Jaxon Foundation was named for Jaxon Landfair, a Basha High School student who had dreamed of becoming a police officer. Jaxon was diagnosed with incurable leukemia and passed away in September 2019.
While he was ill, Jaxon had been in contact with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, expressing his desire to start a scholarship program to help kids become police officers. In 2020, Jaxon’s parents started the 503c3 nonprofit organization in his honor.
“Jaxon Foundation provides financial scholarships to young adults who wish to pursue careers in law enforcement,” says Brandon Ynclan, director of fundraising. “The Jaxon Foundation also provides law enforcement mentorship to our scholarship recipients. Having board members in law enforcement, we have an immediate connection into the law enforcement community to connect our recipients to officers in all different types of law enforcement roles.”
Since opening in Chandler 17 years ago, Aquila Dental has offered a number of free dental days that have been available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Patients have been able to get cleanings, fillings, and/or extractions at no charge.
On Nov. 11, the full-service dental practice is offering free dental services to veterans.
“Our office manager Kristine is a veteran, so that is why we decided to change it up this year,” says Clare Higgs, Aquila Dental’s marketing director.
“On Veterans Day, we will have our free dental day for veterans only, where they will call ahead of time to make an appointment for either a cleaning, filling, or extraction, and we will cover the bill.”
Assistance League of East Valley
Assistance League of East Valley was founded 27 years ago as an all-volunteer chapter of a national organization. A small group of women had begun collecting clothing for needy schoolchildren, raising funds at rummage sales, and distributing clothing at Mesa elementary schools.
They opened their first thrift shop in 2002, moving to their current location at 2326 N. Alma School Road in 2017.
“Through our signature program, Operation School Bell®, we provided new school clothes, shoes, toiletries, and uniforms to 7,361 needy elementary school children this year,” says Marsha Calhoun, president-elect, adding that in the Chandler and Gilbert school districts, they provided 338 homeless teens with clothing, shoes, hygiene items, food, bus passes, and academic support. “We also delivered over 3,800 assault survivor kits to local agencies with clothing, toiletries, and snacks for victims of trauma, accidents, or assault. And, we awarded 14 two-year college scholarships of $1,700 per year to graduates of East Valley Institute of Technology.”
East Valley Dream Center
Danny Gonzalez, Jovanni Cedeno, and Juan Zavala—two brothers and their friend—knew they wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives. After surviving rough childhoods in their native Chicago, they hoped to make a change in the community around them.
The trio founded East Valley Dream Center with one mission in mind—to eradicate poverty through community outreach, free acts of service, and no-cost programs.
“We have MyBag, which allows families to request a specially-made bag, tailored specifically to their needs,” says Priscilla Cano, programs director, adding that the bag can be filled with cleaning products, household items, hygiene items, and/or food items.
“We also have MyMoney, which is our finance class, and MySports is our sports program that we host multiple times throughout the year, where kids come to build community and develop their sports skills.”