It goes without saying that 2020 has been a trying year for everyone. That being said, our board members feel that the families need our help now more than ever. So we have decided to go ahead with our holiday basket event in December.
Los Ojos De La Familia History
- Founded in NM in 2010 by Michael Montoya and some of his childhood friends from NM with a desire to give back to their community and see the impact while cutting out the waste and costs of many charities.
- 100% of every penny raised goes back into the communities we serve. We do not have overhead. We do not take salaries. We do not have paid staff.
- With our organization you can feel good that your time and your money is well spent!!!
- We expanded into Arizona in 2017 providing Holiday Baskets with food and gifts for each child in 75 families. In 2018 we doubled to 150 families. In 2019 we fed and gifted 263 families in AZ and 550 in NM. That’s over 800 families and nearly 53,000 meals, plus providing toys to over 1,800 kids!!!
- Our New Mexico Chapter also gives out several scholarships every year and also gives out emergency assistance funds on a monthly basis.
The Families We Help
Each family that we deliver to is nominated by a local organization that we partner with here in the Valley. These organizations are schools, community centers, churches etc. These organizations have direct insight into the “needs” of each family and facilitate the vetting process for us! We do not accept requests from individuals or families. Once the nominations have been received, our team then contacts each nominee to ensure that we have the correct address, names, phone numbers and correct number, age and gender of children in the household. We also ensure that someone will be home on the day of delivery.
This year all of our nominations will be submitted to us electronically through our website. The link for the nomination forms will be sent out to our partner organizations this week and the deadline for submission is November 1st. Our team will then begin calling and we will have all verifications complete before Thanksgiving.
Our goal this year is to deliver to 300 families!
Our event will be held at the same warehouse that we have used the past couple of years:
- Magnum Precision Machines
- 4848 S. 35th St
- Phoenix, AZ
Each basket contains roughly 50 pounds of food and household items. There is enough food in each basket to feed a family of 4 for about 2 weeks. We are partnering again this year with Fry's to supply us with all of the contents going into each basket. We will be doing the basket prep and assembly on Friday, Dec. 18th. Due to the Covid Pandemic, we are going to limit the number of people working in the warehouse at any given time to ensure that social distancing is not an issue.
In years past we have done toy drives at multiple businesses across the valley. A few of the businesses are Venezia's Pizzeria, Toni and Guy Hair Salons, Orange Theory Fitness, and many others. These drives have been where we get the majority of the toys that we deliver to the families. This year, due to Covid, we will not be doing any toy drives. Instead, we will be purchasing all of the toys. We will be using a local company that supplies toys to schools and organizations for fundraisers. Our New Mexico Chapter has been doing this for the past couple of years. This also will cut down the number of volunteers needed to help sort the toys and put them into the bags for delivery. Since we are going to be purchasing the toys this year we are going to need to raise additional funds. More details on this later in the recap. Toy Preparation will take place on Saturday, Dec 12th.
Last year we exceeded our goal and raised just shy of $40,000 in monetary and toy donations. A big chunk of that was $11,000 worth of toys that were donated by The Sons of Arizona Organization. This year our goal is to raise $40,000 cash. This will help ensure that we cover all costs for the additional baskets as well as the cost of the toys that we will be buying this year. It will also allow us to build and expand going into 2021.
If you would like to donate now, please utilize this link to access our Donation Page.
We will be managing all volunteers through our website this year. Last year we had some utilize it and others were volunteering through emails, texts, and phone calls and it was very difficult to manage. ANYONE VOLUNTEERING WILL NEED TO SIGN UP THROUGH OUR WEBSITE. After signing up you will get a personal email from Jasper Koontz confirming your desire to volunteer. If you don't get a follow-up email within a couple of days please contact Jasper to confirm. (Contact info below) Links will be sent out separately along with more specific details of the exact times and number of volunteers needed for each day. This year we anticipate needing between 60 and 70 drivers for delivery day. Volunteers are going to come on a first come first serve basis. Once all of the volunteer slots are filled then we will likely have people listed as backup drivers if needed. Once again all volunteers will need to sign up through our website. Specifics on dates and times will be sent out at a later date.
In years past we have all gathered at the warehouse to socialize, have some breakfast, talk about our organization, have our group prayer, and then we start loading up vehicles in groups and everyone heads out to deliver. This year, due to Covid, we are having to pivot. Since we won't be able to meet in the large gathering we are making a few changes. We will be doing a large Zoom/Virtual Meeting to talk about our key sponsors, our organization, and have our group prayer. All drivers will be put into a LETTERED Group. Each group will be given an exact time to show up at the warehouse. Upon arrival, we will load the vehicles with the food baskets and toys. The drivers will not have to exit their vehicles at all. Ginger Monkey has always brought their food truck up and served breakfast in years past. This year they are going to prepare breakfast bags that we will also give to the drivers when they come to the warehouse. Anyone who signs up to volunteer will be required to sign a Covid waiver.
- October 1st - Nominee applications go out to partner organizations.
- November 1st - Deadline for nominee applications
- November 1st through Thanksgiving - Verification of all nominated families
- December 12th - Toy Bag Preparation and Reminder call to all sponsors and families
- December 18th - Basket PreparationDecember 19th - Basket Delivery
We are looking forward to working with all of you this year and to helping out 300 families here in the valley. If any of you have questions please contact any of our board members and we will be happy to help you out.
Los Ojos De La Familia
Arizona Board Members: