Arizona Giving and Leading: Families Give Back

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When Lisa Geyser and Alex Sklar couldn’t find volunteer opportunities for their young children, they created their own. In tonight’s Giving and Leading segment, we’ll introduce you to “Families Giving Back,” a non-profit that welcomes volunteers of all ages.

Richard Ruelas: In tonight's "Giving and Leading" segment, we take a look at a group that welcomes volunteers of all ages. Producer Christina Estes introduces us to "Families Giving Back."

Lisa Geyser: We are at Phoenix mountain nursing center, and we are doing an art project with the senior residents.

Lisa Geyser: There are templates to draw and then scissors to cut out.

Christina Estes: It took Lisa Geyser and Alex Sklar two years to reach this stage.

Lisa Geyser: We started to instill the values of giving back and we could not find any volunteer opportunities in the Valley that we could do with our young children.

Alex Sklar: So we just started to talk bit and kind of express our frustration. And one thing led to another and we decided if it doesn't exist, let's create it. So we did.

Christina Estes: They came up with kid-friendly ideas and started pitching to bring groups.

Alex Sklar: The events we create and host ourselves, really there aren't that many have an age restriction. We have something there from the littlest kids on up, whether it's going to a pantry and stocking the shelves with donations that the families bring. The little ones stock the low shelves and bigger ones stock the higher shelves. There really is something for all ages.

Christina Estes: 7-year-old Dillon Conway doesn't mind skipping sad morning cartoons.

Bertha Racowsky: They are just darling, every one of these children. They are just darling.

Alex Sklar: A lot of our families, a lot of the children may not experience or have experience with being with the elderly. So it's just really nice for them to be comfortable and engage with the residents. I don't know who has more fun, the kids or the seniors. So it's just really a nice time to start teaching or instill those values about respecting elders and see how much they have to offer us.

Austin Washington: Everybody's all smiling. All the elder people are smiling and nice to be in an environment like that.

Christina Estes: Families giving back started pretty small with Alex and Lisa rounding up friends for the first event. Since then they have welcomed more than 500 families.

Lisa Geyser: We would love to get a group photo of our little volunteers under their beautiful masterpiece. Two, three, cheese!

Christina Estes: They often leave more than memories, in this case a string of homemade hearts displayed in the dining room.

Christina Estes: And others shared with new friend.

Martha Hobby: I will put them up in my bedroom. I've already decide where I'm going put them. I'm going put these in my bedroom. I get to look at them.

Richard Ruelas: The group organizes volunteer events two to four times a month. You can find more information at familiesgivingback.org

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