March 2013 - In this Issue:
Tami Jackson, Mark Farley and Sheila Coonen
From left:  Advocates Tami Jackson and Mark Farley with Connecting to Serve Executive Director, Sheila Coonen. Tami and Mark need extra storage space and volunteers to help with furnishing homes for homeless families in transition (see full article below).
Join Connecting to Serve and the Ahwatukee Community Network (ACN) and local officials
                        for a frank discussion on what is being done to protect our children.

After the Sandy Hook Tragedy: 
Promoting Safety in our Schools

Tuesday, March 19th
 3:00-4:30 pm
Mountain Park Senior Living
4475 E. Knox Road  
Phoenix, AZ  85044

Open to the Public

Panelists include Pastor Steve Hammer of Esperanza Lutheran Church, Amanda Hamm, Prevention Manager with the Kyrene School District and Chad Williamsen, Community Action Officer with Phoenix Police Department


The Ahwatukee Community Network (ACN) is a coalition of local businesses, churches, nonprofits and volunteers. It was was founded by Connecting to Serve (CTS), an area nonprofit which helps individuals and organizations work together to address critical needs in the community.  The ACN meets the third Tuesday of every month at Mountain Park Senior Living in Phoenix from 3-4:30 pm.  To learn more about becoming involved in the community, visit 
Upcoming ACN Meeting Topics:   

April 16th:  Domestic Violence

May 21st:  Foster Care   


For more information, call (602) 541-7440  

or email 

We are Better Together!

Tami Jackson is running out of storage space to house furniture and other items for families in need. She also needs volunteers with trucks to pick-up and deliver donated items.
Celebrating Success -
True Stories of a Community
Working Together

Local Couple Helping Homeless Families Rebuild Their Lives

Helping others who are not as blessed as they are
has been a major part of their lives together for
the past 18 years.  Tami Jackson and Mark Farley have been actively working with local homeless programs since they arrived in Ahwatukee in 2006. 

Working closely with Family Promise (a local nonprofit) in assisting homeless families with meals and a safe place to live, the couple helps families "get back on their feet" by providing much needed furniture. 

Tami noticed over the years that when displaced families finally find a home they often have no furniture or beds of their own. Last fall, Marcy and Marty Theisler heard about Tami's furniture ministry "vision" and donated a storage locker to safely house furniture.  Tami began seeking donations of gently used household items and in a very short time filled the storage locker.

She has already helped 8 area families.
A few volunteers with trucks have provided the love and sweat equity needed to pick up and deliver some furniture to these families in need.  Tami and Mark have been paying for deliveries and gas out of their own pockets when volunteers were not available to help them.

Tami has done such a great job in sharing her vision that she is in need of a larger storage space and volunteers with trucks to help pick up and deliver donated items. Other agencies are calling her with requests for help and she has a backlog of donated furniture to pick-up - but no place to store it.  
Please email Tami at if you have storage space to donate or if you have a truck and are willing to help with picking up and delivering furniture. 

Sheila Coonen (L) wih Annlouise Ferguson, 2013 SAGA Symposium Chair, at the Senior Advocacy Group of Ahwatukee inaugural event last November.

Hello My Friend,

This newsletter is my attempt to share some of the exciting things
that are happening in our community because ordinary people are
saying "Yes" to being part of the solution to these challenges:
hunger, homelessness, education, foster care, senior resources, school safety, domestic violence and more.

Most of these advocates will tell you they are not "leaders" but that they can do "something." I have observed that when individuals work together to identify, prioritize and educate others around local critical issues that passionate volunteers - and leaders - emerge.

When the Ahwatukee Community Network (ACN) addressed homelessness and learned there were 400 homeless families in the Kyrene School District, the Homeless Advocacy Team was formed. 

When they addressed the topic of hunger, local food pantries began to collaborate and the Ahwatukee Community Gardens were created.
These gardens now provide food to needy families.

When the ACN presented a panel of local experts on on the needs of seniors and caregivers, the Senior Advocacy Group of Ahwatukee was founded.  Their inaugural symposium last November attracted close to 200 seniors and caregivers seeking resources!

There are many more examples, but you get the idea.

Please join us on Tuesday, March 19th for a special forum on School Safety after the Sandy Hook Tragedy, and share this information with your neighbors and family members. In April, the ACN topic will be domestic violence and in May the focus will be on foster care.  My hope is that individuals interested in these topics will be part of the discussion - and the solution.

Visit our Facebook page for more exciting success stories of local advocates. For more information, or to find how you can get involved, you can reach me at (602) 541-7440 or visit our Website for more information. Thank you for your support.

Like us on Facebook



We are Better Together!

Connecting to Serve is a 501 (c) 3 Organization
Tax ID #20-8991441    
This E-Message was developed by
Jameson & Associates
Strategic Marketing Services
(602) 466-3333

For Immediate Assistance
Call 480-721-3629