The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AzAAP) Receives $30,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Support the Health of Arizona Children

The Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AzAAP) has received a $30,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to serve additional children through its long-standing Medical Services Project (MSP) program. Since 1993, the Medical Services Project has connected thousands of Arizona’s uninsured and underinsured children, whose families earn below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, with acute and episodic medical care. The program serves children experiencing a lapse in coverage and those who do not qualify for AHCCCS or KidsCare but cannot afford private insurance premiums. Without regular access to adequate health care, children may be unable to participate in class and are at risk for increased school absences. This can lead to poor academic performance and ultimately affect a child’s ability to succeed in school. Furthermore, untreated health conditions can become serious long-term issues. MSP works with health professionals, such as school nurses and community health providers, who refer these children to primary and specialty care practices and services in the program network, including mental and behavioral health, vision, ENT, and more, to receive care they may not receive otherwise. The program offers low-cost medical care via a network of generous program providers who donate their time or drastically […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Treasures 4 Teachers $55,000 to Power T4T on Wheels Classroom Supply Program

During this critical ‘Back-to-School’ season and throughout the year the generous financial support of Thunderbirds Charities, enables 1,250 teachers and 37,500 students from Title 1 schools in metro Phoenix to benefit from the delivery of essential school supplies. The colorful T4T on Wheels van carries education resources to educators and kids who continue to have a growing need for education basics. Supporting teachers is critical because they are the most front-line impact drivers for our community’s growing students. “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?” Thunderbirds Charities helps to honor educators who are dealing with rising costs and an increasing student opportunity gap. 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. This year each truckload of free school supplies will be delivered directly to Title 1 schools, serving an average of 50 teachers and 1,500 students in one trip. Most students in Title 1 designated schools live in low-income households […] More

Thunderbirds Charities is Making Difference for Children from Foster Care

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents (AZAFAP) with a generous contribution of $15,000 to assist in funding local programs. These funds directly impact the lives of Arizona children from foster care. Below are our programming initiatives describing how we support families in our community. The mission of Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents: With the goal of increasing the stability, well-being, and connection of Arizona’s foster, kinship, and adoptive families and their children, our purpose is to strengthen and encourage those families through education, financial and emotional support, relationships, and providing opportunity for a voice throughout their journey. AZAFAP’s Embracing Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Families programming includes: Family Connections: One of AZAFAP’s strengths is in providing families the opportunity to socialize and interact to build relationships and to share resources and experiences with other families who are facing similar situations. The Family Connections program activities include: picnics, family camps, staycations, family day out, and many more. Family Support Services: In order for foster, kinship, and adoptive placements to remain stable, it is essential to provide ongoing education and support to the families who commit to care for these children. Our Family Support Services include: […] More

Treasure House Secures $20,000 Thunderbirds Charities Grant

Treasure House, a supportive living residence for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), is pleased to announce that it has received a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities in support of its Employment and Life Skills Training Program, where in-house Life Coaches work one-on-one with 29 residents to identify and build upon their unique skills. Residents set customized and achievable goals for employment, volunteer engagements, education, and more. The nonprofit’s unique Employment & Life Skills Training Model actively challenges stigmas and stereotypes. Currently, 72% of Treasure House residents are fully or partially employed at 18 local establishments, a contrast to the national average for adults with disabilities. In 2022, 21.3% of persons with disabilities were employed, with 30% in part-time roles, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through employment opportunities, a substantial number of residents contribute to their monthly expenses, underlining their independence and reduced dependency on social security support. At Treasure House, residents develop a range of life skills, which often include crafting resumes, mastering interviews, refining organizational abilities, and receiving dedicated job coaching. “The experience of gainful employment is a universal right – an inclusive opportunity that should be available to all,” said Lauri Tanner, CEO […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Makes $500,000 Gift to Valleywise Health Foundation

Valleywise Health Foundation is delighted to announce a $500,000 contribution from Thunderbirds Charities towards the Thunderbirds Charities Pediatric Burn Unit located inside the Diane and Bruce Halle Arizona Burn Center opening in early 2024. The new 75,000 square-foot Halle Arizona Burn Center was designed from both the patient’s and clinician’s perspective, bringing the functions and features of burn care excellence into one location. The design philosophy and physical layout will foster a sense of safety, openness, collaboration and peer support in recovery and responsiveness – which are key in addressing the trauma associated with burns – as well as a patient’s long-term recovery. “Recovery from a burn injury, both physically and mentally, is a lifelong journey and pediatric patients will be our patients for life,” said Dr. Kevin Foster, Director of the Arizona Burn Center – Valleywise Health. “The new Thunderbirds Charities Pediatric Burn Unit was designed to be a safe space for children to heal, work through the trauma associated with their injuries, and get back to being a kid. This truly meaningful gift will help children and families for generations to come.” The Thunderbirds Charities Pediatric Burn Unit will be a secured wing with private patient rooms, as […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Funds Enhanced Art Programming at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) is thrilled to announce a grant in the amount of $100,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to enhance the organization’s art programs and infuse them with a technology piece to provide programming across multiple Clubhouses. The funding will empower the Clubs to provide an enriched creative learning experience for all members ages five to 18, fostering artistic expression and technological innovation. The funding from Thunderbirds Charities will be instrumental in implementing a series of transformative initiatives and use of technology to bring specialized art programming and feature local working artists at all Club locations: “Thunderbirds Charities commitment to the community’s youth is quite simply put, unwavering,” said Ivan Gilreath, BGCS CEO. “This collaboration will leave a lasting impact on the lives of countless children across all of our 9 branch locations, nurturing their creativity and enriching their personal and artistic development.” Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale (BGCS) This grant is part of the Spring 2023 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Helps Homebound Seniors Stay Independent

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds, hosts of the WM Phoenix Open, awarded $25,000 to Aster Aging, Inc. (Aster). This generous award supports the Aster Neighbors Program. Through this program, volunteers are matched with homebound seniors in the East Valley, providing assistance with essential daily activities such as transportation to medical appointments, prescription pick-up, help with grocery shopping, and friendly visits and phone calls. Through these activities, the Neighbors program reduces isolation, increases access to essential medical and basic need resources, and promotes independence via improved nutrition, physical health, and emotional well-being. “We are very grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their support,” said Deborah Schaus, Chief Executive Officer of Aster. “Our Neighbors program enables local homebound residents to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible, empowering these individuals and strengthening our community.” “Aster Aging has such a positive impact on so many homebound seniors in our East Valley community and we excited to support such a great mission,” said Pat Williams, President of Thunderbirds Charities. Aster Aging, Inc. (Aster) This grant is part of the Spring 2023 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $25,000 For Growing Readers Through Stand for Children Arizona

Stand for Children Arizona is overjoyed to disclose a notable grant of $25,000, generously given by Thunderbirds Charities to our Growing Readers Program. This meaningful investment is a shining endorsement of our combined resolve to conquer literacy challenges among young learners, particularly those from Spanish-speaking families. The Growing Readers Program, a direct expansion of our successful Every Child Reads initiative, serves as a testament to Thunderbirds Charities’ deep-rooted commitment to bettering the lives of children and families. With their support, we’re bridging the gap between schools and homes, extending our reach by offering dynamic, flexible workshops to Spanish-speaking families. Our commitment, in tandem with Thunderbirds Charities, is to deliver both print and digital books to families in need, and orchestrating family workshops in English and Spanish, remains resolute. Arizona’s pressing issue of low reading rates poses a significant challenge to the economic prosperity of our children’s future. Yet, Thunderbirds Charities’ support reinvigorates our mission. For over a decade, Stand for Children Arizona, backed by this collaborative spirit, has been equipping parents with vital tools and resources to enrich their children’s educational experience and bolster literacy rates across the state. Together, we stand firm in our belief that with the correct […] More

Arizona Helping Hands Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Arizona Helping Hands is the state’s largest provider of essential needs to children in foster care. Thanks to a generous $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, the organization will be well positioned to continue providing support to thousands of foster families.   The grant will fund the Essential Needs Program which supplies children with the basics they need to thrive during their foster care journey. The program focuses on providing a safe place to sleep by distributing twin beds, cribs and linens. Every foster infant or toddler who comes through the Arizona Helping Hands warehouse receives a convertible bed that will grow with them. Older children receive a twin bed kit with a pillow and bedding set. Bedding is not the only essential provided by Arizona Helping Hands. The warehouse also serves as a shopping center where foster families can select items for the foster children in their care once a month, including clothing, diapers, wipes, educational activities, personal hygiene kits and backpacks all free of charge. This program recently expanded through the first-ever Mobile Unit Delivery Program which significantly increases access to back-to-school and basic essentials to foster children across the state by visiting remote areas and distributing essential items. […] More

WHAM Art Association receives $5,000 Award from Thunderbirds Charities for Teen WHAM Art Program

Thunderbirds Charities has given a grant award of $5,000 to support WHAM Teen Art Club. The WHAM Teen Art Club (Teen WHAM Art Program) is an inclusive program that welcomes all teenagers with an interest in art or a desire to learn about art. The program provides an environment for teens to explore their creativity and engage in various art projects. The meetings take place on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM, in the WHAM Classroom at 16560 Dysart Rd, Surprise, AZ 85378. During these gatherings, WHAM artists lead creative art projects that allow the teens to express themselves and learn new artistic techniques. Recent projects have included designing clothing from recycled materials, painting skateboards, decorating gourds, acrylic painting, drum making, rain sticks, and kaleidoscopes. These projects offer hands-on experiences and are meant to be enjoyable for the participants. One of the primary goals of the Teen WHAM Art Program is to fill the void left by the lack of art programs in many area schools. By reaching out to local schools and teenagers, the program aims to raise awareness of its existence and provide opportunities for artistic exploration. The funds raised […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Funds ARCHKids program for Kids with Special Needs

Our ARCHKids program provides year-round enrichment programs for children with special needs when school is not in session, including after school programming, full-day camps during seasonal breaks, and half-day camps during early release days. Working closely with community service providers, school districts and community transportation services, we serve 200 kids age 8 to 22 from all ethnicities and walks of life. The $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities will cover enrichment activity supplies and ensure that youth with special needs from low-income families will have access to supportive care when school is not in session throughout the year. Through our programs we aim to provide education and socialization opportunities to improve quality of life, enrichment programs to increase independence and personal safety and physical fitness activities to combat obesity and support health and well-being. ARCHKids Coordinator, Derrick Martinez, said “We are truly grateful to have Thunderbirds Charities’ support for our ARCHKids program! Their contribution means we can continue to provide quality care and enrichment activities for children in our community, in our ARCHKids Summer Day Camps and ARCHKids After-School programs.” ARCH’s Executive Director, Kip Murray, said “We are thrilled to be endorsed once again this year by Thunderbirds Charities. They are […] More

$100,000 Grant From Thunderbirds Charities Will Empower Those Experiencing Homelessness, Enable Jobs, Housing, and Education

Homeless I.D. 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 for many is the critical first step of identification replacement services needed to end and prevent homelessness.  “We are very grateful for this vital grant from Thunderbirds Charities,” said Executive Director Rick Mitchell. “An ID provides tangible help for individuals working toward ending their homelessness. It also infuses 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 I.D. Project’s Director of Programs, 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 2022, Homeless I.D. Project provided 12,143 documents, including 8,000 state-issued IDs and 4,000 replacement copies of 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 programs […] More

Elevate Phoenix Receives $75,000 From Thunderbirds Charities To Help Change the Lives and Futures of Thousands of At-Risk Youth

Thunderbirds Charities provided a generous grant of $75,000 to improve the academic success of low-income, at-risk youth who are failing in school, lack positive role models, experience daily stressors (i.e., gang influences, difficult home lives, etc.), feel they have no future, and are considering dropping out of school. Since 2009, Elevate Phoenix has helped thousands of these youth remain in school, graduate, and move on to college and a career. The Thunderbirds Charities grant will support Elevate Phoenix’s fourth pipeline, which is comprised of one high school and one feeder elementary/middle school. The grant will enable Elevate Phoenix to serve up to 2,500 more low-income, at-risk youth each year. “We are tremendously grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for this very generous grant,” said Dalila Gamper, Executive Director. “The funding will help thousands more at-risk youth stay in school, advance to college and a career, and ultimately break the cycle of poverty. Our unique, relationship-based model is very successful. For 14 years, Elevate Phoenix has kept thousands of at-risk youth in school and helped them succeed and advance to college and a career. Its one-of-a-kind relationship-based approach makes youth WANT to come to school, where they feel cared about, are greeted warmly every morning, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Special Olympics Arizona With $130,000 Grant

Special Olympics Arizona received a $130,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the WM Phoenix Open – during the 2023 Spring Funding Cycle.  The funds will be used to support SOAZ’s 2023-2024 athletic season that will include area and regional competitions, as well as its four major statewide competitions in the Fall of 2023 and Spring/Summer of 2024 that will feature more than 1,000 athletes from all across the state of Arizona participating in each state competition. “We have had an outstanding partnership with Thunderbirds Charities, and we can’t thank them enough once again for such a generous grant,” Heckerman said.  “Their continued support goes a long way to helping Special Olympics Arizona serve our more than 14,000 athletes all across the state of Arizona, with specialized programming and more importantly, with our statewide competitions.  We are excited for the upcoming 2023-24 competition season.” With this grant from Thunderbirds Charities, SOAZ athletes will have more opportunities to demonstrate excellence, improve their physical fitness, and create relationships through sports. “Special Olympics Arizona holds a special place in the heart of The Thunderbirds, and witnessing the remarkable growth and success of this organization over […] More

Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) has been awarded a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The funds will be used to support the organization’s GS Impact program, which provides year-round leadership training, extracurricular activities, and after school programming to girls across Maricopa County who may otherwise face a lack of access to Girl Scouting. “Thanks to the generous support from The Thunderbirds and Thunderbirds Charities, we will be able to continue to eliminate financial barriers for families in Maricopa County and introduce 500 girls to our impactful life skills, leadership, outdoor activities, and STEM programming,” said Mary Mitchell, co-CEO of GSACPC. “As girls and their families navigate difficult circumstances due to the effects of the pandemic and rising costs of rent, groceries and basic needs, Thunderbirds Charities is helping us create an environment where every girl can find a sisterhood and themselves.” With 85 percent of GSACPC membership located in Maricopa County, the inclusive contribution from Thunderbirds Charities supports GSACPC’s commitment to serving girls from every economic, racial, ethnic, and religious background, and girls of all abilities through immersive and fun experiences like A Taste of Summer Camp, which is slated for spring 2024 at The Bob & Renee Parsons […] More

Educare Arizona Receives $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Funding for Educare’s Extended Day program will maximize learning and kindergarten preparation time as it operates 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.” The investments made today in young children provide an important foundation for human development, with critical in-the-long-run links to economic earnings and opportunity later in life. More and more evidence suggests that there are aspects of early skills – achievement, behavior, and mental health—that if improved early in life can improve children’s life chances. Educare Arizona This grant is part of the Spring 2023 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Southwest Human Development Receives $25,000 Grant From Thunderbirds Charities to Fund the Birth to Five Helpline

Southwest Human Development receives $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities! Children are best supported when parents, caregivers and professionals have access to information and resources that meet their individual needs and circumstances. Since 2005, the Helpline has been a trusted resource in our community, providing free access to evidence-based information, unhurried and thorough support focused on allowing caregivers to feel effective and empowered regarding their parenting capacities, and vetted community resources and referrals matched to the individual needs of participants. “The Birth to Five Helpline would not be possible without the financial support we receive from Thunderbirds Charities,” said Jake Adams, Chief Development Officer of Southwest Human Development. “Because of their support, Arizonans across our state have access to early childhood experts to help them through challenging behaviors and assistance to better understand their young child.” The Helpline stands as a crucial primary prevention and early intervention tool that is unique in our state and exceedingly rare in the country. The support of Thunderbirds Charities is vital to maintaining this valuable resource in Arizona. Southwest Human Development This grant is part of the Spring 2023 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $17,000 to Benevilla for Memory Lane Games Tool to Enhance Cognitive Stimulation in Members

Benevilla was recently awarded a $17,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to adopt a new technology software program called Memory Lane Games, to further improve the quality of life of their Life Enrichment Day program members. A personalized “reminiscence” platform, it enhances cognitive stimulation and provides an entertaining and therapeutic experience to individuals living with dementia. This new software improves family connections, creating engagements which are meaningful and joyful for everyone and provides personalized family reporting. Caregivers like the system as it calms and distracts agitated individuals so therapeutic or medical care can be provided. “They love the questions, photos and ease of use. The layout and text are colorful yet simple. Each quiz is short and has no time limits which is perfect for them” stated the caregiver of a loved one with dementia. The generous grant from Thunderbirds Charities will provide application access for 40 program members across the 3 Benevilla Life Enrichment programs. Specifically, the grant support will pay for monthly memberships, the purchase of iPads for the programs, and the application training for staff and family members. A simple, yet sophisticated user interface, the application can be used on a dedicated iPad to upload personal photos or […] More

Saving Amy’s Kids Go Program

The support and funding provided by Thunderbirds Charities for Saving Amy‘s Kids Go program are invaluable in ensuring the success of these children in school. The program’s year-round tutor/mentor model is designed to provide personalized attention and guidance to each child. By working closely with the children three days a week, assisting with homework, teaching time management skills, and building relationships, the tutors/mentors play a vital role in helping them succeed academically and emotionally. Providing school uniforms/clothing, supplies, tablets, and covering medical/dental fees during the school year is essential in removing barriers to education and ensuring that Saving Amy’s children start the school year on a solid note. By covering the fees for sports, clubs, instruments, and other activities, Saving Amy enables these children to explore their interests and develop their talents. The summer reading program and the engaging activities, such as ice skating, movies, science museum visits, and picnics, contribute to their personal growth and development. Saving Amy supports 76 children, and 100% of the children who have received tutoring and mentoring have a ‘C’ grade average or better, with the majority maintaining an ‘A’ or ‘B’ average. The impressive academic outcomes speak to the effectiveness of the Kids […] More

$300,000 Grant From Thunderbirds Charities Will Support Critical Client Services to Help 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, housing and behavioral health navigation 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. “Our team cannot do the important work they do every day without the incredibly generous support of Thunderbirds Charities,” said HSC CEO Amy Schwabenlender. “We are extremely grateful that Thunderbirds Charities continues to be one of our most consistent community partners.” In Fiscal Year 2023, more than 12,000 unduplicated individuals visited the Human Services Campus. During that period, nearly 9,000 individuals underwent assessments to determine their needs and 830 were diverted to friends and family, quickly and affordably helping move from street to home. “Human Services Campus is doing invaluable work in our community,” said Pat Williams, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “As we watch the significant growth in our unsheltered population, we are immensely grateful that we have organizations like HSC providing […] More

Thunderbirds Charities $25,000 Grant will Fuel College Matriculation for First-Generation Students

Currently, only 39% of economically disadvantaged students in Maricopa County are enrolling in college and only 31% of Hispanic/Latino adults have a post-secondary degree, compared to 61% of white adults. Camp Catanese aims to close this gap and eliminate barriers to post-secondary education. To date, over 98% of our campers have been admitted to college, with 100% of the most recent class of 2023 planning to enroll this fall! Camp Catanese is at an inflection point, with the opportunity to scale our program and reach more students. The Thunderbirds Charities grant will help fuel our growth, as we aim to serve 400 campers (students in 7th-12th grade) in the 2023-2024 school year. We are expanding our year-round college access camps and preparing more low-income students for success in college through year-round tutoring, mentorship, and college application support. This grant enables us to plan and scale-up to reach more students off of our waitlist! We are so grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for helping us grow. “Everything that you do here impacts people so much. You have made graduates out of students who did not think they can. Thank you.” -Angeliqe, Class of 2025 We are thrilled to support the Camp Catanese Foundation as they continue […] More

The Center for the Rights of Abused Children’s Pro Bono Children’s Law Clinic awarded Thunderbirds Charities Grant

The Center for the Rights of Abused Children is excited to announce Thunderbirds Charities has generously donated $10,000 to the Pro Bono Children’s Law Clinic. These funds will go directly toward providing legal advice and representation, free of charge, for abused and neglected children. The Children’s Law Clinic is a lifeline for young children as well as young adults who have aged out of foster care and face adulthood alone. The Center for the Rights of Abused Children strives every day to protect children, change laws and inspire people to ensure every abused child has a bright future. We envision a day when all of America’s children have an opportunity to live in safe and loving homes. “Thunderbirds Charities has been a pillar of Arizona’s charitable community since 1986,” says Darcy Olsen, CEO of The Center for the Rights of Abused Children. “We greatly appreciate their generous financial support for the children in need who find safety, hope and a future at the Center for the Rights of Abused Children.” The Center for the Rights of Abused Children This grant is part of the Spring 2023 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

XICO Receives $10,000 in Funding from Thunderbirds Charities Donation Designated for XICO’s Unique Youth Arts Program

Xico, one of the oldest ethnic arts organizations in the United States and a leading organization advancing culture, artists and community, today announced that Thunderbirds Charities Board of Directors approved a grant in the amount of $10,000 to Xico for “Say Yes to the Press (SYP)” youth arts program. The Thunderbirds Charities funding will pay for staff time, travel, materials, and resources for students.  “We are so grateful for the Thunderbirds Charities grant in support of our SYP youth arts program” said Donna Valdés, Executive Director of Xico. “This generous contribution goes a long way in creating safe spaces for youth to engage in traditional arts forms and build confidence through cultural expression.” Xico provides opportunities to engage in various types of visual art, however, its specialty is printmaking which requires an etching press. “Say Yes to the Press” was named for its unique feature, a mobile printmaking program. Printmaking is an artistic discipline that is not offered through any other mobile engagement program in Arizona. In addition to printmaking, the curriculum for SYP includes painting, drawing, sculpture, and recycled art. “We are delighted to include this level of funding for Xico’s meaningful youth arts program,” said Pat Williams, President of […] More

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation Receives $35,000 Grant from Thunderbird Charities

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF), the non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of Arizona youth in foster care, is pleased to announce it is the recipient of a generous grant from Thunderbirds Charities in the amount of $35,000. The Thunderbirds Charities board of directors approved the grant to assist in fostering success for children in foster care. The grant from Thunderbirds Charities will allow the AFFCF to continue its robust Child Activities Program. This program supports foster youth through the funding of their athletic, educational, and social activities and items that are not otherwise funded by the state or other programs. “We are extraordinarily grateful for the generous donation from Thunderbirds Charities,” says President and CEO of AFFCF Luis De La Cruz. “As a non-profit organization, we rely heavily on the support of businesses, organizations and residents of the community and we take the responsibility of putting these funds to best use to serve our mission of assisting our local foster youth beyond services provided by the state.” AFFCF began nearly 40 years ago by making one small donation of less than $30, which allowed a young boy the opportunity to take flute lessons. Since that first act, AFFCF has funded more […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grant Furthers Cancer Support Community Arizona’s Work to Improve Outcomes for Low-Income Patients

Low-income cancer patients in Maricopa County will have increased access to comprehensive cancer care, including essential mental health support, thanks to a $25,000 grant Thunderbirds Charities awarded to Cancer Support Community Arizona (CSCAZ), a Phoenix-based nonprofit that delivers free support services, programming, and resources to cancer patients, their families, and caregivers across the state. The Thunderbirds Charities grant supports CSCAZ’s Cancer Resource Navigator Program, created to address cancer disparities and improve health equity. “While well-insured cancer patients typically receive continuous, state-of-the-art medical treatment, this is often not the case for uninsured and underinsured patients, said Annet Ruiter, Interim CEO and Chief Mission Officer of CSCAZ. Barriers often prevent low-income patients from accessing physical and mental health care. As a result, the outcomes for treatable cancers are too often fatal, and this is in direct relationship to patients’ income level and insurance status.” CSCAZ’s Cancer Resource Navigator program provides low-income clients with advocacy, resource navigation, and a Direct Assistance Fund to support crucial expenses beyond a family’s financial means. As part of the program, bilingual, hospital-embedded Cancer Resource Navigators work closely with two Phoenix hospitals most often serving this vulnerable population to ensure low-income patients’ and families’ mental and physical health […] More

Wigged Out Receives $10,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Wigged Out, Inc received a $10,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities which will help support financial assistance for wigs for women and children with medically related hair loss. Funding from Thunderbirds Charities will provide approximately 40 additional wigs to women and children in Arizona, which is equal to approximately one month of applicants. Although wigs are often seen as vanity items, they provide an opportunity to restore a sense of self and improve mental health for individuals experiencing hair loss due to medical conditions, such as cancer, alopecia, or autoimmune disorders. The high cost of quality, well fitting wigs puts them out of reach for the women and children that Wigged Out serves, who are often living on limited incomes and frequently have to choose between their treatments, medications, and their daily living expenses, leaving no room for “extras” such as a wig. The support from Thunderbirds Charities will help women such as Joni, 67, who is battling breast cancer. She describes her experience with hair loss: “I loved my hair and it was devastating to lose it all and have no control at all over how or when. You look in the mirror and don’t recognize yourself. It is a […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $5,000 to Support Art Education for At-Risk Youth

Phoenix Center for the Arts is committed to the belief that the arts are for all – including those whose access to art experiences is limited. Phoenix Center for the Arts takes arts engagement outside the walls of their campus and straight to the communities that need it the most. PCA brings arts education and programming to historically underserved communities with the valued support of Thunderbirds Charities. It is well-documented that the arts improve self-conception, motivation, empathy, and tolerance for others, and that it can help “level the playing field” for disadvantaged youth. Vital support provided by Thunderbirds Charities allows Phoenix Center for the Arts the funding required for a full season of engagement with at-risk youth by going directly to the communities, offering exciting and free arts programming for young people, families, teens, seniors, culturally diverse groups, differently abled citizens, and neurodivergent individuals regardless of financial means. “We are thrilled to bring another season of engaging arts education to our underserved communities and at-risk youth with the support provided by Thunderbirds Charities.” said Sandra Bassett, Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Center for the Arts. One of the Center’s core values is the importance of arts and cultural education for […] More

More Techie Training for Arizona Students Thanks to Thunderbirds Charities

Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AZ StRUT) is honored to announce to have been awarded a $25,000 grant by Thunderbirds Charities to support our Techie Labs and Camps. With this generous grant, 300 Arizona students will engage in our hands-on computer training in Maricopa and Pinal counties, spreading digital opportunities and equity. Tom Mehlert, AZ StRUT Executive Director adds, “We have seen the impact of our Techie Labs and Camps. Learners earn a refurbished computer, often their first personally owned device, sparking curiosity about learning more.“ Techie Labs and Techie Camps were started to facilitate hardware learning and distribute refurbished computers to Title I students in an engaging, hands-on approach. Students participate in a unique opportunity to disassemble and reassemble hardware, as well as configure operating systems. AZ StRUT creates an inclusive, safe learning environment for students in collaboration with partner schools and organizations. Camps are a four-hour introduction to computer hardware technology, providing 10-15 participants with STEM enrichment. Learners take home a refurbished computer, expanding digital inclusion throughout our state. Techie Labs started in 1998 in partnership with local schools and colleges, with a priority focus on serving Title I schools. We now partner with 43 schools and colleges, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $36,000 To Support Best Buddies in Arizona And Individuals With Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities

Best Buddies International, a nonprofit founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), is excited to announce a generous grant from Thunderbirds Charities of $36,000 to further our mission of inclusion and support the Arizona School Friendship Program. Best Buddies is built upon four key mission pillars: one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living. With the grant provided by Thunderbirds Charities, Best Buddies will focus on furthering our mission of inclusion through improving the education of and quality of life of our participants with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities. Currently, Arizona has Best Buddies programs at 58 schools. Each chapter is supported by a Faculty Advisor and/or Special Education Advisor plus a Chapter President, in addition to the Program Manager. The grant provided by Thunderbirds Charities will make it possible to serve more individuals with IDD through our Friendship Program in elementary, middle and high schools in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan area. For more information about Best Buddies in Arizona, please contact State Director, Lisa Cleary at, or 602-253-6463. Best […] More

Neighborhood Ministries Awarded Thunderbirds Charities Grant for Katy’s Kids Preschool

Neighborhood Ministries is thrilled to have been awarded a grant for its Katy’s Kids Preschool program. The generous grant, provided by Thunderbirds Charities, will greatly support and advance our efforts to equip inner-city Phoenix children with the academic, social, emotional, problem-solving, language, and literacy skills needed to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Since 2004, Katy’s Kids (which recently earned a five-star rating from First Things First) has helped address the community need for affordable, high quality preschool options, providing no-cost, comprehensive early intervention and child development services to 30 preschoolers annually. “We are deeply grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for recognizing the importance of our Katy’s Kids Preschool. We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and the positive outcomes we can achieve together.” This $25,000 grant will provide vital funding for crucial teacher salaries. Katy’s Kids teachers are skilled at developing strong social-emotional and academic foundations as well as relationships with each child and family that lasts well beyond preschool. Neighborhood Ministries This grant is part of the Spring 2023 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More