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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thunderbirds Charities Supporting Safe Return to Play in Arizona

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 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

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 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

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

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