Thunderbirds Charities Awards Upward $20,000 to Support Inclusive Child Care Program

Thunderbirds Charities is providing generous support for Upward’s Inclusive Early Education/Child Care program at The Thunderbirds Charities Child Care Center. This unique center provides child care/early education for children with and without disabilities, including children with severe disabilities who are medically fragile. These children, especially those from low-income families or with severe disabilities, have far fewer options for quality care as most centers are not equipped to meet their needs. We are grateful for this award since the demand for child care/early education, such as that provided by Upward, is reaching crisis levels. “Our Inclusive Child Care Program serves children with and without disabilities in the same setting,” said CEO Doug Carter. “We are grateful for this grant as well as all of the past support we have received from Thunderbirds Charities.” Upward Foundation This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

MakerSpace of Opportunity

The Thunderbirds Charities MakerSpace will allow The Opportunity Tree (TOT) to train 50 youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) annually at our Avondale training center. This accessible space will incorporate technological tools, including an embroidery machine, a sewing machine, 3-D printer, screen printer, laser engraver, heat press, supplies, and materials. With this equipment, TOT members can create items such as textured water bottle sleeves, clamps for communication devices, or other necessary items to facilitate their daily activities. Learning to make their own equipment enables our members to acquire marketable skills in design and technology, while also increasing their confidence as they solve problems for themselves and their community. The Opportunity Tree This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Act One Receives $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Support In-Person & VR Field Trip Programs

Act One, a local nonprofit organization that provides access to the arts for Arizona’s students and families, is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. This impactful gift will help support Act One’s in-person and virtual reality field trip programs in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. “We appreciate the generosity of Thunderbirds Charities” says Bernadette Carroll, executive director of Act One. “Through both in-person and virtual reality field trips, this grant will facilitate the creation of new arts and cultural experiences for Arizona’s Title I students.” Act One provides meaningful arts experiences that enhance the academic and creative potential of children and families. The nonprofit makes the arts accessible to thousands of children and families in Arizona each year through its in-person and VR field trips for pre-K-12th grade students from Title I schools. “We are honored to partner with Act One on behalf of Arizona’s students,” says Michael Golding, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “The opportunity to ensure that all students have equal access to arts education, both in-person and through virtual reality technology, is vitally important.” The $25,000 Thunderbirds Charities grant will enable Act One to develop season two of the VR arts program […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $100,000 Grant to USO Arizona

Grant funds will support military members and families serving, training, and traveling through the Greater Phoenix area USO Arizona, the nonprofit leader committed to strengthening America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, is the recipient of a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The grant was awarded in support of USO operations and program delivery serving military members and families who are serving, training, or traveling through the Greater Phoenix area, whether active-duty, National Guard, or reserves. “Thunderbirds Charities has been especially generous to USO Arizona and our team is incredibly grateful. With this grant, the USO Arizona team will be able to continue to provide resiliency-building and morale-boosting programs and services to military members and families in the Greater Phoenix area, whether they are stationed here, attending training, or just traveling through,” said USO Arizona Executive Director Kelly Nastos. “These funds will directly improve the lives of over 150,000 of those brave men, women, and children making so many sacrifices in defense of our nation.” In addition to its USO centers at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix MEPS, U.S. Army Fort Huachuca, and Yuma Army Proving Ground, USO Arizona is committed to providing […] More

Homeless Youth Connection Receives $50,000 Grant from The Thunderbirds Charities

Homeless Youth Connection (HYC) has received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The funding will directly support the organization’s Empowering Youth For The Future (EYFTF) Program, a comprehensive social services initiative that provides homeless youth, ages 13 to 21, with the basic resources to stay in school, complete their education and plan for post-secondary success.  Statistically, more than 87 percent of homeless youth drop out of high school. These students are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing poverty, unemployment, chronic homelessness and poor health. One of HYC’s top preventative measures, the EYFTF Program, works to intervene before homeless youth drop out by providing assistance with academics, healthcare, housing, hygiene, employment and independent living to enable success.  “We are incredibly grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their continued generosity and support of HYC youth. This funding will provide youth experiencing homelessness with the resources and the support to stay in school, graduate and create lasting solutions for a sustainable future,” said HYC Co-Chief Executive Officer Dawn Bogart. Through the EYFTF program, each student is connected with an HYC Youth Coach to identify their strengths and goals and establish a personalized action plan to attain those goals. The comprehensive program allows Youth […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants Treasure House $20,000 Supporting Employment and Like Skills Training Program

Treasure House respectfully accepts a grant of $20,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to help support their Job/Employment Training Program for young adults with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD), ages 18-45. According to the CDC, every year 111,600 intellectually and developmentally disabled age out of school-based services. Treasure House created a solution that offers a welcome environment with educational and social resources for individuals with IDD. “We are honored, appreciative, and very excited to be the recipient of a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for the second year in a row. This donation will allow us to assist the growth of the program which helps relieve the isolation, anxiety, depression, and high unemployment rate among young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities by enabling and empowering them to be active, productive members of their community — and revealing the “treasure” of each individual” said Lauri Tanner, Treasure House CEO. Upon joining Treasure House, Life Coaches will work directly with each resident one-on-one, daily, to build an individual life plan with goals for education and employment tailored to their unique abilities. Through the program, they can gain the knowledge and skills that allow them to achieve their full potential through employment and/or volunteer […] More

Swift Youth Foundation Receives $5,000 Grant From Thunderbirds Charities to Support Youth Enrichment Program

PHOENIX (July 2022) – Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a $5,000 grant to Swift Youth Foundation to fund its YouthEnrichment program for children from low-income families. Swift’s Youth Enrichment program offers a fun and enriching after-school/out-of-school curriculum for children from underresourced backgrounds. The program promotes academic achievement, independence, healthy social interactions, team spiritand camaraderie, opportunities for leadership, self-respect, and respect for others. “We have tremendous gratitude for the Thunderbirds Charities’ investment in the children served by our after-school and outof-school programs. We work with youth ages 8-12 from Phoenix Title I schools and youth who are experiencing homelessness.The support we receive from Thunderbirds Charities will help us continue to provide this critical service,” said Kristi Henry,Executive Director of Programs and Development. Swift Youth Foundation This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Native American Connections Receives $250,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charites to Help Homeless Youth

Native American Connections (NAC) is the grateful recipient of a $250,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for the expansion of our Homeless Youth Services.  The funds will support the continuing operations and programs at HomeBase (rescue housing) and Saguaro Ki (transitional supportive housing) for youth ages 18-26 in Central Phoenix, as well as support for the launch of identical rescue service programs at our new, second HomeBase site in Surprise, which will open in the Fall of 2022.   NAC’s Homeless Youth Services include not only the rescue of homeless youth ages 18-26, but also health assessments, support for education, employment, life skills and personal finance management. Thunderbirds Charities was formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the WM Phoenix Open.   The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to support organizations that assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area.  NAC deeply appreciates the Thunderbirds past and present generous support for its facilities and program services to rescue homeless youth. Native American Connections This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $20,000 Grant to Kids in Focus To Support Photography Mentoring Programs for Vulnerable Children

KIDS IN FOCUS (KIF) is honored to announce the receipt of a generous $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to help fund photography mentoring programs for underprivileged children in Maricopa County. Through the healing powers of photography and one-on-one time with mentors, kids gain self-confidence, build trusting relationships, and develop critical life skills. “Thanks to the Thunderbirds Charities award, we can expand our unique programs to serve more at-risk youth, helping them reconnect with the world and overcome hardship and trauma. We are deeply grateful for their continued support,” said Karen Shell, Founder and Executive Director of Kids in Focus. The Thunderbirds Charities grant will support the After-School Photography Mentoring program and the year-round Grads in Focus alumni program. During the intensive after-school program, experienced photographers mentor children on a journey of self-discovery. Using the camera as a powerful tool, the kids learn to explore their environment with a new lens, create compelling imagery, and reestablish trust and self-confidence. The program culminates with an exhibit celebration where the kids, their families, and over 500 guests gather to applaud their achievements. After the nine-week program ends, the kids join the year-round Grads in Focus program, providing a critical continuum of care. This […] More

Phoenix ToolBank awarded $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to help “Beat the Heat” during Arizona Summers

Phoenix ToolBank was generously awarded $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities in support of their new Heat Re-Leaf Program; A year around prevention and emergency response to the high heat which is one of our most critical disasters in the Phoenix area. During the summer months, ToolBank will provide emergency portable Air Conditioning (and evaporative cooler) units to low-income individuals and families awaiting repairs through nonprofits and government entities in the Valley. Many individuals and families are left with few options when their air conditioning unit breaks down and their budget is already tight. With these services, ToolBank wants to ensure residents can safely remain at home while awaiting those urgent repairs. ToolBank will also be working with Heat Relief Stations to provide free PPE and other consumable summer support items. “The Heat Re-Leaf program will provide critical support services to those in need during the hot summer months”, said Michael Golding, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We are happy to support the work of the Phoenix ToolBank and all that they do for our community.” During the spring and fall months, ToolBank will provide tools and equipment to organizations throughout the Valley to plant trees to help decrease temperatures in high heat […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Impacts over 500 Junior Achievement Students with $50K Grant

Thunderbirds Charities has generously granted $50,000 to Junior Achievement Arizona (JA) to support their JA BizTown program for the 2022-23 school year. The additional funds will allow over 500 low-income students to visit JA BizTown and take part in hands-on learning designed to empower them to own their future economic success. JA has been thrilled to welcome Arizona students back to JA BizTown,” said Katherine Cecala, president of Junior Achievement of Arizona. “By focusing on the critical skills students need today to set them up for future success, JA is cultivating a generation of contributing members to society who are aimed at creating a thriving community for Arizona. JA BizTown is an important step in that mission. JA BizTown and JA Finance Park re-opened to Arizona schools in the 2021-2022 school year and welcomed over 17,000 students. Next year, they plan to exceed that. The JA BizTown experience encompasses both in-classroom preparatory lessons, focusing on career research, budgeting, business tax and loan knowledge, economics, resume writing and interviewing, as well as the in-person simulation at their Tempe facility. Students are able to apply the knowledge they learned in the classroom to the 4.5-hour simulation in a child-sized economy built just […] More

$100,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities will Empower the Homeless, Enable Jobs, Housing and Education

Homeless ID Project received a grant in the amount of $100,000 from Thunderbirds Charities in support of the “ID Empowers Our Community” Program. Funding will provide what is for many, the critical first step of identification replacement services needed to end, and in some cases prevent, homelessness. “We are most grateful for this generous grant from Thunderbirds Charities” said Executive Director Rick Mitchell. “An ID provides real, direct help for the individual seeking an end to homelessness. It also provides a measurable value to the community as newly empowered individuals are able to engage, to support themselves and their families, and to contribute to the community by reducing resources spent on homelessness.” Homeless ID Project Program Manager Eric Ortega added that, “an ID is not the first thing we think about when considering the state of homelessness, but without an ID, people are stuck. There is no opportunity to get a job, housing or even basic services. There is no way out.” During 2021, Homeless ID Project provided 8,276 documents, including State IDs and birth certificates from all 50 states from their office in the Brian Garcia Welcome Center on the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix and in outreach […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $10,000 to Arizona Museum of Natural History and Mesa Grande Cultural Park

Every year, thousands of school children visit the Arizona Museum of Natural History (AZMNH) and Mesa Grande Cultural Park (MGCP) on in-person and virtual field trips. To introduce as many opportunities to learn as possible during these field trips, our educators create and regularly update curricula that meet Arizona State Standards to be used in conjunction with compelling museum exhibits, artifacts and hands-on activities. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded AZMNH and MGCP a generous grant supporting educational programming. The grant award will be used to enhance in-person and virtual tours, buy technology, update curricula, improve the science and social science education programs available to students such as Mesa Grande Archaeology Adventures, Prehistoric Preschool, Dino Discovery and special educational events, and marketing to help make the public aware these programs are available. Arizona Museum of Natural History This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Gen Justice $5,000 to Help Abused Children

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a $5,000 grant to help children served in the Gen Justice Children’s Law Clinic. All funds will be used to provide emergency legal services to abandoned and abused children. “We are so appreciative of Thunderbirds Charities for helping more children in our community have the opportunity to grow up in loving homes,” said Darcy Olsen, CEO of Gen Justice. The Gen Justice Children’s Law Clinic provides abandoned and abused children with pro bono representation, helping siblings stay together and facilitating safe families for children. This summer, the Clinic is expanding its services to provide older youth in care with pro bono counsel, including helping them with their dependency cases, education needs, and family. If you would like to serve pro bono in the Children’s Law Clinic, please contact Kileen Lindgren at Gen Justice will celebrate five years of service to the community in 2023. Gen Justice Children’s Law Clinic This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona receives $30,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Mental Health Programs

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona (WHI) $30,000 to expand mental health services for entire families during pregnancy, postpartum, and parenthood, under their program Strong Families. Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona was launched in 2015 by a group of individuals in the healthcare industry who saw the gap in women’s mental health care – specifically during pregnancy, postpartum and parenting. At the time, the focus of medical professionals was almost exclusively on the health of the baby, infant or child, while women who needed support were usually silent or at a loss of where to turn. From this realization, WHI of Arizona began, creating an accessible channel to provide maternal mental health services. “The core mission of WHI is to ensure that all families have access to specialized care, regardless of socioeconomic status.” said Michelle Lacy, Executive Director of Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona. Today, Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona remains the only licensed outpatient mental health clinic specializing in pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood. As WHI has grown, the organization has recognized the need to provide services to family members in addition to the mother during her perinatal journey. In an effort to build capacity to support […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports the Prostate On-Site Project

Thunderbird Charities recently awarded $5,000 to All Sports Foundation Inc., DBA Prostate On-Site Project. The funding will help provide free and low-cost prostate cancer screenings to men who are uninsured and underinsured on their POP mobile medical units. These screenings provide peace of mind to men and their families through early detection of prostate cancer. POP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is “To improve the quality of life for men and their families through education and early detection of prostate cancer”. “We are so appreciative of Thunderbirds Charities support to POP for providing this funding for this silent killing disease. This funding allows more men the opportunity to get screened. With 1 in 7 men being diagnosed with prostate cancer in lifetime, 15 minutes could save a man’s life” said Marla Zimmerman, CEO of Prostate On-Site Project. Prostate-on-Site Project This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards O’Connor Institute for American Democracy a Generous Grant for Youth Civics Education

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $50,000 to the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy in support of civics education for youth. The gift benefits three of the Institute’s programs: the Camp O’Connor summer civics program in Phoenix, O’Connor Civics Challenge online civics video competition for middle school students, and O’Connor Ambassadors Civics & Debate Club extracurricular civics program for high school students. Camp O’Connor is a free, merit-based, week-long summer program providing experiential civics education and leadership development for 7th and 8th graders. The camp works to educate, inspire, and encourage the next generation of leaders to develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for our democracy and their important role as citizens. Campers develop leadership skills and greater knowledge of our nation’s democracy, and they experience civics in action, enhanced by field trips to witness the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. The O’Connor Civics Challenge was created to allow students to participate in an online civics video competition during the pandemic. Geared to 6th through 8th graders, the program yielded participation from students across Arizona. Participants competed for laptops and other electronic educational tools. As a result of the response, the Institute has continued the O’Connor Civics […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Midwest Food Bank Arizona with a $15,000 Grant for a Weekend Backpack Meals for Kids

Midwest Food Bank Arizona is grateful for the support of Thunderbirds Charities for our Backpack Program (called “Hope Packs”). These Hope Packs are provided to students who typically receive free breakfast and lunch at school, yet are faced with little to no food over the weekend. Hope Packs include five core items: an individual warm meal (ravioli, mac-n-cheese), a breakfast meal, fruit, a granola bar, and a snack (fruit snacks, cookie). Midwest Food Bank will leverage donated food that is child-friendly and shelf-stable, and will use the funding to purchase food items, as needed. “An estimated 1 in 4 children in Arizona are food insecure. These children face adverse physical health, poor emotional well-being, and academic setbacks. These Hope Packs help to overcome those challenges by providing children with nutritious food to eat over the weekend,” says Merilee Baptiste, Executive Director of Midwest Food Bank – Arizona Division. Midwest Food Bank Arizona This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

SPOT 127 Youth Media Center Receives $15,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

SPOT 127, KJZZ’s Youth Media Center is proud to announce that Thunderbirds Charities has granted the organization $15,000 in funding. These dollars are critical to SPOT 127 as staff continues to give high school students the opportunity to gain advanced digital media skills that can inspire their post-secondary plans and assist them in contributing positively to their communities. During the academic year, students participate in learning and mentorship 2 days per week after school. Teens develop state-of-the-art skills in graphics, video and audio production, digital photography, social media, and more. With the skills gained in SPOT 127’s innovative after-school program, students report increased self-esteem, job opportunities, and internship options. With new skills and increased digital citizenship, teens are equipped to become role models in their communities. Students describe SPOT as a “welcoming environment for learning digital media and leadership skills”. Some students return as production assistants and others have gone on to receive college degrees in digital media and have successfully pursued careers in the field. “It is a pleasure to raise funds for SPOT 127 programs. High school students served by our youth media center tell us how valuable classes have been for their mental health and how the […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Accessible Theatre

Detour Company Theatre is thrilled to announce the receipt of a generous $10,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities! Their continued charitable contributions lends support to Detour’s mission of providing unprecedented opportunities for artists with disabilities to share their talents with the greater community, changing divisive narratives around disabilities. Detour artists transform onstage, bringing iconic characters and stories to life. In the 2021/22 season, Mainstage artists tackled Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and Once Upon a Mattress (a comedic revision of The Princess and the Pea). LJ LaVancil, the talented actor who portrayed the title character in Detour’s January 2022 production of Willy Wonka shares, “We want to shine onstage in Arizona. You can’t limit our disabilities, what we want to achieve, what we want to do. History will be changing for all of us in Arizona.” Thanks to the continued contributions of Thunderbirds Charities, Mainstage artists are taking audiences out of this world in 2022/23, tackling classics like Little Shop of Horrors, James and the Giant Peach and The Wiz! See the Detour Company Theatre for more information. Detour Company Theatre This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent […] More

$300,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities will Support Critical Client Services to Help People Move from Street to Home

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded the Human Services Campus (HSC, Inc.) a $300,000 grant to support, enhance and expand critical client services designed to assist individuals experiencing homelessness to move from street to home. Funding will be used for programs including intake and assessment, post office services, housing and behavioral health navigation, “Respiro” shelter and housing referral. Additionally, the funding helps with diversion, which focuses on reuniting people experiencing homelessness with family or friends to prevent the need to enter the homeless services system.“The important work our team does to move individuals experiencing homelessness from street to home cannot be done without the incredibly generous support of Thunderbirds Charities,” said HSC Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender. “This grant will directly impact the lives of thousands of the men and women who we serve,” Development Director Steve Davis added that “the long-term support of the Thunderbirds makes them true champions. We are deeply grateful.” In Fiscal Year 2021, more than 12,000 unduplicated individuals visited the Human Services Campus, which was operating in full-time COVID mode. During that period, 3,966 individuals underwent assessments to determine their needs and 459 were diverted to friends and family, quickly and affordably helping move from street to home. […] More

Goodwill Receives $5,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona is pleased to announce Thunderbirds Charities has donated $5,000 to help fund My Career Matters, an internal initiative to upskill and eliminate barriers to career advancement for their minimum wage employees, so they can move into new careers that provide higher wages. “We believe acquiring the skills needed in today’s workforce will enable individuals to earn wages that can transition them out of poverty and above the ALICE threshold,” said Bobby Ghisolfo, Vice President of Mission Services, Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona. “My Career Matters is a holistic approach to employment. We’ll provide individuals the tools they need to feel confident, purpose driven and successful. Our plan is to start with retail and management employees, and we hope to reach 500 employees within the first year of implementation.” ALICE households have income above the Federal Poverty Line but not high enough to afford essentials in the communities they live. As a result, they are forced to make tough choices, such as deciding between quality childcare or paying the rent, which have long term consequences not only for ALICE but for all. My Career Matters is a mobile career center that connects individuals to […] More

notMYkid Receives $50,000 Investment from Thunderbirds Charities for Teen Peer Support Program

notMYkid is pleased to announce Thunderbirds Charities has invested $50,000 in support of their growing [i]nspired Peer Program to help teens navigate daily pressures, substance use disorder, and mental health challenges. “notMYkid’s [i]nspired Peer Program is successfully helping teens who desperately need mental health support; resources to build healthy connections, confidence, and resilience; and improve overall safety and well-being,” said Kristen Polin, CEO of notMYkid. “Our program is utilizing trained and certified peer support specialists with lived experience and connects every teen to our [i]nspired technology-assisted care app. This dynamic platform ensures that participants remain connected to a healthy support network and provides immediate access to resources and tools needed to thrive and grow. We are so grateful for the ongoing support provided by Thunderbirds Charities and for recognizing that there is still an urgent need to support teens on the other side of the pandemic.” After an initial intake with notMYkid’s behavioral health team, each participant in the [i]nspired Peer Program is paired with a certified peer support specialist. Peers foster relationships built on trust without judgement. They instill confidence and serve as an ally to struggling teens who need guidance while navigating their path to recovery. This 90-day […] More

JAG Awarded $50,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to Support Their Middle and High School Leadership Programs

The Thunderbirds Charities grant of $50,000 supports Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates’ mission of helping young people stay in school and acquire the academic, personal, leadership and vocational skills they will need to be successful upon graduation. For a second year, JAG is supported by Thunderbirds Charities during a time where middle and high school students are facing challenges that have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant will help the organization serve more than 1,000 students and recent graduates in the greater Phoenix and surrounding community areas. With a supportive network of peers and mentors and classroom curriculum centered around project-based learning, trauma-informed care, and employer engagement, JAG students go on to reach their highest potentials beyond graduation with a 99% graduation rate for the Class of 2021 compared to the statewide graduation rate of 75.71%. “In the JAG program, we support students on their individual academic and professional paths through our dedicated program coordinators and opportunities for leadership development,” said Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates President Graciela Garcia Candia. “This generous grant strengthens our program resources and professional development opportunities for our future leaders.” Jobs for Arizona Graduates (JAG) This grant is part of the Spring 2022 cycle. View a […] More

Year Up Arizona Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Year Up Arizona is grateful for the investment from Thunderbirds Charities to support our workforce development program and innovative program models, which educate and improve the quality of life for young adults in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. As part of the national Year Up organization, Year Up Arizona opened its doors in 2015 to implement our program and educate young adults across Greater Phoenix. We serve individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 who obtained a high school diploma or GED, have varied educational and employment experiences, and largely identify as people of color.Our programs combine marketable job skills training, work-based experiences with local employers, and wraparound student supports. With support from Thunderbirds Charities in 2022, we aim to serve 240 young adults through our GateWay site, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) partnership, and new multi-site program model, therefore expanding our regional impact and moving students toward financial security and economic mobility. Despite the barriers they may face, our students and alumni are living proof that talent is equally distributed in this country, and they demonstrate a strong capacity to enter the workforce. In 2021, 90% of our graduates were employed and/or enrolled in school within four months […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $25,000 Grant to Kids Need to Read

The Page Coach was selected for funding because of its ability to reach areas traditionally overlooked by many literacy programs, including remote areas where children sometimes live without electricity, running water, or the unfamiliar luxury of books. Kids Need to Read has also partnered with Thunderbirds Charities on occasion to provide books to other grantee programs. “Now, more than ever, it is important for our children to have access to books at home if we want them to be successful. Approximately six out of ten children in low-income families have no access to books outside of school. When schools are closed, or a child must stay home to quarantine this lack of reading resources can be detrimental to their education,” said Kids Need to Read Executive Director Jessica Payne. “The Page Coach makes it possible for our organization to deliver books to children living in areas where the need is greatest. We believe that books can provide children with the ability to dream of a life beyond their current challenges and to follow those dreams. ”Together, Kids Need to Read and Thunderbirds Charities work to help children discover the joy of reading and the power of a literate mind. Kids […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $50,000 to Treasures 4 Teachers to Power Their T4T on Wheels Program

It is ‘Back-to-School’ and thanks to the generous financial support of Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the WM Phoenix Open, hundreds of teachers and students from Title 1 schools in metro Phoenix will benefit with a delivery of essential school supplies from Treasures 4 Teachers – T4T on Wheels. Supporting teachers is critical. “Teaching is the one profession that teaches all others” says Barbara Blalock, Executive Director of Treasures 4 Teachers. “Where would we be if we didn’t have a teacher to educate and inspire us?” With the rising costs of inflation, Teachers need our help more than ever. Barbara expands by saying, “Treasures 4 Teachers has always been available to educators all over the state, but we often hear that they cannot access the essential supplies they need because of time, money or distance.” Back-to-School is the perfect time to take school supplies to the teachers and students who need them the most. Thunderbirds Charities has continued their commitment to assist students and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities by providing a $50,000 grant to Treasures 4 Teachers for their T4T on Wheels Program. […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Award a $5,000 Grant to Desert Sounds’ Mariachi Sones del Desierto Program

“Music transcends cultures and language barriers. It unites generations and communities. Our mariachi program combines history and culture into one powerful musical experience. There is a spot for everyone with five levels and six ensembles, ” said Desert Sounds’ Executive Director Jennifer Crews. The program gives children a window into a rich heritage and a means to learn about a culture through music. For parents, learning mariachi music is an opportunity to help their child connect to the community while maintaining a connection to their culture. The highlight for each child is performing for friends, family, and the community. Perhaps you have seen and heard our mariachis performing at the Herberger Arts Festival, Masks Alive Festivals, or at a wedding or Quinceanera. Andres, a violinist in the Virtuosos ensemble, is beginning his eighth year in the program. To him, mariachi is much more than music and performing. “I think it (mariachi) helps me connect to my heritage.” Sixteen-year-old Andres continues, “Before (mariachi), the only connection I had with my heritage was like speaking the language and eating and making the food. I feel like I get a deeper and more meaningful connection, including the musical aspect.” Desert Sounds’ mariachi program […] More

A New Leaf Receives $250,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The situation at A New Leaf’s Faith House Crisis Shelter in Glendale was dire. Water was raining down from the ceilings and into the walls, the laundry room flooded when more than one washing machine was being used, and the plumbing could not support the 20-unit shelter at even half capacity. Faith House is the oldest operating domestic violence shelter in Arizona and has served as a safe haven for women and children in crisis at its current location since 1989. But, as costly plumbing issues mounted, the ability for the shelter to continue operating was threatened. A $250,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities changed all that, allowing A New Leaf to complete extensive plumbing repair work to get the shelter back to full capacity and operating safely. A New Leaf was also able to leverage the grant to jumpstart a match campaign to raise additional donations to complete more renovations needed at Faith House. More than $35,000 has been raised so far. “Faith House is a vital resource for our community,” said Laura Bode, Director of Community Engagement at A New Leaf. “A New Leaf maintains multiple government grant contracts to support program operations, but we rely on contributions from […] More

Educare Arizona Receives $20,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Educare’s Extended Day program maximizes learning and kindergarten preparation time by operating year-round from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. It also provides working parents, many of whom are more stressed than ever due to the economic and social impact of the pandemic, with the confidence that their child is spending their day in a safe, high quality preschool program. “For years, Educare Arizona has operated this nationally recognized, evidence-based early childhood program for young children and their families,” said Karen Ramos, Board President of Educare Arizona. “We are grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for this grant and their support of our efforts to expand the impact of our extended day program.” Science has documented that the earliest days, weeks, months and years of life are a period of unparalleled growth when trillions of brain cell connections are made. The health and development of children is directly influenced by the quality of care and experiences with parents and other adults. How children are held, talked to and cared for teaches them about who they are and how they are valued. This profoundly shapes who children will become. The investments made today in young children provide an important foundation for human development, with […] More