We are so fortunate to have a community here in Maricopa County that cares deeply for its homeless youth. It truly takes a village to raise a child (or young adult).

The Tumbleweed Center For Youth Development staff have been honored and humbled that the most commonly asked question we’ve received since announcing the filing of our Chapter 11 is, “How can I help?”

Many of you have already made a recent generous financial donation to Tumbleweed, and for that we are so grateful.

So in response to that kind, generous question, “How can I help?”, we are happy to roll out our #TumbleToSuccess Campaign.

This campaign is an open invitation for those “Tumbleweed Champions” who would like to give of their time and energy to help ensure the continued success of Tumbleweed’s critical programs.

Want to be a Tumbleweed Champion? Here are 6 ways you can help Tumbleweed keep its program doors open (that won’t cost you a dime).

#1. Claim Your Arizona Charitable Tax Credit by April 15

If you haven’t already made your AZ Charitable Tax Credit qualified donation to Tumbleweed for 2016, it’s not too late! The laws recently changed regarding this state tax credit deadline, which was previously the end of the calendar year.

Now, donors have until April 15, 2017 to make a donation and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit off their tax liability when they file their 2016 state taxes.

Other changes to this year’s tax credit include increased maximums—double, in fact, of what the tax credit allowed for in prior years!

The state tax credit now honors donation amounts up to $400 for single filers and $800 for married couples filing jointly.

Want more information? Check out this news story about the tax credit:

(For specific questions about the tax credit and your personal tax situation, please contact your tax preparer.)

#2. Host Your Own Fundraiser

Several groups each year take the initiative to host their own fundraisers to raise money for Tumbleweed. Why not yours?

The best way to brainstorm fundraiser ideas is to start with something you already know and love.

Do you love to bake? Host a bake sale.

Are you an artist? Why not teach a beginner’s art class for donations, or charge people a fee to paint their portrait?

Have some teenagers who are good with kids? Maybe they’d like to volunteer their services for a “Parent’s Night Out”—collecting donations to babysit while parents enjoy an evening to themselves.

Or look for other creative ideas online, through articles like this one:

If you’re interested in doing a fundraiser for Tumbleweed, but not quite sure yet what that might look like, we invite you to email Mariah Secrest-Comer at msecrest-comer@tumbleweed.org with the subject line, “Tumbleweed Champion,” and we’ll add you to a special list of training emails designed to help you with your fundraiser.

We’d love to see the creative ideas you come up with! Be sure to take plenty of photos, tag us on Facebook (@TumbleweedCenter) or Twitter (@TumbleweedYouth), and use the hashtag #tumbletosuccess—your creativity may just inspire someone else!

#3. Fundraise on Facebook

Did you know that Facebook now gives you the ability to fundraise for certain organizations directly from your personal profile? (And yes, Tumbleweed is one of the approved organizations!)

Creating a fundraiser on Facebook is easy, following these simple instructions.

You can simply ask for donations, or offer a fun service in exchange for donations (maybe you’ll make up a song for each donor and record a video of it for them when they donate, or get a prize sponsored from a local business for top donors!)

You’ll just need to search for “Tumbleweed Center” from the nonprofit list in order to direct the proceeds to us.

#4. Organize a Donation Drive

We are continuously in need of basic supplies to care for our youth. Though we temporarily cannot accept general clothing, we can always use new hygiene items (like shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene items, etc.), new socks and underwear, and household cleaning supplies.

Perhaps your business, school, church, or club would like to collect some of these items for our youth?

Please contact Kristin Harris at kharris@tumbleweed.org to coordinate a donation drive and find out what our greatest current needs are.

#5. Make Some Swaps to Your Spending

Did you know you can help Tumbleweed feed local homeless youth, simply by switching up your lunch plans?

If you live in the Tempe area, be sure to check out the new location of Utah-based sandwich shop Even Steven’s, next to ASU.

Tumbleweed is one of 4 nonprofit partners of this innovative eatery (also including UMOM). What that means is that for every sandwich you buy, Even Steven’s will donate one for our programs!

Talk about a win-win. And with creative menu options like “Bahn Mahi” “Potroast Dip” and “Hummazing Vegan,” your taste buds are sure to never get bored.

They’re open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (and also give free coffee for ASU students).

You can also support Tumbleweed’s financial health through getting your retail therapy fix. Whenever you shop on Amazon, simply use our charity link, and Tumbleweed will automatically receive a portion of the sales.

To get set up, simply go to https://smile.amazon.com/ and select Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development as your charity.

#6. Order Your Next T-Shirts or Promotional Products Through TumbleTees.

Did you know that Tumbleweed has its own screen printing business?

Not only do all of the proceeds from our expertly-crafted products return to funding our programs, but we also use this shop as a training facility for youth in our programs to receive hands-on job skills for their resumes (all while receiving a stipend for their work).

TumbleTees can accommodate orders both large and small, and have recently expanded their service to not only include t-shirts but also promotional items, baby onesies, and more!

So the next time your school, church, family reunion, or local 5K organizers are ready to place their screen printing order, kindly suggest they get a quote from TumbleTees!

For more info, please contact Cindy Kelly at ckelly@tumbletees.com.

Thank-you so much for your generous heart, support, and desire to end youth homelessness in Maricopa County. We’ve never been able to do it without you, and we never will!