Save the Family Receives Generous $100,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Save the Family is thrilled to announce Thunderbirds Charities has awarded a $100,000 grant in support of families experiencing homelessness and poverty. This generous support of our Homeless Families Intervention Project (HFIP) will provide hundreds of families with stable housing and a chance at a better life. Thunderbirds Charities made its first grant to Save the Family more than 15 years ago, and most recently, when they supported Save the Family’s Valor on Eighth community in Tempe in 2017. Valor was specifically created for formerly homeless and impoverished women veterans and their children. The Thunderbirds’ name and logo are displayed prominently in the community’s Thunderbirds Charities Maricopa County Human Services Head Start program. Over its 34 year history, Save the Family has assisted thousands of struggling families and become the leading provider of housing and supportive services for homeless families in the East Valley. Through one-on-one case management, career services, budgeting assistance, parenting support, life skills classes, and youth programs that provide children and teens with academic and social-emotional support, Save the Family is transforming lives. “We are grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for supporting our work with vulnerable families – which is especially needed right now as rent costs have […] More

EMPACT-SPC Prevention Department Receives $68,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

The Prevention Department at EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center (EMPACT-SPC) was awarded a $68,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to expand its Youth Suicide Prevention Program in Maricopa County. Using the Signs of Suicide evidence-based curriculum, EMPACT-SPC educates youth about the warning signs of suicide and how to intervene if they or a friend are at risk for suicide. As a community, we should be concerned about helping youth who are struggling with depression or anxiety or suicidal ideation. Using the Signs of Suicide curriculum, middle and high school youth throughout Maricopa County will be screened for depression/suicide risk and will be educated about warning signs of suicide and how to intervene if a friend is at risk for suicide. The main goal of the program is early identification and referral. By identifying youth at-risk and referring them to appropriate mental health services, we believe we can save lives. EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center (EMPACT-SPC) This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Mesa Arts Center’s MABEL Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Mesa Arts Center’s MABEL has been acknowledged with a grant of $20,000 from Thunderbirds Charities, to support the ongoing efforts to bring art to the people of Mesa. MABEL, (Mobile Art Based Engagement Lab) is an adaptable and flexible mobile gallery, with a really big table, moving arts lab, mono-printing, custom button-making, pop-up community center on the go. “MABEL was created to reach further and provide programming to those without access to the Mesa Arts Center with community-building engagement at the core of its mission. It is greatly meaningful to have an organization of similar values come up beside us in support,” said Danica Marlin, community Engagement Specialist. “Mesa Arts Center’s MABEL is creating connections, encouraging creativity and reducing barriers to the arts in our underserved neighborhoods. We are excited to support such a great neighborhood program,” said Scott Jenkins, president of Thunderbirds Charities. Mesa Arts Center’s MABEL This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $10,000 Grant to SOUNDS Academy

SOUNDS Academy After-School Music Program provides instrumental instruction in a group setting at schools and community centers. In this Program, students receive instruments, music books, and  other supplementary materials. The gift from Thunderbirds Charities will help address inaccessibility and inequity in music education by providing 3,000 total hours of instrumental instruction to 100 K-12 students from low-income families and Title I Schools that otherwise would lack high-quality music education opportunities. Students will not only develop their musical talent but will reap the many academic and personal benefits associated with playing an instrument. The weekly, one-hour group music classes will be taught by our qualified and talented teaching artists who will provide instruction on string and woodwind instruments, guitar, or piano. Students will learn note reading and the fundamentals of performance, as well as the important character values of creativity, leadership, perseverance, resilience, and teamwork. At the end of each semester, the program will culminate in a community performance where students of all ages and levels will demonstrate their progress. SOUNDS Academy This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Arizona Burn Foundation Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Arizona Burn Foundation received a $50,000 grant to fund Helping Others, Promoting Empowerment (HOPE) Services. These services begin the moment a burn patient is admitted to the Arizona Burn Center or the Burn Unit at Banner University Medical Center Tucson, and continue until the burn survivor and their family are independently thriving once again. In the initial crisis, we offer short-term emergency needs, including: lodging, transportation, financial assistance, meal vouchers, and emotional support to families. Upon hospital discharge, we provide long-term transitional services focused on helping burn survivors not just survive their injuries — but thrive in their post-injury life. This year, we expanded our therapeutic support to include: Art Therapy, Music Therapy and Equine-Assisted Therapy Services. Each tailored program includes a hybrid model of live events and broad-reaching digital experiences to assist burn survivors and their families as they work through the emotional scars they face on their road to recovery. The support from Thunderbirds Charities allows us to deliver these critical services to hundreds of Arizona families each year. Arizona Burn Foundation This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Wigged Out Receives $10,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Wigged Out, Inc. received a $10,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities which will help expand and support financial assistance for wigs and hair pieces for women and children with medically related hair loss. Wigged Out, Inc provides financial assistance to women and children in the metropolitan Phoenix and surrounding areas who are in need of wigs and head coverings due to the effects of a diagnosed medical condition, such as cancer, alopecia, and blood or genetic disorders. By partnering with reputable wig boutiques across the Valley, Wigged Out is able to ensure that the women we help are able to receive new, high quality, and well fitting wigs that they are able to select, empowering them to choose a wig that helps them feel more like themselves. Wigged Out serves a wide range of women, children, and the elderly across the Greater Phoenix area, with our youngest applicant being 5 years old, through women in their 80s and 90s. Funding from Thunderbirds Charities will help women like Joni, a recent recipient, who says, “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 […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Provide Generous Funding for Families Experiencing Homelessness

The $300,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities will help UMOM New Day Centers provide families experiencing homelessness with emergency shelter and a full continuum of services that lead to stability and permanent housing. The 160-unit family emergency shelter is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and serves over 600 families annually. Each family works one-on-one with a case manager and has access to a wide range of onsite supportive services such as employment assistance, job readiness training, onsite medical care, counseling, educational resources, and more. Every individual receives client-centered support to address their unique needs. While at UMOM, clients are also provided with everyday essentials from hygiene items, diapers, formula, and laundry facilities to clothing and cleaning supplies. “We are incredibly grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for this award,” said Jackson Fonder, CEO of UMOM New Day Centers. “Family homelessness is solvable; we can get there with the continued support of our community partners that helps us provide these comprehensive services and everyday supplies to the families in our communities who need them most.” Nearly 60% of the people at UMOM’s emergency shelter are children under 18. Since homelessness has such a dramatic impact on young people and their […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards a $45,000 Grant to House of Refuge to Support the “Adopt a Home” Program

Every family deserves a home. For 25 years, House of Refuge, Inc. has provided families in crisis a proven path out of homelessness through Transitional Housing. Professional staff work with residents to help them regain dignity, heal from trauma, gain employment, and graduate into permanent housing. The Mesa-based non-profit is pleased to announce that Thunderbirds Charities is sponsoring 3 of the agency’s 88 two-bedroom single family homes through the House of Refuge “Adopt a Home” program. Grant funds will be utilized to cover housing and social services expenses as needed for three low-income families for an entire year – including utilities, property repairs, household goods, case management, employment assistance, and educational activities. House of Refuge This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Fund Early Opportunities for Local Children

Thunderbirds Charities has granted $30,000 to A Stepping Stone Foundation to help provide high quality early childhood education for disadvantaged children in the Phoenix area. “We transform lives through two generation education,” says Executive Director, Cynthia Gattorna of A Stepping Stone Foundation. “This funding will help provide quality preschool for 40 local children and parent support for their families for one year. While children are learning how to be successful in kindergarten, their parents are learning how to be their child’s first best teacher and parents work on their own education classes, too. Together we can break illiteracy-driven cycles of poverty in our community.” A Stepping Stone Foundation This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Shoebox Ministry Awarded $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

Shoebox Ministry, Inc. received $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to help meet the increased demand of our hygiene kits. This grant will provide 25,000 days of hygiene, health, dignity, and safety for Arizonans in need. Our hygiene kits include basic, but extremely important necessities such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, washcloths, soap, feminine hygiene products, and new socks. On a weekly basis, Shoebox receives toiletry item donations from local business and dedicated supporters. We also purchase additional items in need and our staff and volunteers then assemble the products into complete hygiene kits. These kits are then distributed via our network of nearly 50 partner agencies such as Tempe Community Action Agency, The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley, Nourish Phoenix, and many others. These hygiene kits will provide essential items to veterans, people with disabilities, at risk youth, individuals in recovery, the LGBTQ community, domestic violence survivors and many others that are in need. Shoebox Ministry, Inc. This grant is part of the Fall 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Friendly House, Inc. Receives Grant Award from Thunderbirds Charities to Support the Integrated GED + College Certification for Adults program

Thunderbirds Charities awarded $35,000 to Friendly House to support its Integrated GED + College Certification for Adults. Through Friendly House’s Adult Education department, the GED + program will serve two student cohorts beginning in 2022. Students will be provided the instruction necessary to attain their High School Equivalency diploma while concurrently receiving one of the following college level certifications: COMP TIA+ in partnership with GateWay Community College or Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) through Accord Healthcare Institute. Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to enter the workforce with the credentials needed to acquire entry level work in IT or healthcare as well as accreditations for pursuing additional post-secondary education. “Friendly House is grateful to Thunderbirds Charities since this donation supports a valuable program that provides meaningful long-term benefits to these students and in turn our community,” said Jerry Mendoza, President and CEO of Friendly House, Inc. Friendly House’s longstanding Adult Education and Workforce Development departments have been training and upskilling individuals in order to attain self-sufficiency and economic independence. Since the pandemic hit, it is estimated that one in four 16 to 24- year-olds is not in school or working. Our hope is to not only address […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Helps Adaptive Baseball Get Back to Full Swing in the Valley

Working with the special needs population over the years, Miracle League of Arizona is acutely aware that they are a group of individuals more isolated than most on a regular basis. They are also a group that is more vulnerable and susceptible to sickness and health challenges. With the ongoing pandemic that has created continued restrictions, changes, and cancellation of activities, Miracle League families were more than ready and excited to return to play and fun at the ballpark. The $30,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities supported a return to group activities and structured baseball games for the year. They helped the league to achieve their goal in offering opportunities of play and inclusion once again, while keeping safety top of mind. Nearly 200 players with various special needs have been able to return to the ballpark and enjoy America’s favorite past time sport. A Fall and Winter season have already occurred, and a Spring season for the families is just around the corner. Thanks to Thunderbirds Charities, individuals with special needs in the Valley once again get the chance to be included, celebrated, and part of a team. Miracle League of Arizona This grant is part of the Fall 2021 […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $20,000 to Sponsor State Spelling Bee

The Arizona Educational Foundation is the recipient of a $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support the Arizona State Spelling Bee. The student who wins the State Spelling Bee goes on to represent Arizona as the official State Champion in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Arizona has one of the largest Spelling Bee participation rates in the nation, with close to 300,000 students competing each year from public, private, and homeschools statewide. While Spelling Bees are a great American pastime, they are also tremendous tools for building written and verbal literacy skills. Over 1,000 teachers responded to a 2019 survey administered by AEF about the impact of the Arizona Bee on students. An overwhelming 91.4% of teachers reported that students who participate in Spelling Bees score significantly higher on reading and writing assessments than their non-Bee peers. Spelling Bees begin at the classroom level and progress to grade level competitions, schoolwide, and then district Bees, with the final qualifier being a county or regional Bee. From county and regional Bees, twenty-seven students emerge as finalists and move on to compete at the Arizona State Spelling Bee. In addition to providing technical support and enrollment assistance to thousands of teachers throughout […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Help Musicians with Disabilities Rock On!

We are excited to announce continued partnership between Thunderbirds Charities and Higher Octave Healing’s Rock Band Program. Thunderbirds Charities has previously funded various programs at Higher Octave Healing to support music therapy services for people with developmental disabilities and their families. The Rock Band Program provides group music therapy rock bands to 65 members with developmental disabilities in a total of 15 bands. Thunderbirds Charities has donated $8,000 towards the Rock Band Program in 2022, covering technology and equipment costs. The funding will be put towards iPads needed to display visual aids and record music, musical equipment needs such as new instruments or instrument repair, and other materials needed to run the program smoothly. Guitar strings break, and new strings don’t grow on trees! With this funding, we are excited to supplement the return of our Rock Band Program to the clinic and get back to playing “real instruments” in the clinic. Thank you, Thunderbirds Charities! You are truly making a difference in the lives of our band members. Higher Octave Healing seeks to increase the quality of life and promote the empowerment of people in the Phoenix area through a variety of therapy, research, resources, and community outreach programs. Our […] More

The Centers for Habilitation Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Centers for Habilitation (TCH) has received a $10,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The grant will be utilized as part of the P.A.S.S. Program (Participation, Accessibility, Socialization, and Sports), which fosters growth, provides new experiences, finds new interests, and enriches the lives of the organization’s supported individuals. Funding from this request will provide onsite and community activities involving cooking, art, and science. “I am so excited about this funding because it provides opportunities for new activities that would not happen otherwise. I love to see the joy our supported individuals express when we do new things,” observed a TCH supervisor. TCH provides a wide range of activities for all levels of abilities that are designed to increase communication, encourage a range of motion, provide sensory opportunities, increase confidence, provide an outlet for self-expression/creativity and increase independence. TCH’s programs provide opportunities for our supported individuals to be embraced and accepted by their community. Upwards of 120 supported individuals attend the TCH day program and/or live in a TCH group home.  Breaking down barriers, creating opportunities to learn new skills, and fostering social connects for all abilities is critical for achieving goals and increasing independence. Through support from Thunderbirds Charities, TCH will continue to […] More

U.S.Vets New Home $100,000 Grant Provided by Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities generously awarded $100,000 to U.S.VETS—Phoenix, helping to open their new veteran housing site—and forever home in Phoenix this year! For 20 years, U.S.VETS—Phoenix has proudly served homeless, at-risk, and underserved veterans across our community. As the largest nonprofit exclusively dedicated to veterans in Maricopa County and the United States, U.S.VETS—Phoenix provides housing, career development and mental health services, meals and case management to veterans and their families. U.S.VETS—Phoenix provided more than 50,000 nights of housing last year to homeless and at-risk veterans—men and women who bravely served our country and deserve  our support. “Thanks to the City of Phoenix and dedicated long-time supporters like Thunderbirds Charities, U.S.VETS—Phoenix will be relocating to their new home in May 2022 and expand critical services and housing for Phoenix veterans,” notes Michelle Jameson, Executive Director of U.S.VETS—Phoenix. “We wouldn’t be where we are today, proudly watching our veterans move into their new homes, without dedicated partners like Thunderbirds Charities.” U.S.VETS will continue in its mission until no one who served our country is left sleeping on our streets. Learn about ways to get involved, volunteer and support local veterans at U.S.Vets—Phoenix This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View […] More

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