Arizona Council on Faith-based and Community Initiatives
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plug in for good (2/12/2014 2:11:53 PM)

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plug in for good

February 2014
CommunityAwareness National Senior Independence Month

National Senior Independence Month is a good time to evaluate current living situations, noticing the strengths and weaknesses in daily routines and making adjustments for a better lifestyle in the home of an older Arizonan. Ask the questions: What is holding someone back? What could make daily living easier for them? Minor adjustments now can make a big difference in someone's life. Here are a few simple and helpful home safety tips:
  • Make sure every room is well lit and make any lighting replacements where needed. Night lights throughout the house can help improve nighttime visibility and prevent trips and falls over unseen objects.
  • Keep floors and walkways clear of unnecessary items, such as clothes, books, papers and trash.
  • Something as simple as shifting furniture can be valuable for those who may have balance issues. Be careful as moving furniture can also create challenges for those who are sight impaired until they learn the new layout.
  • Install grab bars and handrails in the bathrooms near the shower, bathtub and toilet. Using non-slip mats and placing double-sided tape under rugs can also help minimize slips.
  • Everything should be easily accessible, including the refrigerator, cabinets, drawers, doors and shelving. Place items on lower levels of shelves for easier reach.

Learn more about Independent Living from the your local Area Agency on Aging or the Arizona Department of Economic Security's Division of Aging and Adult Services.

CommunityAssistance Free income tax assistance

The VITA Program generally offers free tax help to people who make $52,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in local communities.

They can inform taxpayers about special tax credits for which they may qualify such as Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations.

Learn more at IRS; to find locations in Arizona, visit 2-1-1 Arizona.
CommunityGroups Plug in for Good

People meet regularly to discuss safety net issues and opportunities in their local communities. These meetings are open to the public and free to attend.

If you are looking for a local place to plug in, visit this map to find a group in your community.
CommunityFive Are there benefits to being an Optimist?

We all know people who see the glass half-full. They make lemonade out of lemons and see the silver lining in almost every situation. They’re hopeful and confident about the future. They’re optimists. Unlike pessimists, they have learned to see opportunity in every difficult situation. I don’t know about you, but seeing the light seems to be a much more fulfilling way to approach life. So, here are my top ten (not five) benefits of being optimistic:
  • Research shows that optimism increases longevity.
  • It allows you to develop an attitude of thankfulness.
  • It sets a positive tone for your day.
  • It increases your spiritual development and enlightening.
  • It allows for tolerance of others and situations.
  • It promotes positive relationships.
  • It allows you to approach a crisis with strength and resolve.
  • It decreases anxiety, frustration and worries.
  • It allows for forgiveness.
  • It promotes happiness.
By Jenny McCarthy, Chicago Sun Times, Splash
CommunityQuotes Optimism
  • Optimism is the opium of the people. Milan Kundera
  • Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  • Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller
  • Having a child at 55... that's optimism. Steve Earle
  • The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead. Robert Brault
CommunityConnect Tell us your story

The Arizona Department of Economic Security's Office of Faith and Community publishes CommunityConnect to highlight community collaborations working to strengthen the safety net. If you would like to see your group or collaboration featured in an upcoming issue of CommunityConnect, please send us a note at
Contact Us

Arizona Department of Economic Security, Office of Faith and Community
1717 West Jefferson Street, SC 010A, Phoenix, Arizona 85007