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

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Expansion of ICAN with $50,000 Grant

Generous support from Thunderbirds Charities will support ICAN’s Positive Youth Development Program – a prevention-focused out-of-school time program with carefully structured activities that teach youth empathy, communication, emotion-management, coping skills, decision-making, social competence, self-regulation, and positive goal setting. Youth also benefit from academic assistance, mentoring, computer skills, STEAM activities, sports and recreation. ICAN expanded to serve more youth in the midst of the pandemic, opening two new sites at Galveston Elementary and Hartford Elementary. The expansion allows the opportunity for ICAN to bring the program directly to youth, at their schools. This also frees up much valued space at ICAN’s main facility to allow more youth to enroll in the high-demand program. Future plans include a fourth site and adding transportation service from additional title 1 schools to the main campus. “The pandemic brought to light the critical need for free, quality childcare for working families,” stated Shelby Pedersen, ICAN CEO. “Our program is keeping parents employed and is supporting the academic and social emotional needs of a vulnerable youth population. Thunderbirds Charities commitment is essential in helping us grow to reach more youth.” ICAN This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants Hope Women’s Center $20,000 for Their “Hope Heals” program

Mental health issues have increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing protocols that have been in place for the past year. Hope Women’s Center is responding to this problem with their “Hope Heals” program, and thanks to a grant award from Thunderbirds Charities, HWC can provide mental health support to women and teen girls in Arizona’s underserved communities. “Isolation, abuse, and job loss have led to increased anxiety, depression, and distress in the women we serve. We launched our ‘Hope Heals’ program last October to provide free crisis counseling, trauma assessment and support,” says Tammy Abernethy, CEO of Hope Women’s Center. “We are so grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for this grant allowing us to provide a therapeutic level of care within the safety and familiarity of Hope Women’s Center.” Women are referred to the Hope Heals program by center staff. All crisis counseling and crisis counseling support groups are provided to clients without cost or restriction. Gaps between community need and community care are large in underserved neighborhoods, particularly in the areas of mental and emotional health. By providing care for free through the “Hope Heals” program, Hope Women’s Center is bridging those gaps. Hope Women’s Center This […] More

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

Kids Need to Read was the fortunate recipient of a generous $25,000 grant award from Thunderbirds Charities. The funds will be used to provide over 60,000 disadvantaged children and their families with vital access to books, interactive literacy events, bilingual educational materials, and family reading relief packages via the Page Coach, Kids Need to Read’s mobile conveyor of literary treasure. The Page Coach was selected for funding because of its ability to reach areas throughout Arizona traditionally overlooked by many literacy programs, including low socioeconomic and remote areas where children sometimes live in so-called “book deserts”: neighborhoods and school systems so severely devoid of books and other reading materials that, without intervention, the cycle of illiteracy stands little chance of being broken. “Ensuring that children have access to books is vital to breaking the cycle of generational illiteracy that exists in many impoverished areas of the state,” said Kids Need to Read co-founder Denise Gary. “The Page Coach makes it possible 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 […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Duet $37,000 Grant to Expand Bilingual Services to Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

In Arizona, more than 64,000 grandparents are raising their grandchildren as kinship caregivers. Of these grandparents, 41.6% are of Hispanic/Latino origin and English is not their primary language, according to For years, Duet has provided grandparents with resources, respite, and support to care for these “grandfamilies.” Now, thanks to a generous $37,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, Duet will be able to serve even more grandfamilies through a new pilot program and the hiring of a bilingual social worker to help families stay together and keep children out of the foster care system. “The pandemic has been hard on all of us, especially grandparents raising grandchildren, many of whom are vulnerable seniors that must juggle their own health and wellness while also taking care of the needs of the children in their care,” says Patricia Dominguez, kinship care services director at Duet. “Many of these grandparents are underserved and Spanish speaking—and may have a hard time accessing resources—so we are thankful for the grant from Thunderbirds Charities as it will allow us to help more grandfamilies in need.” Duet’s grandparents raising grandchildren program offers support for grandparents raising grandchildren through free-of-charge support groups, legal guidance and assistance, funds for extracurricular […] More

Children’s Museum of Phoenix Receives $35,000 from Thunderbirds Charities in Support of Children’s Garden and KIDchen Programming

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is excited to announce that Thunderbirds Charities has awarded the Museum $35,000 in support of the Museum’s Children’s Garden and KIDchen Programming. The programs are designed to provide nutrition and healthy food education to children from an early age, incorporating fun and educational activities to teach youth how to grow and cook fresh produce. The Museum provides engaging projects, exhibits, and programming for young children and their families, while educating parents and caregivers about child development and parenting techniques. Programs crafted to instill healthy and nutritious living are fundamental to this holistic approach, equipping children and families with the knowledge and tools for improved wellbeing throughout life. During 15-20-minute classes in the Garden, children learn about various plants, fruits, and vegetables, the life cycles of a seed, the process of maintaining a garden, what plants need to grow, and the farm-to-table process. The Garden curriculum educates youth about STEAM topics, teaching the science behind successful gardens and how to be a steward of sustainability. Children can participate in guided play through these classes or experiment in the Garden independently. Harvested produce from the Garden is used in the KIDchen, where guided nutrition and cooking classes […] More

Harvest Compassion Center Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Continue Feeding and Serving the Valley

The Harvest Compassion Center (HCC) is pleased to announce it has received a $30,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. These funds will support the mission of the Harvest Compassion Center West Phoenix to provide free food, clothing, hygiene, and baby items to local families who live in the Valley. In partnership with Thunderbirds Charities, Harvest Compassion Center West Phoenix welcomes anyone living in Arizona to visit once every 30 days to receive a free shopping trip in their one-stop shops. Families receive recyclable grocery bags, shopping carts and personal shoppers as they are welcome to choose their needed and desired grocery and clothing items. HCC locations provide choice and dignity as well as, fun kids play-corners for families to enjoy while shopping in what they call “Food Banking Reimagined.” HCC, serving the Valley for the past 11 years, currently has three locations in West Phoenix, North Phoenix and Maryvale and has served over 60,000 families! HCC first opened its’ doors to the public in memory of one 23-year-old brother and son, Mitch Swaback. Through one family’s loss, the desire and mission to serve the underserved in Phoenix was born. If the HCC can continue showing guests love through service, our hope […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Support Girl Scouts’ Social Impact Programs with $50,000 Grant

Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community– recently awarded $50,000 to Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC). This gift, made possible by corporate partners and golf fans who attend the WM Phoenix Open each year, will support the Council’s Social Impact programs addressing the needs of at-risk youth. GSACPC Social Impact programs are designed to reach girls who may not otherwise have access to Girl Scouting. They operate as early intervention programs and empower girls–who face challenges outside of their control–to break cycles of poverty, incarceration, abuse, and other issues and realize their full potential. Social Impact Girl Scout troops create a supportive and safe space for girls in shelters, correctional facilities, refugee communities, schools with high poverty rates, and group homes. “We are deeply grateful to the Thunderbirds Charities and their longstanding support of our efforts to ensure all girls have access to the life-changing experience of Girl Scouting,” said Tamara Woodbury, CEO of GSACPC. “Girl Scouts overcome barriers by building their confidence, creativity, and resilience in an environment where they can explore freely, expand their perspectives, and discover the unimaginable. And our supporters play […] More

Be A Leader Foundation Awarded $50,000 by Thunderbird Charities

Be A Leader Foundation is proud to announce that it has been selected as a 2021 Thunderbirds Charities grantee. The Foundation was awarded a $50,000 grant to help support its Pipeline of College Access and Postsecondary Success programming making the dream of higher education a reality for thousands of Arizona students. “We’re heavily invested in the continued success of young people in our communities,” said Scott Jenkins, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide the necessary tools young adults need to explore higher education and the life-long benefits it affords.” Be A Leader is delighted to be included in the charitable donations Thunderbirds Charities have made to organizations across the Valley over the years. “We are honored to partner with Thunderbirds Charities again this year,” said Melissa Trujillo, President/CEO and Co- Founder of the Be A Leader Foundation. “This investment will continue to allow us to provide thousands of Arizona students with the tools, resources and mentoring to pursue a higher education.” Be A Leader Foundation This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Soldier’s Best Friend Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Soldier’s Best Friend (SBF) is the proud recipient of a recent grant award from Thunderbirds Charities. Funding will support SBF’s Service/Therapeutic Companion Dog Training Program. “Support from Thunderbirds Charities allows us to continue providing services to our veteran/dog teams throughout the state of Arizona. This generous funding supports our ongoing commitment to offer our programming at no cost to veterans living in Arizona with combat-related Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), while also providing loving homes and important missions to rescued dogs. The impact on our veterans, their families, and communities can be profound. With a fully trained Service Dog our graduates often share that they can re-engage in public activities not only with their families but in their communities as well.” said Katie Ares, Executive Director. Founded in 2011 by Dr. John Burnham, Soldier’s Best Friend is proud to celebrate its 10th Anniversary this year. To date, 302 veteran/dog teams have graduated from Soldier’s Best Friend’s Service/Therapeutic Companion Dog Training Program and over 183 dogs have been rescued from shelters across the state of Arizona. Soldier’s Best Friend This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $50,000 to USO Arizona to Support Military Members and Their Families

On June 25, Thunderbirds Charities presented USO Arizona a check in the amount of $50,000 to bolster the program which supports U.S. military service personnel and their families in Arizona. The check presentation ceremony took place at Arizona National Guard Headquarters near Papago Golf Club in Phoenix as part of a larger BBQ lunch event which honored and thanked numerous active guardsmen and their families. USO Arizona works to provide morale-boosting and family-strengthening programs to the more than 50,000 soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, Coast Guardsmen families who call Arizona home. USO Arizona has centers in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and downtown Phoenix, and a team of more than 250 volunteers and staff who help implement this valuable programming across the state.  In 2020, USO Arizona impacted more than 156,000 service members and families. The Thunderbirds have cultivated a strong connection to our nation’s military service personnel over the years. Each year as hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, The Thunderbirds extend free admission to all active and retired military personnel, as well as free food and drink at the Birdies for the Brave Patriots Outpost. Thanks USO Arizona for all that you do for our military and their […] More

Showering the Streets with Love

Cloud Covered Streets is a 501c3 nonprofit that built a mobile shower/laundry trailer to provide services to those experiencing homelessness. Every individual we serve receives a new pair of underwear, new shirt, new pair of socks, and after their shower receives a bag of toiletry supplies. We also hire those experiencing homelessness to help run our unit. The grant for $10,000 that we have received from Thunderbirds Charities will allow us to help in these aspects. Our goal is to bring hope to those experiencing homelessness and let them know that we care about them. Cloud Covered Streets This grant is part of the Spring 2021 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $120,000 Grant to Special Olympics Arizona

Thunderbirds Charities, hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, recently awarded Special Olympics Arizona $120,000 to help support and fund its “Return to Activities” initiative coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Special Olympics Arizona has only hosted a few in-person events since the pandemic shut down programming in March of 2020, but is planning to bring back its year-round sports training, competitions and support programs starting this Fall, including its Phoenix Breakfast With Champions in September and Fall Games in October. “In-person competition is incredibly important to Special Olympics Arizona and we’re obviously thrilled to help bring these athletes back to the playing field after what has been an extremely tough year,” said Scott Jenkins, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “The Thunderbirds and Special Olympics Arizona have a longstanding relationship and we’re very proud to continue our support of the organization and their athletes who give it their all every chance they get.” Fundraising was extremely limited this past year, and this grant from Thunderbirds Charities will help financially support SOAZ and its athletes as it prepares to safely return to in-person activities, programs and competitions.  It also will help SOAZ expand opportunities to empower the Arizonans with intellectual and/or developmental […] More