Initially created to rescue mares and foals that were discarded by the drug industry, Dreamchaser Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation now works to save horses and other farm animals from starvation, abuse, abandonment, and slaughter. Volunteers work to gentle and train the horses, many of which come to the ranch wild, until they're comfortable enough to join the herd. On average, a rescued horse spends roughly one year at the ranch. The ultimate goal is to place every animal into a loving, permanent home through the ranch’s adoption program. The organization also works to educate the public about the inhumane treatment of animals and provides enrichment programs for local foster children.
The Arizona Humane Society has provided shelter and rehabilitation to homeless and abandoned animals since 1957, watching over more than 46,000 dogs, cats, and smaller critters every year as they await new homes. After proving their eligibility for adoption and consulting with the shelter staff, new owners can choose a companion from any of the pets prowling the menagerie, from puppies and kittens up to 9 months old to adult dogs and cats. Rabbits and ferrets also scurry about, searching for farmers' carrots carelessly planted in an animal shelter. For current owners, the society provides low-cost spaying and neutering services as a public service, as well as education and outreach programs to promote compassion and ensure a safe home for all creatures.
West Valley Child Crisis Center (WVCCC) rose from the need for shelter housing. A group of women's service organizations and the John F. Long Foundation formed opened residential homes in 1986 and 1988 for children who were victims of domestic violence or neglect. Today WVCCC helps to find foster care and adoptive homes for children who were removed from their homes by Child Protective Services. In addition, the organization's birth-parent program teaches pregnant women about their options and ability to place their children with loving families, and the community-outreach program raises awareness about child-welfare issues.
Self-confidence comes from within, but that doesn’t mean that it can't get some help from outside. At Vitality Aesthetics Institute, medical director Dr. Charles Ben Evans and Sarah Vogt, MSN—a certified medical injector, laser technician, and aesthetician—use cutting-edge medspa technology to give clients that extra boost in confidence by delivering dramatic cosmetic changes. CoolSculpting procedures help eliminate hard-to-lose fat deposits without resorting to invasive surgery. The center's Cutera cosmetic laser systems revitalize skin tone and texture by zapping unwanted stubble or by minimizing any signs of age spots and large pores. For a youth-infused visage, Botox and Juvederm injections smooth out the wrinkles and frown lines that appear on aging skin.
Last year, AFFCF funded nearly $14,000 in awards so 107 children in foster care could participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, and Little League. More than half of children are placed in foster care because they've been neglected, and 33 percent have been abused. Playing sports allows them to make positive connections with adults, improve their self-esteem and health, and enjoy a sense of camaraderie with other children.