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South Phoenix nonprofit aims to help seniors taking care of grandchildren

Patricia Malone
Posted at 3:55 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 20:32:40-05

PHOENIX, AZ — A south Phoenix nonprofit wants to help seniors who --due to various circumstances--are now the main caretakers of their grandchildren.

Dana Burns, born and raised in south Phoenix, created A Permanent Voice Foundation in 2018 to help her community.

"Being a voice for those without a voice, simple and plain as that," she said.

Burns teamed up with other organizations, community groups and food pantries to provide resources for those grandparents, including legal help, meals, and literacy programs.

"This is a brand new world for them with technology, with learning, math and reading and some of the seniors that I work with, unfortunately, don't know how to read," said Burns.

A Permanent Voice also provides services for young people. They have basketball program, counseling and help with school.

Patricia Malone has taken advantage of some of those programs. She has 24 grandchildren, and she's raising two of them.

"It helped a lot with a lot of things--for the holidays. Just the communication and things that we need and when you need to talk. So it's very helpful," said Malone.

Right now, the nonprofit helps more than 200 people.

Burns said she hopes to expand. "It feels good to me to be able to come back and give to my people where I was rooted. I mean, this is my home, this is here right here."

Burns is working with other community partners to bring a youth center to South Phoenix.

Recently, Arizona Federal Credit Union granted A Permanent Voice $1,500 through its "Local Artists, Local Causes" debit card giveback program. Those funds will directly fund the books and educational resources for the senior program.

Learn more about A Permanent Voice Foundation here.