We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Dillon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennifer, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When I heard about a program in Ohio called Books to the Rescue I loved the idea and thought “How can I get a program like this in Tucson?”

The concept of Southern Arizona Book Heroes is to serve first responders, victim advocates, social workers, and child-centric agencies with new books and new plush toys, to distract, comfort, and soothe traumatized children.

When my son was three years old we were in a car accident and he was absolutely petrified to get in a vehicle – I thought back to that day and if SABH was around maybe he would not have been so scared if the officer on the scene had given my son a distraction – like a book.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
From violent acts to car crashes to a growing opioid epidemic, Southern Arizona Book Heroes™ (SABH) joins the front lines with first responders giving comfort to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. SABH provides resources that help treat children’s unseen injuries—their emotional wounds.

What I am most excited about is when SABH first started., my focus was Tucson Police – never in a million years did I expect to grow like we have. We now serve sixteen departments in Tucson and surrounding areas including serving departments in Northern Arizona. We are expanding and we are expanding fast.

Reading a book is just the first step in building a strong relationship with children in our community. We support our first responders and believe this program helps to build a partnership with our most important community members, our kids. Our hope is that future generations of this community will be comfortable interacting with emergency responders in every capacity.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would definitely take the to the Gaslight Theater.

Pima Air and Space Museum and the Titan Missile Museum are both really amazing to walk around and see.

San Xavier Mission , Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Biosphere 2

We would go eat at Trident Grill – its locally owned by a retired Navy Seal.

I like to take walks and one of my favorites places to walk is Agua Caliente Park.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My kids have been my inspiration to keep the program going. They are a daily reminder of “my why”

My parents for the love and support since day one.

To our first responders, victim advocates, social workers, and child-centric agencies and what they do daily

Two of my favorite books and have them on display at home
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Suess
Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt

Website: soazbookhereoes.org

Instagram: azmom4books

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-dillon-b4167458/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SoAzBookHeroes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soazbookheroes

Image Credits
Photoes taken by Aprildawn Gollihue and some by Dena Ganje

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