PHOENIX , AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- What are your favorite family holiday traditions?

As you prepare to give this season, a Valley nonprofit is showing us how to make the most impact for families in need.

Justin Duran, with Child Crisis Arizona says not everybody celebrates the holidays in the same way.

“We have families that have all sorts of traditions, all sorts of cultures and we want to make sure we're honoring that,” Duran said.

This year, Child Crisis Arizona is changing its approach as the organization gives to twice as many families as it was able to help last year.

“The needs have changed, and so, for some of these families, instead of toys under the tree, they really just need assistance with grocery shopping,” Duran said.

Many people want to give generously but are simply unaware of the true needs of a lot of our low-income families from diverse cultures across Arizona.

Whether you're celebrating Christmas, or Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Navidad, there are particular meals that make priceless honored traditions.

Tamales, instead of turkeys, for instance, for Latino families.

“Those traditional experiences are very unique to each family, and when they gather 'round the dinner table, each family serves a different meal, and these are the things that are important in creating family memories,” said Elsa Villalobos, family resource & care coordinator for Child Crisis Arizona.

The biggest need, the gift of choice: gift cards for groceries, gift cards for teens. With more than 14,000 kids in foster care in our state, older kids are often overlooked, and far tougher to buy for.

“While it’s not as fun or exciting to go out & buy gift cards, you'd rather go out and buy the ‘stuff,’ we are trying to give the families we are serving the opportunities they wouldn't necessarily have," said Duran.

If you'd like to help, consider giving to Child Crisis Arizona.

Click here to donate.

Nicole Crites anchors 3TV's Good Evening Arizona weekdays alongside Brandon Lee. Nicole also digs deep into issues affecting Arizonans.  You'll see her reports on 3TV News at 9 p.m.
 
 


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