A 2nd Act: Abilities, Not Disabilities

Pursuing a life of good works from a wheelchair is an inspiring second act. Creating a second second act from a wheelchair is above and beyond. But then, Jamie Heckerman is an above-and-beyond kind of woman. She was born with spina bifida, a rare birth defect affecting the development of the spine. Her first surgery […]

A 2nd Act: Food Is Love

Barro’s Pizza gives back, one slice at a time “We’re Italian, and food is love!” Gina Barro said enthusiastically. From its roots in Italy with Grandmother Angelina to the 40 locations spread across Arizona today, award-winning Barro’s Pizza carries on that tradition. But love from the Barro family goes far deeper than a thick and […]

A 2nd Act: A Clown’s Legacy

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona supports children’s journeys to wellness. The May 9, 1971, Arizona Republic classified read, “One bedroom, furnished, air-conditioned, pool, carpet. 501 E. Roanoke Avenue.” The small complex in central Phoenix featured apartments and single rooms. Offering both air-conditioning and a pool practically made it a palace. Fifty […]

A 2nd Act: Life Reboot

Control Alt Delete resets the lives of domestic violence survivors Laura Pahules was frustrated. She had been working on the elements to launch her nonprofit but was struggling with a name. And then it happened: Her laptop froze. Praying that her work in progress hadn’t been lost, she reset it, pressing the control, alt and […]

A 2nd Act: Home (State) Improvement

Flinn Foundation advances Arizona, and never forgets the fun “What comes next?” Tammy McLeod pondered this question posed by a friend one day at lunch. She had enjoyed her work as an executive with Arizona Public Service but felt in her heart that there would be one more career move in her future. “I have […]

A 2nd Act: Putting Down Roots

Pro athlete teaches others to weed it and reap Becoming a professional athlete requires many skills, beyond the obvious physical abilities. Dedication, drive, endurance and courage are also crucial to an athlete’s success. Those same skills help nonprofits bloom. Bridget Pettis understands this, right down to the souls of her — now — very muddy […]

A 2nd Act: Singing On

There were many times in Herbert Washington’s childhood when things didn’t fall his way. He never met his father or older brother. His mother had schizophrenia. At 7, he was taken out of South Phoenix by child welfare services and sent to live with an aunt, uncle and cousins in Tempe. It was a roof […]

A 2nd Act: Together We Can Make Something

Thoughtful, committed citizens changing the world “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” When she said them decades ago, anthropologistMargaret Mead could never have guessed how many applications those simple words would go on to have. And they fit perfectly […]

A 2nd Act: The Power of Canine Love

Unconditional and Incredible             For better or worse … but no dogs. That was the promise Marika Meeks made her husband, Brian, when they married. The Indiana couple went on to have two daughters, become partners in a restaurant chain and live what seemed a charmed life. And then, their life took a left turn. […]

A 2nd Act: Miracles From the Street

A saint, a statue and a mission             Brent Downs knew the Bible stories from his Southern Baptist upbringing. He knew that Joseph was the father of Jesus and that the Bible paints him as a man who was not afraid of hard work. But it took several decades before Brent’s life would also teach […]