In 2005, Scottsdale resident Kathi Juntunen and her husband, Craig, journeyed to Haiti. They returned to Arizona deeply impacted by the level of poverty experienced by young children. The following year, they adopted three children from Haiti and then decided to create the nonprofit Chances for Children.
Now Juntunen has opened an orphanage in Haiti, created a feeding program, opened a pediatric medical clinic, started a vocational program for young adults and formed an adoption program.
Chances for Children also wanted to look for ways to keep children with their families, and created a works program that currently employs women with jobs making jewelry and sewing – upping these women’s average income of $2 a day to $150 a month.
SUPPORTING THE CAUSE
The organization’s main source of revenue is Night of Hope. Last year the event raised a record $600,000, but it hopes to raise even more money this year to continue to fund and grow its current programs and to create new ones as well.
“Chances for Children feeds almost 3,000 children who normally would go hungry and might die of starvation,” Juntunen says. “We hope by raising more than $700,000 this year we can feed 4,000 children next year and expand some of our programs so that we can help these kids to have a better future.”
Former MLB player and current ESPN baseball analyst Aaron Boone will serve as emcee for this year’s Night of Hope, which will be Nov. 11 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. Boone and his wife, Laura, have adopted two children from Chances for Children. The Nov. 11 event includes cocktails and a three-course dinner.
FUN FOR FAMILIES
On the afternoon of Nov. 10 and the morning of Nov. 11, Chances for Children will also host an event for families with children adopted through their programs. The children will have the opportunity to participate in fun activities and reconnect with others adopted from Haiti. They will also be able to participate in cultural classes, where they can learn more about their heritage.
For tickets or more information, visit chances4children.org.