Cox Charities, Cox’s philanthropic arm, is dedicated to providing new opportunities for people and organizations in the Southwest. In Arizona, the foundation has truly hit its mark.
In late September, Cox Charities announced its selection of 108 local nonprofit organizations that would receive nearly $570,000 in grants. Since 1996, the organization has contributed more than $8 million to Arizona nonprofits.
“Cox employees are deeply embedded in the communities we serve in Arizona and are committed to supporting and volunteering to make a difference,” said John Wolfe, senior vice president and southwest region manager for Cox Communications, in a statement. “We are proud to stand behind so many nonprofit partners that are working hard to educate children and support families throughout Arizona.”
One of the recipients is Treasures 4 Teachers, which will receive grant funding for its program “T4T on Wheels.” The service brings free school supplies from the Tempe location directly to teachers across the Valley.
Another grant recipient is Future for Kids for their “Discover Your Future” program, an extracurricular mentorship opportunity for K-8 children who have been exposed to unhealthy or problematic situations. The mentors create and provide curriculum to teach youth in academics, athletics and ethics.
“The Cox funds will fund a variety of programs implemented by a vast variety of nonprofit organizations in Arizona,” said Andrea Pappas, public relations director at Cox. “We typically focus our giving on programs focused on youth and education, as this has been a focus of our company as handed down by our founder, [former Ohio Gov. James M. Cox]. In fact, Gov. Cox had language in his final wishes that requests that the company always aim to impact the communities where Cox does business.”
The organization also recently awarded Serve Tucson volunteer Mike Birrer with $10,000 for his conservation efforts in Southern Arizona. Birrer has cleaned, planted and painted roughly 50 Tucson neighborhoods and has even expanded his efforts to employ local homeless people in his restoration efforts.
Birrer is one of nine national finalists for the Cox Conserves Heroes Award; he will now compete with the other finalists for a grand prize of $50,000. Through the award program, the James M. Cox Foundation has honored more than 200 volunteers and donated almost $1 million to environmental nonprofits.
“We believe we have narrowed down the finalists to a great group of volunteers who are making a positive impact in their community,” Pappas continued. “Of course, we are super excited about the work Mike Birrer and Serve Tucson are doing in our state. As you probably saw in Mike’s video, he started with a wish to clean up schools in the Tucson area and continues to draw more and more people into his mission, and has branched out to partner with homeless [people] in the area to put their talents to work.”