The annual holiday toy drive sponsored by Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) included nearly 150 construction companies whose employees donated hundreds of toys and more than $50,000 for underprivileged children across Arizona. The benefiting organizations included Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, Sunshine Residential Homes, Sequoia Charter School, Santo Niño Catholic Community and ASA Now. 

“It was so rewarding to see the smiles on their faces when we finally got to give them the gifts we had been collecting for weeks.”
—Aimee Olmedo, Outreach Director, Rosendin, and ABA Community Service Board Member

Toys were presented to children at Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa, Ariz., during the group’s annual Christmas Party, with each child receiving $125 worth of toys from their wish lists. The ABA event has become a staple in the Sunshine Acres community.

“Running the annual toy drive and visiting Sunshine Acres never stops being rewarding,” said Erica Lange, ABA vice president. “We see the way the children at the home remember us year after year. We have even had children grow up to pursue a career in the construction industry and join the ABA because of the impact we made on them each Christmas.”

Arizona firms collected truckloads of gifts and toys for Sunshine Residential Homes in Glendale as well as at the Sequoia Charter School in Mesa and the Santo Niño Catholic Community in Phoenix. The charities serve children who are separated from their parents, have survived abuse and neglect or whose families cannot afford to buy gifts. The ABA also donated $5,000 in toys to ASA Now, an organization that advocates, supports and assists children and families impacted by foster care. JE Dunn Construction, McCarthy Building Cos., Rosendin and Hensel Phelps were among the many ABA firms that participated.

Phoenix Light Rail Extension Receives USDOT Transit Grant

The U.S. Dept. of Transportation recently awarded a $158.1-million construction grant to the city of Phoenix and Valley Metro for the Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail Project. The 1.6-mile extension, which will be constructed and operated by Valley Metro, will offer public transportation between downtown Phoenix and the planned redevelopment of the Metrocenter Mall.

The total project cost is $401.3 million, with $158.1 million provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants Program, which funds major transit infrastructure nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multiyear, multistep process to be eligible for funding. The extension will link the Metrocenter area to regional activity centers.