Future Forward Foundation – Serving Pinal County Since 2012
After Lina Austin's failed bid for Mayor of Florence in 2012, James A. Tchida, a retired Motorola Vice President, approached Austin. "I liked your courage and I liked your platform," he said. "Let's make these things happen another way." Together they created Future Forward Foundation (3F for short). Tchida became the founder and Austin the Executive Director. Today 3F has 5 people on the board of directors and 4 officers. All are actively supporting projects.
3F wasted no time in getting to work for our community. While we waited for the 501 c 3 approval from the IRS, we got busy taking on projects. With just a shoestring budget, we painted 15 structures to beautify the town and planted 10 backyard vegetable gardens to help feed the hungry.
And since receiving the 501 c 3 IRS exemption on May 31, 2013, Future Forward Foundation has been hard at work seeking donor and grant funds to expand our programs. Here are a few more ways we're continuing to serve our community.
Early 2016 3F completed a half acre garden for a local Native American community. The local community requested half of the space be planted in the traditional "sunken bed" method as used by the community for thousands of years. To compare and contrast the other half used a Netafem drip system, a new experiment for the community.
2015 saw 3F take over an unused city park in the city of Randolph, Arizona to help provide local citizens fresh produce. Through a generous grant from TransCanada the park is now thriving with a large community garden with plans being made to incorporate space for local citizens to plant and grow their own vegetables.
In the fall of 2014, Future Forward Foundation planted 325 trees in the core of Florence to beautify the town. These "tall pot trees" will not require a water source after planting, making them affordable to low-income residents. The program was made possible through a grant from the Florence Community Copper Foundation.
In 2014, 3F expanded services to Superior. We'll be painting homes and planting backyard gardens.
We'll be partnering with Habitat for Humanity and other developers to make preparations to expand services with rural housing initiatives.
In addition, 3F began the first Florence Ministerial Association. Here, local pastors now communicate about the provision of services to those in need.
The 3F board has also set a goal to assist the other non-profits in the county through both direct financial help as well classes in grant writing. The board invites creative ideas from all sources. The Future Forward Foundation is still trying new solutions to help our neighbors, so watch for innovation.