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Elsa and Belle read a book to children at an elementary school library.

Featured Article

Giving A Little Arizona Magic

In December of 2020, a group of University of Arizona students banded together with one mission: to spread hope and happiness to populations of children who would otherwise never get to experience those special moments.

The result of that group, Giving a Little Arizona Magic (GLAM), can be found anywhere a child needs a smile, from one-on-one hospital visits at Diamond Children’s Hopistal to attending family events at Reid Park Zoo. 

GLAM’s mission to, “provid[e] creative programming to children that are disadvantaged, whether that be medically, socioeconomically, or in foster care” is felt deeply by each volunteer, and is evident in each child they interact with.

One of the most powerful interactions, volunteer Skyler Cully explained, is with the children who are hospitalized. Cully, who has been doing character-based volunteer work for three and a half years, has personally witnessed the health journeys of many children, both positive and negative. One of the most rewarding feelings, she said, is watching children heal and conquer their health battles.

“We don’t realize how much of an impact we can have on somebody’s life.” Rachel Becker, one of GLAM’s active character volunteers, describes. Watching children connect to her favorite childhood characters in the same way that she did brings her excitement each time she dons her costume. 

The excitement felt by the volunteers is felt within the community as well, as GLAM’s characters can be found regularly at Reid Park Zoo for family events. These events, which are a favorite of a number of volunteers, encourage a greater reach into the community. Hannah McAlister, GLAM's current President, believes that any day where she or her volunteers can make a child smile is a good day.

GLAM’s services extend beyond hospital visits and public events. They also volunteer their services for birthday parties free of charge, with donations encouraged. Where can you find GLAM next? Follow them on Instagram @givingmagicua and on Facebook at Giving a Little Arizona Magic to see where their princess and hero friends are traveling next. 

From virtual visits during the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, to events attended by hundreds of people, GLAM is quickly becoming a community name in Tucson. As said by Cully, only one word can be used to describe the work these students are doing: magical.


  • A little girl looks excitedly up to Hermione, Jasmine, Ariel, and Princess Leia.
  • Elsa and Belle read a book to children at an elementary school library.
  • Cinderella hugs a child at St. Vincent de Paul’s summer event.
  • Black Widow, Anna, and Belle cheer up a sick child.