TUCSON, Ariz., (June 23, 2020) – The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) and The David and Lura Lovell Foundation announced that grant funding totaling $3,656,534 has been awarded to 12 nonprofits to cooperatively address issues related to the awareness, understanding, and availability of end-of-life care, particularly for underserved and vulnerable communities.
The foundations are offering strategic, multi-year grants to help change the narrative of how we plan for and experience death and dying in Southern Arizona.
The funding partnership between the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and The Lovell Foundation began in 2017 when the two foundations came together to award more than $3 million to support end-of-life care programs. To continue this important work over the next three years, the following organizations have been awarded funding for the 2020-2023 grant cycle:
The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona began supporting end-of-life care in 2010 as an original funder of the community-wide Elder Initiative (now the ELDER Alliance). After the tragic and sudden death of Shaaron Kent, a portion of her estate came to CFSA to support three areas she felt passionate about, one of which was hospice programs in Southern Arizona. The Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund was established in 2012 as a field of interest fund to carry out her wishes.
“The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona is honored to steward Shaaron Kent’s legacy to the community through our End-of-Life Care funding partnership with the Lovell Foundation,” shared Kelly Huber, Director of Community Investments at CFSA. “Her endowment fund allows us to award multi-year grants to organizations addressing end-of-life care issues and the universal experiences of death, dying, and grieving. The increase in awareness of end-of-life care and in the services available to underserved members of our community compared to three years ago is a testament to the power of nonprofit and funding organizations working together to address complex issues.”
The David and Lura Lovell Foundation envisions a community where all people have access to integrative approaches to health care and wellness throughout the spectrum of life. After co-funding an award-winning film, Passing On, about a community that achieved a 95 percent advance directive completion rate, the Lovell Foundation began working collaboratively with CFSA to fund a larger initiative aimed at changing the conversation around dying in Pima County.
“The Lovell Foundation is proud to continue our joint support for The Partnership with the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona,” said John Amoroso, Executive Director of the Lovell Foundation. “Together, we are helping to create a culture-shift in the way we talk about, prepare for, and care for ourselves and our loved ones at end of life in Southern Arizona and beyond. A global pandemic and the exposure of racial inequities in health care, especially end-of-life care, has only heightened the need for this work.”
With funding provided by the Lovell Foundation in 2019, Southern Arizona Senior Pride developed an End of Life Planning Program that educates, encourages, and enables LGBTQI+ people to prepare their Advance Care Directives in a culturally responsive and safe setting. “This three-year grant from the David and Lura Lovell Foundation will propel our program into the future,” shared Lavina Tomer, Volunteer Executive Director at Senior Pride. “It enables us to become a consistent leader and educator in our community for the crucial task of preparing for the end of our lives.”
With the vision that no child grieves alone, Tu Nidito helps children, teens, young adults, and their families find comfort, hope, and support when impacted by the diagnosis of a serious medical condition or the death of someone special. Annually, Tu Nidito serves more than 700 children plus their adult caregivers.
“Tu Nidito is honored to be selected as a recipient of a three-year end-of-life grant from the Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund at CFSA. With this grant Tu Nidito will be able to carry out the important work of supporting children facing end-of-life issues through individualized and group support programming when a parent or caregiver has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition,” shared Liz McCusker, Executive Director at Tu Nidito.
Of the 200,000 people who live in poverty in Pima County, 140,000 will have a civil legal need this year, facing barriers to basic human rights that are difficult to overcome without a qualified attorney’s services. The right to dignified end-of-life planning is one of these needs, and the volunteer attorneys at Step Up to Justice are bringing those services to low-income clients where and when they need them.
“We believe that every individual, regardless of circumstances, has the right to make well-informed decisions about their wishes for health directives, future care for heirs and dependents, and transfer of personal property and assets,” said Michele Mirto, Executive Director of Step Up to Justice. “Our new pro bono legal services project, Prep with Tech: End-of-Life Planning, funded by the Shaaron Kent Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, will provide low-income residents of Pima County with expert legal assistance in preparing wills, advanced directives, beneficiary deeds, and health care Power of Attorney.”
All participating nonprofits share that vision, several having worked together as part of the Arizona End-of-Life Care Partnership, anchored at the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. This innovative, community-wide collaboration is one of the most significant community-based end-of-life care initiatives in the nation.
“The Mission of the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership is to enhance the way we live by fundamentally changing the way we talk about death,” shared LaVonne Douville, Chief Impact Officer at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “We want to ensure that people’s individual priorities are communicated and understood so they can live and end well. We are immensely grateful to Lovell and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona for making it possible for Tucson to be a leader in creating best practices around this work.”
Learn more about the Arizona End of Life Care Partnership and the collective work being done in Southern Arizona to encourage compassionate, honest conversations about mortality at azendoflifecare.org.
About the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona
Since 1980, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona (CFSA) has been a trusted philanthropic partner helping individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofits work together to create a stronger community. These funding partnerships allow CFSA to improve the quality of life throughout Southern Arizona by stewarding donor and community resources to measurably affect change. To date, CFSA has awarded over $200 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and educational institutions. For more information, visit www.cfsaz.org or call (520) 770-0800.
About The David and Lura Lovell Foundation
Over the past 25 years, the Lovell Foundation has awarded $33.6 million in grants to more than 100 nonprofits in the areas of Integrative Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Youth Access to the Arts and Gender Parity. The end of life care and planning initiative falls under Integrative Health and Wellness, working to make available integrative modalities and support individual and family choice across the life continuum. For more information, visit www.lovellfoundation.org or call (520) 325-3656.