As part of the In the Community Conversations, we shift to Thunderbirds’ 2021 Assistant Tournament Chairman Michael Golding checking in with Shelby Peterson of ICAN via virtual conference call to talk about the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and discussing ways to support ICAN so they can continue to serve the local youth in our community.
ICAN is a free, family-centered youth service in the East Valley that helps to combat substance abuse, gang involvement and juvenile delinquency. ICAN goes beyond being just an after-school program for those at-risk by working with youth on the critical skills they need to be productive and responsible members of the community by empowering them through personal and academic success.
“The COVID-19 crisis has caused us to have low attendance for the first time in our 32-year history,” said Peterson. “We’ve had fewer kids coming to the program than ever before, so we are really pressed to deliver our mission in a way that isn’t group based. What we’ve had to do is pivot and start developing curriculum that we’re now putting out to the community with family friendly activities packed all in a two-gallon Ziploc bag.”
Peterson stated the biggest thing ICAN is doing right now is reaching out to the families and just checking in to see what they need to perform activities at home.
“Supplies are a big issue,” said Peterson. “They can’t get basic supplies, so we’re including everything a family needs to do those activities, whether it’s pencils, pens, crayons, construction paper, scissors, glue, you name it.”
How can the community help ICAN?
“The biggest things we need right now are supplies [to produce] these kits,” said Peterson. “We have an Amazon wish list that has all the supplies we need. Folks have been really generous. They’ve gone on and sponsored crayons and had them sent to the building so our team can get them to the kids.”
To donate supplies, CLICK HERE
“Obviously, financial contributions make a huge difference, so that’s another great way to donate,” continued Peterson.
Visit http://icanaz.org/get-involved to support and donate to ICAN.
650 E. Morelos St.
Chandler, AZ 85225