What’s Tennies for Tots?
Our story started in 2015 as a community outreach program through the Good Samaritan Society serving 150 children. We have grown as a 501(c)3 and now as an Arizona Tax Credit Qualified Charitable Organization to provide shoes, socks, back packs and children’s books to over 3000 children in need annually. We serve NACOG Head Start Centers from the Quad Cities to many locations throughout Northern and Central Arizona and into the White Mountains. Boys and Girls Clubs, women’s shelters and many more receive our services creating Many Happy Little Feet!
I am Paula Sedillo Wise, President and Founder of Tennies for Tots. I was born and raised in Flagstaff where my parents ran a Laundromat and Dry-Cleaning Business for over 30 years. They taught me the importance of taking care of those less fortunate and often just those temporarily down on their luck. In 2015, I went on a Mission trip with the Good Samaritan Society, where I have worked for 15 years. I was hooked on helping those who cannot help themselves and went back to Bogota, Colombia the following year, and returned with this burning desire to help those in our community. I was introduced to Diane Iverson, who oversaw the Annual Back to school Event at the Prescott Methodist Church that served over 1400 school age children. I asked her if the younger siblings were served during this event and she said, “they are part of the Books before bed program, but they are in need of shoes if you want to serve those children,” so I adopted that group which might have been 150 children. The following year, the word got out and the number of preschoolers we gave new shoes and socks to doubled.
After seeing how great the need was in our community, I began the application process with the State of Arizona and IRS to become a 501©3 Non-Profit Organization in hopes of expanding and helping more children. Since 2018, we have gone from serving 4 Head Start Centers between Prescott Valley and Flagstaff to over thirty from Prescott Valley all the way to Page and throughout the White Mountains.
In 2018, my father was diagnosed with Laryngeal Cancer. While I was taking care of him, I became a little emotional and he told me, “Do not cry for me. Cry for the little babies who are hungry, those who are cold and going without shoes.” I will continue serving the children in need in our communities for as long as I can in his memory. That is where my passion comes from.
We have learned that we Are Not Tennies for Tots. Our Donors and Sponsors Are. Everything we do is through the generosity of those who open their wallets and checkbooks to help us continue to do what we do. Becoming an AZ Tax Credit Qualified Charitable Donation has been huge for us as donors can now make larger donations that are 100% Tax Deductible for individuals up to $400 and $800 for couples.
We can be contacted anytime by phone at (928)-420-4360, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail at 425 E. Pittsburgh Rd, Paulden, AZ 86334.
For More information, please take a look at our website www.tenniesfortots.org, our Facebook page www.facebook.com/tenniesfortots, and see our reviews on www.greatnonprofits.org/tenniesfortots. Donations can be made on the above sites as well as through PayPal using email@example.com and on the Great Nonprofits site and through ArizonaGives.com/tenniesfortots and of course by mail.
Thank You in Advance for your generosity.