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

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

Goodwill Receives $5,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Educare Arizona Receives $20,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

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

Thunderbirds Charities Grants MentorKids USA $44,000 in Support of Their iLEAD Program for High School Students

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a $44,000 grant to MentorKids USA in support of their innovative youth leadership program, iLEAD. MentorKids has been the recipient of Thunderbirds Charities generosity for multiple years, but this is the largest grant awarded by Thunderbirds Charities to MentorKids to date. “We are so grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their investment in MentorKids over the years, and are tremendously thankful for this recent grant,” said Aaron Parrot, Executive Director of MentorKids USA. “Through this award, Thunderbirds Charities will fund the employment of seven iLEADers for an entire year, allowing these high-school students to develop leadership skills and job experience while serving their community and preparing for their post-secondary life.” The mission of MentorKids USA is to equip and empower youth to be transformative leaders in their lives, their families, and their communities. This is accomplished through free year-round programming for K-12 students in their three Promise Neighborhoods in South Phoenix, North Phoenix, and South Scottsdale. “The Promise Neighborhood model lays the groundwork for MentorKids to make long-term investments in our kids, their families, and their communities,” said Parrott. “iLEADers are the embodiment of our mission. They use the skills learned at MentorKids to mentor, coach, encourage, […] More

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

Cancer patients will have increased access to comprehensive cancer care, including essential psychosocial 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 grant supports CSCAZ’s Cancer Resource Navigator, a program created to address cancer disparities and improve health equity.While cancer is the second leading cause of death for Arizonans as a whole, it is the leading cause of death for Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian residents. This is in large part because barriers to crucial care are devastatingly high for low-income, uninsured, and under-insured patients, most of whom are people of color. As aresult, the outcomes for treatable cancers are often fatal. “It is not uncommon for an inability to pay or lack of reliable transportation to keep low-income cancer patients from completing life-saving treatment,” said Debbie DiCarlo, Chief Executive Officer of CSCAZ. “This innovative program reduces barriers to accessing comprehensive cancer care that improves physical and mental health outcomes and reduces healthcare inequities.” CSCAZ’s Cancer Resource Navigator program provides low-income clients with advocacy, resource navigation, and even a Direct Assistance Fund […] More

Mesa Cognitive Care Facility Awarded $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Through Thunderbirds Charities of Phoenix Thunderbirds, Oakwood Creative Care has been awarded a $25,000 grant. The grant will help to renovate the floors in the Oakwood Creative Care downtown Mesa location and improve the lives of the physically and mentally challenged. The Mesa “Day Clubs” are an affordable community-based solution that supports seniors with cognitive and physical impairments, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s, and stroke. Oakwood’s “Day Clubs” offer art workshops, as well as fitness, history, storytelling, music, dance, and community engagement opportunity classes for these seniors and their families. The current state of the existing floor puts the safety and self-sufficiency of OCC’s members at risk. As it is not durable and has excessive gashes, the floor does not meet the standards needed by a population using walkers and wheelchairs. “We expect to increase quality of life, which is demonstrated by 80% of our club members scoring a 0-9 on the Geriatric Depression Survey,” said Oakwood CEO Sherri Friend. “Additionally, there will be no clients who suffer from a fall because of a non-conducive floor. With the recent proclamation of OCC’s partnership with the City of Mesa to become “Dementia Friendly,” OCC’s strategic goal continues to be an all-inclusive […] More

Local Nonprofit, Read Better Be Better, Awarded $31,500 from Thunderbirds Charities

A Phoenix-based 501(c)(3), Read Better Be Better (RBBB), was awarded a $31,500 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for its after-school reading comprehension program in the Creighton Elementary School District. According to 2021 AzM2 English Language Arts (ELA) assessments, 65% of 3rd graders in Arizona do not read at grade level and are often unable to make the necessary transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” by 4th grade. Literacy is a crucial skill for success and students are four times less likely to graduate high school when not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. RBBB connects young readers and youth leaders to inspire a love of literacy and learning. Through twice-weekly afterschool sessions, middle school “Leaders” develop stronger leadership skills while assisting their elementary-aged “Readers” in developing stronger literacy skills. On average, RBBB Readers improve 20% more than nonparticipating students on standardized reading comprehension tests. “I like Read Better Be Better because I am growing a strong friendship bond with my third graders and helping them improve their reading,” shared one middle-school Leader from Kennedy at Loma Linda in the Creighton Elementary School District during the Fall 2021 semester. The funding from Thunderbirds Charities will […] More

Thunderbirds Charities and Rebuilding Together Continue Their Partnership

Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun is honored to be a recipient of a $40,000 grant award from our community partner Thunderbirds Charities. This partnership continues to provide critical resources that help support Phoenix area low-income veterans, seniors, and disabled individuals.Kelly Watson, executive director of the Mesa-based non-profit shared. “During the pandemic in 2021, Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun continued our efforts, yet at a reduced capacity. We are focused on resuming our Safe at Home Program to pre-pandemic outreach for 2022 and this partnership will ensure that success.” Our goal in this new normal is to utilize approximately 700 volunteers who contribute close to 6,000 volunteer hours, and service over 100 residents creating safe and healthy homes. The Thunderbirds Charities’ continued generosity means even more now to us and the community.” For more information about the organization, visit RTVOS.org. Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Grant to Help Put Low-Income Arizona High School Students on the Path to College

The Thunderbirds Charities grant of $25,000 will be used to equip low-income Phoenix area high schoolers with the knowledge, confidence, and self-advocacy skills needed to enroll in and graduate from college. Students and their families will participate in monthly workshops, benefit from 1:1 advising, and receive the resources they need to navigate every step of the college preparation, application, and enrollment process, including financial aid guidance. The STEP College-Prep Program works to increase students’ self-advocacy, initiative, and discipline. Students develop the skills needed to advocate for themselves, fostering the ability navigate all future life challenges. “Thunderbirds Charities funding will enable STEP to provide low-income Arizona students with the support they need to access the educational opportunities they deserve,” said STEP Founder and President Tracy Baynes. STEP: Student Expedition Program, Inc. This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $50,000 to Assistance League® of Phoenix

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded the Assistance League® of Phoenix a $50,000 grant to support their Operation School Bell program, which provides over 8,500 children living in poverty with new school clothing and shoes each year. The program is delivered through its mobile dressing centers, the Delivering Dream buses. “We’re so thankful to Thunderbirds Charities,” said Aimee Runyon, Chief Executive Officer, Assistance League® of Phoenix. “They have continued to support our work and it means everything to the children and families we serve. Thunderbirds Charities is making such a difference in our community and we are so grateful for their partnership and support.” The Assistance League of Phoenix has three Delivering Dreams Buses sponsored by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Rotary 100/BHHS Legacy Foundation and Fiesta Bowl Charities/BHHS Legacy Foundation. The donation from Thunderbirds Charities will help purchase clothing and shoes to fill these buses. Assistance League of Phoenix partners with more than 100 Title I schools throughout the year. Each school can select up to 100 children who qualify for the program (students on the free or reduced lunch program). Once on board the Delivering Dream Bus, students work with volunteers to select items and try clothing on in the dressing rooms. […] More

Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Aid in Expansion of Transformational Youth Program

We are thrilled to announce New Pathways for Youth (NPFY) has secured a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. This funding enables NPFY to provide our transformational holistic development program to more Phoenix students over the next several years – growth that will enhance New Pathways’ organizational impact. NPFY provides a research-based holistic development program and 1:1 mentoring within community groups to Phoenix youth who experience poverty and four times the adversity of their peers. Each one receives individualized action planning, connections to critical resources for personal well-being, and daily necessities that support the youth’s entire family, ranging from housing assistance to food security to emergency relief, providing essential stability. “As we look to expand into even more communities, having the support of an enduring organization like Thunderbirds Charities makes all the difference,” Karen D. Johnson, Ph.D., President and CEO of New Pathways for Youth said. “This means more youth can be welcomed into our program and build the skills for a thriving adulthood.” New Pathways for Youth (NPFY) This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Special Olympics Arizona and The Thunderbirds Celebrate Grand Opening of New State Office and Distribution Center in Goodyear

The Thunderbirds – hosts of the WM Phoenix Open – have been long-time supporters of Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ) and were on site this week to celebrate the official grand opening of SOAZ’s new state office and distribution center in Goodyear. The project was made possible thanks to The Thunderbirds who awarded SOAZ a $1 million donation for the project, the largest single gift handed out by Thunderbirds Charities since its inception in 1937. Additionally, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey was on hand to announce a $1 million grant from the State of Arizona which will be gifted to SOAZ to continue to develop its inclusive health and wellness programs which are crucial for the more than 21,000 SOAZ athletes in Arizona. Specifically, that $1 million can help in the following ways: Ensure vital health screening for an additional 1,000 athletes throughout Arizona Provide health education to another 1,500 students Provide hands-on provider training and experience opportunities for 300 healthcare students and professionals Expand critical mental health provider access, screenings and education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) The office and distribution center will provide statewide support for programs and events that are not just for Special Olympic athletes […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Provides $40K in Support of UPWARD’s Integrated Childcare Program

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded $40,000 to UPWARD for Children and Families in support of the Integrated Childcare Program for kids with and without special needs in an integrated setting. Upward focuses on services in three areas: 1) special education for children in grades Pre-K through 12 who have severe disabilities and are medically fragile, 2) inclusive child care for infants and children with and without disabilities, and 3) outpatient therapies for children with mild to severe disabilities. “The support of Thunderbirds Charities has been critical for UPWARD over the years,” said CEO Doug Carter. “They have been very generous to us. The Pandemic has been difficult on families. One parent who is a healthcare provider at a local hospital said, ‘UPWARD has been a savior for our family because my wife and I both have to work during the pandemic.’ ” UPWARD for Children and Families This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Supporting Safe Return to Play in Arizona

Thunderbirds Charities announces its support of the relaunch of Playworks’ TeamUp program in Title 1 schools in Arizona and further innovation of the Playworks Pro training programs, professional development programs for adults who work with kids. Together, these organizations will support kids transitioning to schools and recess safely from the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment will enable students in our community to re-engage socially, physically and emotionally by providing them with Playworks’ unique tools and resources to experience joy, socialize with their peers, re-engage in person and strengthen their social-emotional learning and life skills this year. A series of trainings will provide techniques, resources and strategies to help adults implement and support safe, healthy and inclusive play with kids. “We are so grateful to receive a $37,500 grant from the Thunderbirds Charities and excited to partner to positively impact our community,” says Kerryann Tomlinson, Vice President, Field Operations of Playworks Arizona. “Many students have experienced significant trauma in the last two years; these funds will directly support 22,000 students in low-income schools across the valley with social emotional learning and resources.” “The support from Thunderbirds Charities makes the Playworks mission possible in Arizona. I am proud of the work we are […] More

Dress for Success Phoenix Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Support Mobile Career Center for Women

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a generous $25,000 grant to Dress for Success Phoenix to support its Mobile Career Center initiative. Dress for Success Phoenix is a nonprofit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help them thrive in work and in life. Thunderbirds Charities is a nonprofit organization that distributes monies raised through the WM Phoenix Open, with a specific focus on improving quality of life in Greater Metro Phoenix. Now more than ever, Dress for Success Phoenix is seeing an increased need for its services. “The effects of COVID-19 have drastically impacted women in the workplaces, which now leaves us in the midst of the first female global recession,” stated Tamala McBath, CEO of Dress for Success Phoenix. Globally women’s job losses due to the pandemic are 1.8 times greater than men’s, and nearly70% of women who have experienced COVID-19-related disruptions are concerned about their ability to progress in their careers. “The generous grant from the Thunderbirds Charities will make a significant, life-changing impact for hundreds of women throughout the Valley on their journey to thrive in work and life,” said McBath. Dress for Success […] More

New Grant to Drive Financial, Social, and Emotional Learning for Arizona Children

The Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) was recently awarded $40,000 of grant funding from Thunderbirds Charities to support innovative programs for Arizona students and teachers. ACEE reaches hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of K-12 students from low- to moderate-income families and rural communities by developing financial, economic, and entrepreneurship skills. The global pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for families, students and teachers. New as well as veteran teachers surveyed believe it is even more important now to teach students financial and economic literacy, and they need more support now than ever before. Social and emotional learning, technology, and new teaching strategies are critical support classroom learning in this new educational environment. The grant will bolster ACEE in their development of innovative tools, games, curriculum, and strategies to support teachers and help tens of thousands more students in gaining back the educational lessons and connections that were taken away by the pandemic. Teachers will be able to apply ACEE materials efficiently to economics, math, business, reading and writing classes for their students. “Thunderbirds Charities is partnering with ACEE to systematically achieve economic equity and social justice through financial and economic education for all children in Arizona,” said Elena Zee, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $50,000 to The Be Kind People Project: Inspiring Health, Wellness, Diversity and Inclusion

BE FIT.BEHEALTHY.BE KIND (BFBHBK) will encourage and inspire health, wellness, diversity and inclusion. This effective, high-impact, engaging and fun program will reach 20 Maricopa & Pinal County low-income schools,11,000 students, 700 teachers, and 3,000 families with programs to improve fitness, nutrition, healthy living, social and emotional awareness, personal wellness, and coping skills. BFBHBK provides interactive student programs, innovative school and community signature events, and year-round student learning materials. To honor diversity, equity and inclusion, BFBHBK will involve special education students, and this project will provide funding to add young adults with disabilities to THE BE KIND CREW to honor inclusion and support the acceptance of differences with action. The Be Kind People Project® (BKPP) is a public 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to providing students with comprehensive youth development programming that effectively uses a positive approach to social, emotional, and academic learning. The mission of The Be Kind People Project is to initiate positive social change in schools and provide a framework for youth that will improve academic achievement, interpersonal relationship skills, accountability, behavior, personal health and wellness, teacher appreciation, and the formation of enduring values. The Be Kind People Project is building a generation of respectful, responsible, healthy, and caring citizens […] More

Thunderbirds Charities and Elaine Aim to Address Social Determinants of Health Disparities Through Greater Transportation Access

With the generous investment from Thunderbirds Charities, Elaine will dedicate one vehicle and a full time driver to provide friendly, reliable and compassionate transportation for the most vulnerable individuals in our communities for an entire year. Founded in early 2019, Elaine eliminates transportation barriers and health disparities by providing no-cost rides to critical resources and services surrounding the Social Determinants of Health. For adults experiencing homelessness and other underserved populations (e.g. low income, uninsured, seniors), Elaine will provide connection to healthcare, food, housing, employment and other community services. “The demand for rides has skyrocketed over the last year, and it presents a very exciting new time of growth for our organization. Elaine’s team, our clients and leadership are so grateful for the support of Thunderbirds Charities. This partnership will allow Elaine to expand capacity in order to keep up with our rising demand, and explore opportunities to assist the communities in unique and special ways,” said Eric Barr, Executive Director. Elaine This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Technology Commons at The Opportunity Tree

The Opportunity Tree is thankful to receive $25,000 to create the Thunderbirds Charities Technology Commons for Youth with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at our location in the Avondale Community Center. The new room will be outfitted with technology equipment, computers, and programming supplies to provide a space where youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities will learn and thrive. Funding from Thunderbirds Charities will be used to purchase computers, tablets, adaptive, software, and furniture for the Technology Commons space. Programming will empower our youth, ages 14-22, to explore their world in an up-to-date, state-of-the-art computer lab. This exploration comes at a critical time, as they explore what their life will look like after high school graduation. In this new space, we will provide after-school programming three days per week utilizing curriculum that focuses on career exploration, independence, gaining technology skills, and social skill building so members will be prepared to transition to the adult world after high school graduation. The Opportunity Tree This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $25,000 to Support Childsplay’s In-School Performance Programs

Thunderbirds Charities generously awarded $25,000 to Childsplay to support its In-school Performance Program. In-School Performances form the core of Childsplay’s operations, presenting nearly 350 performances annually; bringing professional theatre productions to schools across the state. More than half of Childsplay’s school audiences live at or below the poverty level. “The goal of the In-School Performance Program is to provide access to theatre and arts education to all Arizona children by removing financial and geographical barriers. This is possible because of the support from Thunderbirds Charites. We are grateful for their generosity.” said Ernesto Ortiz, Director of Development at Childsplay. It is estimated that one in five Arizona K-6 students will see a Childsplay production at their school. All performances are specifically tied to both academic curriculum and the experience of being a child today. Funding from Thunderbirds Charities supports the return of LIVE In-School Performances of THE BOOK OF DRAGONS, based on the book of short ‘dragon stories’ by Edith Nesbit, and DREAMERS, a poetic adaptation of Yuri Morales’ story that tells of resilience, hope, and the courage to find one’s voice. Additionally, funding from Thunderbirds Charities helped to provide the adjunct Childsplay program, Imagine Together Online. Developed in response […] More

AHS Receives $30,000 Thunderbirds Charities Grant for New Papago Park Campus

The Arizona Humane Society (AHS) announced today that it received a $30,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to help support its Capital Campaign. The gift to name AHS’ Education and Outreach space at its new Rob & Melani Walton Papago Park Campus, a state-of-the-art facility set to open in early 2023, will be an integral part in continuing to create a stronger system of care for homeless pets throughout the state while combating overpopulation and keeping more pets in homes. AHS’ Education and Outreach team positively impacts 300,000 pet lovers through community events and programs each year, with a particular focus on teaching children about compassion towards animals, responsible pet ownership and STEM careers in animal welfare. In an effort to continue expanding its education programs, this gift will allow the new campus to house three multipurpose rooms and one classroom, which will help AHS reach more students through fun, engaging and interactive programs year-round. There will also be a public viewing area into the lives of AHS’ Education and Outreach team’s incredible “Animal Teachers,” comprised of small mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and amphibians who assume the role of ambassadors and help young animal lovers develop an appreciation and compassion for living […] More

Hope Community Services Receives Grant Funding from Thunderbirds Charities to Support Children with Compound Trauma

The Hope’s Healing Horses equine therapy program uses horses as part of the therapeutic process to help children and youth who have experienced chronic trauma resulting from extreme abuse and/ or neglect. During equine therapy, children engage in activities such as grooming, feeding, and leading a horse while being supervised by a trained mental health professional. The program offers children a therapeutic environment that can feel less threatening and more inviting than a traditional talk therapy office. It brings children outdoors and allows them to use all of their senses while learning and processing emotional challenges. The Hope’s Healing Horses program has grown over 200% since opening in 2019 and we still have a waiting list for this powerful program, which is helping children overcome the impact of long-term trauma. The grant from Thunderbirds Charities will go toward covering the cost of feed, boarding, and veterinary costs for the horses. Hope’s Healing Horses This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Character and Civic Education Through a Grant Award to 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 VeteransTM. Civic learning experts agree that civic education must include service-learning or project-based activities, because these experiences are necessary for students to build communication and collaboration skills, to be exposed to people with different perspectives, and to learn how to engage with the greater community. (Brookings Institute, 2020) Thanks to Thunderbirds Charities funding, Veterans Heritage Project provides such activities through their innovative after-school program. Middle school and high school students interview a veteran, research history, and write and publish the veterans’ experiences into a hardbound book entitled Since You Asked.TM Students organize a free community book reception to honor their veterans and present them with the book. On August 14, 2022 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas, fifteen 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. https://www.veteransheritage.org/bookreception Grant funds are helping students reach their potential and bonding our community through increased civic engagement. Annual student and veteran surveys indicate that 100% of students […] More