Making a Difference, One Penny at a Time

Tucson – The 27th annual Penny Pitch was a huge success! The event that takes place every year in Tucson put on by KiiM-FM helped raise 5,472,189 pennies in 2022. All proceeds go directly to our emergency fund that helps families and children with any unexpected inconveniences or hardships.

This year’s Penny Pitch included its first concert on December 1st featuring Nathan Dean & the Damn Band, as well as special guest Drew Cooper at St. Phillips Plaza! There was a great atmosphere with food and drinks served by Union Public House.

The 27th annual Penny Pitch took place at the Tucson Mall, right across from Santa, for all-day excitement from December 14th through December 16th! Donations were made by everyone from fans of the KiiM-FM station to toddlers walking by with change from their parent’s pockets. The amazing team over at KiiM-FM reminded everyone that every penny counts – it really does! In the end, we raised more than $50,000 for our children and families in Southern Arizona!

A huge thank you to KiiM-FM and everyone who contributed – from the sponsors who made the event possible, raffle winners and concert-goers, to everyone else who donated their loose change!

KiiM-FM invited our staff to speak to their listeners on-air about Arizona’s Children Association’s (AzCA) programs and the services we provide in the community. Fadwa Elnabulsi, our Kinship Navigator, was interviewed by Krystal Pino:

Krystal: We are here with Arizona’s Children Association, and I am going to welcome to the show, Fadwa Elnabulsi. Thank you so much for joining us today. You are in charge of the Kinship Program and I am familiar with the program because we talked about it last year. Basically, it’s when you place your children or teens, we cant forget about the teenagers in the system of course, with some family members. Let’s talk about why that’s really important…

Fadwa: Yes, I have been working with this program for almost 15 years. The program supports and covers the area where children are placed with loved ones such as grandparents, great grand parents, or other family through DCS or voluntarily. When they come to my office, I provide them with the services we offer such as support groups, education classes, and materials with resources and information. With the funds we receive from today (the KiiM-FM Penny Pitch), we will use as emergency funds for families that have unexpected struggles, such as: paying rent or utilities, school uniforms, school supplies. We are supporting them with these proceeds. We also work with diaper drives, food banks, GAP ministry, and even provide them with up to $80 a month for food. AzCA works with other agencies and they also get support from us.

Krystal: A lot of this money goes to electricity, rent, clothing. Let’s be honest, a lot of us took it for granted that we woke up with a roof over our head. That is all we are trying to provide for the Arizona’s Children Association with the KiiM-FM Penny Pitch. Fadwa, thank you so much for what you do, and the Kinship Program is so, so important.

Fadwa: Thank you so much to KiiM-FM for supporting the Kinship Program and AzCA in general.

Buzz Jackson talked to Greg Bejar, AzCA’s Clinical Supervisor of Behavioral Health Services, about those outpatient programs:

Buzz: We are here with Greg from Arizona’s Children Association and this is going to be a good opportunity to find out about some of the Behavioral Health programs that are offered. So what kind of things go on in your department?

Greg: Programs we offer include case management, every client that comes in through behavioral health gets a case manager. We also do mediation management, if requested or needed by family members, we also have therapy services that we offer from birth to 5 years. We have our trauma services through our Las Familias program. There is also therapy services for individuals, families, and group therapy.

Buzz: Can you tell us more about the Las Familias program?

Greg: So Las Familias is a specialized program, it is still therapy, that works under different grants. One of which being the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) fund. With this, we focus on sever trauma in children, such a sexual abuse.

Buzz: Got it, so that’s got to be some important work. Thanks for coming down and telling us about some of these programs at Arizona’s Children Association.

Buzz also talked to AzCA CEO Jacob Schmitt about the emergency fund, our gratitude, and what to expect next year:

Buzz: Jacob, let’s take a minute to remind the audience what the collection is for.

Jacob: It is totally essential for our families in need. We use it for clothing, food, and to help folks who are really struggling in the Tucson community. We have been so fortunate that we have had such a great year for the last 26 years [of Penny Pitch].

Buzz: This collection of funds is really the only time of year that you receive money for the emergency fund.

Jacob: Yes, and we have had such a great turnout. I would like to take some time to thank the Michael James Kimble Memorial Fund who donated $32,000 to the Penny Pitch this year.

Buzz: Yes! So the story here, Michal was the youngest brother who died at the age of 4 in 1967. His parents established a memorial fund that his brothers carry on, and each year they donate to charity.

We would also like to thank our sponsors: Essential Pest Control, who has been doing it for so many years, Finley Distributing, Saguaro Solar, and Cummings Plumbing. It’s great to count on the community and the local businesses here.

Jacob: I would like to thank the station itself as well. You always go over and beyond anyway, but this year we had the concert on top of it so we just really appreciate it. We want to thank you and all your listeners.

The morning crew, Max, Shannon, and Porkchop, for KiiM-FM also had this to say about the Penny Pitch and working with AzCA:

“I think all of us look forward to the KiiM-FM Penny Pitch every year … It’s definitely the high point for us!  Just nothing like seeing the generosity of the KiiM-FM family of listeners!” – Max

“Being a part of KiiM-FM, the Tucson community, and raising funds for AZCA for 27 years makes my heart full! The work they do is amazing! The fact that we can have a little hand in helping out the families and the emergency fund is something I’ve always been proud of.” – Shannon Black

“It’s truly amazing to see what this annual event does for so many. Not only for AZCA but for KiiM-FM, it’s listeners. and the community as a whole. Our sponsors really get behind this and go all out every year. This is definitely my favorite event of the year.” – Porkchop

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