5 quick reads to warm your heart.

As a marketing agency with 17 years of proven experience, we believe in the power of gratitude. We think it’s one of the biggest players in our success—so much so, we start every week with a 15-minute “kudos session” and sprinkle gratitude daily in Slack. Gratitude has even been scientifically proven to better your health and relationships.

With Turkey Day right around the corner, what better time than now to give thanks? This season of gratitude, we’re taking a look at local stories that warm our agency hearts and get us in the holiday mood. So bundle up with a cup of hot chocolate and check out these five local feel-good stories.

Made in Arizona: Phoenix Area Woman Helping Good Cause with Candle Offerings

We love a small business story, but we swoon over small businesses that give back to their community in meaningful ways. Scottsdale candle company owner, Janeen Kokodynski, lost her son to a congenital heart defect nearly 20 years ago and has been raising awareness for the Children’s Heart Foundation with her products ever since.

Koko’s Candles aren’t your run-of-the-mill candles though. These standout scented candles hold pewter hearts at the bottom—the same pewter hearts that were passed out at her son’s funeral in 2005. The company’s tagline? “The candle warms the heart.”

Arizona Teachers Granted $1 Million in Wishes

The Palo Verde Fiesta Bowl Charities Wishes for Teachers gave a collective $1 million to teachers this month, with each teacher receiving a $2,500 grant to help elevate their students’ learning experience.

A local Camelback High School teacher, Ms. Smith, has been teaching Native American studies and used her grant money to purchase books written by Indigenous authors. She was one of many teachers in the district that fought to bring Native American curriculum to the school so students could feel recognized and seen.

Volunteers Put Together Hygiene Kits for Homeless Veterans in Phoenix

Veterans Day is a great time to thank your local veterans for their service. Many veterans around the country need financial assistance, basic hygiene items and health care. 200 local State Farm employees packaged hundreds of hygiene kits for local Phoenix veterans in need. Each kit included toothbrushes, hair products, deodorant, toothpaste, socks, lotion, a comb and thank you messages. They also donated $3,000 to local nonprofit Diana Gregory Outreach Services, who provides veterans and other in-need people with affordable, high-quality groceries and produce.

Lerner & Rowe Provides 5 Reasons Businesses Should Give Back to the Community

Lerner & Rowe Injury Attorneys might be known for their trademark jingle, but they’re quickly becoming better known for what they do in the community. In 2010, Kevin Rowe, Founder and Principal of the ubiquitous law firm, created the Rowe Family Foundation to help teach his oldest daughter the value of humility and helping others in need. With the desire to do even more in the community, Rowe launched Lerner & Rowe Gives Back, which focuses on advocating for the lives of children struggling with poverty and disease, as well as animal causes. In 2022, the law firm has donated more than $600,000, provided school supply-filled backpacks to local kids during back to school season, and gave away hundreds of Thanksgiving “sides” to families in need. Rowe detailed why businesses should give back to the community via AZ Big Media.

Verrado Dog Mayor Election Heats Up

Politics can be a hot topic as we gather around the Thanksgiving table this year, but one race had tails on both sides of the aisle wagging. The West Valley community of Verrado was tasked with voting for a new mayor, choosing between 14 canine candidates. Community members voted online, where every cent raised went to Community Claws, a nonprofit providing pet resources and services. What duties does a dog mayor perform, you ask? It’s hard work, between hosting the lighting of the annual community Christmas tree, public appearances at kissing booths and being a full-time good boy, as ABC 15 reports.


Still hungry for more piping hot feel-good stories? There’s plenty more where that came from. Stay tuned for more marketing insights from your favorite peeps here at TJA. If you want help with your brand’s storytelling (or anything else advertising related), give our award-winning team a call. We’re ready to skyrocket your ROI, crush your goals and talk holiday shenanigans.

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