In the Community – ICAN

As part of the In the Community Conversations, we shift to Thunderbirds’ 2021 Assistant Tournament Chairman Michael Golding checking in with Shelby Peterson of ICAN via virtual conference call to talk about the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and discussing ways to support ICAN so they can continue to serve the local youth in our community. ICAN is a free, family-centered youth service in the East Valley that helps to combat substance abuse, gang involvement and juvenile delinquency. ICAN goes beyond being just an after-school program for those at-risk by working with youth on the critical skills they need to be productive and responsible members of the community by empowering them through personal and academic success. “The COVID-19 crisis has caused us to have low attendance for the first time in our 32-year history,” said Peterson. “We’ve had fewer kids coming to the program than ever before, so we are really pressed to deliver our mission in a way that isn’t group based. What we’ve had to do is pivot and start developing curriculum that we’re now putting out to the community with family friendly activities packed all in a two-gallon Ziploc bag.” Peterson stated the biggest thing […] More

Children’s Developmental Center Receives $50,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

The Children’s Developmental Center at Southwest Human Development recently received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support intake coordination services that help families avoid visits to multiple specialists and assists them in navigating an often fragmented and significantly under-resourced service delivery system. The Children’s Developmental Center provides a wide range of disabilities programs and services including assistive technology at its ADAPT Shop, autism services using the DIRFloortime® model, team developmental assessments, feeding services, psychology and counseling, therapy services and more. “We are so grateful for our long-lasting relationship with Thunderbirds Charities and are grateful to have a partner in supporting Arizona’s youngest children and their families,” says Jake Adams, chief development officer of Southwest Human Development. “The Children’s Developmental Center is one of the only places where low-and-middle-income families can get comprehensive developmental evaluations.” Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support Southwest Human Development and their efforts to improve the lives of individuals living with disabilities. Children’s Developmental Center at Southwest Human Development This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards $100,000 to Circle the City

Circle the City, a community health organization dedicated to providing high quality, holistic healthcare to people experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County, was awarded a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support the purchase of a third mobile medical clinic and a portable generator. The grant helps expand Circle the City’s outreach to people facing homelessness in the north Phoenix and Sunnyslope area. The portable generator will provide power at Circle the City’s two medical respite centers in the event of severe weather resulting in power outages. “We’re incredibly grateful for the continued support of Thunderbirds Charities,” added Ross. “Their contributions support our vision of healthier communities without homelessness. ” Transportation is a significant barrier for individuals facing homelessness and needing medical attention, so they often rely on emergency responders and hospital emergency departments for routine, non-emergent healthcare. Mobile medical outreach enables Circle the City to meet and treat individuals where they are – on the streets, at public parks, partner agencies and in other pockets of high-density homelessness. Circle the City believes it must meet patients ‘where they are,’ in a literal sense, but also without judgment or bias, embracing dignity and respect for all patients. The mobile medical clinic […] More

Esperança Receives $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Esperança, a Phoenix-based nonprofit whose mission is to improve health and restore hope both locally and globally, is the proud recipient of a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. This grant will be used to further support Esperança’s health literacy programs for at-risk, low-income Latino children, adults, and seniors in the Phoenix area. These health literacy programs include Salud con Sabor Latino (Health with a Latin Flavor), Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP), Platicas (30-minute talks on various health topics), and oral health education for all ages. The grant is projected to serve almost 4,000 participants. “In the local communities where we serve, more than 64 percent of kindergarteners suffer from untreated tooth decay,” says Jeri Royce, President & CEO of Esperança. “This is just one example of how this generous support from Thunderbirds Charities will help us continue our mission to combat poor oral health, obesity and diabetes through our bilingual health education programs.” Over the past two decades, Esperança’s domestic program has served more than 30,000 children, adults and seniors in the most vulnerable communities of Maricopa County, ensuring they receive culturally appropriate preventive health […] More

In the Community – Human Services Campus

Today’s In the Community Conversation is with Thunderbirds Big Chief Chance Cozby and Amy Schwabenlender, executive director of Human Services Campus. Schwabenlender discussed the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, how it has impacted those experiencing homelessness in the Valley and changes Human Services Campus has been forced to make to combat the crisis. The Human Services Campus (HSC) is a collaborative agency on the Human Services Campus and provides resources to individuals experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County. Located near downtown Phoenix, HSC is comprised of a dynamic team committed to assisting individuals with ending their homelessness. We offer a competitive total compensation package including medical, dental, life, paid holidays, vacation and personal time, and the satisfaction of giving hope and transforming lives. Schwabenlender first discussed the importance of having a healthcare provider on the Human Services Campus. “One of the benefits of the Human Services Campus is having a health care provider right here,” said Schwabenlender. “It’s operated by Circle the City and we’ve really leaned on them for medical leadership and their guidance on how to temporarily repurpose our operation to ensure the health and safety of as many people as possible.” Obviously, the current pandemic has created significant challenges […] More

St. Vincent de Paul Completes Major Expansion with Support from Thunderbirds Charities

In 2016, St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP) embarked on their first large-scale capital project in nearly 25 years. One of the goals was to fund a major expansion of the SVdP Medical and Dental Clinic. The Clinic faced serious space constraints, and the aging facilities needed upgrades. The campaign allowed SVdP to double the square footage of the Clinic, and significantly increased patient services, volunteer opportunities, and community collaboration. Thunderbirds Charities’ helped with the purchase of much needed, high tech equipment that has the capability to enhance vision for diabetic and other at-risk patients. The treatment of diabetic retinopathy is the most pressing need of current clinic patients. Before, the Clinic was able to diagnose patients but did not have a way of treating them. With the purchase of a visual-field machine, the Clinic is now able to detect glaucoma in patients without referring them to an outside business. Even after the initial campaign, Thunderbirds Charities came back to support the build out of two new operators in their Dental Clinic. This expansion has doubled the number of dental operatories, and significantly increased the capacity to serve adults and children in need of care that alleviates pain, prevents future problems, […] More

In the Community – UMOM

Today, The Thunderbirds checked in with Darlene Newsom, CEO of UMOM, to discuss the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, communicate immediate essential needs and spread their messages to the local communities they serve, rally support and secure vital resources so they may continue to help as much as they can. Since its inception in 1964, UMOM has been an innovative provider of shelter, housing and services for people experiencing homelessness. UMOM provides safe shelter and supportive services for hundreds of families across the Valley by providing access to affordable housing and special Program Centers for its residents. Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – has been a long-time supporter of UMOM, providing monetary funds, clothing donations and other basic necessities to combat the effects of homelessness. “It’s not business as usual,” said Newsom. “We are an essential service declared by the Governor, so we will be here no matter what. This last week, our wait list went up by 30 percent, so we have 180 families on our wait list. I feel it’s our responsibility to be able to serve those families, so we are opening up 20 […] More

Experience Matters Awarded $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Experience Matters has received a generous $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support expansion of their collaborative Literacy and Mentors Program, a K-3 reading program that addresses the urgent need to increase reading readiness of low-income children in Title I schools in Phoenix, Buckeye and Littleton School Districts. “This grant from the Thunderbirds Charities will give us additional resources to expand our activities into new school districts and provide intergenerational connections,” said Experience Matters Executive Director Wendy Cohen. “Over the past 10 years, Experience Matters has impacted over 600 nonprofit organizations in the greater Phoenix area, matched skilled talent to almost 1,300 capacity building projects, while generating over $43 million in Human Capital.” Experience Matters connects the skills and talents of individuals, age 50+, with social-benefit organizations to enhance their capacity to solve community problems. Objectives include providing resources to nonprofits to more effectively fulfill their mission and preparing older adults with meaningful service work to help improve Arizona. “Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support the Literacy and Mentors Program,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “Additional resources towards the program will ensure that more students can become equipped with reading readiness.” Experience Matters This grant is part of […] More

Oakwood Creative Care Awarded $8,000 Towards Their Dementia Coach Program

Oakwood Creative Care will offer new Dementia Coach services thanks to a grant from Thunderbirds Charities. Oakwood’s Dementia Coach program will help families navigate these challenges by empowering family caregivers and enhancing the quality of life for their loved ones though one on one coaching and emotional support to minimize care partner strain with advanced care planning, educational workshops, counseling, nurse case management and the coordination of health and community services. Oakwood Creative Care is a non-profit providing innovative senior services while revolutionizing the concept of memory care. Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. After diagnosis, these families often do not know where to turn. Oakwood Dementia Coach program will help families as they face these new challenges by providing expertise in effective care-giving practices. Families will be able to define and set goals for the person with dementia and their caregiver based on values, personhood and preferences. With only 2% of American philanthropic dollar being directed to elderly care, this grant from Thunderbirds Charities is an investment in fulfilling Oakwood’s mission of enhancing the mind, body, and spirit of adults with cognitive and physical challenges. Oakwood Creative Care is committed to helping families keep their […] More

West Valley Arts Council Receives Grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Arts Education Program

Founded in 1969, the West Valley Arts Council exists to enrich the West Valley by growing a vibrant and connected arts & cultural community. West Valley Arts Council’s (WVAC) Arts Education Program (AEP) was recently awarded $8,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to support arts education in the West Valley. Specifically, funding will support professional development workshops for arts teachers and performing artist fees for Arts Advantage, a series of live performances for 4th grade students, especially from Title One elementary schools. The Arts Education Program is tailored for each individual district ensuring that their educational goals for students and teachers are met, and it ensures that the reach and impact of arts education is deepened during and after school. The goals of the Arts Education Program are to make quantitative changes in arts education and support teachers and districts in meeting their academic goals and achieving Arizona’s educational standards for the arts. Through the AEP, the Arts Council will strengthen relationships with area school districts, and build on the organization’s belief that the arts and arts education are fundamental to a healthy society; impact a child’s academic achievement throughout their school years and beyond; promote a higher quality of life; and […] More

In the Community – Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

Today’s check in is with Thunderbirds 2021 Tournament Chairman Scott Jenkins and Marcia Mintz, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley. Marcia discussed the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, how Boys and Girls Club is responding to the pandemic and what immediate and essential needs they require to continue helping people in need throughout the Phoenix area. BGCAZ has been the largest and most trusted childcare provider in the Valley for decades. The organization started in 1963 with one club in Tempe and quickly branched into multiple clubs throughout Arizona, providing a safe, positive, and fun environment for their kids’ out-of-school time. Whether it is during a summer camp, after-school time, or in one of their other enrichment programs, BGCAZ offers unique experiences in the arts, physical fitness, character development, and leadership training. They also provide proven educational programs and academic support — along with plenty of healthy fun and recreation. Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – has been a long-time supporter of BGCAZ, providing monetary funds for operational and capital needs to serve thousands of at-risk children each year. “When COVID-19 hit […] More

Year Up Arizona Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Year Up enables motivated young adults ages 18-24 to move from minimum wage to meaningful careers in just one year by providing the skills, experience, and support they need to reach their full potential. Through a one-year, intensive program, Year Up utilizes a high-expectations, high-support model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, coursework eligible for college credit, and corporate internships at more than 250 top companies. Its holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to enable young adults with a viable path to economic self-sufficiency and meaningful careers. Continuing to expand its reach and provide even more young adults with access to economic opportunity, the nonprofit workforce development program Year Up Arizona announced today that it has received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The funding will enable Year Up Arizona’s Central City Campus at GateWay Community College to grow to serve more than 240 students in 2020, allowing Year Up Arizona to serve more than 320 young adults across both of its locations. “With the support of Thunderbirds Charities, Year up Arizona will be able to amplify its impact and provide more motivated, talented young adults with the skills and support they need to move from minimum […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Furnishing Dignity

Furnishing Dignity serves individuals and families moving out of homelessness and foster kids transitioning into their own apartments. The charity provides essential home furnishings, including beds, dressers, tables, sofas, and small kitchen appliances. The new and gently-used furnishings are free to the recipients, and volunteer moving teams set up the household. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Furnishing Dignity $25,000 to supply furnishings and home essentials to even more clients. “Everyone deserves a bed; every child needs a place do homework,” said Co-Founder, Joyce Petrowski. “These are things so many people take for granted, but these simple furnishings provide a major confidence boost to our recipients as they transform their lives.” “Because of Furnishing Dignity, these individuals and families can focus on other pressing issues, like finding and keeping jobs, focusing on health issues, and enrolling kids in school or daycare,” said board member, Anita Buckel. Furnishing Dignity This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees.   More

In the Community – Andre House

The Thunderbirds are reaching out to its many incredible charity partners over the next few weeks to discuss their important work and highlight the new obstacles they are enduring as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. We hope that by sharing their messages to the local communities they serve it will help rally support and secure vital resources needed to continue. They are on the front lines doing everything in their power to brighten the lives of so many facing overwhelming obstacles during these trying times. To help as much as they can – and by continuing social distancing practices – The Thunderbirds will be connecting remotely with some of these Arizona charities over the next few weeks to identify their unique needs and where The Thunderbirds and the community can help. Today’s check in is with Thunderbirds Big Chief Chance Cozby and Ash Uss, Advocacy and Partnerships coordinator from Andre House. Ash discussed the current challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Andre House’s immediate essential needs and how the community can rally together and offer support to Andre House and other local charities that are in dire need right now. Since its inception in 1984, Andre House of Arizona has […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports Expansion of Youth Entrepreneurs in Metro Phoenix

Youth Entrepreneurs (YE) is a nonprofit organization that cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset through its experiential learning model which fosters self-actualization in educators and their students. Thunderbirds Charities has recently awarded the organization $25,000 towards Empower College Prep High School as well as other school Across Maricopa County. YE provides educators with resources at no cost to them or their schools to teach students entrepreneurial and economic concepts as well as key principles and character traits through its eight Foundational Values. The educators then tailor a curriculum around their students, providing them with fun, engaging and experiential learning throughout the semester or year. The activities are hands-on and character-building, providing students an opportunity to discover their innate gifts and talents and how to apply them beyond the classroom. “I am very appreciative to Thunderbirds Charities for the generous assistance in supporting our inaugural YE program at Empower College Prep,” Richardson said.  “Because of The Thunderbirds, our student’s lives will never be the same!” Empower College Prep This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Arizona Museum of Natural History Receives $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

Arizona Museum of Natural History (AzMNH) is thrilled to announce the award of $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities for inclusion modifications their Exploration Station. The Exploration Station is a hands-on space for the Museum’s youngest visitors and their caregivers. The room is designed to encourage play, inquiry, creativity and family interactions to better support learning for children 6 and under. Every learner is unique and AzMNH recognizes that many children visit the Museum with different abilities, learning styles, subject knowledge, interests, cultural values, etc. The funding provided by Thunderbirds Charities will support modifications in a multimedia format in order to increase accessibility for underserved populations, such as vision impaired, auditory impaired, and low English language proficiency readers. Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support the Museum and its efforts to serve a wider demographic, as it continues to provide innovative experiences to every visitor. Arizona Museum of Natural History This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Awards Grant to Veterans Heritage Project

In 2018, U.S. News and World Report ranked Arizona #48 for K-12 education, #45 for high school graduation rate, and #48 for college readiness. Veterans Heritage Project addresses this issue by enhancing patriotism and civic education, to strengthen families and community relationships. Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) facilitates an after-school program that strives to develop character and civic responsibility in students by providing experiential learning programs that honor veterans and preserve their legacy. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $10,000 towards their Connect Students with VeteransTM program. The innovative program provides an enriching educational experience by connecting students with U.S. military veterans in a nationally renowned oral history and publication program.  Thousands of veterans’ stories have been archived in the Library of Congress, personal accounts of war and history that would have otherwise faded away.  The year-round program culminates each spring with a free community reception to honor veteran participants and celebrate student achievement. “In addition to honoring veterans and preserving their stories of service, the goals of our program are to enrich civic and history education and help students reach their potential through character development, leadership skill building, and academic skill strengthening,” said Michelle DiMuro, Executive Director.  “We are so thankful to […] More

Ronald McDonald House Charities Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Families from Maricopa County with children needing medical care who stay at one of the three Ronald McDonald Houses in the Valley have one less worry thanks to a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. The grant provides funding for Ronald McDonald House® Charities of Central and Northern Arizona (RMHC-CNAZ) Help-A-Family program to ensure that no family is ever turned away if they cannot afford the $15 nightly fee that is requested. “Every year, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona provides a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for families whose children are often undergoing life-saving medical care,” said Chance Cozby, Thunderbirds Charities President.  “Knowing that financial support from Thunderbirds Charities will, at the very least, ease some of the stress they must be feeling is incredibly important to our entire organization.” RMHC-CNAZ provides a home-away-from-home for more than 1,000 families a year.  Since opening the first House in 1985, families have made more than 53,000 visits. Families at Ronald McDonald Houses stay in private rooms, have access to laundry facilities, large community kitchens and pantries, dining rooms, family rooms, indoor and outdoor play areas, on-site libraries and free Wi-Fi. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $25,000 to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona (Free Arts) a $25,000 grant to support free creative and therapeutic arts programs for children ages 3 to 21, who have faced neglect and homelessness.  The funds will be used to expand Free Arts core programs: the Weekly Mentor Program, the Professional Artist Series, Free Arts Days and the Camp Series.  It will also support program staff who will recruit and train volunteer mentors in order to serve partner agencies and the children under their care. “We’re so grateful for Thunderbirds Charities on-going support of our programs,” said Alicia Sutton Campbell, executive director for Free Arts.  “They have consistently supported our programs for children who have experienced the trauma of abuse, homelessness, and neglect over the years.  We currently serve approximately 8,000 children and hope to expand that number with the help of Thunderbirds Charities!” The Weekly Mentor Program matches volunteer mentors with groups of children living in social service agencies for one-hour weekly art sessions for up to 16 weeks. In the Professional Artist Series, groups of children work with an artist and volunteer mentors in a workshop series that culminates in a performance or exhibition. Free Arts Days offer […] More

Arizona Burn Foundation Receives Award from Thunderbirds Charities

The Arizona Burn Foundation (ABF) exists to improve the quality of life of burn survivors and their families while promoting burn prevention advocacy and education in Arizona. Serving the Arizona community since 1967, ABF provides survivor support programs that help children and adults cope with the devastating psychological and physical effects of their injuries. They assist burn survivors and their families from crisis to recovery to a life of thriving, one day at a time. All ABF services are provided free of charge. ABF’s H.O.P.E. Services (Helping Others, Promoting Empowerment), encompasses all of the services and programs provided to burn survivors and their families. This includes: Crisis – lodging, transportation, meal vouchers, medical cost assistance, and emotional support Recovery – peer support group, limited financial assistance, camps, retreats, and physical, occupational, and psychological therapy support Thrive – leadership development, conferences, opportunities to give back to the community, and social gatherings “When we address the needs of burn survivors and their families before a financial and emotional crisis is amplified, we support recovery and resiliency. Each time we provide support, we assist the family with a plan for continued success beyond our services,” says Lori Janik, Director of Client Care Services […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Supports A Stepping Stone’s LEAF Program

A Stepping Stone Foundation’s mission is to provide stepping stones to create success through education for children and families who have limited opportunities. Their program, Literacy Elevates Arizona Families (LEAF), provides daily, evidence-based preschool with parental supports, including but not limited to adult education, parenting education, home visitations and inter-generational learning activities. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $30,000 towards the continuation to improve outcomes for at-rick children and their family through robust inter-generational literacy programming. The 9-month curriculum is presented in developmentally-appropriate learning centers. Children and families attend classes four days a week. Families take high school equivalency and/or ESL classes, attend parenting classes and participate in their children’s classrooms, all while children attend preschool. Free childcare is provided to younger siblings and teachers visit each home monthly to work individually with families. Thunderbirds Charities is proud to support the LEAF program and its efforts to provide quality education in the community. A Stepping Stone Foundation This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

The Thunderbirds to Provide $1 Million in Emergency Community Funding to Assist Arizona Charities

The Thunderbirds  – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – are providing $1 million in emergency funding to assist Arizona charities during this time of great uncertainty. This money is ready to be granted immediately, with funds being donated to Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley, St. Mary’s Food Bank and St. Vincent de Paul today. The Thunderbirds will continue to evaluate the situation and will hand out the remainder of the money over the next few weeks as other priority needs arise. “Thanks to the tremendous community support every year of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, The Thunderbirds are able to give to so many worthy charities. We are in unprecedented times. We felt, as an organization, it was imperative to act quickly and get much needed funds to help those in dire need right now.” – Chance Cozby, Big Chief of The Thunderbirds   Listen to the announcement on Instagram from Webb Simpson. More

Central Arizona Dental Society Receives $20,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

The Central Arizona Dental Society addresses barriers to dental care using Arizona Dental Mission of Mercy (AZMOM), a volunteer-driven dental healthcare delivery model that enables them to provide free dental care.  Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $20,000 towards AZMOM. AZMOM clinics serve low-income individuals who face barriers to receiving adequate dental care, largely due to a lack of dental insurance. Poor oral health can lead to elevated risks for conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, difficulty finding/keeping employment, and use of costly acute care. Attendees clearly see this as a life-changing opportunity. One patient, Iris, has stated, “You are all so wonderful. Now I will be able to interview for work and let my words, rather than my bad teeth, speak for me.” The two-day AZMOM-Phoenix clinic is held annually, with services provided by volunteering dentists, other dental professionals, and volunteers who assist with patient intake, security, and food service. Comprehensive dental treatments available include cleanings, restorative work, oral surgery, and one-day dentures. Central Arizona Dental Society This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

$20,000 Thunderbirds Charities Donation to Support High-Quality Early Education in Arizona

Arizona currently faces a crisis in its early education workforce, ranking 32nd in the nation for funding allocated to preschool programs according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. Many early educators enter the field directly, without attending formal degree programs. Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded Jumpstart $20,000 towards their Arizona Workforce Development Program. This award has supported the development and preparation for early educators and children in Arizona. The Arizona Workforce Development Program engages early education teachers throughout the year, training educators utilizing a research-based model and providing pathways to furthering education through partnerships with local community colleges—contributing to the professionalization of the field. The result is a lasting impact on Arizona’s earliest learners. Jumpstart This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Wigged Out, Inc. Receives $5,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

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 themselves, 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. Thanks to a $5,000 award from Thunderbirds Charities, the organization has expanded their program to provide additional wigs for women in need. Wigged Out has helped over 700 women and children across Arizona improve their self-image and quality of life through wigs and hairpieces. They are able to provide new wigs for women and children with medically related hair loss that does not restrict assistance based upon the diagnosis. Wigged Out This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

STEP College-Prep Program Receives $25,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Student Expedition Program, a college access and leadership program for Arizona high school students, is pleased to announce it has received a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities. These funds will support STEP’s Phoenix College-Prep Program. STEP equips low-income students with the knowledge, confidence, and leadership skills to successfully transition to college and attain a 4-year degree. Support from Thunderbirds Charities will help STEP serve over 200 low-income Arizona high-school students in 2020. STEP provides college-prep workshops over the span of each student’s tenure in the program, including workshops with college admissions directors, a module on mental health and mindfulness, a ropes course for team-building and leadership training, intensive ACT test prep, writing workshops, financial aid 101, step by step review of the Common Application, FAFSA and CSS profile assistance with financial aid directors, and mentoring by alumni. Several of these workshops include parents and are also offered in Spanish. Les Smith, STEP CEO stated, “This grant will be instrumental in helping STEP to further our outreach efforts as well as broaden our ability to provide our young scholars with the tools, training and guidance needed to successfully prepare for, transition to, and succeed in college. We’re proud to say that […] More

SOUNDS Academy Receives $5,000 from Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities has granted support to SOUNDS Academy in the amount of $5,000, to support their tuition free After School programming. SOUNDS Academy’s mission is to teach, mentor, and provide musical experiences and opportunities to underserved youth. The after school programs of SOUNDS Academy spread music education opportunities to children who are in schools that do not provide instrumental music education. “We are extremely grateful to be awarded this gift from Thunderbirds Charities,” said Kirk Johnson, SOUNDS Academy Executive Director. “These programs allow us to give students an instrument, music, and a structure where children can learn the fundamentals of music performance. We are able to do this work  with the help of foundations like Thunderbirds Charities.” SOUNDS Academy This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More

Thunderbirds Charities Helps The Miracle League of Arizona Hit a Home Run for Growth

The Miracle League of Arizona is a nonprofit organization that welcomes new athletes with special needs, starting at the age of four and with no prior baseball knowledge required. Their adaptive baseball programming provides a chance for an often isolated and at-risk youth to be able to participate in a fun and positive recreational experience. Athletes come to the league in search of an inclusive and adaptive environment where they can play baseball and have fun. Everyone gets the chance to be part of a team, be successful, and have some fun at the Miracle League. Thunderbirds Charities has awarded $20,000 towards Miracle League’s growth. With their support, the Miracle League has added additional divisions, upgraded uniforms, and added key features to their facility. “Our goal is for everyone to have the chance to play baseball, regardless of physical or mental limitations,” said Cassandra Switalski; executive director of the Miracle League. “We want to thank The Thunderbirds for providing the generous funding for the special needs community, which gives our athletes a major league experience they could not have dreamed of before.” The Miracle League of Arizona This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all […] More

Phoenix Police Foundation Awarded $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

The Phoenix Police Foundation is a 501(C)(3) organization that addresses unmet capital needs of the City of Phoenix Police Department (PPD), providing financial assistance in crisis situations and recognizing those who protect our communities. The foundation is grateful to have received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities that will allow the enhancement of youth-based programs sponsored by the PPD. These programs include the Phoenix Police Department Cadet Program, Police Activities League, Hoops for Hope, and Youth Experience. The Cadet Program provides young adults age 14 to 21 with leadership skills and law enforcement training with an emphasis on the importance of community relationships. The Police Activities League (PAL) brings together police officers and boys and girls through sports and school-related activities. PAL teaches youth the importance of integrity, respect, discipline, self-esteem, and teamwork.  Hoops for Hope is a year-round mentorship program for underserved young women.  The Youth Experience is a week-long camp held twice in the summer that exposes students entering 7th and 8th grade to what occurs in police work every day and provides the ability to build relationships with police officers. “This grant is an investment in our future. Today’s teenagers are tomorrow’s leaders. As officers and young […] More

Genesis City Receives $75,000 Award Towards Trailblazer Program

Genesis City is honored to be awarded $75,000 from Thunderbirds Charities. This generous donation will allow Genesis City to continue the Trailblazer Program which serves disadvantaged youth, 14 to 21, who reside in low-income neighborhoods. Through this program, youth are shaped into true “Trailblazers” who overcome the multi-generational cycle of poverty by leading the way for others to access education and gainful employment. Over sixty-percent of the youth who participate in the program are the first in their families to earn diplomas and over ninety-percent will be the first in their families to attend college. Trailblazers blossom into impactful community leaders as they inspire other youth who experience the same barriers and are seeking similar opportunities. This rigorous program is the cornerstone of the Thunderbirds Charities Life Planning Center at Genesis City. “The Thunderbirds are proud to support Genesis City Trailblazer program,” said Thunderbirds Charities President Chance Cozby. “They’re teaching our youth essential life skills, and we are happy to help their efforts.” Genesis City This grant is part of the Fall 2019 cycle. View a list of all Recent Grantees. More