Helping Hands for Freedom is a 501c3 dedicated to supporting the families of the fallen, wounded and deployed.

Arizona programs close out strong… Picnics, Youth Camp & Holiday Angel Program

Posted October 19, 2013 by Rodney Smith

Picnic has special meaning for the military children and families in attendance.

Tucson, October 19 – Phoenix, October 26: Helping Hands for Freedom would like to thank Annette Puccia, Gold Star mom, for opening up her home to our Arizona military families. HHFF partnered with Survivor Outreach Services and threw a backyard BBQ sponsored by Helping Hands for Freedom and catered by Famous Dave's BBQ.

HHFF would like to thank our Sponsors that included Famous Dave's BBQ, Moon Valley Nurseries, Captain Dean Pedrotti from the Phoenix Fire Dept., and a special shout-out to Station 35 for stopping by the picnic and the Helicopter Flyover provided by the Phoenix Police Department. The kids were treated to rides on a pony named after Annette's son Adam, a magic show, balloons and tricks performed by Wacky Zack's Magic. The tables and chairs were provided by Andrew's Party Rental and the drinks and ice were donated by Sam's Club. The day featured perfect weather and lots of smiles. Every Gold Star Family had their loved ones picture, name and story hanging from the tree. After lots of laughs and stories, the guests all made a circle around the pool and said a prayer for the fallen and did a balloon release in unity, with red, white and blue balloons. The Balloons floated off to Heaven to visit our Heroes. HHFF made sure every single person in attendance received a gift from HHFF courtesy of our sponsors.

Military children meet Mr. & Mrs. Claus at Phoenix Zoo Lights

Phoenix, Arizona – Thursday, December 19: Helping Hands for Freedom honors our military children of a fallen, wounded or deployed by treating them and their families to the famous Phoenix Zoo Lights and the Phoenix Zoo on Thursday, December 19th. Every year, the wildlife gives way to WILD lights. This year, ZooLights celebrates with 3.6 million lights and more than 700 glimmering light displays making it one of the largest holiday light shows in the country.

The Arizona division of Skanska Construction and real estate professional, Justin Rollins, provided a generous year-end donation to support the program. The kids will get to enjoy taking pictures with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate, delicious treats and food and receive pictures frames for their photos with Santa Claus done by Supai Middle School Honor Society students. A special thanks to Cindy Denham, eight grade teacher at Supai, for helping organize the students to be a part of our Holiday Angel Program.

The children will get to enjoy:

  • A dozen 12 foot tall floating light tubes
  • 26 dancing trees surrounding the lake
  • A 24 foot in diameter shimmering sphere
  • Six 3D giant butterflies that take flight around the lake
  • New full range sound system. Music in Motion can be viewed from several locations around the lake.

More New Magical Moments for the kids will include: The kids will get to experience two 10 foot tall wizards creating an electric "snow" with a wave of their wands and follow the overhead threads of lights from a giant spider web that leads you to the hungry insect. More pictures will be taking in front of the 3D oryx, lion, and the new tiger.

Buckeye Youth Sports Camp – Football, Soccer, Softball, Dance & Cheer

Buckeye, Arizona – Saturday, December 21: HHFF is proud to work with the community of Buckeye to provide a multi-sport youth camp to children ages 9 to 14 years old on December 21 from 10am to 4:00pm. The camp's objective is to help our youth understand the work ethic, dedication, sacrifice and discipline needed to succeed in sports as these same charactieristics are also needed to be successful in life. The camp will promote positive development of youth through sports, while expressing the importance of education. This camp has an incredible line up of local high school coaches and other special guests. The coaching staff will emphasize fundamentals, form and technique. Camp participants will receive a t-shirt, gift items and lunch will be provided. A special thanks to Youngker High School for hosting the camp.

View photo gallery here