Providing Refuge for the Homeless

House of Refuge Sunnyslope, Inc. (HRS) is pleased to announce that it received a generous grant from Thunderbirds Charities to fund the renovation of six apartments at their new Mountain View property. The $50,000 grant provided remodeling of six apartments, including updates to lighting, kitchens, and bathrooms – creating, safe, clean homes for women and children to rebuild their lives and move out of homelessness. The project addressed a desperate need, the Maricopa County 2023 Point-In-Time Count counted 9,642 homeless people in Maricopa County. This was an increase of 7% from the previous year. Of these, 51% are unsheltered. The top reason cited for being unsheltered was the lack of available housing units or shelter space. HRS responded to this escalating need by purchasing nine parcels containing 22 apartments that will provide more housing for women and children. “Partners like Thunderbirds Charities have enabled us to quickly respond to the growing homeless crisis, resulting in a 45% increase in our capacity to provide safe, clean housing.” Julie Supplee, HRS CEO. House of Refuge Sunnyslope This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities grants Billy’s Place $10,000 to support program expansion for grieving kids in the Valley

Billy’s Place is a free Children’s Grief Support Center in the West Valley. There are very few programs that cater to children when it comes to grief and loss. Billy’s Place is serving that need by offering ongoing support/education groups each month which include the loss of a parent, loss of a sibling, YA Grief (Young Adult), Teen Chill, TLG (Traumatic Loss Group which includes losses of suicide, homicide, and overdose) as well as a kicking back night for children only. The children participate in activities that are designed to help them discuss death through play, art, storytelling, music, and talking. With assistance from Thunderbirds Charities, Billy’s Place can expand its programs and expects to serve over 6,500 individuals benefiting from increased access to support/resources throughout their grief journey that will positively impact their mental and physical well-being. Funding from the Thunderbirds Charities will support program expansion across all programs, school-based training, and community outreach. “We are so thankful to the Thunderbirds Charities and their commitment to children and grief in Maricopa County”, stated Kris Friedman, Executive Director. “I always say it is so bittersweet as our numbers are growing dramatically with families coming to Billy’s Place. The reason behind […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $12,500 to Free Arts to Support Children who have Experienced Trauma, Abuse, Homelessness or Neglect

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona with a $12,500 grant to support programs for children who have experienced the trauma of abuse, homelessness, or neglect.  Funds from the grant will be used to support a variety of programs, including the Professional Art Series which gives children an opportunity to learn art from a professional teaching artist while building confidence in their skills, the Camp Series where children attend week-long day camps to explore their personal stories, and Free Arts Days that bring children from different social service agencies come together at an arts and culture venue for a day of intentional art activities with adult volunteer mentors. The Weekly Mentor Program, Alumni Program, Free Arts Family Program, and Bravery Bags will also benefit from the grant, helping children build trusting relationships, develop practical and academic skills, and receive pre-packaged activities for those with limited access to our programs. “We are delighted to continue supporting Free Arts mission,” said Michael Golding, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “They are providing important and therapeutic work to children in our community. Each year, they positively impact children with their programs and provide them with a way to express themselves and […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $100,000 to Save the Family

Save the Family is honored to be the recipient of $100,000 for their Homeless Families Intervention Project which encompasses their housing, case management, and supportive services that provide critical support for families facing homelessness. This funding comes at a time when our community is facing an affordable housing crisis—with just 21 units of affordable housing for every 100 families in need. For far too many, the skyrocketing inflation, cost of housing, childcare, and household expenses in the current economy is making it difficult, if not impossible, to remain stably housed or improve economic mobility. The majority of families served by Save the Family are headed by a single mother with 2-3 children under the age of 6 years old. As the leading and oldest family homeless provider serving the East Valley communities of Maricopa County, Save the Family is committed to meeting the needs of struggling and vulnerable families. This grant from Thunderbirds Charities directly supports over 550 families, including nearly 900 children, who are experiencing homelessness and poverty in our community. Save the Family is grateful for the continued commitment and this investment from the Thunderbird Charities that builds a community free from family homelessness, where every person has […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Hushabye Nursery and the Tiniest Victims of the Opioid Crisis with a $100,000 Gift

Hushabye Nursery is excited to announce a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities help us care for the tiniest victims of the opioid crisis – babies born withdrawing from opioids they were exposed to in the womb (NAS) – and their parents who are struggling with opioid use disorder. “With the on-going support of Thunderbird Charities, we can provide a light at the end of the tunnel for substance exposed babies and families that need our help,” says Tara Sundem, Hushabye Nursery Co-Founder, Executive Director and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, “and for that we are extremely grateful.” According to the Arizona Department of Health Services (AZDHS), more than 2,400 newborns were diagnosed between 2017-2020 with NAS, the excruciatingly painful withdrawal from opioids they were exposed to in the womb. Even with that number, AZDHS affirms NAS is underreported. “It is horrific to watch. Once you see one baby withdrawing, you will never, ever forget it,” says Tara.In the nursery, Hushabye uses the “Eat/Sleep/Console” (ESC) assessment tool and care model. This proven soothing technique requires 24/7, one-on-one attention to each baby with NAS. This includes immediate reaction to her ear-piercing cry of physical agony; continually holding her as she trembles uncontrollably; and putting […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Mesa Arts Center’s MABEL, the Mobile Art-Based Engagement Lab, with $10,000 Grant

Mesa Arts Center is excited to announce a $10,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities supporting MABEL, the Mobile Art-Based Engagement Lab, providing access to arts in underserved communities. This grant enables MABEL to offer free hands-on art experiences and activities to create connections, spark creativity, catalyze change and prompt discussion. MABEL is a colorful 12-foot modular trailer offering the flexibility to provide an ideal space for any artistic experience. Intended to be an extension of the Mesa Arts Center campus, MABEL serves as an easy access point for anyone to engage with the arts. “Community-building engagement is at the core of our mission,” said Danica Marlin, community engagement specialist at Mesa Arts Center. “Thunderbirds have been our biggest champion in this effort affording us the resources and support to continually create experiences to be out in the community with one another.” Mesa Arts Center This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Generosity Will Transform CASS Family Welcome Center

A generous donation of $133,000 from Thunderbirds Charities will support the transformation of Central Arizona Shelter Services’ Family Shelter Welcome Center. CASS has provided safe shelter for families experiencing homelessness since its founding and the program evolved through the years into a separate shelter location in Sunnyslope that is tailored specifically to the needs of families and their children. Founded in 1984, CASS is Arizona’s largest, longest-serving, and most experienced emergency shelter provider, annually serving thousands of adults and families with shelter, a four-tiered trauma-informed case management program, and a full array of housing services. As the second largest family emergency shelter in the Phoenix Metropolitan area, CASS’s Family Shelter is a 30-unit converted apartment complex that provides families experiencing homelessness with emergency and transitional shelter, case management, and supportive services. Up to 36 families, or 120 to 150 individuals, stay at this apartment shelter each night, the majority of whom are children. Over 30% of the families served are fleeing domestic violence and 18% were staying in places not meant for habitation, such as in their cars or on the streets, before coming to the shelter. Families from a variety of backgrounds can access shelter quickly and begin participating […] More

Burn Survivors Thriving Through HOPE

The Arizona Burn Foundation is grateful to receive a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support our Helping Others Promoting Empowerment (HOPE) Services. Funding will be used to support HOPE services which begins the moment a burn survivor is admitted to the Burn Unit at Banner University Medical Center Tucson and the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise. In the initial crisis, short-term emergency needs are offered, including: lodging, transportation, financial assistance, meal vouchers, and emotional support to families. Upon hospital discharge, long-term transitional services, focused on helping burn survivors not just survive their injuries but thrive in their post-injury life. Chloe’s story is a fitting example of this. Chloe was injured at an early age when boiling water spilled onto her lap. Her mother, like many in the same situation, was uncertain about how to move forward. Thanks to the partnership with the Arizona Burn Center, the Arizona Burn Foundation contacted Chloe and her family to provide her emergency needs and emotional support. Since receiving the Thunderbird Charities grant, the Arizona Burn Foundation has impacted burn survivors and their families such as Chloe’s. Nick is a parent of a child survivor that attended Camp Nurture earlier this year: a camp […] More

Almost Famous Theatre Company Receives $5,000 from Thunderbirds Charities To Bolster Youth Program

For 10 years, Almost Famous Theatre Company members have performed their way across the valley’s stages creating deep personal bonds with their fellow actors while entertaining their audiences. At the heart of this company is the youth program where talent and passion is developed and nurtured in a supportive learning environment.  A generous grant of $5,000 from Thunderbirds Charities allows the transformative experiences and opportunities offered by the Almost Famous Theatre Company youth program to reach more children eager to hone their craft and be a part of a collaborative whole. Thunderbirds Charities support will have an immediate impact as the youth program kicks off the new year with a horde of spunky, revolting children in the musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved Matilda. What better place for young aspiring actors to build their confidence than by portraying empowered, courageous children in a live theatre environment! The caliber of Almost Famous Theatre Company’s productions have continued to rise to AriZoni award-winning levels. With this grant, the potential for growth is endless as these children have increasing opportunities to express themselves, connect with their audiences and each other, and make memorable pieces of impactful art that bring joy to the community. Almost […] More

PCA & Thunderbirds Charities – Creating A Positive Sports & Youth Development Legacy For All Kids

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) & Thunderbirds Charities have joined forces once again in 2022-23 to collaborate on the “Creating A Positive Sports & Youth Development Legacy For All Kids”. Through Thunderbirds Charities and its generous support of PCA with a $50,000 grant, PCA will have the opportunity to expand its work with underfunded schools and Youth Sports Organizations to teach valuable leadership and life skills/ lessons that can be taught through sports. “The tremendous impact that Thunderbirds Charities has had on amplifying the mission of PCA over the years has been a big reason why we are so successful here in Arizona, said Rich Tomey, PCA Regional Director. “Without this critical support, PCA would be limited in providing much-needed resources for Arizona’s underserved schools and youth organizations that see the value in PCA programming. Involvement in sports has been a tremendous predictor for success in school, life and in the business world later in life… this grant will allow us to conduct a wide range of workshops that teach valuable life lessons for coaches, athletes and parents.” Some of the lessons learned will be: Leadership Training: sets the table for success by aligning School Administrators, Staff and Coaches to achieve […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Veterans Heritage Project

A recent grant awarded to Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) from Thunderbirds Charities will support the organization’s character and civic education program which Connects Students with Veterans.TM Grant funds are supporting critical program elements such as technology licenses; training and appreciation activities for the volunteer teachers; and community book reception expenses. The after-school program is conducted through school chapters (clubs.) Middle and high school students learn about history, citizenship, service, and leadership by interviewing veterans, and documenting their service stories, the significance and impact on their lives and careers, and life lessons. They write each veteran’s story, learn Adobe software to layout and publish the stories in the student publication, Since You Asked,TM and preserve the oral history video in the Library of Congress. Students become published authors. At the end of each school year students honor veterans at free community book-signing events. On May 28, 2023 at Chateau Luxe event venue, local school partners and their honored veterans will gather for this memorable event. The public is welcome and will have the opportunity to meet veterans during a book signing. As a result of Thunderbirds Charities support, academics are enriched and students develop character and 21st century skills. Veterans feel […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Empowers Women to Build Bright Futures

Thunderbirds Charities generously granted $25,000 to Live & Learn’s transformative Economic Empowerment for Women program. This program supports women who are experiencing poverty, homelessness, and domestic violence. In the two-year, intense program, women complete their education, begin a good-wage career, and end their reliance on government assistance. They build a brighter future for themselves, their children, and the community. The funding provided by the Thunderbirds Charities will support direct financial assistance for 200 women in 2023, as they work their way through Live & Learn’s program. This financial assistance can help with costs that would otherwise prevent a woman from moving forward with her education and career. Often, these costs include bus passes, job-required uniforms, internet access, eyeglasses, and similar necessities. As Executive Director Kristin Chatsworth explains, “We see women who are absolutely determined to earn their certifications and start a great career. Thunderbirds Charities is making sure that nothing stands in their way, and we are so grateful.” The demand for Live & Learn’s Economic Empowerment for Women program has grown dramatically in the past three years, since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Thanks to generous donations and funding from groups like the Thunderbirds Charities, Live & Learn […] More

Feeding Matters Receives $40,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Support their Arizona Grassroots Outreach, Education, and Support Initiative

Feeding Matters, the first organization in the world dedicated to advancing the system of care for pediatric feeding disorder (PFD), is pleased to announce it has received a $40,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. This impactful gift, which is a part of the Fall 2022 grantee cycle, will support the organization’s Arizona Grassroots Outreach, Education and Support Initiative, which aims to spread awareness and screenings for PFD improving thousands of children’s ability to receive proper nutrition, promoting their healthy development, and increasing their access to quality medical care in Greater Phoenix. The limited diversity in the current demographic being reached by Feeding Matters’ programs highlights the importance of expanding the accessibility of our resources to reach vulnerable families in underserved communities. As a result, grant funding will be used towards the following: Meeting with organizations in the early childhood development space, with high-risk populations for comorbidities, and with government entities to share important information and resources on PFD. It will also support families that contact Feeding Matters by matching them with a parent coach/mentor. Additionally, it will allow the organization to provide more grassroots outreach by partnering with others, translating resource materials, and identifying additional areas in the local community that need […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grant Supports STEM Outreach

Future for KIDS is grateful to receive a $15,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support STEM Outreach. Our dedicated team travels throughout the community inspiring thousands of kids to explore Science-Technology-Engineering-Math through activities that are fun and engaging. Our fully equipped STEM van can be seen all over the Valley meeting kids and their families and sharing the importance of STEM learning. STEM education gives kids skills that make them more employable and ready to meet the current labor demand. It encompasses the whole range of experiences and skills. Each STEM component brings a valuable contribution to a well-rounded education. Science gives learners an in-depth understanding of the world around us. Future for KIDS is proud to be a Thunderbirds Charities grant recipient because their support is the engine that drives our important work with kids. Future for KIDS This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Fresh Start Women’s Foundation Receives $100,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to Continue Family Law Support Services to Valley Women in Need

As part of its commitment to assist children and families in the Valley, Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Fresh Start Women’s Foundation $100,000 to benefit its Family Law Support (FLS) Program. Contending with family law issues such as divorce, custody, and child support can be daunting and challenging, especially for vulnerable women, including those experiencing domestic violence, who often face this journey alone. Fresh Start’s FLS Program gives these women the tools and resources they need to effectively advocate for themselves and their children in family court. Fresh Start, a 30-year-old Phoenix-based nonprofit serving more than 3,000 women each year, provides access and resources that help women overcome obstacles and empowers them to achieve self- sufficiency and success. Establishing a safe and stable household is often the first step to creating a better life and future. “At Fresh Start, our mission is to provide access and resources that help women achieve self-sufficiency and use their strength to thrive. The majority of the women we serve are single moms earning less than $25,000 per year who need access to resources that will allow them to build a brighter future for themselves and their children,” said Kim McWaters, President and CEO of Fresh […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $50,000 to Local Nonprofit Ryan House

Ryan House announced the receipt of a generous $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to replace the fountain in the nonprofit’s memorial garden as well as to fund its Support-A-Stay Program, which offers short-term, overnight respite care stays that help families take a break from the stress of the constant home care needs of their children with complex medical conditions. All care provided at Ryan House is delivered by an interdisciplinary team that includes a registered nurse, certified nurse assistant, and child life specialist. The care team provides comprehensive child and family-centric care, helping to meet needs such as symptom management and caregiver breakdown. “There is currently no insurance reimbursement for the respite and palliative care provided by Ryan House,” said Ryan House Executive Director Tracy Leonard-Warner. “Thanks to the continued generous support of Thunderbirds Charities, not only will we be able to replace the fountain in our memorial garden where so many of our families find peace and serenity, but we will also be able to provide over 25 sponsored, free-of-charge 24-hour respite stays for children with life-threatening or terminal conditions.” When a child stays at Ryan House for end-of-life care, the organization’s goal is to ensure that their family […] More

Hope In A Box Program Receives $10,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Hope Box Essentials Project supports a wholistic approach to breast cancer treatment and recovery. A personalized box can consist of Breast Prosthesis, Lumpectomy Enhancer Fill Pads, Compression Bras/ Garments, Head Wraps, Wigs, Hats, Radiation Supplies, Compression Sleeves and Mastectomy Bras. These costly products are frequently not covered by insurance and often there is a lack of emotional support services. We are honored to be a recipient of a $10,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. This donation will allow Impact One to continue assisting women diagnosed with breast cancer, alleviating some of the financial and emotional stress during treatment and the recovery journey. The Foundation is currently working with low income, underserved areas of Phoenix metro and outlying communities in Arizona. Outreach efforts within the Latino and African American communities are crucial as both groups currently hold the highest percentage of breast cancer incidences within women of color as reported by the American Cancer Society. “Impact One was founded to empower all women fighting breast cancer, we believe no woman should battle this disease alone,” said Elizabeth Ayers-Cluff, Founder of Impact One Breast Cancer Foundation. Impact One Breast Cancer Foundation This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list […] More

Arizona Youth Program Celebrates 25 Years of Service

Arizona Outdoor Adventures (AOA) has been serving males and females, ages 8-14, for the past 25 years in the state of Arizona through outdoor youth tent camps. The youth at these camps are primarily underserved, underprivileged, and often at-risk youth from Maricopa County. Arizona Outdoor Adventures has adopted the mission “To enrich and positively impact children’s lives through fun outdoor activities in the peace and quiet of nature.” AOA partners with various local organizations who provide these youth the opportunities to attend AOA’s outdoor tent camps. Each camp hosts 8-10 youth for a 3-5-day outing in the breathtaking White Mountains in Arizona. Camp participants receive many benefits such as:• Bond with other children and with adults who care about them and want to assist them to reach their potential.• Learn new activities like fishing, hiking, horseback riding, cooking outdoors, etc.• See wildlife in their natural habitat and learn about them.• Physical exercise and lack of technology for a few days.• Much more . . . As a recognized 501(c)3 organization, AOA relies solely on donations and support from individuals, companies, and grants and foundations to provide financial support for its program. One such donor is Thunderbirds Charities of Phoenix who […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Becomes Presenting Sponsor of Arizona State Spelling Bee

The Arizona Educational Foundation (AEF®) is the recipient of a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support the Arizona State Spelling Bee. Arizona has one of the largest Spelling Bee participation rates in the nation, with 484,122 students competing this year from public, private, parochial and homeschools statewide. For the two students who place first and second place in the State Spelling Bee, AEF supports travel for the students and their chaperones to represent Arizona as official champions in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland. The Arizona State Spelling is scheduled for Saturday, March 18th, 2023 at the Madison Center for the Arts in Phoenix. The Bee will be open to the public and is free to attend. For more information, visit here. “Having Thunderbirds Charities serve as the presenting sponsor of the Arizona Spelling Bee is incredible,” says Kim Graham, AEF Executive Director. “They do so much to support education in Maricopa county and we are truly honored that they have chosen to support this vital academic opportunity for students.” Arizona Educational Foundation This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $15,000 to House of Refuge “Adopt a Home” Program

Every family deserves a home. Since 1996, House of Refuge, Inc. has provided families in crisis a proven path out of homelessness through transitional housing. Professional staff work with residents to help them regain dignity, improve income, work toward self-reliance, and successfully graduate into permanent housing in the community. House of Refuge is pleased to announce that Thunderbirds Charities has “adopted” one of the 88 two-bedroom single-family homes utilized by their transitional housing program. The grant award is sufficient to fund housing and essential social services for a low-income homeless family for an entire year – including utilities, property repairs, household goods, case management, employment assistance, adult education, and youth enrichment programming. “We are honored to receive the continued support of Thunderbirds Charities,” says Kayla Kolar, president and CEO of House of Refuge. “This grant will fund our life-changing work with families in 2023 – and as we strive to break the cycles of multi-generational poverty and homelessness, we hope its full effects will continue to be felt for many years to come.” House of Refuge This grant is part of the Fall 2022 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Esperança Receives $35,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Oral Health Education Program

The funds will be used to support Esperança’s Children’s Oral Health Education Program, teaching under-resourced Latino children (pre-school – Grade 8) living in Maricopa County, about the importance of good oral health, the need for routine dental visits, and proper daily oral hygiene practices. Esperança will provide 4,000 children, who are at risk of poor oral health (and other health issues as a result), with the education needed to improve their daily oral hygiene practices. “Thanks to the generosity of The Thunderbirds and Thunderbirds Charities, Esperança’s bilingual and bicultural educators will conduct oral health education programs at Title I schools located in predominantly Latino communities throughout the Valley,” says Jeri Royce, President & CEO of Esperança. “This is just one example of how this generous support from Thunderbirds Charities will help us continue our mission to combat poor oral health, obesity and diabetes through our bilingual health education programs.” Esperança’s bilingual and bicultural educators’ partner with Title I schools such as Tolleson, Roosevelt, Wilson, Osborn, Creighton, and Murphy School Districts and will demonstrate how to properly brush and floss, and after the presentation, every program participant will receive a Smile Bag that includes an age-appropriate toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. […] More

Thunderbirds Charities’ Support of Elaine’s Program Provides 1,000 More Rides for the Valley’s Most Vulnerable Individuals

Many of the most vulnerable individuals in the Valley lack access to locations that provide resources and services critical to their overall health and wellbeing. When someone has no other way to get to housing, healthcare, food, employment or other necessary errands, Elaine‘s Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) is there to help. In addition to providing friendly, compassionate and dependable rides, Elaine’s Community Health Drivers will assist clients in carrying groceries or personal belongings, ensuring clients are checking into appointments on time, helping organize important documentation and more. And none of what we do is possible without the support we receive from the community. Thanks to a recent investment from Thunderbirds Charities, Elaine will be able to provide 1,000 additional rides to those who need them most. From Elaine CEO Eric Barr: “Previous support from Thunderbirds Charities has quite literally helped build the foundation of our TAP program in many ways. Their latest support has been critical in allowing Elaine to provide ongoing services, and has also given us the ability to expand our programming as well. We are now more uniquely positioned to meet the community where some of the greatest needs are, whether that be for shelters, housing programs, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $50,000 Grant to Barrow Neuro-Rehabilitation Center

Barrow Neurological Foundation is honored to announce that it has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support the purchase of a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for the Neuro-Rehabilitation Center at Barrow Neurological Institute. The Barrow neuro-rehabilitation team strives to ensure patients have practice navigating a variety of real-world situations that they will encounter after returning home. Having a wheelchair-accessible vehicle enables Barrow neuro-rehabilitation specialists to take patients to a grocery store, a movie theatre, a restaurant, or even to their own home to practice navigating the environment with their wheelchair. “If we don’t show our patients how to get out there while they are under our care, then they won’t have the confidence to venture out on their own. We want our patients to be able to say, ‘I’ve got this,’ when they leave Barrow because they have already completed tasks with guidance from our therapists,” said Matthias Linke, DO, Director of Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation at Barrow. The Barrow Neuro-Rehabilitation Center offers a complete spectrum of care, including acute, inpatient, and outpatient rehabilitation, work and school re-entry programs, adaptive recreation, and support groups. “Barrow not only is dedicated to saving the lives of patients, but it also is […] More

Thunderbirds Charities $25,000 Grant Supports Families with Children, Birth to 5, with Disabilities

In 2019, Thunderbirds Charities supported the creation of an Online Resource Guide for Families of Infants and Toddlers, that features support and information for parents who have questions about their children’s development. Since the launch of the online resource guide, Raising Special Kids has already seen large numbers of use and positive reception. It has proven effective for a majority of families who have accessed it. However, there are families in Arizona who cannot use the online tool well, lack access to the internet, or have other difficulties that are preventing the use of the online guide. Raising Special Kids has seen better success with outreach and personal attention from Family Support Specialists. With the renewing support from Thunderbirds Charities, Raising Special Kids will be able to expand their reach to those families in-person and teach them how to use the tool for its full benefit. Raising Special Kids’ vision is to present information to families raising a child with a suspected or diagnosed disability about their rights and responsibilities, services options, community resources, and the process of accessing the Arizona Early Intervention Program, as well as what they can do if their child is ineligible for these services. “We’re […] More

Ronald McDonald House® Receives $30,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Provide Nights of Rest for Families

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Central and Northern Arizona (RMHCCNAZ) is excited to announce it was awarded a $30,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. These crucial funds will support RMHCCNAZ’s Keeping Families Together Program and will provide a “home-away-from-home” for families who travel to the Valley seeking critical medical care for their children by providing nights of comfort and rest at no charge. RMHCCNAZ operates three Houses in the Phoenix metropolitan area, ensuring that families can remain together and close to the medical resources they need and that are not available in their home communities. Since opening in Phoenix in 1985, Ronald McDonald House has welcomed families for over 57,000 visits. While it costs the organization $107 to provide one night of rest, families are not asked to pay, alleviating the financial stress of being away from home and allowing them to focus solely on caring for their sick or injured child. “When families are facing the stress and uncertainty of their child’s illness while also being far from home, the comfort and hope they find at Ronald McDonald House make a lasting impact,” RMHCCNAZ Chief Executive Officer, Kerry Schulman said. “This grant from Thunderbirds Charities will provide 280 nights of […] More

The Centers for Habilitation receives Thunderbirds Charities $10,000 grant

The Centers for Habilitation (TCH) has received a secession grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The grant will be utilized as part of our P.A.S.S. Program (Participation, Accessibility, Socialization, and Sports). Our P.A.S.S. Program promotes independence and celebrates the abilities of our supported individuals. In addition, the program helps the community become more accepting, ensuring individuals with disabilities are woven in to the fabric of society. Funding from this request will provide our supported individuals opportunities to participate in a variety of activities including; museum trips, hiking, day trips around the state, and learning about Native American culture. TCH provides a wide range of activities for all levels of abilities that are designed to increase communication, encourage a range of motion, provide sensory opportunities, increase confidence, provide an outlet for self-expression/creativity and increase independence. Our programs provide opportunities for our supported individuals to be embraced and accepted by their community.  Upwards of 120 supported individuals attend the TCH day program and/or live in a TCH group home.  Creating unique experiences, breaking down barriers to full community participation, increasing skills, and finding activities for all abilities, is critical for achieving goals, increasing independence, and improving quality of life. Through support from Thunderbirds Charities, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Aids Wrap-Around Programming Amidst Arizona’s Housing Crisis

On December 10, 2023, Thunderbirds Charities, awarded a grant of $225,000 to Homeward Bound to support families facing homelessness across The Valley. From 2020 to 2022 Arizona’s homelessness population rose by 23%. Funds will directly support Homeward Bound’s Shelter and Community Services Program. This grant will also support Homeward Bound’s housing navigation, which helps families find and secure permanent housing upon leaving the shelter program. Phoenix has seen an 80% increase in rent prices in the past 6 years with only a 22% income increase across the Valley. The housing navigation program is crucial in providing families with the resources and tools to find affordable and stable housing. Thunderbirds Charities have been instrumental in allowing Homeward Bound to meet every family’s unique needs on their journey home since the organization’s beginnings. Homeward Bound’s campus is rightfully named, Thunderbird Family Village, due to their capital gift over 20 years ago. Their ongoing support is a true testament to their dedication to advocating and helping the community. “Thunderbirds Charities drives change in our community,” said Homeward Bound’s CEO Whitney Silence, “We are proud to be a recipient of these impactful funds and know firsthand the difference they make for Homeward Bound and […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $20,000 Grant to Bridges Reentry for The Beyond The Gates Mentoring Program

Bridges Reentry is honored to announce the organization has received a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. This funding will be used to grow the Beyond the Gates Mentoring program; a one-year, one to one Mentor – Mentee relationship that supports women who have been incarcerated with their dignified reentry to society. Approximately 2,000 women are released each year from Perryville State Prison. When women are released from jail or prison, they are often ill-prepared to reencounter the serious problems they faced prior to incarceration, such as domestic violence, an unstable family life, difficulties in school, limited work experience, financial issues, poverty, substance use disorders, mental health issues, a lack of vocational skills, and parenting difficulties. The critical addition and growth of the Bridges Reentry Beyond the Gates Post-Incarcerated Mentoring Program allows Bridges Reentry to empower more women to achieve a successful reentry with a comprehensive one-year mentoring program. A cornerstone of the program is our unique training and support program for Mentors with no experience and the desire to help. This post-incarcerated mentoring program augments our powerful, and proven, Magdalene House 2-year residential program. “We are thrilled to receive this grant to support more women who deserve a second chance […] More

Giving Children a Voice–One Sound at a Time

Desert Voices grant from Thunderbirds Charities has funded two Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) positions. SLPs provide direct instructional services to students. A part-time SLP will be responsible for toddler pull-out and parent coaching. The full-time SLPA gives us flexibility in staffing as they can handle classroom teaching, too. This not only strengthens the school’s ability to work with children individually on their language skills but also provides flexibility in covering for teachers of the deaf when needed and as numbers of students increase during the school year. SLPs provide Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) instruction to support the child’s educational goals and supports them in reaching their goals. The direct instructional services include language, speech, fluency, literacy, and articulation to name a few areas. They also provide educational diagnostic services for their students, support services to parents of toddler and preschool students, and take the lead as case manager for families in Parent Coaching. Executive Director, Scott Smith commented: “We are grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for funding two critical positions. Our students, who are all deaf or hard of hearing, will receive from our LSL professionals the required skills needed to meet age-appropriate language, literacy, and social-emotional milestones. We are […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Feeds Local Families with Harvest Compassion Center

The Harvest Compassion Center (HCC) is pleased to announce it has received a $40,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. These funds will support the mission of the Harvest Compassion Center at their West Phoenix location of providing free grocery items such as: fresh vegetables and fruits, dairy, meat, and nonperishable food product as well as clothing, hygiene items, and baby items to all who live in Arizona. HCC’s ‘Food Banking Reimagined’ concept has completely changed the look, feel and product of a typical food bank while feeding over 105,000 kids! Our program is free for clients, with zero qualifications and/or restrictions as each client’s diversity, story and hardship is valued. HCC outreach centers offer client choice mini marts complete with personal shoppers, upscale clothing boutiques with on-site kids play corners all rolled into one, creating a normal yet elevated, shopping experience where we would all love to shop. HCC first opened its’ doors 14 years ago to the public in memory of a young 23-year-old brother and son, Mitch Swaback. Through one family’s loss, the desire and mission to serve the underserved in Phoenix was born. “As the fallout from the pandemic continues to impact so many local families our services […] More