Thunderbirds Charities Grants $65,000 to Family Promise to Shelter Families Experiencing Homelessness Amidst the Coronavirus Pandemic

Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, an organization that serves families with children and pets who are currently homeless or at risk of experiencing homelessness, announced it had received a grant for $65,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to support the nonprofit’s emergency shelter program. Family Promise focuses on resolving the family’s immediate crisis by offering social services, helping parents find employment, and connecting them to daycare and school for their children. During the day, Family Promise hosts families at its day centers across the Valley where parents and children receive shelter, food, clothing, and other basic needs. Overnight, Family Promise relies on its network of volunteer churches and synagogues to shelter and feed the families they serve while Family Promise assists these families on their journey back to self-sufficiency. During the coronavirus pandemic, Family Promise has had to temporarily pause its community-based model to protect their volunteers and families from potential spread of the virus and shelter families at its day centers overnight. Family Promise will use the Thunderbirds Charities grant towards their emergency shelter program which ensures families in crisis will have a safe place to put their kids to bed while they work to regain self-sufficiency. “If a family’s life […] More

YWCA Receives Transformational Investment from Thunderbirds Charities

YWCA Metropolitan Phoenix is pleased to announce the receipt of an impactful grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support their ongoing work to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The funds are specifically for the Senior Meals on Wheels program serving the West Valley and for the YWCA Own It! Financial Education program that empowers participants throughout the Valley. “Like so many organizations, COVID-19 has caused unprecedented instability for many we work with,” said Debbie Esparza, YWCA CEO. “From homebound seniors facing food insecurity to women facing financial instability to marginalized communities fighting for equity, this pandemic has significantly increased, not lessened, people’s needs for our services. We are so thankful for the Thunderbirds Charities grant. It couldn’t have come at a more important time in our community.” YWCA’s commitment to social change and community services runs deep. For more than 108 years, they have been at the forefront of most critical social movements, standing against all forms of racism and oppression while working to address the community’s most critical needs. Since March they have served more than 95,000 meals to seniors, and are on pace to serve more than 114,000 meals in a […] More

Mariachi Sones del Desierto Making a Difference with Music

Mariachi Sones del Desierto is a multi-tier year-round youth mariachi program for children in grades K-12. This wonderful cultural-musical exchange brings children together in a fun and supportive environment as they learn to play and appreciate traditional mariachi music using traditional instruments. Our Mariachi students have performed at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), the Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Gardens, Mesa Arts Center, Tempe Center for the Arts, Chandler Multicultural Festival, the Herberger Arts Festival, the Arizona Opera’s cultural exchange, Phoenix Arts Festival, Maricopa County Community College Hispanic Convocation, the Town of Gilbert Global Village, Town of Guadalupe, Tempe Historical Museum, private parties, Quinceañera, in restaurants and schools. This grant from Thunderbirds Charities will allow students to continue to learn the art of Mariachi and support cultural awareness and appreciation in the community through performances and community outreach in response to the needs expressed by parents, children, staff, school administrators, school orchestra/band directors, and volunteers with a stake in the community’s well-being. The performing arts create connection and community. Mariachi Sones del Desierto builds bridges between the arts and the greater community as well as creates a new generation of Mariachi musicians and Mariachi music lovers. Mariachi Sones del Desierto […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Provides Critical Support to the Families of the Fallen, Wounded and Deployed

In December of 2020, Thunderbirds Charities awarded $10,000 to Helping Hands for Freedom to help fund the Life Needs program. The Life Needs program supports the families of the fallen, wounded and deployed with emergency financial assistance. Families that apply typically need help with mortgage/rent, car payments, utilities, insurance and medical bills. Helping Hands for Freedom CEO Eric Snelz acknowledged that “receiving these funds in a year where all but one of our fundraising events were cancelled because of Covid-19 provided a critical safety net to continue our mission of keeping families together in the home. The fact that the assistance came during the holiday season made an even bigger impact for our families.” In a year during which families experienced unprecedented stress, Helping Hands for Freedom received inquiries from 829 families seeking relief from financial emergencies. Helping Hands for Freedom This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Ronald McDonald House Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Provide Nights of Rest for Families

The $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities supported our House Heroes program, allowing Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona to provide 467 nights of rest for families caring for their child at one of the Valley’s premiere hospitals. While the COVID pandemic caused increased expenses and cancelled two signature fundraising events, support from Thunderbirds Charities helped ensure families were able to stay together during their child’s health crisis. “We are so grateful for the continued support of Thunderbirds Charities to our organization and other communities across Arizona,” said RMHCCNAZ CEO, Kerry Schulman. “Pediatric illness does not stop or slow during a pandemic, which means that the need for a place for families to rest and rejuvenate while their child receives necessary medical treatment must continue. This grant from Thunderbirds Charities gives us the resources to do so.” Families who turn to RMHCCNAZ receive: *A “home-away-from-home.” Families stay in comfortable private rooms with access to complimentary laundry facilities, community kitchen and pantry, dining room, family room, indoor and outdoor play areas, library, and Wi-Fi. *A warm meal. Volunteers donate food and prepare nightly meals as part of our Dinnertime Heroes program. (While families are still fed, we have paused […] More

Gift of Adoption Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities to Fund Maricopa County Forever Families Program

Gift of Adoption, a national charitable organization providing financial assistance to complete adoptions, is receiving a $5,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to fund the Maricopa County Forever Families Program. The grant will allow Gift of Adoption’s Arizona Chapter to help unite two children with permanent families. “We’re thrilled that Thunderbirds Charities is assisting our efforts to bring more vulnerable children into permanent, loving homes,” says Katie Zimmerman, President of Gift of Adoption Fund – Arizona Chapter. “The Maricopa County Forever Families program will have a direct and immediate impact on at-risk kids living in Maricopa and Pinal Counties.” The funding from Thunderbirds Charities will allow the chapter to issue two adoption assistance grants for vulnerable children in Maricopa and Pinal Counties to be adopted by loving, caring families also residing in Maricopa and Pinal Counties. Nurturing families are integral to a child’s healthy development, contributing to success throughout life. Gift of Adoption This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Wigged Out Receives $5,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

Wigged Out, Inc. received a $5,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities which will help expand and support financial assistance for wigs and hair pieces for women and children with medically related hair loss. Wigged Out, Inc. provides financial assistance to women and children in the metropolitan Phoenix and surrounding areas who are in need of wigs and head coverings due to the effects of a diagnosed medical condition, such as cancer, alopecia, and blood or genetic disorders. By partnering with reputable wig boutiques across the Valley, Wigged Out is able to ensure that the women we help are able to receive new, high quality, and well fitting wigs that they are able to select, empowering them to choose a wig that helps them feel more like themselves. Wigged Out serves a wide range of women, children, and the elderly across the Greater Phoenix area, with our youngest applicant being 5 years old, through women in their 80s and 90s. Funding from Thunderbirds Charities will help women like Marie, a recent applicant, who says, “Thanks to the generous help of Wigged Out Inc. I can smile with confidence. No more hiding myself and avoiding eye contact. I feel healthy! I have my […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Partners with A New Leaf to Close Opportunity Gaps for Underserved Children in Valley

A New Leaf’s services impact more than 7,800 children and youth in the Valley annually, targeting those who have experienced significant challenges and trauma related to domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, and social, emotional, and behavioral health challenges. A $250,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities will support A New Leaf’s Phoenix Day Early Childhood Education Program and Therapeutic Behavioral Health After School & Summer Programs, providing opportunities for marginalized children to overcome social and racial inequities and to break the cycle of poverty. Phoenix Day is a nationally accredited, 4-STAR Quality First rated, bilingual program located in South-Central Phoenix, providing early childhood education programming for 160 children, ages 0-5, each year. 80% of children represent minority and low-income populations. 85% of graduating children exceed Kindergarten readiness standards or are assisted with developing an Individualized Education Plan. Thunderbirds Charities funding will support programming and facility needs – needs that have been compounded by losses in revenue and extraneous costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. A New Leaf’s Therapeutic Behavioral Health After School & Summer Programs provide after school and summer programming for nearly 700 children from low-income families each year who struggle with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. Thunderbirds Charities funding will support […] More

Funds Donated by Thunderbirds Charities Are Being Used to Provide Personal Protective Equipment to VALLEYLIFE

Funds donated by Thunderbirds Charities are being used to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for VALLEYLIFE’s 25 group homes, which house over 100 residents, called members, with developmental and physical disabilities. Since VALLEYLIFE’s day activity centers have been shuttered since last March, members have been confined to their group homes. Major precautions have been taken to maintain a safe environment for both staff and members, who are required to wear masks at all times. The homes are continually sanitized throughout the day. Staff and members in those homes that have had an exposure to COVID-19 are required to wear face shields and gowns in addition to K-95 masks. Further measures are taken to isolate members who have contracted the virus. At this time, PPE is costing VALLEYLIFE over $5,000 a week. According to CEO Cletus Thiebeau, “As we look toward having a vaccine available and hopefully the end of the Pandemic, we cannot loosen up. The numbers are still high and we must continue to take every precaution to keep our members safe and healthy.” VALLEYLIFE This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $20,000 Grant to Fight Hunger in Arizona

The grant funds from Thunderbirds Charities will support our on-going efforts to fight hunger in Arizona. Some of our efforts include working with elected officials at the state and national level on food policy issues that affect Arizonans, supporting our member food banks by transporting food to those who need it most and purchasing food in bulk at a discount. We also partner with schools and their school districts, community organizations and other non-profits to ensure kids receive proper nutrition three times a day, seven days week through school meals and summer meal programs. “The Arizona Food Bank Network is so appreciative of Thunderbirds Charities for this gift to help address the root causes of hunger, and to work together with communities to solve the food insecurity problem that is affecting one in every six Arizonans. Thank you!” Angie Rogers, CEO of Arizona Food Bank Network. Arizona Food Bank Network This grant is part of the Fall 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

In the Community Conversations – Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

Throughout 2020 and now into the new year, The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – have reached out to their incredible charity partners to help spread messages of hope and help to the local communities they serve through their “In the Community Conversations”  segments. In this latest edition, 2021 Waste Management Phoenix Open  Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins caught up with Heidi Coupland, development manager at Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, to discuss current challenges and how the community can help. “Our resource center helps women in the community by equipping them with career and educational skills and tools so they may move forward in their lives,” said Coupland. “Our Family Law Center – funded by Thunderbirds Charities – helps women remove any barriers, whether it be personal or legal barriers, in their lives.” Nearly every business and charity in the country has been impacted by the health crisis. Fresh Start is no different. “The first thing we did was reach out to our most at-risk clients, providing them with safe places to go, safe phone numbers to call,” said Coupland. “We found resources for them. Unfortunately, as quick as we were able to move, the demand for our […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Grant to Veterans Heritage Project

A recent grant awarded to Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) from Thunderbirds Charities will support the organization’s award-winning oral history and publication program. The innovative after-school program provides an enriching educational experience by connecting students with U.S. military veterans. Students interview a veteran, research history, and write and publish the veterans’ experiences into a hardbound book entitled Since You Asked.TM Each spring, students organize a community book reception to honor their veterans and present them with the book. Due to COVID-19, this year’s book reception will be replaced by Honor Roll, a drive-thru parade event celebrating veteran and student participants. The April 17, 2021 event will be held privately for the veterans and students, and livestreamed to VHP’s website for the public. The livestream will incorporate several special features, including special recognition of the Arizona National Guard for their significant contributions to the community in 2020. “This program not only honors veterans and preserves first-person accounts of history for future generations, it helps students reach their potential through character development, leadership skill building, and academic skill strengthening,” said Michelle DiMuro, Executive Director. “We are so thankful to Thunderbirds Charities for partnering in this effort.” Thunderbirds Charities funding is supporting critical program […] More

The Thunderbirds Pitch in at St. Mary’s Food Bank for the Holidays

The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – were back at St. Mary’s Food Bank before the Thanksgiving Holiday to assist with emergency food preparation. While The Thunderbirds regularly donate monetary funds to St. Mary’s Food Bank through the proceeds from “The People’s Open”, it’s also important to lend a hand in person – especially during this particularly challenging year. To pitch in, more than 30 members of The Thunderbirds, including 2021 Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins, helped pack more than 1,000 emergency food boxes with 16 tons of food for the local community so children and families in need can eat over the holidays. St. Mary’s Food Bank is in dire need of volunteers this holiday season. They have received numerous donations, but during this pandemic they are finding it more difficult to get people onsite to physically pack the boxes so they can get them to those in need. Please visit the St. Mary’s Food Bank website or click the link below to find out more information on donating or volunteering with St. Mary’s Food Bank. Find out more! | Volunteer with St. Mary’s Food Bank! More

Thunderbirds Charities Donates $200,000 to Teen Lifeline

Thunderbirds Charities recently donated $200,000 to help Teen Lifeline respond to the continually-growing need for suicide prevention services in Arizona. The donation will support the lifesaving peer counseling hotline and texting service provided by Teen Lifeline 365 days a year. Support from Thunderbirds Charities comes at a time when Teen Lifeline volunteers are answering more calls from teens in crisis than ever before. The agency has continued to experience an increase, taking more calls and texts during the summer and fall then during the same time period in previous years. Volunteers have also seen an increase in the acuity of the calls, with 1 in 3 of the calls being from teens experiencing thoughts of suicide and requiring intervention. “Teen Lifeline’s peer counseling hotline and texting service is critical in making the difference for any troubled teen seeking the support or connection that will help them through their crisis,” said Tim Woods, President, Thunderbirds Charities. “We are humbled by the work these young adults are doing to help their community and honored to support their efforts.” In response to the increased need for the crisis hotline, Teen Lifeline has expanded its texting service hours. While schools are closed, teens can […] More

In the Community – Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Continuing with The Thunderbirds In the Community Conversations, last year’s WM Phoenix Open tournament chairman Tim Woods held a virtual discussion with Dr. Wayne Franklin, accomplished cardiovascular surgeon, Co-Director of Phoenix Children’s Heart Center and Director of Adult Congenital Heart Disease at Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH). The two leaders discussed healthcare challenges surrounding the current pandemic and how PCH modified its operations to stay safe while providing world-class healthcare here in the Valley of the Sun. The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – and PCH have a long-standing friendship. To date, The Thunderbirds have provided more than $2.6 million in donations to PCH from monies raised from the popular golf event including a $500,000 donation in 2015 and a $400,000 donation in 2019 which was used to double the size of the hospital’s cardiovascular intensive care unit and fund new, state-of-the-art equipment. Dr. Franklin spoke about how COVID-19 has impacted the hospital and the cardiovascular unit. “Us in healthcare, we were all really just very challenged,” said Dr. Franklin. “One of the things we were able to do was provide and make sure that both patients and employees were safe. COVID-19 has been terrible, but one […] More

The Thunderbirds and Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun Safe at Home

Please take a moment to watch impactful work being done in our Community through Rebuilding Together VOS. RTVOS is a leading safe and healthy housing organization dedicated to preserving affordable housing for economically disadvantaged seniors, families, veterans, and disabled individuals. Working at the critical intersection of health and housing, they provide free critical home repairs, home safety modifications to prevent falls, and money-saving energy-efficient home improvements. Thunderbirds Charities has been supporting their Safe at Home Program for many years, which provides home renovations economically disadvantaged homeowners in need of critical home repairs. Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun  More

In the Community – Arizona Council on Economic Education

Today’s In the Community check in is with Thunderbirds Big Chief Tim Woods and Elena Zee, President and CEO of Arizona Council on Economic Education (ACEE). Zee and Woods discussed the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, what ACEE is doing to respond to current challenges and what immediate and essential needs they require to continue to provide educational services throughout the Valley and Arizona. The Arizona Council on Economic Education is dedicated to teaching every Arizona student economic and financial literacy, and workforce development to help them in their adult lives. Through their strong, affiliated academic base with universities and community colleges, partnerships with the Arizona Department of Education and the Federal Reserve Bank, ACEE prepares teachers and students so they may learn personal finance, economics and entrepreneurship – all skills young people need as they grow older. Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – has been a generous supporter of ACEE, providing monetary funds for operational and capital needs to empower thousands of students each year. During the conversation, Zee spoke about how community involvement is essential to a thriving economic education program. “The number-one key [around […] More

New Life Center Completes $100,000 Dining Room Makeover Thanks to For Those Without a Voice and Thunderbirds Charities

New Life Center, the largest domestic violence shelter in Maricopa County and one of the largest in the country, is excited to announce that it has received a complete dining room remodel thanks to support from Thunderbirds Charities, who gave $50,000 towards the project. The project was completed on September 1, after four months of reconstruction. The dining room, which sits up to 60 individuals, was remodeled by GCON and furniture was provided by Elontec. The space consists of three booths, one child sitting area, one high top table, one half booth/half table, three round tables, two square tables and one long rectangular table. This allows for mixing and matching of tables to fit all different family sizes. Each resident has their own storage unit that can be used as a pantry. The cabinet corner will be a coffee station as well as storage for nonperishable food to be accessed around the clock. The kids corner has a play kitchen and fun, interactive activities for kids. The space can be accessed outside of mealtimes for any work or recreational purposes.  “Before the renovation, the space felt outdated and uncomfortable for our families,” says Myriah Mhoon, CEO of the center. “Now, […] More

In the Community – Positive Coaching Alliance

The Thunderbirds began nearly a century ago with the mission to promote the Valley of the Sun through sport. These days, the primary sport used to raise money for charity and create Scottsdale tourism interest from all over the world is golf, specifically the Waste Management Phoenix Open. But, as we see in this installment of In the Community Conversations, the impact of The Thunderbirds – and their charitable giving arm Thunderbirds Charities – is a positive impact on all kinds of sports, coaches and youth in our communities. Scott Jenkins, 2021 WM Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman, recently sat down with Rich Tomey, Executive Director of the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) to discuss the impact of the current health crisis on their organization and youth sports in general and how they’ve continued their mission of creating positive, character-building youth sports environments without direct, in-person contact. “With no school, no sports, no nothing in a lot of states, we had to change the way we do things,” said Tomey. “A lot of kids and coaches are dealing with the disappointment of not playing and we’re trying to keep people together. We had to utilize a lot of technology through Zoom and […] More

The Thunderbirds Team Up with Arizona Helping Hands for Back-to-School Mission

To assist Arizona Helping Hands in their mission to provide essential needs for children in foster care, The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – recently visited the AZ Helping Hands warehouse to assemble backpacks chock-full with back-to-school essentials. “We were so excited to host The Thunderbirds,” said Jodie Sprayberry, Arizona Helping Hands CEO. “We had a whole bunch of guys volunteering. They put together bikes, backpacks, first aid kits, everything we could think of. It made such a huge difference and we can’t thank them enough.” Along with financial assistance that hundreds of local charities receive each year from the Waste Management Phoenix Open , The Thunderbirds have been lending a hand in person, going to various charities as a group to offer much needed help to the staff’s by packing food and water to local food banks and the assist they gave Helping Hands to get kids back to schools safely. “It’s a great feeling to assist these charities financially, but even more rewarding in person when you really see the effect is has on so many in need,” said Ed Grant of The Thunderbirds.  “It is a lot of fun to work together alongside […] More

Special Olympics Arizona Awarded $100,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

President and CEO Jamie Heckerman announced today that Special Olympics Arizona received a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open during the 2020 Spring Funding Cycle. The funds will be used to support SOAZ’s 2020 state competitions projects, along with providing support and opportunities for area and regional competitions due to difficulties associated with large events and Covid-19. “We always appreciate the great support that we get from our partnership with Thunderbirds Charities,” Heckerman said. “Generous grants like this one are integral in helping Special Olympics Arizona serve our more than 25,000 athletes throughout the state, and this year, more than ever with this Covid-19 pandemic, it is even more important. We can’t thank The Thunderbirds and Thunderbirds Charities enough for this tremendous show of support.” Special Olympics Arizona strives to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community. With an emphasis on […] More

Florence Crittenton Awarded $75,000 for Girls Living Well Program from Thunderbirds Charities

Florence Crittenton’s Girls Living Well program encompasses integrated healthcare, effectively addressing holistic needs of clients residing in the Therapeutic Group Home (TGH) while prioritizing and fostering the development of positive lifelong wellness practices. It provides on-site access to preventive, primary and behavioral healthcare services to clients. “The nurses have helped me with cuts on my arms, they were able to provide care to them so I could continue working on my treatment here,” a client stated. “They are welcoming, nice and made me feel safe.” The $75,000 grant allowed us to offset medical salaries not covered by our agency’s contracted partners enabling us to provide full comprehensive treatment and support to 150 at-risk girls. This includes providing an initial health screening upon arrival (health, dental and vision screenings); pregnancy testing; psychological exams; and a personalized medical plan for each client enrolled in TGH.     “Our medical team brings a tremendous amount of support to our youth daily. Our nurses are available via telemed and in person to assist with any medical concerns the staff/youth may have,” explained the agency’s Director of Clinical and Residential Operations, Deana Morgan, LPC. “Several of our youth have not maintained their physical health or […] More

Arizona Helping Hands Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Arizona Helping Hands receives a $50,000 grant to provide essential needs to children in foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic by fulfilling emergency requests from families providing the foster care.  Arizona Helping Hands is committed to continue serving Arizona’s most vulnerable population, the 14,000+ children in foster care, and has collaborated with the Department of Child Safety (DCS) and 15 other foster care organizations to serve as an emergency response network. Arizona Helping Hands is grateful for the generosity and leadership of Thunderbirds Charities during this difficult time. “To be able to provide our most vulnerable, the children in foster care, with the basic needs such as twin beds, cribs, diapers and wipes is gratifying – and what our organization is all about,” says Tim Woods, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We are proud to support Arizona Helping Hands in their work in making a difference to the children in foster care and families who need us now more than ever.” Founded in 1998, Arizona Helping Hands provides essential needs for children in foster care through programs promoting safety, permanency, and health. As Arizona’s largest service provider of essential needs to children in foster care, Arizona Helping Hands services remain unduplicated, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Helps Homebound Seniors Stay Independent

Thunderbirds Charities helps Aster Aging with homebound seniors stay independent by supporting 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. “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 This grant is part of the Spring 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

SPOT 127 Announces $7,500 Award from Thunderbirds Charities

KJZZ’s Youth Media Center, SPOT 127 is happy to announce receipt of a $7,500 award from Thunderbirds Charities. SPOT 127 will use this generous gift of support to replace outdated equipment at the SPOT 127 Youth Media Centers. The equipment is used to teach high school students multimedia skills and has not been replaced in 7 years. Thanks to the Thunderbirds Charities award, SPOT 127 will purchase Apple 27” iMacs and Canon Digital Cameras to enhance digital learning. This equipment will support the 350+ present and future student beneficiaries at SPOT 127’s Youth Media Centers. SPOT 127 offers a variety of journalism and multimedia experiences by connecting to topics that impact the lives of high school students. SPOT 127 gives “at-risk” valley teens the opportunity to develop life skills that go beyond the classroom. KJZZ’s Youth Media Center This grant is part of the Spring 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Fall 2020

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Homeless ID Project Receives 2020 Thunderbirds Charities Grant

The Homeless ID Project received a grant in the amount of $100,000 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. According to Rick Mitchell, Executive Director, “Our mission is to help people end their homelessness by providing access to replacement documents. While it is not something many of us think about, it is not possible to get a job, to gain housing, to apply for healthcare, or enroll the kids in school without current and valid identifying documents. Support from Thunderbirds Charities will help us provide the critical first step of replacing lost or stolen identification documents necessary for so many individuals and families seeking to end their homelessness.” Homeless I.D. Project This grant is part of the Spring 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.  More

The Thunderbirds Charities Invests $50,000 to Help Take Junior Achievement Education Digital

The funding provided by the Thunderbirds Charities would specifically support the conversion of our paper-based curriculum kits to interactive digital lessons, augmenting Junior Achievement’s education and delivery model to reach students outside the classroom. JA has curriculum kits per grade, Kindergarten through high school, and each kit contains six to seven lessons that each run 45 minutes to one hour, educating primarily low-income students on money management, career-readiness and entrepreneurship. Each year, we integrate our programming into thousands of classrooms across 400 schools statewide. Thunderbirds Charities investment would help us develop each online lesson including our costs to recruit and train digital volunteers; filming and editing of volunteers’ and JA staff’s teaching the lessons; development of content for each digital lesson; and building out our website, e-mail and social media platforms, and other communications channels, to disseminate and market our content online to engage parents, educators and students. JA will be able to reach students no matter how or where they’re learning, even more so now given the pandemic’s impact on kids’ education and learning.  Junior Achievement of Arizona This grant is part of the Spring 2020 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

The Thunderbirds Team Up with SOAZ Staff to Help Pack ‘Return to Play’ Bags for Athletes

Playing safely is of paramount importance these days, and thanks to The Thunderbirds, when Special Olympics Arizona athletes return to competition, they will be doing so in a safe manner. Recently, The Thunderbirds went to Special Olympics Arizona’s headquarters in Perryville, Ariz. to help prepare 140 “Return to Play” bags full of personal protection equipment like thermometers, masks, gloves and hand sanitizer to assist SOAZ programs start planning to resume activities. “This is why we host the Waste Management Phoenix Open,” said 2021 Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins. “To be able to give back to organizations like Special Olympics is why we work as hard as we do to sell ticket packages and all the other sponsorships available at ‘The People’s Open’.” Take a look at the video to see all the amazing work The Thunderbirds and Special Olympics Arizona are doing in the local community. More

In the Community – Local First Arizona

In this installment of In the Community Conversations, 2021 tournament chairman Scott Jenkins held a virtual call with Kimber Lanning, President and CEO of Local First Arizona. The Thunderbirds have been long-time partners with Local First Arizona – A statewide organization dedicated to building a more diverse, inclusive and equitable Arizona economy by working with small business. Lanning first spoke about how Local First Arizona has been affected by the pandemic. “A quarter of our overall revenue comes from events, which are obviously cancelled now,” said Lanning. “So, we’ve been able to transition from events to what we call fee for service contract work – technical assistance and hands-on training for small business to be successful and ensure their survival.” While there have been federal assistance programs, Lanning spoke about how not all small businesses were able to take advantage of them. “Federal assistance did help some businesses but some could not take advantage,” said Lanning. “Many of our sole proprietors were not set up to have themselves on payroll, so we set up a small business relief fund and to date we have raised $1.3 million and distributed that around Arizona. We prioritized families with children without another source […] More