Thunderbirds Charities Sponsors Online Support Groups for Special Needs Children

In 2021, with the pandemic waning for many mainstream individuals, the special needs community needs a lifeline. While Lions Camp Tatiyee understand the challenges that the broader community has faced as a whole, studies conducted over the last year have shown that special needs children have suffered significantly more trauma and setbacks than their mainstream peers. The pandemic has been devastating for the special needs community, promoting unprecedented levels of depression, trauma, and self-harm. Children with special needs across the State of Arizona remain isolated and excluded due to unique health conditions that make them uniquely vulnerable. As such, Lions Camp Tatiyee is working with Thunderbirds Charities to embark on an aggressive statewide campaign to engage those most isolated and affected by the pandemic, providing them with the tools to connect with peers and feel part of the broader community once again. To address this challenge, Lions Camp Tatiyee is conducting a yearlong Social Connection Campaign to engage 75 children with special needs through our summer session (May 2021 – July 2021), and through biweekly social support sessions from August 2021 to May 2022. This program will participating children cope with, and recover form, the trauma associated with the pandemic. […] More

Elevate Phoenix Receives $25,000 Grant for Work with At-Risk Students Thunderbird Charities Recognizes Phoenix Nonprofit’s Effort in our Community

The grant from Thunderbirds Charities will be used to help students improve their academic skills and help families access needed services. “We are so grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for this opportunity,” said Dalila A. Gamper, Executive Director of Elevate Phoenix. “$25,000 is a lot of money for a local nonprofit and will go a long way in continuing the successful work we are doing.” Elevate Phoenix will use the grant to continue its work in supporting at-risk youth and families, continuing our community outreach and quality of life for our clients and increased educational programs. Specifically, Elevate will: Secure electronic devices for the remaining 200 low-income youth we serve, who otherwise would not be able to afford them. Over the past year, with Covid and homeschooling at the forefront, Elevate has purchased and provided devices for more than 200 youth, yet more are needed. Provide students with backpacks, filled with educational materials and other curriculum need to participate in the Elevate Phoenix program. Arrange for our Teacher-Mentors to conduct reading, life skills and workforce preparedness curriculum virtually or in-person for students in grades 2-12. Provide students and their families with reading subscriptions and encourage them to read every day. Provide […] 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 and youth age 8 to 22 with special needs from all ethnicities and walks of life. The $15,000 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 “In our ARCHKids program, we provide our kids with a consistent routine of activities throughout the day and make certain that no parent struggling with the complexities of raising a child with special needs should have to choose between employment and providing safe and reliable care for their child. We are grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for […] More

Education Forward Arizona Recieves $25K From Thunderbirds Charities to Continue Mentoring Resilient Students Project

The Mentoring Resilient Students project will enable Education Forward Arizona to continue providing mentoring services and support for up to 800 students who are currently enrolled in an Arizona community college or university and experienced economic hardship during the pandemic. These students meet regularly with a success adviser who helps them set goals, respond to challenges and stay on track with their college education. The program supports mostly first-generation, low-income, minority students. These students also received support from the Arizona Postsecondary Student Resiliency Fund, an initiative of Education Forward Arizona and Helios Education Foundation that provided $500,000 to more than 1,250 low-income and first-generation students to help them continue their college career despite the economic hardships caused by the pandemic. Funds went towards things like living expenses, transportation, technology and food. The project helps students like Fransheska Salgado, who received the scholarship money after she had to move back to San Luis with her family during the pandemic. She now meets with her success adviser Stephanie Capps several times a semester. “It has helped me remain accountable throughout this school year,” said Salgado, who is studying political science at Arizona State University. “Having Stephanie as my mentor provides a constant […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Saving Amy $20,000 to Support the Rise Up Program!

Saving Amy was founded with a mission to Create Community, Transform Lives and Resolve Homelessness. Saving Amy takes a holistic approach to ending the cycle of homelessness by empowering individuals and families transitioning out of homelessness. We transform lives through mentoring, teaching life skills, educational advancement, and financial stability through employment. Saving Amy’s Rise Up Program provides everything needed to make each family’s house a home. Rise Up is a two-part program that includes supporting families as they transition out of the homeless shelter, and as they progress to live in better neighborhoods. Saving Amy first provides financial support for families as they transition out of the homeless shelter, including coverage for first and last month’s rent, moving expenses, and other home-related necessities. As the family progresses and finds stability with a secure job, they are then able to pay their bills without government assistance and can afford an apartment in a better neighborhood. Employment, income, education, and physical health are significantly improved when families live in high-quality neighborhoods. Saving Amy families move forward with the realization that they will never be back on the street or in a homeless shelter again. In turn, the families help to support others […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $61,000 to Support Children with Disabilities

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, has awarded a $61,000 grant to Southwest Human Development to support young children with disabilities that are served by the early childhood nonprofit’s Children’s Developmental Center. Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest nonprofit dedicated to early childhood development, provides more than 40 programs and services to 140,000 children, their families and professionals each year. Among those, its Children’s Developmental Center provides services focused on the health and well-being of children from birth to age 5 who have complex developmental disabilities, such as autism, feeding disorders and other delays due to abuse and trauma. Through state-of-the-art, comprehensive assessment, treatment planning, and intervention services, Southwest Human Development’s integrated service model blends medical, developmental and behavioral/mental health approaches. The funding provided by Thunderbirds Charities will allow children and their families to receive care from a transdisciplinary team of specialists including a pediatrician, psychologist, care coordinators, occupational and speech therapists who work collaboratively with families to help children reach their full potential. Southwest Human Development This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Support the Changing Smiles, Changing Lives Program at Smiles and Beyond

Four more people will receive a second chance at life through our Changing Smiles, Changing Lives Program because of the generosity of Thunderbirds Charities. The grant will mean a change in the trajectory of their lives and of those all around them forever. “Smiles looked at me and only saw the good in me. My life is totally different today,“ says Brittany. It is nearly impossible to develop in our society with very damaged teeth hampering a person’s opportunities. While an employer may try to look past damaged teeth to see the real person, often teeth are the one obstacle to employment that cannot be overcome. The rejection and despair caused by being unable to support yourself and your family is immense. The oral health care intervention made possible by the Thunderbirds helps to address community related health issues, provide a pathway to employment, and reduce community costs associated with the lack of healthcare, mental health care and unemployment. Program participants are reuniting with families, buying homes, attending school, and building careers. Homelessness, poverty, and domestic violence are no longer part of their stories. Smiles and Beyond is proud to be part of their new stories. “I had lost everything, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports AZAFAP Organization Benefitting Children from Foster Care

The Strengthening Foster, Kinship and Adoptive Parents programs through the Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents (AZAFAP) provides families with the tools and support necessary to be successful in providing for Arizona’s most vulnerable children. The funding awarded by Thunderbirds Charities will support their ongoing programs of Family Connections, Family Support Services, Children’s Basic Needs, and Community Awareness. The well-being and stability of foster children depend on families who are connected to one another and who receive support. Parents and children enjoy events including picnics, golf games, family camps, and staycations. They also participate in support groups and training that help them find more resources and success in their journeys. Children’s eyes show delight when they select their new pair of shoes for school at local stores. The holiday season can bring on a variety of emotions, so receiving a bicycle or toy chosen especially for them goes a long way.Community awareness during Foster Care Awareness Month in May can help bring more resources to children through community members volunteering to be a mentor, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), event planner, or a foster parent. November is National Adoption Month when it is emphasized that children need permanency in […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $45,000 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 Waste Management 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?” 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 $45,000 grant to Treasures 4 Teachers for their T4T on Wheels Program. This year truckloads of free school supplies will be delivered directly to […] More

Billy’s Place Is a Proud Recipient of a Thunderbirds Charities $10,000 Grant to Support Educators

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 and education groups each month. Support groups include loss of a parent, loss of a sibling, YA Grief (Young Adult), 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 their play, art, storytelling, music, and talking. With assistance from Thunderbirds Charities, this investment will assist with expanding the outreach with local schools. Resources, training, and support are provided so educators are better equipped to understand and offer much-needed support during this mental health crisis. “Local educators have been so supportive in the partnership with Billy’s Place in learning how to better equip their kiddos who have lost a significant person. Because of support from organizations like Thunderbirds Charities, we are able to help train educators and offer support to families free of charge as they navigate their grief journey. The children of our community […] More

September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

POP-Prostate On-Site Project provides free and low cost prostate cancer screenings to men 40 and over or younger if prostate cancer is in their family. The screenings consist of a PSA blood draw, a DRE exam and consultation by a Board Certified Urologist. This is done in mobile medical units to allow these screenings to be convenient, reduce downtime from work and the benefit of traveling to various locations. Prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in American men and the second leading cause of cancer death. 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their life time. The funds that are donated to POP help to support this project and improve the lives of men with early detection. CEO Marla Zimmerman said, “We are so appreciative of the $12,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. Their support to POP is providing funding for prevention of this silent killing disease. 15 minutes could save a life! We are saving lives, one screening at a time.” POP- Prostate On-Site Project is a non-profit organization formed in 1998 by Gene Felker founder, prostate cancer survivors, business men in the community and athletes. The mission of POP: “We improve the quality of […] More

$200,000 Grant From Thunderbirds Charities Will Support Critical Services to End Clients’ Homelessness

The Human Services Campus (HSC) will invest funds from a $200,000 Thunderbirds Charities grant to enhance and expand services critical to ending homelessness for HSC clients. 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. “We are incredibly grateful for the generous $200,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities because we know it will directly impact the lives of so many of the men and women experiencing homelessness who are served on the campus,” said HSC Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender. Development Director Steve Davis added that “the long-term support of Thunderbirds Charities makes them true champions. And, their additional support during the pandemic has been extremely helpful in allowing us to continue providing uninterrupted services to our clients every day.” During 2020, the Human Services Campus served 6,600 unduplicated individuals experiencing homelessness, placing more than 700 into permanent housing and diverted more than 500 men and women from becoming homeless. “We’re honored to support these critical client services,” said Scott Jenkins, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “Together, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Invests in Live & Learn Women Thriving

Thunderbirds Charities has generously granted $10,000 of Covid-19 relief funding to Live & Learn’s Women Thriving program. The Women Thriving program offers Maricopa County women a pathway back to stability and employment in the wake of the Covid-19 Pandemic. “Thunderbirds Charities is investing in Maricopa County’s recovery through their support of our Women Thriving program,” says Kristin Chatsworth, Executive Director of Live & Learn. “We must make sure women and their children are not left behind by the economic recovery.” Women in poverty have been devastated by the economic impact of the pandemic. Women in low-wage and service-sector positions lost jobs at an unprecedented rate. Childcare costs have tripled. Phoenix-area domestic violence homicide increased 180%. Mental illness and substance use are increasing. Low-income populations experienced Covid-19 infection rates five times the national average. Over 250,000 Arizonans face eviction.The Women Thriving program offers a solution. By December 2020, 80% of women enrolled in the program had successfully secured full-time employment and lowered their reliance on government assistance. Funding from Thunderbirds Charities will be used to help women in the program overcome barriers to employment. This includes bus passes, internet stipend to allow for job search, employer-required fingerprint cards, childcare registration fees, […] More

$20,000 Grant Award from Thunderbirds Charities Will Generate Major Impact for Gabriel’s Angels

The extraordinary, multifaceted obstacles of the 2020 world health crisis have struck at every American, fostering uncertainty and distress in everyone’s lives. As Gabriel’s Angels’ CEO, Melissa Steimer, explains there is still much to do to meet the current need in our community, “the pet therapy teams have worked through so many challenges in this past year to continue meeting the needs of children in our State as safely as possible,” Steimer said.It is with profound appreciation for the support from our dedicated volunteers, partners, donors, and, of course, generous supporters like Thunderbirds Charities, that have helped drive the passion for the mission of Gabriel’s Angels to new heights, especially in the unprecedented times of 2020. Steimer elaborates, “as the new CEO of Gabriel’s Angels, I have seen Thunderbirds Charities step up and support so many community organizations in need of program support, even in times where we all have been challenged and have had to weather the storm of change or through crisis, like this past year. This ongoing support of our mission to help over 186,000 at-risk youths through pet therapy in the last 20 years has been extraordinary and has helped us continue to provide this needed […] More

Phoenix Indian Center Receives Funding from Thunderbirds Charities

Phoenix Indian Center announces a contribution of $25,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to provide emergency rental assistance to families in need across the valley. Low-income urban American Indian families continue to struggle after being adversely affected by the pandemic over the last year. Many have suffered loss of employment and reduced hours, leaving them unable to pay rent in addition to life’s other daily challenges. “Thank you, Thunderbirds Charities, for your thoughtful support of the community during this time of need!” said Patricia Hibbeler, CEO of the Phoenix Indian Center. “The families supported through rental assistance will make a difference in the lives of adults and youth, maintaining their residence. Your partnership and trust matters.” With these funds, the Phoenix Indian Center has been able to provide emergency rental assistance to over 30 families in just two months, preventing homelessness for more than 120 people. This organization continues to fight the critical issue of housing security focusing on its vision of a healthy and thriving Indian Country. Phoenix Indian Center This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Homeless ID Project Receives Thunderbirds Charities Grant – $75,000 Will Empower the Homeless, Enable Jobs, Housing and Education

Homeless ID Project received a grant in the amount of $75,000 from Thunderbirds Charities in support of the “ID Empowers Our Community” Program. Thunderbirds Charities’ support will help individuals and families end their homelessness and rebuild their lives by providing the critical first step of identification replacement services. With offices in the Brian Garcia Welcome Center, Homeless ID Project does much of its work on the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix. They also participate in outreach programs intended to reach the homeless and those at risk across Maricopa and Pima Counties. “Homeless ID Project is honored to receive this grant.” said Executive Director Rick Mitchell. “With this ongoing support from Thunderbirds Charities, we are able to help those seeking to end or prevent their homelessness. An ID provides real, direct help for the individual but it also provides measurable value to the community by reducing resources spent on homelessness and by empowering an individual to contribute to the community.” According to Mitchell, “Our mission is to help people end and prevent homelessness by providing access to replacement documents. While it is not something many of us think about, it is impossible to get a job, housing, healthcare, or enroll […] More

Treasure House’s Employment and Life Skills Program for IDD Residents Receives Funding from Thunderbirds Charities

Treasure House, an active living community where young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) grow, develop and thrive, is pleased to announce that it received a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities in support of its Employment and Life Skills Training Program. Through the program, Life Coaches work one-on-one with residents to set individual goals for employment and education. Job and volunteer opportunities in the community empower residents to gain independence, purpose and inclusion as active members of society. There are 40,000 adults in Arizona who live with IDD 200,000 students with IDD age out of special education programs each year According to The Arc, 72% of adults with IDD continue to live with their parents after high school graduation, and more than half remain unemployed and unenrolled in higher education in the first two years after high school. Treasure House serves as the solution to the post-high school ‘now what?’ question that families impacted by disabilities face. Currently, 20 of the 29 residents (70 percent) have secured jobs at establishments that partner with Treasure House, including the Arizona Humane Society, Banner Thunderbird Hospital, Barrio Queen, Inspira Senior Living, POPEYES and Spencer’s Place. Inclusion as a productive member of the […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Invests $40,000 in Maggie’s Place Family Success Center; Continues to Partner in Service to Homeless Pregnant Women

Maggie’s Place was recently awarded $40,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to directly support the work of the Maggie’s Place Family Success Center at 30th St and Indian School. The Family Success Center opened its doors in 2014 and is committed to providing vital support services, resources and engagement opportunities for all Maggie’s Place moms. It not only welcomes moms who are currently living in Maggie’s Place homes, but also invites the entire network of more than 1,000 alumni moms to stay connected through on site family coaching, resource support, social events and community. “With the challenges of the last year, we could not have continued to remain open, serve our mission, our moms and their children without the continued support and investment of partners like Thunderbirds Charities,” said Maggie’s Place CEO, Laura Magruder. “With hundreds of current and alumni moms visiting and connecting with the Family Success Center each month, it is a central pillar of our Maggie’s Place community and we are so grateful for the support of the Board of Directors at Thunderbirds Charities.” Thunderbirds Charities, a long time Maggie’s Place partner, recognizes the need for continued support for Maggie’s Place moms to receive the highest quality continuum as […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grant $50,000 to Junior Achievement Arizona

Thunderbirds Charities has granted $50,000 to Junior Achievement Arizona (JA) to support JA Biz Town during the 2021-22 school year. The additional funds will allow 556 low-income students to visit JA BizTown and take part in hands-on learning designed to prepare them for their futures. “JA’s real-word education is needed today more than ever, particularly because of the pandemic,” said Katherine Cecala, president of Junior Achievement of Arizona. “A recent study by the Federal Reserve Board found that 40 percent of Americans were unable to cover a $400 emergency expense, let alone survive a job loss or salary reduction. Making it more critical for low-income students to learn skills at home or school to carry them into the future workforce and prepare them to navigate the realities they will face in adulthood.” JA BizTown will re-open to schools this fall. It begins with teachers leading their students through 14-20 hours of preparatory lessons. During these lessons, students learn about STEM and other high growth careers, paychecks, budgeting, taxes, economics, city government, resume writing, bank loans, teamwork, leadership, and how their skills and interests correlate to careers. After these lessons, students put their new knowledge to the test in a 4.5-hour […] More

Detour Company Theatre Virtual Academy & Summer Skills Workshops & Intensives Receives $10,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

With safeguarding the health and safety of performers, coaches, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic as top priority, Detour Company Theatre created the Virtual Academy in Winter/Spring 2021, to continue to provide performance opportunities to people with disabilities despite the new challenges presented by the pandemic. With the help of a $10,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, all 2021 programming is professionally delivered through Detour’s qualified directing team and coaches, ASL interpreters, and the music director who adapts arrangements as needed. This allows individuals of all capabilities and experience to learn and perform renowned musical numbers. While Virtual Academy was inspired by necessity, it effectively enables Detour to expand the geographic reach of its programs, to inspire, educate, and engage an entirely new population of adults with disabilities. Depending on the status of the health crisis, as well as feedback from participants, Detour may make Virtual Academy a permanent offering. Through the Summer Skills Workshops & Intensives, Detour offers life-long learning opportunities for a community often excluded from traditional arts spaces. Detour upholds an organization-wide “radical inclusion” model, aiming to unleash the capacity for creativity, collaboration, and confidence in every actor. As such, our Summer Skills Workshops & Intensives provides arts […] More

Desert Voices Children Hear More Clearly with Thunderbirds Charities’ Support

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded Desert Voices a $25,000 grant to support the installation of a Phonak/Roger wireless digital system at the school. “We are thrilled with this gift,” said DeeAnn Chapman, Executive Director of the school. “We will now be able to, by August when school opens, equip the classrooms with the most effective Hearing Assistive Technology (HAT) that enhances significantly the ability of the children to hear more clearly what the teacher is saying,” she added. The system features wireless microphones on a lanyard worn by the teacher and tiny receivers that simply click onto a child’s existing hearing aids, bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA) or cochlear implants. The child hears the speaker’s words directly in their ears, without any distracting background noise. Hearing assisted technology helps them sort through all the noise around them to focus on the key signal where their attention should be directed—the teacher. Chapman expects that during the 2021-2022 school year 27 children will be using this technology. “We are so very thankful for the extraordinary generosity of Thunderbirds Charities, they have been a supporter of Desert Voices for 20 years ,“ Chapman said. “They have helped give voices to hundreds of children.” Desert […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Helps Homebound Seniors Stay Independent

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds, hosts of the Waste Management 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. The program became even more essential during the COVID pandemic, and is seeking additional volunteers who are willing to offer companionship and support to isolated seniors. “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 Scott Jenkins, President of Thunderbirds Charities. Aster Aging This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards MVP Foundation $50,000 for Its Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy is a 3-day camp designed to help low-income, high-risk middle school boys develop personal life skills that lead to positive decision making and avoidance of high-risk behaviors. Using the power of sports, challenging activities, group discussion, and well-known guest speakers, the Academy encourages young boys to achieve academic excellence, develop personal skills, and make positive decisions to avoid risky behaviors. Students are nominated by a teacher or counselor at the start of the school year. In their applicationthey commit to themselves, their teachers, parents, and peers that they will uphold a formal Code ofConduct during the year. If the code is followed, students are invited to attend the Leadership Academy at no cost. The MVP Code of Conduct. I will:• Be courteous toward my classmates—both girls and boys.• Agree to value and respect the ideas and opinions of others even if I disagree.• Not use drugs, alcohol, or tobacco as I will be a role model to others.• Respect my teachers and exhibit positive, participative behavior in the classroom.• Attend all classes regularly and on time.• Prepare for each class and bring appropriate materials and assignments. The $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities will allow us to fund […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $20,000 to Assistance League of East Valley

Thunderbirds Charities has announced an award of $20,000 to Assistance League of East Valley for its signature program, Operation School Bell. Through Operation School Bell, Assistance League of East Valley provides new school clothes, shoes and hygiene kits to elementary school children in need in Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe and Kyrene School Districts. In the 2019-2020 school year, the organization provided a record 10,466 children with new clothing, uniforms, shoes, hygiene kits and other essential items. The children are recommended by school resource officers. “Assistance League of East Valley is changing the lives of our vulnerable youth in the East Valley by supplying school clothing and essential items needed to attend school,” said Scott Jenkins, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We believe in strengthening our local communities, and the best way to do that is to empower our young people through education. We’re honored to have a small part in helping our youth succeed.” Assistance League of East Valley is an all-volunteer group that raises funds through its thrift shop in Chandler and through various events through the year. It is a chapter of a national nonprofit organization. “The donation from Thunderbirds Charities makes a huge difference for the families of […] More

Camp Catanese Will Return to In-Person Camp in 2021 Thanks to Support from Thunderbirds Charities

This grant will fund two sessions of Camp Catanese in July 2021 – an intensive science, math, and college preparatory camp for low-income high school students to gain support and information on how to access college in a fun and engaging setting. Thunderbirds Charities’ grant will fund Covid-safe, in-person and virtual camp options for up to 350 9th through 12th grade campers, the majority of whom will be first-generation college students. After a year of supporting campers remotely, we are incredibly grateful to get back to in-person programming, which would not have been possible without Thunderbirds Charities! “Camp Catanese has been a second home for me and my friends where we have felt safe, are happy to be there, and are surrounded by so many people we look up to. It is such an incredible feeling when I get to reunite with people who I haven’t seen in a long time. Camp helps me to free myself from any problems and stress I have had, overcome obstacles, and the counselors offer advice to help become a better person. Their advice has motivated both me and my friends to continue on in life and have helped with many things such as […] More

Healthy LifeStars Awarded a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Healthy LifeStars has been awarded a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support the Virtual Lesson Expansion and our hybrid model for After School programs in schools for our underserved communities. This project will help create additional “At Home” Resources for families and help translate our parent guides into Spanish as an initial project for additional language resources for parents. The grant funds will also allow us to launch a pilot project expanding our Older Child (9-12) resources. According to the CDC, childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States, putting children and adolescents at risk for poor health, which often continues into adulthood. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death. The CDC reported that obesity is a risk factor for severe symptoms if infected with COVID-19. Obesity greatly impacts health and well-being of individuals and taxes the healthcare system. “The Board of Healthy LifeStars® is honored to receive this grant from Thunderbirds Charities to help reduce health disparities in children in Maricopa County. It couldn’t have come at a more important time,” said Melanie Campbell, Healthy LifeStars, Executive Director. […] More

Brighter Way Dental Receives $75,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The grant from Thunderbirds Charities will increase access to and help meet demand for more complex oral health care to a disadvantaged population of low-income older adults, homeless individuals, and veterans through the Brighter Way Institute Downtown Center. In 2020, this clinic had 13,997 active patients with 85.6% receiving on-going follow-up and 14.4% new patients receiving a range of complex services. Over 12 months, the grant will enable us to serve 320 patients, provide over 590 services, and focus on implant/restorative procedures that may include regular maintenance, crowns, composite fillings, extractions, removal of bone/tooth sectioning, surgical bone replacement grafts, and tissue regeneration procedures for implant placement. Funding from a previous Thunderbirds Charities grant enabled us to complete a major renovation of the Downtown Center, adding 7 fully equipped dental suites. Celebrating 20 years of “Transforming More Than Smiles,” Brighter Way Institute (BWI) has a mission to provide comprehensive oral health services to individuals living in poverty in Maricopa County. Brighter Way Institute This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation Awarded $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF) is thrilled to receive a $25,000 grant award from Thunderbirds Charities. The funds will be used to finance AFFCF’s efforts to provide a normal childhood as possible for children living in foster care. “These funds are crucial for us to continue to ‘fund the fun’ for Arizona’s foster youth and we are so grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for helping us with this mission,” says Kris Jacober, Executive Director of the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. “Our organization is dedicated to helping youth in foster care experience the kind of childhood everyone deserves through extracurricular activities that build social skills in fun environments such as dance classes or joining a soccer league.” Through the AFFCF’s “We Fund Fun” programs, youth in foster care can experience these important social, athletic and educational opportunities they might not otherwise have been able to enjoy as part of their upbringing. For nearly 40 years, the AFFCF has been dedicated to promoting the self-esteem of youth in foster care and enriching their lives by funding activities, education and other services to provide them with quality experiences. To date, the AFFCF has made nearly 70,000 awards totaling more […] More

Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children Receives Incredible Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children (ACFC) Improving Lives Impacted by Pediatric Cancer Program includes Assistance (resources, financial and other support), Sunshine (comforting items for children entering chemotherapy and respite activities), Therapy (therapy dog visit, individual or family counseling), and End of Life services (financial assistance for the funeral services and end of life expenses). ACFC collaborates with social workers from Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Cardon Children’s Medical Center, Banner Thunderbird Medical Center, and Diamond Children’s Medical Center to refer families for our services. The hospital social worker verifies the family’s eligibility for services (they have a child receiving treatment for pediatric cancer and are in need), helps the family complete the application, and then submits the application to ACFC on behalf of the family. ACFC strives to provide assistance within 24 hours of receiving the application. ACFC believes the overall financial and emotional stability of a family will determine the state of health and hope for their loved one battling cancer and that by providing support, we can improve the lives of children diagnosed with cancer and their families. ACFC plans to support 200 Arizona families battling pediatric cancer in 2021. Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children This grant is part […] More

Thunderbirds Charities and AZ StRUT Team Up to Bridge the Digital Divide

Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AZ StRUT) is honored to announce that we have been awarded a $25,000 grant by Thunderbirds Charities to support the expansion of our Techie Camps. With this generous grant, we plan to reach more high need families and students in our hands-on computer training Techie Camps in Maricopa and Pinal counties. Each student will receive a refurbished computer to take home once they complete the Techie Camp. Techie Camps were started to facilitate hardware education and to distribute refurbished computers to Title I students in a meaningful, hands-on approach. Most students get their first home computer from AZ StRUT and know how to troubleshoot and maintain it. Tom Mehlert, AZ StRUT Executive Director adds, “We continue to expand our Techie Camps. Last year we added virtual camps and this year we are adding community events. “AZ StRUT is grateful for this critical support at a time when the digital divide has become another barrier to equity in education and daily life. AZ StRUT This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More