Local nonprofit combines efforts with foster resource center | News & Stories | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Teenagers Sanya Somani and Anaiya Patel were witnesses to what happened while Anaiya’s grandmother battled lymphatic cancer.

The diagnosis played a prominent role in Anaiya’s life, but her family was thankful for the accessible resources for her grandmother’s treatment. 

“Heartbreakingly, this is not the case worldwide. Too many women face disparities in the realm of healthcare and education and, when trying to meet needs, they often don’t have enough information or know where to start,” Anaiya said. 

Starting HealthForHER (HFH) meant that the duo could help more women and families access what every human needs and deserves.

“This includes education on their own well-being, the resources for their livelihoods, and the comfort that we walk this world together, not alone,” Anaiya said.

The two high school seniors created an international nonprofit that provides health and educational resources to underserved women and their families.

They host events, drives, workshops, seminars, and panel discussions. Recently, HFH partnered with AZ Helping Hands (a foster-family resource center) to put together “birthday bags” for foster care kids.

The planning began this summer when Sanya took on the role of special projects intern for the Legislative District (LD) 4 Democrats internship and organized a campaign event for Representatives Judy Schwiebert and Laura Terech and Senator Christine Marsh.

Sanya and Anaiya chose to work with AZ Helping Hands for this event because they had previously worked with the organization and loved their experience. 

“Their warehouse is very well organized, and I felt there was a lot of opportunity to foster more involvement and support children in need,” Sanya said.

HealthForHER and Arizona Helping Hands invited student volunteers and community members from LD2 and LD4 to assist with creating “birthday dream bags” for foster children to experience the joy of a birthday celebration. Each gift bag included items like cake mix, frosting, candles, plates, napkins, and an age-appropriate toy or item, such as makeup or a wallet.

After, the legislators held a discussion about critical issues affecting female refugees, foster children, and low-income new mothers. They also spoke about how community members can contribute and why it is important to help when possible. In addition, those in attendance learned how families in foster care receive essentials. AZ Helping Hands, for instance, often provides mattresses, clothes, diapers, and toys to support families. 

Sanya enjoyed seeing her plan come together: “I worked on planning all summer, and seeing our community join together to support this incredible cause was so heartwarming. I am excited for the children to receive their birthday dream bags and can’t wait to volunteer with AZ Helping Hands again soon.”

HealthForHER is currently hosting a year-long menstrual product drive. Ambassadors in different states and countries also host drives in their local communities.




According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, approximately 14,000 Arizona children are in foster care, with around 3,000 licensed foster families. Some enter the foster system at birth, but more than 80 percent of the foster care children are there because of neglect.

If foster care is not an option, folks are welcome to donate items like diapers, baby clothes, books, journals, luggage and items for birthday bags. Financial donations can assist with mattresses and other large purchases. Other alternatives include offering services such as piano or martial arts lessons.


Foster care in Arizona 

• In 2022, it was reported that the Child Abuse Hotline received 21,317 calls that met the statutory criteria for a DCS report.

• The majority of children in foster care are from ages 1 to 5.

• On average, children with an adoption case plan spend 25 months in foster care.

• Thirty percent of children leaving foster care spent over 12 months in care.

• On average, it takes six months to become foster parents. 

• Foster parents must be 21 or older and must pass a background check.

• Parents must pass a physical, home study and life safety inspection and receive a certificate from their doctor to prove they can raise a child.


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