Reach For the Stars August 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to our first official newsletter!

For those of you who don't know, this is the charity founded and operated by Carlos Aragon and Kira Reid. We are thrilled to connect with you in this way and share with you our work, our dream, announcements, successes and upcoming events. We would love this newsletter to be interactive in many ways so we would also like to open the floor to you. Please message us if you would like to share your story, or help someone by featuring their situation in a future article.

~Quick announcement before we get started~

*Calling All Participants*

Each month, we will feature a special piece of work presented by one of our community members. If you would like to participate, (and we hope you do) please send us your submission before the last day of the month. The only guideline is that the image needs to be related to astronomy or space. Examples would be (but not limited to): a captured picture of the moon, a star, a telescope, or perhaps a model rocket. We would also love to see any subject-related artwork, an object in a museum, and especially something “out of this world” your child has created. The best or most creative impressions will get posted. We can’t wait to see what you turn in!

Reach for the Stars was founded in June 2020.

Our website is now published, though we are still adding to it every day. This is our first one and we are so proud to share it with you. To view, click here.

‘RFTS Food Bank’ Program has taken off with a bang! We have been able to provide food for 56 families this summer, nine of which were Veterans and first responders.

  • RFTS has fed countless homeless individuals within areas of Southern Arizona through our "Swapping Trash Bags for Backpacks" Program. We were ecstatic to hear that word of our (currently pending) non-profit has spread, as we had four homeless individuals reach out to us this summer for help. This is not a typical practice yet as RFTS is usually out seeking them. This was phenomenal news! *We cannot wait until our organization is approved as a non-profit. Wish us luck!
  • RFTS also held a successful Community ‘Star Party’ at the Gabe Zimmerman Trail Head, where attendees were able to explore the sky through our many telescopes.

Space is Kind of Our Thing

“Exploring the Universe to Inspire those In It”

Did you know… There is no atmosphere in space, therefore space is completely silent. If it was possible to be in space without a suit, you would not be able to hear yourself speak. You would only feel the vibrations of your voice box.

Did you know… A complete NASA suit costs about twelve MILLION dollars? Most of the cost accounts for the backpack and module that houses the components for breathing, pressure and communication.

Did you know… The footprints on our Moon will be there for 100 million years? This is because there is no wind or atmosphere to erode the surface and no water to wash them away!

Did you know… In 3.75 billion years the Milky Way (our galaxy) and the Andromeda galaxy will both collide at a rate of 110 km/s and will eventually form a giant elliptical galaxy called Milkdromeda? Whoa!

Did you know… That the Moon was once a piece of the Earth? The theory is that when the Earth was a young planet, it was struck by a giant object resulting in a piece breaking away and orbiting the Earth. Over time, all the debris became attracted by either the gravity of the Earth or the gravity of the new object, creating our Moon!

Did you know… Without space exploration and the research put forth within it, these products may have never been invented. Camera phones, scratch resistant lenses, CAT scan machines, LED lights, Nike Air training shoes, foil blankets (emergency), water and air purification systems, dust busters, ear thermostats, home insulation, the Jaws of Life, Memory foam, wireless headsets (Bluetooth), freeze dried food, smoke detectors, baby formula, artificial limbs, computer mice, laptops, solar cells, insulin pumps, LASIK, and much more. Even the practice of land mine removal was all in part due to space exploration. While some of these commodities are more important than others, they each have brought some purpose to our lives and to our world. Just imagine the possibilities of future devices to come, especially those that will be used for health and safety.

Telescopes For Kids Fundraiser

Our future lies with the children of today and with them, tomorrow’s space exploration. Together we must inspire them as a community to Look Up,and to Dream BIG.

Inspiring kids one telescope at a time

‘Reach For The Stars’ would love to help spark the interest for children to learn about the science of Astronomy, and to get excited about the wonderment of the universe. During these difficult times, these telescopes are bringing much joy and happiness to many homes and also bringing learning and education with them, which we absolutely love.

RFTS, along with your help, has raised $773 towards our ‘Telescopes For Kids’ Program. This will allow us to present 18 families with a quality telescope!! Most households have multiple children. One scope = Multiple dreams.

We have many families that would love to receive this gift of inspiration. If you would like to donate to this cause, please inform us that this is where you would like your donation to go. Thank you!

Swapping Trashbags for Backpacks

Homelessness is highly overlooked, yet very common. Many automatically believe it to be linked to only alcohol, drug-addict or laziness. However, that is not the case.

Homelessness usually starts with some sort of an unforeseen trauma- such as a mental illness, job loss, a medical condition, or bankruptcy. It does at times end in addiction, but rarely ever starts there. Our homeless individuals are some of the most kind and generous souls we have met. Often, through hard travels, the gear and packs that these individuals use to carry their possessions are worn out, dirty and inconvenient. We live to brighten their day and their lives by surprising them with our new backpacks that have been filled with all donated food, toiletries, and necessities that they may be in need of.

Did you know… That in the year 2006, there were approximately 4,000 homeless persons in the city of Tucson on any given night? That statistic is shocking and upsetting. Today, fourteen years later, reports show Tucson’s homeless population has significantly decreased to 1,324 verified individuals, of which, 25% are veterans. The community's involvement IS working!

Thank you for bringing joy to the homeless community! Your contributions help save lives and bring smiles and hope.

"I want to thank you VERY much!! This is much more than we were anticipating. The toiletries and the new backpack especially are appreciated and much needed!! Thank you!!" (Backpack Program client awaiting Section 8)
"I feel good when I helped that homeless man, because he needs food to live." -Urijah (8 years old)

Monthly Star Party Program


Each month we try to bring the community together by holding a ‘Star Party’. Weather can often be an issue and we have had to postpone a few times but were still able to make it happen! On August 28th, we had about 15 people attend even though it was a cloudy evening. Getting a lucky break, Mother Nature eventually helped us out by clearing the exact portion of the sky that we planned on viewing. Saturn, Jupiter and our Moon shone in utter brilliance. At one point, one of our local Sheriff’s rolled up with curiosity as to what we were up to in the dark. He was happily amused to discover the type of party we were hosting. We were able to give him a quick view of each object. It was touching and exciting to see his astonishment at seeing Saturn through the telescope. We are so glad he stumbled upon our gathering and we hope to see him again!


We get many people out to our events, but we always are looking for more. One way you can help is to share our event posts or our Facebook page, ‘Reach For The Stars Org.’ with local friends. It always surprises us when we see a vast variety of folks attending these parties. Thank you for coming out of your way to join us! We enjoy meeting you, hearing your stories, helping those struggling in our area and of course sparking your interest in our universe. Our community can help inspire the younger generations towards STEM degrees, and many other educational pathways that will help them as they grow. If you have any ideas or feedback, please feel free to share, and don't forget, we will always bring a small supply of food to our events for anyone who is in need. All you have to do is ask :)

The Silent Treatment

Many people throughout the world suffer from a mental illness. Sometimes those illnesses are caused by traumatic experiences. This comes with terrible symptoms and and it is not easy to treat each one. I personally know a multitude of people who refuse to speak to a psychiatrist and get help because they don't want to re-live those experiences by explaining them. One word, phrase, situation, image, movie or sound can trigger an episode of flashbacks that instantly onset symptoms. Even this fact alone can prevent an individual from having a "normal" life. When I bought my first telescope, I quickly realized that you had to put in much more work to see a star than I expected. After 15 minutes of looking through the eyepiece and attempting to focus on a moving object in the darkness of my little backyard, I landed on a bright, mysterious star and began to see the blue and pink colors it was illuminating. A wave of relief and accomplishment hit me. I was looking at a massive object light years away, alone in the emptiness of space. I wondered what its story was and how it got there. An hour later, a thought crossed my mind. I had no feeling of anxiety or stress, nor did I think about any of my troubles during that time. Being distracted by the wonder of the stars led me to feel peace, calm and excitement. This is when I knew I had to share this feeling, and my passion for astronomy was born. It's our hope that we can help others to leave their troubles behind and dive into the universe above them. Even if for just a moment.

In the future, we will be bringing our telescopes into town to different parks and apartment complexes to hopefully grab the attention of people who haven't had the opportunity to make it out to an event, especially the homeless community. They have so many troubles and maybe we can help them in some way besides backpacks. Anything to take their minds off of their current situations. This also gives us the opportunity to meet them, hear their stories and give them the chance to ask for help. If we can build trust and spread our name, they will be more likely to reach out when they're ready to make a change.

Food Bank Program

RFTS prides itself on being non-judgmental, and a ‘no questions asked’ charity.

This is where your donations and monetary donations go……….

“Last week when you helped us, you didn’t have to. You didn’t know me. You didn’t know I had been in tears because I had never been in that situation before and due to my baby having heart surgery and being on one income, we just couldn’t breathe. You brought so much joy to my daughter today with the telescope and to us with the food. You will never know how much we appreciate that” - Food Bank Client (Family of 5)
“The food is wonderful. My 6 kids went through the food, it looked like Christmas! Thank you!! (- Lori, Family of 8)
Getting to know our families is the best part of our day!

RFTS Financials

Profit/loss: Monthly Donations = $640; Total Expenses for RFTS = $3,822; Deficit of $3,182

Telescope For Kids Fundraiser: Raised = $580; RFTS donated = $193; Total Raised = $773

More at www.RFTStars.com

How to Donate?

RFTS is currently awaiting approval for their Arizona Tax ID and IRS nonprofit Status.

If you would like to donate, 100% of the proceeds goes to the programs listed and is very much appreciated!

PayPal: rftstarsorg@gmail.com

CashApp: $RFTstars

Zelle: 832-515-9066

In-Kind Donations:

We are always in need of food for our food bank/homeless backpacks. We take cold food AND pantry items. We also take backpacks and small hygiene items.

Here is the link to our Amazon Wish list: RFTS-Wishlist

Current Partners:

Thanks for all your support!

End - August 2020 Newsletter

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Reach For The Stars Charity