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One-hundred fifty construction companies, three 18-foot trailers’ worth of toys and more than $40,000. Thanks to the Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) 2022 Toy Drive, all of this came together to provide a memorable holiday for hundreds of children in need in the Phoenix area. Through the collective effort of the local construction industry, ABA gathered truckloads of toys and other presents for Sunshine Residential Homes in Glendale, Arizona; Sequoia Charter School and Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa, Arizona; and Phoenix-based Agape Adoption Agency of Arizona and Santo Niño Catholic Community—all organizations that support children who have been separated from their parents, endured abuse and neglect, or whose families cannot afford to buy Christmas presents.

“We couldn’t be prouder of the support we received in this year’s toy drive,” says Erica Lange, ABA’s vice president. “The construction industry is the most generous industry I have ever worked in. It was so magical to see the joy that we were able to provide to children across the valley, and we are so grateful that the Arizona construction industry was able to come together for another year to build a spectacular Christmas season for our valley’s children.”

Thirteen years ago, a handful of ABA members expressed a desire to use the organization as a means of giving back to the local community, and thus was born ABA’s Community Service Board. Their service began as a small toy drive for a local children’s hospital and snowballed from there, thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated members—among them, a then-member of ABA’s Arizona State University student chapter named Josh Marriott.

“I joined the committee in its second year, and we were a small group at the time and were really proud to get a truckload of toys to donate,” Marriott says. “As more and more members stepped up to be involved, we started seeking out other organizations where we could make more of a difference.”
In addition to the annual toy drive, the board’s other major initiative is a school supply drive, which runs yearly from June to August. “I could show you pictures from years past of inventorying bulk deliveries of school supplies and toys from our warehouses and even my own home, where for years I’d have to clean out half my garage so we could receive pallets of supplies,” Marriott says. “It has been crazy!”

Marriott has chaired the Community Service Board for 11 years, and despite an out-of-state move to Idaho, where he works as a senior VDC/field solutions manager for The Weitz Company, he flies back to Phoenix each year to prepare and deliver donations for the toy drive. His favorite part? Attending the party that ABA puts on for the kids each year, which includes a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus—and which Marriott describes as “addicting” and “the most impactful reward you could ever imagine.”

“My four boys have grown up doing this with me—they have helped shop, inventory orders and deliver the toys,” Marriott says. “I hope in some small way, I’m teaching them the value of giving and donating time to help others.”


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