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Hidden Gems: Meet Monica Magoon of Sara K Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monica Magoon.

Hi Monica, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Monica Magoon, President and Co-Founder of the Sara K Foundation.  Although the foundation is what I’m most passionate about, my family and I have owned several successful businesses in the past. My husband and I had two Ice Cream and Yogurt Shops. We also owned and operated American Family Insurance and Magoon Insurance Group for many years.

I have also had the privilege to assist others through my work in the public sector focusing on Workforce Development for the AZ Department of Economic Security, AZ Commerce Authority, and the AZ Office of Economic Opportunity doing business outreach and helping jobseekers connect with the perfect opportunity. I am currently the Insurance Manager for La Mesa RV Centers.

I have always lived my life to help others by volunteering in many capacities then on February 11, 2018, my daughter Sara passed away from an accidental fentanyl poisoning. However, her death does not define her LIFE. Sara had a kind, playful, accepting spirit. She loved her friends and family with her whole heart and made sure they knew it.

When we lost her, our whole world changed, and to help with our grieving process, we started the Sara K Foundation. We feel that telling Sara’s story might help others avoid the same fate. Through the foundation, Sara’s kind spirit lives on. As her mother, I oversee the foundation.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The Foundation has had some ups and downs. Finding the right board members to carry on the legacy of my daughter was a struggle. It’s all in relationships and finding passion in others.

It is a challenge to put your story out there but truthfully telling the story of Sara and her life, helps us heal and in turn, helps others. If we can save one life by telling her story, it is worth the pain of talking about it and becoming vulnerable.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The Sara K Foundation is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization. I love that we can keep Sara’s memory alive by helping others. We perform “SKF Acts of Kindness” to help others in need and support causes she believed in such as supporting the homeless and disenfranchised.

Because of the way she was taken from us, we also focus on addiction & recovery and issues in grief & mental health based on our collective experience as a board. I love being able to tell her story and our struggles in dealing with her untimely passing and hopefully help others in a similar situation as well as normalize conversations about these topics.

I am most proud of the fact that through our grief we can help others struggling. We are small but a mighty group of volunteers who get the job done. We partner with other nonprofits to further their mission as well. By lifting others we lift ourselves. We operate on generous donations from the community and with our dedicated volunteers.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out.
The Foundation has been successful because we took a chance and put our story out there. We made ourselves vulnerable and people relate to other “real” people with real struggles. It isn’t easy to put yourself out there but telling your story lets others going through the same thing relate and feel they aren’t alone and in turn, this helps my family through the grieving process. There are people who judge and some don’t understand.  We hope by sharing we can help others to tell their story and help those fortunate enough not to understand to be tolerable and not judge things they don’t understand.

Follow your passion and success will present itself and doors will open. Don’t be afraid of success. I have always practiced that if you treat people the way you like to be treated, you will be successful in whatever you do.  Live your passion and failure is not an option.

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