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
 

$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
 

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
 

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 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
 

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 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 Grandfamilies.org. 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
 

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
 

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
 

Hushabye Nursery Grand Opening

Addiction steals the dignity and freedom of the individual, splinters families, and threatens the safety of our communities. Hushabye Nursery is thankful for the generosity and support of Thunderbirds Charities. Thunderbirds Charities has provided Hushabye Nursery $100,000 in support of our grand opening and programming. In November 2020, Hushabye Nursery opened its doors and began offering an innovative and trauma-informed medical care model created by nurse practitioners to treat infants experiencing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Hushabye Nursery is a 12-room inpatient detox nursery customized to treat babies born with NAS which also provides intensive outpatient family services as part of prenatal and postnatal continuous care. This integrated, comprehensive approach is the first of its type in Arizona and only the third in the nation. Our service model focuses on prevention and intervention strategies fostering health equity. Our team is committed to excellence and using evidence based best practices. Our services are available to any Arizona family experiencing substance use disorder no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make. Hushabye Nursery creates improved outcomes for babies, families, and the community by increasing access to quality care, reducing health care costs, and creating a more equitable […] More
 

It Starts with Junior Golf – JGAA’s Thunderbird Invitational

The game of golf is extremely important to the State of Arizona, and with roughly 200 golf courses in the Phoenix area alone, the game is a defining feature of the Valley of the Sun. The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – are obviously extremely familiar with golf, using the game to raise millions of dollars for charity each year from the proceeds generated from one of the PGA TOUR’s most iconic stops. The Thunderbirds aren’t only interested in the world’s best players who tee it up at TPC Scottsdale each year for “The People’s Open”. The game of golf can only grow through participation of youth who enjoy the game, which is why The Thunderbirds have sponsored the Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) for decades, and proudly support one of the JGAA’s largest annual events – The Thunderbird Invitational. “As a Thunderbird, our main fundraiser is the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but it really starts with junior golf,” said Alex Clark, Thunderbird and JGAA board chairman. “The game of golf is the greatest connector of all and were so fortunate to be involved.” JGAA Executive Director Scott McNevin echoes Clark’s sentiments about the game […] More
 

Teach For America Phoenix Launches Innovative Education Response to COVID-19 with Support from Thunderbirds Charities

Thanks to the generous support of Thunderbirds Charities, Teach For America Phoenix’s Innovative Response to COVID-19 project has been able to transform our teacher learning and development program to prepare teachers for effective distance learning, accelerating student academic and personal growth in Arizona. Support from Thunderbirds Charities will directly impact our Teacher Support Team by allowing more frequent 1:1 virtual support for teachers and a differentiated approach to coaching through customized professional development opportunities. Teach For America Phoenix Executive Director, Katie Tennessen Hooten says, “Teach For America Phoenix’s Innovative Response to COVID-19 will continue to expand educational opportunities in Arizona, and we are grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for its partnership to help ensure all children receive an excellent and equitable education.” Over 10,000 students across 55 schools in Maricopa County will benefit from this project during the 2020-2021 school year. Teach for America Phoenix This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Mesa Arts Center’s Project Lit Program Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Thunderbirds Charities grant for the Project Lit program will support direct program costs tied to teaching artists and supplies. In the coming year Project Lit will impact the lives of over 4,000 youth across the Valley by promoting literacy skills through poetry, spoken word and hip hop. “We are grateful for the continued support of Project Lit by Thunderbirds Charities. Project Lit uses poetry, spoken word, and hip hop to promote literacy and activate social and emotional learning with young and emerging adults. The program runs from September through the spring and culminates into a Youth Poetry Festival and our annual Youth Poetry Anthology book,” explained Tomas Stanton, Engagement Manager at Mesa Arts Center. “This year’s Youth Poetry Anthology is our third, and the release date is in April. Much of the poetry in this year’s book is very heartfelt – students are expressing a lot of anxiety and uncertainty because of the pandemic. Writing gives students an outlet to positively communicate their feelings, which starts the process of healing.” Mesa Arts Center This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Changing the World, One Child at A Time

Leukemia is the leading cause of death by disease among children up to age 19 and though survival rates have improved drastically, it remains a profoundly serious and oftentimes fatal disease. The long-term survival has however afforded the identification of problems that are a result of the very treatments that have allowed these children to live. The medical community therefore encourages that each child undergoes a neuropsychological evaluation and follow-up. Through the support from Thunderbirds Charities, we can continue this life-saving work. The Leukemia Foundation for Arizona’s Children (LFAC) created the “Encircled by Love” program to assist in offsetting the oftentimes prohibitive expense of the evaluations and follow-up to already financially impacted families. When LFAC looks at the children of this world, they see a world of promise and possibility. LFAC is committed to every child treated for childhood leukemia in the state of Arizona, so that their todays can be as bright and full of possibility as their potential tomorrows. Leukemia Foundation for Arizona’s Children (LFAC) This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $85,000 to Local First Arizona’s Fuerza Local Business Accelerator Program

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Local First Arizona an $85,000 grant to help grow their Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program and support entrepreneurship in Arizona. The investment will boost outreach of Local First’s Fuerza Local program to bring this opportunity to more businesses across the Valley and helping to further Thunderbirds Charities’ mission to improve the quality of life for all Arizonans. “Since 2013, Fuerza Local has assisted 453 entrepreneurs in achieving their dreams of becoming business owners. Business graduates have created a total of 624 jobs and have contributed more than $6,991,360 in new sales to our local economy. We strongly believe entrepreneurship is the most effective tool for tackling wealth inequality and building a diverse and resilient economy. We are honored to have Thunderbirds Charities as a partner in this mission,” says Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona Founder. “Fuerza Local is a program that changes the lives of so many in our community by allowing them to follow their dreams,” said Tim Woods, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “Thunderbirds Charities shares a common commitment with Local First Arizona to serve the people in our communities. We’re very proud to be a part of that.” While in the program, students participate […] More
 

Impact One Receives $8,000 to Assist Women with Breast Cancer in Arizona with the Hope Box Program

Our Hope in a Box Essentials Project provides the patient with needed items that are in direct relation due to chemotherapy treatment, radiation treatment or any surgery that is related to breast cancer often not covered by insurance. The funding for the Hope Box Project will allow Impact One to ship boxes of items valued up to $500.00 to over 320 women at zero cost to the patients. This key component is the very essence of Impact One’s existence. Our program is designed so that each woman not only receives one-on-one support through outreach but by providing vital essentials needed for recovery. The population of women that are served are women of all ethnic groups as well as those that are insured, underinsured and uninsured. We also serve those recently diagnosed or have already been in treatment and the women that have simply gone without the vital essentials needed after a breast cancer diagnosis in Arizona. Elizabeth Ayers Cluff, Founder of Impact One, personally understands the trials, hardships and lack of resources available and believes “no woman should be forgotten”. “Impact One was founded to empower all women with self-worth, in the comfort of providing a safe community and to […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Gifts $20K to Make-A-Wish Arizona

Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the international wish granting organization is honored to announce a gift of $20,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The money will be used to grant life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses in Arizona. Currently, more than 597 children are working with Make-A-Wish Arizona to plan custom and unique wish opportunities, even with COVID-19 safety restrictions in place. “We are excited that Thunderbirds Charities sees the impact a wish can make on a child who is dealing with a critical illness,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “A wish experience provides a child hope and joy when they need it most and this grant will assist us in continuing our mission, even during the pandemic.” Make-A-Wish Arizona was founded in 1980 when one Arizona boy’s wish to be a police officer was granted by the Department of Public Safety. Since that time, almost 7,000 wishes have been granted in Arizona and approximately a half million wishes have been granted worldwide. Make-A-Wish Arizona This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Provides $50K Contribution to Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, Funds Will Assist Vulnerable AZ Students Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates (JAG) program includes classroom instruction, competency-based project- based learning, adult mentoring, summer employment training, student-led leadership development, job, and post-secondary education placement services, as well as 12-months of follow-up services after high school graduation. Due to COVID-19 and resulting school closures, JAG has pivoted to a virtual model to continue providing uninterrupted services to its participants. JAG Coordinators are Trauma-Informed educators who double as mentors in local schools. Despite the disruption COVID has caused, they are continuing to provide critical JAG services, including the follow-up services and mentorship to their students for a full year after they graduate from high school. This is especially critical for the most recent graduating class – the Class of 2020 – as they face the most significant employment challenges in decades caused by the COVID pandemic. “Thunderbirds Charities recognizes the essential work that Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates is doing and the outstanding results we’re achieving, even amid an unprecedented pandemic. These funds will help more local youth disproportionately impacted by COVID to succeed in school, jobs, and life,” said Graciela Garcia Candia, President of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates. “We appreciate Thunderbirds Charities, who have donated funds to JAG in […] More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $75,000 to Local Nonprofit Ryan House

Ryan House announced the receipt of a generous $75,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities today in support of the nonprofit’s Sponsor-A-Stay Program, which offers short-term, overnight respite care stays that help families take a break from the stress of the constant home care needs of their medically fragile children. “We are so grateful for the continued generosity of Thunderbirds Charities,” said Ryan House Executive Director Tracy Leonard-Warner. “Thanks to their support, we will be able to provide 75 sponsored, free-of-charge 24-hour respite stays for children with life-threatening or terminal conditions.” Ryan House’s world-class care will be offered to 200 children and families over the grant term. Ryan House This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More
 

Thunderbirds Charities Donates $10,000 to the ALS Association Arizona Chapter – Gift Benefits the Association’s Living with ALS Program

ALS is a terminal illness that impacts all aspects of a person’s life, often resulting in decreased quality of life at a time when it matters most. The ALS Association Arizona Chapter employs a multi-dimensional approach to support the physical, emotional, and social needs of people with ALS, and their families. The Chapter’s Living with ALS program helps families maintain a high quality of life by providing the following services: Multi-disciplinary Clinics – Regular visits with ALS specialists who coordinate the clinical management of physical disease progression Support groups -Opportunities to share personal experiences and learn strategies for managing the physical, social, emotional, and mental challenges of living with ALS Counseling – Individualized family counseling to address topics related to coping with the diagnosis, conflict resolution, crisis intervention, and healthcare and end of life decision making Certified Child Life Specialist -Helps children who have a loved one with ALS understand the disease, process complex emotions, and learn coping skills Social Connections – Group leisure activities designed to form bonds with others affected by ALS Family Fun Packs – Activity kits that are designed to facilitate positive family interactions and build memories before their loved one dies “We are so grateful […] More
 

Closing the Opportunity Divide with Year Up

“Thanks to Thunderbirds Charities’ generous investment, Year Up Arizona will further our mission to close the Opportunity Divide for young adults in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. By combining hard and soft skill development, an authentic work experience, and wraparound support services, Year Up positions students for success in the classroom, in the workplace, and in the community,” says Kimberly Allen, Site Director, Year Up Arizona. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of our world, and Year Up Arizona (YUAZ) is working tirelessly to ensure vulnerable young adults in Maricopa County are not left further behind as inequality deepens and as it becomes even more challenging to secure living wage employment. This investment by Thunderbirds Charities will be channeled to support all aspects of Year Up Arizona’s workforce development over the next year as we serve 240 young adults at YUAZ (Mesa/SNHU and PHX sites), which includes ensuring we are able to respond to the shifting needs of our students and emergent challenges throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Prior to COVID-19, the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area was home to 70,300 young adults who were out of school and work. Called Opportunity Youth (OY), these individuals have been systematically […] More
 

Burn Survivors Will Thrive Thanks to Thunderbirds Charities

Arizona Burn Foundation is grateful to receive a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities for the delivery of our Helping Others, Promoting Empowerment (HOPE) Services, which begin the moment a burn patient is admitted to the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise or the Burn Unit at Banner University Medical Center Tucson, and continue until the burn survivor and their family, is 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. Every year, more than 1200 burn patients are admitted to the Arizona Burn Center at Valleywise and the Burn Unit at Banner University Medical Center Tucson. Thousands more are admitted to area hospitals. A severe burn injury is catastrophic and lasts a lifetime. In spite of months, and often years, of medical treatment and surgeries, the physical scars may never heal. The emotional scars can cause the victim to feel different and withdraw from the life they led before. Without services and programs that provide emotional healing and hope, a […] More
 

Transformational Partnership to Provide Quality Financial and Economic Education for Arizona Children

Thunderbirds Charities and the Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE) are partnering to provide innovative and expedient financial and economic education solutions for Arizona students and teachers. A recent $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities will help ACEE reach 300 schools and 75,000 K-12 students, many of whom are from low to moderate income families and rural communities. The global pandemic brought unprecedented challenges for families, students and teachers. Underserved communities are bearing an unequal share of the loss of income, food, education and health. Surviving and thriving through this pandemic will depend on individuals’ level of debt, emergency savings and financial literacy. The grant will enable ACEE to offer more support to underserved communities. ACEE’s program offers both on-demand and real-time synchronous digital learning resources. It will train 500 teachers to use new education technology tools to engage their students in online, in-person and hybrid learning environments. The resources will be the first to align with the new Arizona economics and personal finance standards, and social and emotional learning requirements. “With the continued support from Thunderbirds Charities, ACEE is prepared to support schools, children and families to achieve economic equity and social justice through financial and economic education,” said Elena […] More
 

In the Community – Girl Scouts of Arizona

Continuing with The Thunderbirds In the Community Conversations, 2021 WM Phoenix Open Assistant Tournament Chairman Michael Golding held a virtual discussion with Christina Spicer, Deputy Director of the Girl Scouts of Arizona Cactus-Pine Council. to discuss how the ever-popular Girl Scout Cookies program was affected by the ongoing health crisis, how the organization pivoted to continue its services and how the community can help. Spicer first spoke about the history of The Girl Scouts of Arizona “Girl Scouts mission is to build girls of courage, character and confidence to make the world a better place,” said Spicer. “We’ve been doing that over the last 108 years and our council (Cactus-Pine) has been around for a little over 80 years. We aim to install incredible leadership skills in young women through our badges program, organized trips and selling cookies. Spicer went on to speak about some of the specific skills Girl Scouts learn “From a money management standpoint the programs  absolutely incredible about what it teaches these girls because this is a real product the girls want and the community wants,” said Spicer. “There are five skills on the back of the box: goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills and business ethics. […] More