(Tucson, Arizona- April 12, 2023) Spreading Threads Clothing Bank is proud to announce it is one of several small businesses and nonprofit organizations located within the “Thrive in the ’05” area that has been selected for the City of Tucson’s Visual Improvement Program (VIP) through the City of Tucson’s Choice Neighborhood Planning and Action Grant.

The Choice Neighborhoods Grant, one of three projects that supports the “Thrive in the ‘05” initiative, partners with organizations to complete action activities that improve the neighborhoods in the Oracle Road and Miracle Mile area of the 85705 zip code. The City’s Office of Economic Initiatives administers the VIP program in the “Thrive in the ‘05” area as one of these action activities.

The VIP grant of up to $50,000 is awarded to provide technical and financial assistance to business or property owners in the “Thrive in the 05” area. The action activity is intended to be used for renovations and restorations of the exterior façades, signage, and lighting for commercial buildings in the area.

“The purpose of the VIP program is to encourage investment in, and revitalization of, key commercial areas and corridors through incentives and infrastructure improvements,” according to the City of Tucson’s Connect Tucson website. “The program is designed to impact properties in need of revitalization and strives to increase sales and/or revenue for the property owner or tenant.”

Kevin Burke, economic initiatives deputy director for the City of Tucson, said the City had $200,000 to distribute as part of the VIP program and was very excited to see how Spreading Threads was able to utilize the funds to improve the exterior of its building.

The VIP grant requires business owners or nonprofit organizations to complete an online application with contact information and a detailed description of the proposed improvements. City staff then conducted initial interviews to determine the eligibility of applicants for reimbursement of costs for visual improvements to business exteriors through the program.

For applicants deemed eligible by staff, the City of Tucson reimbursed up to $50,000 for “well-designed property improvements.” The applicant also had to make a 15 percent cash match investment. Each approved applicant hired design and construction professionals to work the project from start to finish. City staff was able to provide technical assistance and guidance for the project and monitored its progress to ensure compliance with program guidelines.

Spreading Threads Clothing Bank purchased its commercial building at 2945 N. Flowing Wells, Tucson, AZ, 85705, in April 2022. The nonprofit used the VIP funds to make several improvements. Not only did the exterior of the building get a new coat of paint, but an ADA-compliant ramp was added to the rear entrance, new doors were added to the front entrance, and wayfinding signage was added as well as new signage on the front of the building announcing Spreading Threads Clothing Bank.

“We couldn’t have done all of this without this fantastic grant from the City of Tucson,” said Spreading Threads Clothing Bank Co-Founder and Executive Director Michele Wright. “We want the clothing bank to feel like a fun retail location rather than a charity for the foster children and families we serve. We want them to love the way the clothing bank looks and feels so they will want to come back time and time again. The work done with the VIP funds has made a huge visual impact on our building and now people know what we really do here. It’s amazing to watch people slow down as they drive by and see our new signage. We just can’t thank the City of Tucson enough for this investment in us and foster children in our area.”

Spreading Threads is an Arizona-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as well as a Qualifying Foster Care Charitable Organization (QFCO). That means donors can increase their charitable tax donation for a dollar-for-dollar reduction of their Arizona state tax liability. Individuals may donate up to $500 each year while married couples filing jointly may donate up to $1,000.

The Arizona Foster Care Charitable Tax Credit is separate from other tax credits which means people can donate money in two ways to Spreading Threads to further reduce their state tax liability. The federal tax ID number for Spreading Threads Clothing Bank is 83-1151614 and its State of Arizona QFCO code is 10056.

There are several ways you can donate money to Spreading Threads Clothing Bank. Donations can be made online or donors can mail a check to Spreading Threads Clothing Bank at P.O. Box 86182, Tucson, AZ, 85754-6182. All monetary donations must be received by April 15, 2023, to qualify for the 2022 tax year.

Donations of new or gently used clothing, school supplies, toys, books, shoes, and personal hygiene products can be dropped in the blue bin at the front of the clothing bank at 2945 N. Flowing Wells, Tucson, AZ, 85705. All donations are eligible for Arizona tax credit.

To learn more about Spreading Threads Clothing Bank, visit https://www.spreadingthreads.com/ or call Michele Wright at (520) 971-3237.