Most people think of the homeless as disheveled adults with signs next to the freeway ramps begging for a handout. The staggering statistics that we don’t talk about is that 1 in 4 children are at or below the poverty level. There is some good news however; these numbers are changing due to the amazing efforts of some of the valley’s leaders.
Darlene Newsom, CEO of UMOM and Debbie Gaby, of Sleep America Charities met with me to discuss some of the ways the homeless have been able to successfully transition into society again. The idea that the majority of the homeless don’t work simply is not true. The biggest population of homelessness is created by families of the working poor. These families work hard, but due to the low wages of Arizona and the high costs of daycare it renders many incapable of sustaining themselves and their families.
UMOM has an all-inclusive program that not only shelters these families, but gives them the support they need but also the important life skills needed to further advance them into society. These life skills include programs such as counseling, parenting classes, interview skills, and safe daycare for their children. The shelter is almost fully self-contained with a beautiful daycare center, full medical center as well as a culinary school to help its residents learn valuable practices they can use in the outside world. The residents can stay up to seven years in transitional homes so that they can finish their education and gain the necessary skills to become self-supporting.
A great deal of planning and services has gone into the program to ensure the successful transition for its residents. Debbie Gaby, of Sleep America Charities was on hand to discuss her partnership with the UMOM organization. Sleep American Charities and Tempur-Pedic donated an astounding 140 beds. These are some of the most expensive luxury beds on the market and they are also made of hypoallergenic materials. Since dust mites and bed bugs cannot penetrate the mattresses, this makes them perfect for the homeless. The beds may be expensive but they will last longer and they don’t have to be replaced as often.
Homelessness is a problem but it does have a solution. If we all would write a check to organizations such as UMOM instead of giving our cash to the homeless we could actually make an even bigger difference. UMOM has a high rate of success for successfully transitioning the homeless.
Remember the donations that you make can put an end to homelessness and hunger for a child.
The Women’s Enterprise Foundation is an organization that provides women business owners with resources to help them grow as women in the business world. WEF has been around since 1991, making a difference in women’s lives and businesses.
Julie Heiland, President of WEF has worked her way up the ladder. She was a scholarship winner three years ago, and has come a long way since then. She is excited to spread the work about WEF because she knows how much it can help women business owners. “I wanted to give back, so I became president elect last year,” said Julie. “It has made me a stronger business person,” she added.
Carmella Dodge is very passionate about this organization and what it has to offer. While she has always been the giver, she finally feels like she is the receiver. “I’ve always generated for others, but I never had the business skills to generate for myself,” said Carmella. She believes that WEF can open many doors, and create strong connections between women across the globe. “We are not only building the relationships with the women, we are building friendships,” she said.
WEF offers scholarships and grants that allow women business owners to continue in their path to success. They recognize that women are an important part of the business community, and empower them to reach their fullest potential.
One of the scholarship winners this year is Carrie Severson founder of Severson Sisters, a non- profit organization that helps women increase their self-esteem.
WEF’s next fundraising event will be one you will not want to miss. Joie de Vivire will take place at the National Bank of Arizona Conference Center. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, wine and a fashion show with one of a kind Alexander McQueen inspired botanical dresses. Click here to purchase your tickets.
On Saturday, December 7th, 2013, Beyoncé made another stop for her tour, The Mrs. Carter Show, in Phoenix, Arizona.
People of every ethnicity and age came out to the long awaited concert. Lines stretched out from U.S. Airways Center, exceeding the maximum capacity, and requiring the security to create alternate entrances for the ticket-holders.
JohnJay and Rich had a red carped laid out outside of the arena to make every guest feel like a celebrity. They made it an entertaining wait for the thousands of people waiting outside.
Luke James opened the show with his passionate and seductive music. While he isn’t a household name yet, he did not disappoint his audience.
While concerts’ main goal is usually to entertain, Beyoncé made it so much more than that. She shared clips about how important it is to give back to the community. Something we recently talked about in Oscar De Las Salas’ article.
She also educated her audience throughout the concert. “We fight to find who we are,” she said. A quote that fits every single individual in their journey in trying to find themselves through life.
The Mrs. Carter Show was one for the books. From the stage setup, to every dance number, the concert had everyone on their feet.
B remains the Queen.
Christmas came a little early this year thanks to Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding event. The Solid Rock Foundation puts on a Christmas show yearly to benefit The Solid Rock Teen Center. The show is always a little different and this year was no exception. This year’s event was hosted this past Saturday December 7th at the Comerica Theatre. It was amazing to see all the rock stars of my childhood come together under one roof to aid Sheryl and Alice Cooper in their quest for keeping teens safe.
This year’s line-up included: Alice Cooper, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer of Kiss, Vince Neil of Motley Crue, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, Tom Keifer of Cinderella, Kip Winger of Winger and Joan Jett. Seinfeld Star John O’Hurley hosted the show, and Bill Engvall was a special guest comedian.
This year’s event was very special as Rock Demarco, the world’s fastest painter enlisted the help of Alice and Sheryl Cooper to help him propose on stage to girlfriend Olivia Haine. Demarco comes out to paint some of the celebrities every year for Christmas Pudding to serve as auction items. This year he painted legendary rocker Joan Jett, and the man himself, Alice Cooper.
It is fun to work with people who are passionate about what they do and give a hundred percent every time. That is one of the things that endear me personally to Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock in addition to Alice and Sheryl Cooper and the entire Solid Rock Team.
The Cooper’s are a very community-minded and gracious couple, and that is why celebrities donate their time to Christmas Pudding every year!
I would also like to publically acknowledge Coye Pointer of Scottsdale Airpark Dodge and Cherylanne DeVita of DeVita International who have been generous Solid Rock sponsors for years, and who I have the honor and privilege of working with on SmartFem.com.
Christmas is a very special time of the year; help Alice and his friends keep teens safe by giving them the gift of music, dance, self-esteem and a sense of belonging. To find out more go to www.alicecoopersolidrock.com.
Also to see more photos of this fabulous event check out our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/smartfem.az
Photos courtesy of Surrealsister Photography
Patty Kogutek, also known as Sister Mary Kateri, stopped by SmartFem to share about her life journey and accomplishments.
With an award-winning book under her belt, and numerous public speaking appearances, Patty has had a lot of success. But that’s not the only side to Patty. Her experience and journey has molded her into the wonderful individual she is today. For Patty it has been to live life guilt free, and she might have just achieved it.
Patty Ptak Kogutek was born in Omaha Nebraska, where she attended all catholic schools. Right out of high school she decided to enter the convent. While her parents were against it, they ultimately supported her in her decision and finally approved. Patty felt that she needed to be of service to God, and a good way of doing that was to enter the convent, where she would dedicate all of her time to him.
According to Patty the first two years at the convent were the toughest, as they were the most strict. “They want to mold you into a wonderful nun…leaving the material world behind,” said Patty. They were not allowed to talk about anything personal. She felt that they were trying to take away her personality.
After spending seven years of her young life in the convent, Patty decided it was time for a change. She was ready to live her life. She moved to California with her parents and brother. As she had already been teaching in the convent, she had a college degree, but decided to go back to school to be able to teach in the state of California.
Education became a huge part of Patty’s life. She received her Doctrine at USC and worked as a principle. She later worked at the San Diego County office. She retired 12 years ago, but only to do bigger and better things.
Patty’s life is far from perfect, but she knows how to make the best of it. She has been divorced, broke off an engagement, and then married again, but she doesn’t let that define her. She lets all those imperfections let her grow and learn as she lives her life one day at a time.
The once nun did not completely leave God behind, she simply learned that she could live her life and serve God at the same time. Patty’s first secret from her 7 Secrets of Guilt-Free Living reads, “Don’t let religion get in the way of your relationship with God. “That is what living guilt free is. It is being OK with with saying no, being OK with living for yourself, and being OK with looking after you before anybody else.
It took Patty about four years to write her book A Change of Habit. Not because it wasn’t a priority, but because it became difficult to dig back into her memories. Patty and her husband split their time between Phoenix and Montana. They are hoping to relocate to Phoenix permanently.
While it seems like Patty has done it all, she is not done yet. She says she wants a bigger platform to accomplish even bigger goals. Could writing for SmartFem be one of them? Stay tuned!
SmartFem’s Phoenix plastic surgery expert Dr. Richard Joseph Brown “Dr. Rick” continues our series on plastic surgery with the topic of financing plastic surgery.
So you’ve made the decision to have plastic surgery. You’ve interviewed surgeons. You’ve researched the procedures you are contemplating. You’ve even checked out a local Phoenix area plastic surgeon’s website and watched the 3D animation of your procedure (wink wink). Maybe the only thing that is holding you back is money.
Consider this: Know up front that plastic surgery will need to be paid in full prior to the procedure. If a lump sum is not an option – and for most people, it isn’t – there are two other financing options to look at.
Layaway – Not just for Kmart. All kidding aside, some of our most financially savvy patients, who are eager to get going, plan ahead. He or she picks a date in the future (within 6 months) and we work individually to take payment bi-weekly or monthly until the procedure is paid in full. Then, come surgery time, all that is left to think about is how to relax after surgery and take care of yourself so that you heal quickly.
Another financing option is called Care Credit, offered through GE Capital Retail Bank and applying is quick, easy and secure. Plus you’ll know within minutes if you qualify. Care Credit allows you to pay over time, instead of a lump sum prior to surgery. They even have a no-interest option if paid off in six months. You can finance all of your procedure, or if you have some cash saved that you’d like to use, Care Credit can cover the remainder. Care Credit offers a payment calculator on their website so that you can see right away what your monthly payments would be.
Check out CareCredit.com and call us with any questions. We’re happy to help.
Dr. Richard Joseph Brown “Dr. Rick” is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon serving the Phoenix, AZ area with practices located in Scottsdale, Arizona, as well as Sun City West. Dr. Rick is an expert in the field of plastic surgery and frequently contributes to SmartFem.
Cleaning Arizona One House at a Time
One Maid, One Home!
Our ONE MAID, ONE HOME policy gives you PEACE OF MIND and MORE TIME… experience the PERSONAL TOUCH difference today!
Maids to Order provides housekeeping services for people who are tired of team cleaning, want One Maid in their home, that is customized to their liking and that fits well within their budget. Other services include property management, personal assistant and errand services.
Maids to Order give you our Personal Touch promise to treat your home as if it were our own. While some companies send teams of cleaners and others force you on a rotation plan. Our philosophy is simple, we will meet with you personally to discuss your cleaning needs and develop a custom service plan to fit your lifestyle and schedule. Our franchisees cross train their staff so in cases of unforeseen circumstances your regular Maid can be substituted by another Maid who knows your home and cleaning preferences.
OUR 100% GUARANTEE: We expect to earn your trust with every cleaning. We don’t require signed contracts and we guarantee our work. If you’re not satisfied, neither are we. Call us within 24 hours of the cleaning and we’ll re-clean the unsatisfactory area immediately, for FREE.8280 East Gelding Drive — Suite 102
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Residential/Office/Commercial Cleaning Franchise, Maids To Order Of Maricopa County, AZ, located in the Scottsdale Airpark. Maids To Order services Residential/Apartment-Condo (MOVE-IN/MOVE-OUT, HOTEL READY), Office Cleaning and Commercial offices. Bonded and Insured. Member of the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau, Service Magic and Linkedin.
Home to one of the largest selections of new Volvo cars in the valley
When making such an important purchase, it is essential to shop with a reputable dealer who will not leave you stranded after the sale. Volvo of Phoenix is staffed with sales and service professionals who truly care about your vehicle buying experience, just as much as they care about your ownership experience. Our associates have the knowledge and expertise to help you find a vehicle that perfectly suits your lifestyle and budget, and after you drive off our lot, you can expect that our Volvo repair and service technicians will continuously follow up with you to ensure that your vehicle stays in tip-top shape.
Volvo of Phoenix offers the full line of 2014 cars, crossovers and SUVs, including models like the S60, S80, XC60 and XC90. Along with our selection of new Volvo cars, you can also check out our fantastic collection of used and Certified Pre-Owned Volvo cars.
At Volvo of Phoenix, we not only want to pair you up with a vehicle that’s your “perfect match.” We also want to help you retain the value, safety and quality of your vehicle, and service is a huge part of this. You may think that it’s cheaper to have your car serviced at a chain, but studies actually show that on average consumers pay less when they have their vehicles serviced at a dealership. In addition to having competitive prices on service and repairs, Volvo of Phoenix offers courtesies like shuttle service and free car washes. We also have a wonderful complimentary maintenance plan in which all of your routine, factory-scheduled services are free for up to 5 years when you purchase select vehicles!
We have one of the only repair facilities in the area that is staffed by manufacturer-trained Volvo technicians, and you can get their incredible workmanship at incredible prices by using our service coupons.
Visit us today at 2205 W Bell Road and see why many of your friends and neighbors have made us their premier Volvo dealership in Phoenix.
Volvo of Phoenix2205 W Bell Road Phoenix, AZ 85023
Sales: (888) 351 – 8804
• Monday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
• Tuesday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
• Wednesday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
• Thursday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
• Friday: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
• Saturday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
• Sunday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Volvo of Phoenix – How Safe is a Volvo
SmartFem publisher Lea Haben presents Volvo of Phoenix on ABC15 Sonoran Living Live to talk about how safe and affordable a new Volvo is today.
It is nearly impossible not to smile when a butterfly enters your vision. Now imagine thousands of them, and Phoenix is probably the last place you would expect to witness that, especially in a rainforest environment. Since opening in May of this year, Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale boasts the largest butterfly atrium in America! Due to its lush, tropical environment, it is also most likely the only butterfly atrium where you feel like you have had a moisturizing facial along with your visit…
Far more than just a facility where butterflies rule, you will find several other live exhibits to fascinate your grandchildren and yourselves. To get in the spirit of things, begin in their fabulous 3-D theater to watch the Flight of the Butterflies. This movie chronicles the amazing journey of the Monarch Butterfly. Your little ones will thrill at the butterflies soaring within their grasp. Next you will enter the Emergence Gallery where you will witness various species of butterflies emerging from their chrysalises, their metamorphosis complete.
Our grandkids were really fascinated with the Live Aunt Colony and the Honey Bee Extravaganza. Watching those industrious creatures made us adults feel rather lazy in comparison! The Rivers of the Amazon exhibit showcases freshwater aquatic life up close, and even includes a baby stingray petting pool.
Above all is the Butterfly Conservatory, the magical centerpiece of this extraordinary facility! By all means, bring your camera to this lush atrium that is adorned with tropical plants, waterfalls, koi pond, and thousands of butterflies that travelled here as chrysalises from as far away as Thailand! An equatorial climate awaits; a feast for the senses! Be sure to school your grandchildren beforehand regarding the basic rules; no touching the butterflies, watch where you step, and enjoy it when they choose you as a landing spot! It is easy to lose track of time while watching these beautiful creatures.
www.butterflywonderland.com 480.800.3000 Food Items available Gift Shop Open 7 days a week, 9am-5pm Adults $18.95 ; Student, Military and 62+ $16.95; Children 3-11 $9.95 2 and under free, strollers welcome
Check out their website for group rates, annual passes and private event rates
Please no sunscreen – since butterflies ‘taste’ with their feet, if they land on you it can interfere with their ability to taste ( A Fun Fact courtesy of a Butterfly Wonderland Volunteer)
In 2007 and 2008, the housing market dropped off the table – essentially no sales and no income. Developers holding land needed cash to survive and sold land for pennies. The bottom of the land market was in 2010 with an average sale price of 27 cents per square foot per CoStar; investors with cash gobbled up the parcels.
When the housing market finally rebounded to a price point that allowed developers to again build and sell for a profit about a year ago, they were forced to buy back their in-fill land; often times, from the same folks that they sold to and sometimes at more than triple the price. The average sale price for land in Q3 2011 was 92 cents/sf and in Q3 of 2012 was $2.62/sf, almost tripled.
The projection made at a seminar held by Valley Partnership, an advocacy group responsible for development in metro Phoenix, on May 31 stated that metro Phoenix would increase in population by more than one million over the next 10 years. To meet the population explosion, we will need around 350,000 new homes to be built. Obviously the construction industry will not only fuel jobs for houses, but also for all disciplines of real estate. This also means that land will be in strong demand. The in-fill locations have already jumped in value, but land on the outskirts of metro Phoenix are also starting to appreciate, and now provides a strong buying opportunity.
One of the main reasons for buying land as an investment is that once the market goes up – land values typically go up at a much faster rate than other real estate investments. The number one rule is location and timing and there may be no better time to invest in land in Central Arizona than right now. A buyer has the ability to buy land and do nothing but wait for values to jump, or possibly add immediate value to the property by legally changing the zoning via the entitlement process.
Land can be a risky investment because it almost always involves speculating that the land will increase in value over time. While we believe that metro Phoenix is truly set for a huge boom – events that we have no control over can always happen, be them local or worldwide. Land also has some holding costs like property taxes, and possibly maintenance while the property is sitting vacant and generating no income. On the positive side there are no buildings, plumbing /electrical issues, nor tenants with complaints about accommodations or excuses why they could not pay! Land is easy, but always work with a trusted and experienced land specialist.