RFTS has provided over 22,428 meals to families and the homeless community in Vail and parts of the Tucson area this month alone! This includes providing Christmas food bags to families and homeless individuals in-need (with the help of volunteers and St. Rita’s!)
During our journey, RFTS has had the pleasure of getting to know our families. Having a non-judgmental relationship allows our clients to feel comfortable sharing their Holiday experiences with us. This even happens after they no longer need services. This even allows our families to feel comfortable enough to ask for further assistance. RFTS does not always have those resources, but if we can point our clients in the direction that fits their needs, we do.
Many of our families simply need help with food, some hygiene and some a little extra TLC. Thanks to Four Arrows Garden, Jennifer, Stephanie, St Vincent de Paul, Regina, Samantha, and many other donors, families and children received trees, gifts & clothes that they would not have received otherwise.
“I’m so over the moon right now. Not only did you help my family with Christmas food and just repairing my soul and stress relief in taking care of my little guys… but you also gave my baby gifts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You saved my family.” (Pregnant Mother of 2 boys)
Moving on up!
There are perks to working from home and then there are major set backs. RFTS is proud to say that with your help (from donations and Jim Click Raffle Ticket purchases) we have procured a trailer.
This Trailer will allow RFTS to make room in their garage for more storage of Food Program and Homeless Outreach items (i.e. commercial fridge/freezer etc.). The trailer will also allow for the pick up of more food palettes and allow for more equipment and telescopes to be transported to and from Stargazing Events. We are very excited, and it was a bargain!
Did you know?
Did you know that Reach For The Stars feeds animals too! Yes, most of these families have dogs and/or cats. Also, some of our homeless clients do too. We don't always have pet food, but when we do, it goes right back out the door!
Why do homeless individuals have dogs?
- Did you know that a huge misconception is that homeless individuals have animals but don't take care of them.
- A Homeless individual will most always feed their animal before feeding themselves.
- Homeless men/women need companions just like us. So if they see a stray dog or even cat... why shouldn't they love on it?
- Homeless souls get attacked, spit on, and robbed almost daily. Having a dog, is a sure way to notify them if someone or something is "off"
- During the winter, 2 is better than 1... they keep each other warm.
- Having a animal provides them a "best friend" which in turn provides them a purpose to wake up everyday. An animal is always loyal and loves their owner. They provide hope.
What comes 1st? Addiction or homelessness? The chicken or the egg?
“Many people have been increasing their intake of alcohol, which is easier to track because of sales, but this leads me to believe that illicit drugs are also being more consumed due to the overall depression that COVID-19 has put upon the world. The loss of social interactions, the loss of jobs and the loss of loved ones is very devastating and can lead to a ‘who cares’ attitude and substance misuse.” (https://tucson.com/news/tucsons-rise-in-drug-overdose-deaths-could-be-linked-to-pandemic/article_ed773af2-5dfc-5fc6-85c1-2ddd0b9cde02.html0)
It is estimated that once the eviction moratorium is up, 300 in Tucson will be evicted immediately. That is 300 families!
Many families are scared of becoming homeless, and many homeless are looking for housing. Its a cycle... and what can we do? We can help point them to the resources they need, we can feed them, we can provide them hygiene, and we can provide them hope that this is temporary.
Our goal is to include a naloxone kit (overdose prevention) in every food box and back pack with instructions and statistics. Contact us if you'd like to have one in your home, or if you have any questions about it.
Thank you to Sonoran Prevention Works for the 200 kits! -RFTS
Thank you St Rita's Team & all the donors!! - RFTS Team
It was an absolute pleasure to spend this once in a lifetime evening with the best community around! What a fun, educational and inspiring event. Each one of you witnessed history, something that hasn't been seen since just after Shakespeare's Death. Actually, not one person saw or knew what was happening. Telescopes were not invented yet! How crazy is that to think about! An unforgettable evening. Thank you all for coming.
This event was almost cancelled! On the way to the event, our trailer popped off the hitch when we hit a bump! Our hearts dropped and the trailer swerved side to side and skidded on the front trailer jack foot. We were so scared that everything inside had been destroyed. To our surprise, nothing was damaged! The trailer was fine! After 20 minutes of re-hitching it and cars honking, we continued and arrived a bit late, but everything turned out fine! We believe the universe was aligning for us, and this was cemented when the evening went perfectly, including the weather. Our only words... "Wow"
“Never underestimate how much you give to the community as you open up the skies to us and give us peeks into the universe. Seeing the Christmas Star, the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter were breathtaking last night” (Regina, Vail AZ)
Star Party Photos From December!
This wonderful couple made RFTS dreams come true. They gave us their crown jewel, 20 inch computerized Obsession telescope, a case of eyepieces and all the necessary equipment needed to run the entire setup! We never imagined this would be possible, and we never thought people would be so giving, but it goes to show you that you just never know what is around the corner. Keep pushing forward. Never give up. Stay true and honest to yourself and the possibilities are endless.
John and Brenda even turned down offers of payment for this beautiful telescope from buyers, and committed to choosing RFTS to give this marvelous piece of engineering to. They knew it would be shared with the world through our events, and we promise to do just that.
With this amazing donation, they got rid of some serious weight in their trailer, and are now setting their eyes on a more relaxed venture. They will be headed to Theodore Roosevelt National park to volunteer their time and knowledge to the park goers. The national park has its own star party events and telescopes, so they don't need to worry about setting up everything, they will just have fun and enjoy the mesmerizing dark skies while talking about astronomy!
Taken from their website about page - We enjoy dark sky astronomy locations across western North America. We are retired, full-time RVers who give free astronomy presentations as we travel. During the summer, we are volunteers in the park (VIPs) at Theodore Roosevelt National Park assisting with their astronomy program. Our unique setup allows us to boondock for extended periods of time. Feel free to stop over and say, “Hello”.
John and Brenda are always on the road, traveling and sharing their passions with others. Here is a sneak peak about who they are.
Here is a great video that shows more of the astronomy side of things. Give it a watch and enjoy!
Read more or book a private event on their website: Geoastrorv.com
Thank you John and Brenda. From the bottom of our hearts, your kindness and generosity will travel the stars for years to come.
This month RFTS hosted 2 very successful Star Gazing Events in Vail. One at the Vail Coffee Stop, and one at Gabe Zimmerman Trailhead. There were about 300 attendees (intermittently), and we raised $585 (combined) towards RFTS charity programs and collected over 30 lbs of non-perishable food & hygiene. You all rock!
A huge thank you to everyone who came out, donated money and goods to us. It was such a blessing to team up with you! We can't wait to continue this local event and make it a tradition for the community! If you have any feedback, ideas or want to volunteer and help with set up/tear down, please message us!
"The Future Lies with Today's Youth & Tomorrows Space Exploration"
With the help of YOU we raised (to date) $900 for the Telescopes for Kids Program. In December RFTS gifted 2 telescopes. In total RFTS has gifted 11 families with telescopes impacting 38 children and 20 adults.
If you would like to help us continue to spread hope and inspire our youth, then this program is for you! Please click the button below to jump to our website donation page.
Here are some of the wonderful people we gifted a telescope to. Now imagine how much fun a child (and adult) can have seeing Saturn's rings or Jupiter's moons!
Spreading joy and inspiration is one of our missions and thanks to everyone who donates to the Amplified Silence (AS) telescope program, it's WORKING. Spreading smiles and hope across the galaxy.
Main Photos by Carlos Aragon