In 1985, Interfaith Community Services was formed with the idea that volunteers and congregations of diverse faiths should work together and share resources in better responding to community needs.
In addition to leveraging local resource for funds, in-kind support and volunteers, this effort would also help build bridges and understanding within diverse faith communities.
1985: Six Northwest Tucson congregations come together as Northwest Interfaith Center (NWIC). The office, located on the campus of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, becomes the umbrella for a Food Bank, TeleCare, Volunteer Caregiving, Good Samaritan emergency financial assistance and Mobile Meals programs.
1987: A grant from Pima County for the Good Samaritan program begins an important partnership that continues today. June Head is hired as bookkeeper/office manager and later becomes executive director.
2001: NWIC faith communities number 18, including the first Jewish community – Congregation Or Chadash. A move to the present location behind Christ the King Episcopal Church provides additional space with access to a public bus line.
2002: Bonnie Kampa is hired as executive director after June Head retires
2003: Senior services are boosted by support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, United Way of Tucson and Southern Ar izona and the Compassion Grant.
2003: NWIC begins a Health Advocacy program to provide health care referrals and education to seniors and disabled individuals.
2004: Inaugural “We Care” Golf Classic is held. It becomes an annual event.
2005: The organization changes it name to Interfaith Community Services to reflect the countywide scope of our services. Member faith communities number 35.
2006: ICS’s Health Advocacy program receives an Achievement Award in Innovation from the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. Our first satellite office opens on the campus of New Spirit Lutheran Church to better serve people in financial crisis on Tucson’s East Side.
2008: A new Caregiving Services Wing at the Ina Road office is completed after a successful $450,000 capital campaign, doubling the size of the ICS offices and expanding senior services. Partnership with faith communities is strengthened with a new Health and Wholeness program funded by the David C and Lura M Lovell Foundation to expand health ministries. Member faith communities number 45.
2009: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is offered at the Ina Road office for the first time.
2010: Then Board president Ed Jenkins and his wife Kaye announce a $1 million challenge gift to create an ICS Endowment Fund to sustain ICS’s mission into the future. ICS officially announces the Jenkins ICS Endowment Challenge and reaches more than $2 million in combined cash, pledges and quantifiable and verifiable planned gifts.
2010: ICS celebrates its 25th anniversary with a sold-out concert featuring R. Carlos Nakai and Gabriel Ayala.
2010: ICS receives the Meyer and Libby Marmis Humanitarian Award from the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the 2010 Nonprofit of the Year Pinnacle Award from the Northern Pima County Chamber of Commerce.
2010: ICS launches a capital campaign to build a new Food Bank with a $150,000 challenge grant from the Wolslager Foundation.
2011: The ICS capital campaign for the new Food Bank grows to $500,000 with construction and furnishings. Thanks to many donors and friends, the campaign is completed within 8 months. The new 2,700 square-foot-Food Bank Building opens on Halloween with expanded storage and distribution capabilities as well as refrigeration for fresh and frozen foods.
2011: ICS opens a Job Resource Center at its Ina Road location staffed by volunteers to assist out of work clients with employment searches.
2011: ICS receives Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for the first time
2011: ICS receives two vans to assist with food pick ups: a cargo van donated by Tucson Electric Power, and a refrigerated van with funding from the Calistri Foundation.
2012: A new collaboration with the Arizona Youth Partnership enables ICS to expand Resource Center operations at its main office and to open a second Resource Center at its Eastside location.
2012: Faith community partnerships grow to 65. ICS first annual “Empty Bowls” fundraiser is a great success with over 700 attending and $20,000 raised for ICS programs and services.
2012: With support from a Pima County Community Development Block Grant, the ICS grounds get a facelift with a newly-paved and expanded parking lot, updated landscaping and a walk-way connecting the main building to the new Food Bank.
2012: Funded by the David C and Lura M Lovell Foundation, ICS presents a successful, first in Arizona, “Faith Communities and Mental Illness” Conference with over 400 attendees present.
2013: ICS launches a capital campaign to construct a new Welcome Center and expanded office space
2014: The Dorothy D. Vanek Welcome Center and new office wing opens in July with a public dedication in October 2014
Today, ICS continues to grow to meet increasing community need. A network of 95 faith communities, many businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and hundreds of individuals help enable our programs and services.