes each month. Co-director Tiffney Dale says that,...

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Bridging the Gap
September 24, 2014 0 12

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could hear their laughter escape from wide smiles of white against coal black skin. Accented by the sound of their worn flip-flops hitting the heated Phoenix asphalt, their movement created an intonation that spoke of purpose, confidence. In all their beauty, they were three young refugee women, including one whose profile was defined by a small, swaddled weight on her back. In the space between a red and a green light, I lost my sense of time. The scene triggered an unexpected and visceral response in me as my eyes brimmed with tears. I was ushered back to a time when I...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the...

I sat, captivated, at a stoplight off Osborn Road as they crossed the street in front of my car. Flowing fabrics full of life, vibrant and sharp, creating a kaleidoscope of color rich with the brightest of yellows and deepest of reds. I turned down my radio so I could hear their laughter escape from wide smiles of white against coal black skin. Accented by the sound of their worn flip-flops hitting the heated Phoenix asphalt, their movement created an intonation that spoke of purpose, confidence. In all their beauty, they were three young refugee women, including one whose profile...

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A Charitable Lifeline
August 26, 2014 1 9

“It felt too good to be true,” says Jennie Duvernay, a Phoenix librarian. “I mean, I’d just given the donation in December and there it was on my tax return. All $200.” Duvernay participated in Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit Law (ARS43-108) in 2013 after hearing about the program through a friend’s post on social media. “I felt a little guilty that it was so easy. It was just a temporary loan to the organization,” she says. Duvernay, who has 14 nieces and nephews, researched school districts in poorer neighborhoods of Phoenix to benefit from her donation. The state’s tax credit allows individuals to give up to $200 to qualifying organizations annually. The donation, as of 2013, no longer needs to be itemized. Additionally, the donation counts toward federal taxes— although not as a credit. Married couples can give up to $400 per organization. When filing single or married there is a cap of...

“It felt too good to be true,” says Jennie Duvernay, a Phoenix librarian. “I mean, I’d just given the donation in December and there it was on my tax return. All $200.” Duvernay participated in Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit Law (ARS43-108) in 2013 after hearing about the program through a friend’s...

“It felt too good to be true,” says Jennie Duvernay, a Phoenix librarian. “I mean, I’d just given the donation in December and there it was on my tax return. All $200.” Duvernay participated in Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit Law (ARS43-108)...

“It felt too good to be true,” says Jennie Duvernay, a Phoenix librarian. “I mean, I’d just given the donation in December and there it...

“It felt too good to be true,” says Jennie Duvernay, a Phoenix librarian. “I mean, I’d just given the donation in December and there it was on my tax return. All $200.” Duvernay participated in Arizona’s...

“It felt too good to be true,” says Jennie Duvernay, a Phoenix librarian. “I mean, I’d just given the donation in December and there it was on my tax return. All $200.” Duvernay participated in Arizona’s...

“It felt too good to be true,” says Jennie Duvernay, a Phoenix librarian. “I mean, I’d just given the donation in December and there it was on my tax return. All $200.” Duvernay participated in Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit Law (ARS43-108) in 2013 after hearing about the program through a friend’s post on social media. “I felt a little guilty that it was so easy. It was just a temporary loan to the organization,” she says. Duvernay, who has 14 nieces and nephews, researched school districts in poorer neighborhoods of Phoenix to benefit from her donation. The state’s tax credit allows individuals to...

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Flourishing Without Boundaries
July 22, 2014 1 12

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin, Larry brings together disparate parts in an incredibly unique way. Having moved here in 1980, he recalls the Phoenix he encountered as a small, “cozy” town with boundaries. “Nothing like the spread out, sprawling monstrosity we have today,” he says. What began as a career in art dovetailed into over 30 years in the world of retail real estate. The real estate market has drastically evolved in those three decades. As Phoenix evolved from a small town to a sprawling metropolis, Larry noticed the emergence of a more sophisticated city with an urban core and eventually a light rail. Many have stopped...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin,...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant...

Art. Real Estate. Food. Community Service. Church Networking. While these five areas may seem completely disconnected and random on the surface, they connect in the daily work of Larry Ortega. Whether negotiating with a future tenant for a space he is showing or producing an art piece with wood and resin, Larry brings together disparate parts in an incredibly unique way. Having moved here in 1980, he recalls the Phoenix he encountered as a small, “cozy” town with boundaries. “Nothing like the spread out, sprawling monstrosity we have today,” he says. What began as a career in art dovetailed into over 30...

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A Peaceful Presence
June 6, 2015 0 12

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last Thursday, I saw a few articles that greatly discouraged me. They described a group of armed bikers who were planning to protest the Islamic Cultural Center of Phoenix by having a “Draw Mohammed” contest, burning Qurans, and yelling inflammatory things at...

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last Thursday, I saw a few articles that greatly discouraged me. They described a group of armed bikers who were planning to protest the Islamic Cultural Center of Phoenix by having a...

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last Thursday, I saw a few articles that greatly discouraged me. They described a group of armed...

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last Thursday, I saw a few articles that greatly discouraged me. They described a group of armed bikers who were planning to protest the Islamic Cultural Center...

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last Thursday, I saw a few articles that greatly discouraged me. They described a group of armed bikers who were planning to protest the Islamic Cultural Center...

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed last Thursday, I saw a few articles that greatly discouraged me. They described a group of armed bikers who were planning to protest the Islamic Cultural Center of Phoenix by having a “Draw Mohammed” contest, burning Qurans, and yelling inflammatory things at the members of Muslim community as they entered for prayer. They claimed this was in response to the shooting in Garland, Texas, in which two Muslim men opened fire at a “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contest. Those two men were shot and killed by police officers, but one security guard was injured...

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