On the "Tour" — Connie Phillips, President and CEO

Connie visits Family SPOT with its director, Jannelle Radoccia.

Connie visits Family SPOT with its director, Jannelle Radoccia.

I finished my sixth week this week, and I continue to be amazed at the quality of staff and programs that are provided through our work.

In order to truly understand our programs, I am investing time in touring our various sites, meeting the staff, and interacting with some of our clients. To date I have been to all of the Family SPOT offices, visited two Family Play SPOTs, attended "Messy Play," been to Arizona City to see one of the Luminaria offices and then visited with a man who receives home care, had dinner with the I-HELP women, spent time with our Partners in Caring Operations Manager at St. John's and toured the food pantries and First Evangelical and Victory Lutheran.

We held our Leadership Assembly, bringing 38 of our leaders together to talk about mission and values, build our team, and plan for Arizona Gives Day. Next week, I will spend the week in southern Arizona, where I will go out with the staff to deliver meals, see more of our Luminaria work, and participate in shopping. I also will be visiting the programs in Douglas, Nogales and Sierra Vista. In the coming weeks, I will have the privilege of spending time with Refugee Focus.

I have seen how our work is making a difference in people's lives. In my visit with a mom at the Messy Play, she told me that she depends on us to help her get the support she needs to be a good mom. Another mother out in Queen Creek told me that she thought she knew a lot about raising children, as she has two older sons, but that she has learned so much in coming with her preschool daughter to our parenting classes. She said it has changed how she talks to her sons, who are now in junior high, and that their relationship has gotten so much better. And, finally, the man that allowed me to come visit him in his home, told me that he is grateful for his caregiver, Martha, because she understands that he wants to do as much as he possibly can independently. She respects him, he said, and she helps him do it himself. I could see the pride and dignity in his eyes.

This is the work we do together! Thank you for making it possible!