The Desert Financial Kindness Arizona Tour went the extra mile to assist struggling Yavapai College students on Wednesday, with a landmark $5,000 gift to YC’s Daniel’s Ride fundraiser.
“The pandemic has been very hard on students, especially non-traditional students.” Desert Financial Credit Union’s Assistant Vice President Emma Garcia explained. “We admire Daniel’s initiative to help students at Yavapai College. It aligns with Kindness Arizona’s philosophy to support education, spread goodwill and invest in the recovery of the state.”
The donation will help Daniel’s Ride provide critical support to Yavapai College students facing financial hardship during the pandemic. With the Kindness Arizona gift, the Yavapai College Foundation will be able to offer emergency financial assistance that will help struggling YC students stay in school, with their academic and career dreams intact.
Kindness Arizona combines the community focus of two organizations – Desert Financial Credit Union and the Fiesta Bowl Organization – to bring needed funding, equipment, supplies and cheer directly to Arizona communities. The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Kindness Arizona Tour is actually a re-imagination of last season’s Fiesta Bowl Parade, designed to convert the spirit of kindness into local community impact. Wednesday’s donation is part of a five-day, 25-stop tour rolling through Metro Phoenix, Flagstaff, Prescott and Tucson between March 22 and March 26.
At Yavapai College, The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Kindness Arizona Tour is fueling a grassroots effort to keep students in school and on-track. The pandemic has crippled college enrollment, with more than 400,000 U.S. students dropping out last year. Community colleges – which support many part-time, working and single-parent students – have been hit especially hard, with national enrollment down more than ten percent. Last May, YC Sign Language Professor Daniel Swartz, 65, dedicated his daily bike ride to students forced to leave school to find another job, tend homebound children, or assist family. With the Yavapai College Foundation, he created Daniel’s Ride, to raise money for the cause. “I simply wanted to help,” he said.
Through three semesters, multiple snowstorms, various injuries and his own bout with COVID-19, Swartz kept on riding. Kindness Arizona will present its donation on Daniel’s Ride’s 310th consecutive day.
“Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Kindness Arizona spreads our impact throughout Arizona to support those who need additional resources. Yavapai College means so much to the Prescott community that we’re honored to help them make additional impact,” said Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Mike Nealy. “Desert Financial shares a giving mindset and servant leadership, which will make Kindness Arizona a difference-maker for thousands of Arizona residents.”
Desert Financial and the Fiesta Bowl chose local organizations that aid the lives of Arizonans in the areas of youth, education and supporting front-line workers. Kindness Arizona efforts will include funds to schools and community groups, revitalizing facilities, donating hygiene kits and performing random acts of kindness in every location to surprise people in need.
In lieu of staging events in front of large gatherings of fans, Kindness Arizona celebrates the goodness within our communities, meets the most pressing needs and supports organizations and people who are improving lives within their communities. The surprise nature of the event will bring smiling faces and memorable reactions, inspiring others to take part in the #KindnessRevolution.
The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Kindness Arizona Tour “brings people together in a spirit of goodwill,” said Jeff Meshey, President and CEO of Desert Financial Credit Union. “While we practice health and safety, we want to make a difference for some of the people affected most by COVID-19 and we’re excited to add this innovative component to our enduring partnership with Fiesta Bowl Charities.”
ABOUT YAVAPAI COLLEGE
Money raised by Daniel’s Ride will go to the Yavapai College Foundation and be directed to the IAMYC Student Emergency Fund. A five-year-old, student-run organization, IAMYC performed a critical relief role during the pandemic, approving 588 assistance applications – for over $299,000 – and feeding more than 1,900 individuals in 2020. IAMYC’s Emergency Fund helps Yavapai College students cover unexpected expenses that would otherwise take them out of school; allowing their education and future career plans to remain on-track. Donors can support Daniel’s daily ride pledging a dollar amount on Daniel’s Yavapai College Foundation page: www.justgiving.com/campaign/IAMYCFundraiser.
ABOUT THE FIESTA BOWL ORGANIZATION
Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans during and outside of college football bowl season. As a nonprofit organization, it is driven by its vision for the importance of community outreach and service. Through the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl, Guaranteed Rate Bowl and its year-round events, such as the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, corporate partnerships and numerous community events throughout the year, the organization provides charitable giving to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that serve communities through youth, sports and education. Learn more at www.FiestaBowl.org and @Fiesta_Bowl on Twitter.
ABOUT DESERT FINANCIAL CREDIT UNION
Celebrating more than 80 years in years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state’s largest local credit union with $6 billion in assets, 350,000+ members and 47 branches. Membership eligibility is open across Arizona with contactless solutions via eBranch, making it easy to call, click or come in. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2020, members received $14 million in dividends via the Member Giveback Bonus, and Desert Financial gave more than $5 million in COVID-19 relief plus donations, scholarships and Random Acts of Kindness to our members, community and team. Learn more about the credit union difference at Desert Financial Credit Union and find news and information @desertfinancial on Twitter.