Chandler & Gilbert Senior Centers

Kelly Delgado (center) is the Senior Program Manager for AZCEND. She manages the Gilbert Senior Center and the Senior Nutrition Program at the Chandler Senior Center.

Amanda Shepard (left) is the Activity Specialist at the Gilbert Senior Center. She offers an array of classes, health presentations, activities, special events and trips.

Lisa Price (right) is the Outreach Specialist serving both centers and the community. She provides community referrals, offers info and helps participants with transportation services and conducts home visits.

When you visit either of the senior centers one of these ladies will be available to give you a tour and explain more about the senior programs.

AZCEND – Formerly Chandler Christian Community Center

Chandler Christian Community Center Unveils New Name, AZCEND

After 50 years of service to the communities in Southeast Valley, local nonprofit organization embraces new brand that reflects its growth and future.

(Photo) Chandler Chamber of Commerce President CEO Terri Kimble with AZCEND CEO Trinity Donovan and AZCEND Development Director Dara Gibson

Chandler, AZ. May 16, 2017 – In front of a crowd of volunteers, donors, sponsors, clients, and local church and community dignitaries, the Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC) board of directors unveiled its new brand name…AZCEND.

“We have changed our name but our mission and services remain the same. We change lives by nourishing minds and bodies to create a connected, thriving community. This is an exciting new chapter in the life of this longstanding organization,” said Trinity Donovan, AZCEND CEO.  “Our new name embraces who we are now, and establishes the foundation for future growth.”

“We felt our 50th anniversary was an ideal opportunity to look back at the history that brought CCCC to this point, as well as look ahead to prepare our organization for the fifty years to come,” said AZCEND board president Gail Kavanagh. “As part of those strategic discussions, we realized that our organization had grown far beyond the physical and service boundaries of our initial name and what we are known for. We wanted to move forward under a new name and brand that would honor our current mission and allow for potential future growth.”

The first step in the rebranding process was to conduct an extensive survey of all constituents to document their opinions about the organization and services rendered. The results of the survey were clear: partners, donors and volunteers would not feel differently about the organization with a new name and brand. They would only feel differently if our mission changed.

Donovan continued, “The name AZCEND speaks to our goal of transforming lives and improving the lives of those in need. We want to do more than simply help them move from today’s crisis but to gain stability and to have prosperity.”

 AZCEND, formerly Chandler Christian Community Center

Founded in 1966, AZCEND is a 501(c) 3 that last year served 17,375 unique individuals with efforts supported by over 1,000 volunteers. Programs are designed to help people move from crisis to stability to prosperity with services including food boxes, senior nutrition and activities, rent and utility assistance, homeless services, case management, and family programming. For more information on AZCEND, formerly Chandler Christian Community Center, visit www.azcend.org or call (480)963-1423.

CORE VALUES

AZCEND is built on five core principles:

We perform all of our daily duties with utmost integrity, knowing that the communities we serve trust us to assist their most vulnerable citizens.

Compassion for our community and the people we serve is what drives everything we do, knowing that when one person reaches out to help another, both are lifted up in the process.

Our goal is not simply to meet the physical needs of those we serve, but to empower others with an unwavering hope that each step is a step forward, and tomorrow will be better than today.

In order to maximize the resources that have been put in our care, each of us strives for excellence in our individual and collective activities, continually looking for ways to do more and do better.

Finally, AZCEND is built on a culture of respect. Respect for our mission, respect for each other, respect for the people we serve, and respect for the resources provided to support our mission each day.

 

 

 

AZCEND General Info Brochure

 

FAQ

Why change the brand after 50 years?

Over the last five decades, Chandler Christian Community Center (CCCC) had outgrown our original name in several ways. Our services now extend beyond Chandler’s borders. We have multiple locations, not just one.

We will always honor the Christian principles that led to the creation of CCCC initially. At the same time, we want to ensure that anyone in need of our services will get support.

Practically speaking, CCCC is a bit of a mouthful—even for an acronym. So we set out on a process-driven exercise to identify a new name and a new brand that would carry us forward for the next 50 years and beyond.

 

Why make the change now?

We felt our 50th anniversary was an ideal opportunity to look back at the history that brought CCCC to this point, as well as look ahead to prepare our organization for the fifty years to come.

As part of those strategic discussions, we realized that our organization had grown far beyond the boundaries of our initial name. We wanted to move forward under a new name and brand that would honor our current mission and allow for potential future growth.

 

How will this brand change impact our donors and volunteers?

This was our primary area of focus before the re-branding began. How could we position the organization for the future without alienating our individual, corporate and faith-based donors and volunteers that have made CCCC possible?

The results of the survey were clear: existing donors and volunteers would not feel differently about our organization with a new name and brand. They would only feel differently if our mission changed.

The only thing changing about us is our name, our logo and our colors. Our mission remains the same as ever: we change lives by nourishing minds and bodies to create a connected, thriving community.

 

Why did you pick AZCEND?

AZCEND represents two things:

  • Our deep 50-year roots in the Arizona communities we serve.
  • Our goal of transforming and improving the lives of those in need. We want to do more than simply maintain their current situation—we want to provide them with the tools they need to change their lives for the better.

 

What do the icon and colors represent?

The icon is a stylized heart made of two intertwined individuals, underscoring the importance of compassion which is the basis of all that we do.

The color blue is intended to represent delivering a sense of calm, peace or refuge in the midst of crises or uncertain situations. The green represents growth, the upward movement of the individual growing beyond his or her current circumstances with our assistance.

 

Why remove Chandler from the name?

Although Chandler is where this organization began, the need for our services and support extends well beyond Chandler’s borders. With our expansion into Gilbert and other surrounding communities, our goal is to be wherever the need is greatest.

 

Does the new name mean we are dropping our Christian roots?

CCCC was founded when a number of like-minded Christian churches in the area decided their abilities to serve the Chandler community would be most beneficial if they pooled their resources and worked together.

That spirit of compassion and service remains at the heart of what we do and will do for the next 50 years and beyond. We will continue to work alongside all community partners to deliver the services with effectiveness, compassion and respect.

 

What was the process in changing the name and brand?

Our Board of Directors hired an experienced outside branding and communications agency to lead the project. The process began with a substantial survey of our staff, volunteers, clients, donors, sponsors, organizations and churches to gauge what CCCC meant to them and how a potential rebranding might affect their relationship with our organization.

Based on these findings, the agency and Board reviewed quite a few rounds of name ideas, ultimately narrowing the selections to a dozen. This list was provided to 20 marketing and branding executives across the US to determine what resonated best with experts unassociated with CCCC.

Ultimately the list was narrowed to three, and a variety of potential logo and color palette treatments were explored, leading the Board to vote unanimously in favor of AZCEND.

Before committing to the name, the Board engaged a local law firm to conduct a thorough search and ensure that no other entities in Arizona or across the US might have any legal claim to our name in the future.

The CCCC staff then helped to finalize the colors and heart logo. The entire process took approximately nine months.

We have been working with these same branding experts to ensure a seamless transition to AZCEND after our launch celebration on May 16. During the balance of 2017, you can expect to see references to CCCC in many of our communication efforts to ensure that all donors, partners, volunteers, community leaders and those in need understand that CCCC is now AZCEND.

 

Where will the website be?

The current website chandlerfoodbank.org will be permanently forwarded to our new website azcend.org to ensure that anyone looking for us on the web will easily find us.

 

After Experiencing Homelessness, Henry Seizes a Second Chance

Henry had been an I-HELP client previously, but by his own admission he had not accepted the personal responsibility and accountability integral to his success. He first learned of Chandler Christian Community Center’s I-HELP program through a Google search. Henry had long struggled with alcohol and drug abuse, however, and at that time was not willing to seek help. While previously participating in I-HELP, Henry had secured housing but was unable to pay his rent, spending his limited funds to purchase drugs and alcohol.

“I am seriously committed to pursuing and achieving my long term goals of employment, sobriety and housing.”

Homeless again, Henry returned to I-HELP three months after his first enrollment. Daniel, the CCCC I-HELP Case Manager, asked Henry how he planned to succeed this time. Henry replied with sincerity, “I am seriously committed to pursuing and achieving my long term goals of employment, sobriety and housing.” He added, “I will promise you that before the end of one week, I will have secured employment.” Henry sounded like a person filled with hope and purpose. Daniel gave Henry an opportunity to make the most of his precious second chance by connecting him to the resources needed to meet his goals, and Henry was added to the I-HELP “Bed List.”

During his first week with I-HELP, Henry applied for a job with a number of employers, just as he promised. By the end of his first week with I-HELP, Henry was hired to work in a Chandler hotel, earning more than minimum wage. By the end of his second week of employment, Henry provided the case manager with his pay stub, time sheet and money order, representing 75% of his wages, to save as the down payment for his housing when a suitable home became available. Never doubting he could achieve his objective through pure diligence and drive, Henry’s self-esteem, purpose and direction was unwavering! Perhaps most importantly, Henry was now clean for an extended period of time.

After another two weeks of employment, Henry received his paycheck. On that very weekend, he moved into his new residence, breaking the cycle of chronic homelessness within a month of entering I-HELP Chandler!

Henry both learned and demonstrated the importance of seizing that very precious second chance. The CCCC I-HELP staff is grateful to have been a part of Henry’s journey to a better life; one in which he continues to achieve his greatest potential while being an asset to his employer and community.

Gilbert Senior Experiences Belonging at Senior Center

Danny recently lost his wife and was looking for place to spend his time. He heard about the Senior Nutrition Program at the Gilbert Senior Center through another program he was attending in Chandler.

Danny was quiet at first. He found a little corner table in the front of the dining room and sat alone for a couple of days. Staff would stop by and say good morning as Danny waited for meal service to begin. Danny explained to the staff that he is a people-watcher and enjoys the coming and going of different participants throughout the day. He arrives at 8:00 am and stays well into the afternoon.

Since then, Danny has chosen to participate in more Senior Center activities. He recently participated in our Dining Out activity, found out he enjoys Wii Bowling, and took a trip on the Dolly Steamboat with the Activity Specialist and other participants. He even spent an afternoon helping the children of the Town of Gilbert’s preschool class play Wii.

Danny is very thankful for the programs offered at the center and he isn’t quiet when it comes to letting staff know how much he appreciates the work they do.

From $85K to Unemployed: One Mother’s Story Shows the Reality of Poverty

For several years, Ginger (shown above) and her coworkers have teamed up to support a family during CCCC’s annual Christmas event, Operation Santa. Every year, they purchased gifts for a family in need, often going above and beyond to share the Christmas spirit.

This year, however, was even more special than usual. Through Operation Santa, Ginger and her coworkers met a recently unemployed mother who challenged the common stereotypes many of us have about poverty. She had recently lost her job with an $85,000 annual salary and found herself unable to buy Christmas gifts for her children. Her story made for a memorable Christmas experience for these loyal Operation Santa donors.

Ginger was kind enough to sit down with CCCC for an interview, and you can read this touching story below:

Ginger, you and your coworkers have donated to Operation Santa for years. What has your past experience with Operation Santa been like?

My office has been participating for years. Every family has been so overwhelmed when we come by. The year before last, my boss went out and got beds for the kids. They didn’t have beds. There have been times that we’ve gotten bikes, and we collect money as well to buy gift cards.

This year was my favorite.

This past Christmas, a single mother in Gilbert registered her two children for Operation Santa, and her story came as quite a surprise. What happened when you contacted her?

At first I wasn’t sure because I couldn’t get a hold of her. I was a little concerned because we needed to make sure we had a family. One of the things that made me wonder is that she lived over by Highland High School in a pretty nice area. That kind of brought up a red flag because why does somebody who lives in such a nice area need help?

But when she got back to me, she said her son had been in the hospital because he had croup. She moved to Gilbert from Chicago because she had been transferred by her company, but then when she arrived here, they eliminated her position. When she moved she had a decent job making $85,000 a year, but soon after she moved down here, they eliminated her position. She rented this house. So, here she is stuck, and she has two little kids and is going to school.

What I liked about her was you could tell she was really striving to better herself. She didn’t want to have to ask for help, but she had to. And she told me she wants to be the one to adopt a family next year. So her story really touched us. We were so happy to help her.

So how did the people in your office respond to her story?

Oh, they loved it. When they heard she was going to school to get her real estate license, they were excited. She is just the nicest woman. We really liked her, and she brought us a little gift when we met her.

How did the actual distribution go when you gave her the gifts?

We met in the parking lot of CCCC. Four of us came from work, and one coworker brought her daughters along so they could help her pick out things for the kids. So her kids were involved in the shopping. The mother brought her kids. Oh my goodness, cute kids.

The little boy has had so many problems over his croup, and we were going to meet earlier, but she called and said he was sleeping. That was rare these days, so she didn’t want to wake him up, so we met later. I opened up the car door, and as soon as I saw him, he had a big smile on his face. He’s all smiles. He’s the cutest little thing.

What did your office give to the mother and her two kids for Christmas?

Oh gosh. We bought everything on their list, plus. They asked for normal things. The boy liked anything with wheels, so lots of cars and tub toys and a ball. The girl wanted a little stuffed kitty. We got lots of household items like toilet paper, paper towels, and laundry detergent, and we got the mother a robe. One lady in our IT department buys a basket of household items every year. That’s her thing.

Making somebody’s day like that just makes you feel so good. We love to do it . We love to overdo it too. There were lots of hugs, and it was very heartwarming. You wish you would be there when the kids open their gifts on Christmas Eve. But she called us the week after Christmas to thank us and tell us how much the kids liked everything.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with Operation Santa?

We really appreciate having a place like CCCC to be able to do this. I remember one year, one of my coworkers volunteered to help CCCC translate Christmas wish lists from Spanish. And she said she cried and cried while she was doing it, especially when a little boy asked for toothpaste. You hear things like that, and you realize how lucky we are.