Human Services Campus Awarded $300,000 Grant by Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities has awarded the Human Services Campus (HSC) a $300,000 grant for critical client services to help individuals experiencing homelessness remove barriers leading to permanent housing.  The Human Services Campus opened in 2005 as a compassionate response to a community problem as well as an economic response to an increase in homelessness in the downtown Phoenix area. HSC, is located at 12th Avenue and Madison and is home to 20 nonprofit organizations providing services and resources to people experiencing homelessness.  Services include identification; physical, mental and dental healthcare, meals, shelter, legal services, employment services, navigation, housing match and more. “We are incredibly grateful to Thunderbirds Charities for their deep generosity through this grant that will provide vital support in our mission to use the power of collaboration to provide solutions to end homelessness,” said HSC Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender.  “Of the nearly 7,000 unduplicated homeless individuals who visited the Brian Garcia Welcome Center on the campus last year, more than half initiated a strategy to achieve self-sufficiency.  This grant will enable us to provide services to even more men and women. When guests arrive at the Brian Garcia Welcome Center, our first step is to try to reunite them […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants Local First Arizona $80,000

Local First Arizona recently received $80,000 from Thunderbirds Charities in support of Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program. The new investment will boost outreach of the program to new Latino businesses across the Valley, helping to further Thunderbirds Charities’ mission to improve the quality of life for Arizonans. Fuerza Local Business Accelerator is a six-month program offered at no cost to underserved Latino micro-entrepreneurs in the Greater Phoenix area. The curriculum brings industry experts together to teach courses on business fundamentals, cash-flow projections, marketing, business planning and more – all taught entirely in Spanish. During the program, students solidify a credit score and upon graduation, each student is given the opportunity for a line of credit to grow their business. “The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program was created from a need to help underserved Latino business owners. We are proud of the hard working entrepreneurs that go through the program because they are adding significantly to our communities and our economy. Thunderbirds Charities realizes the impact and potential and we’re thrilled to partner to continue bridging the gap for Latino entrepreneurs,” says Tanairi Ochoa-Martinez, Director of Fuerza Local Arizona.  “Local First Arizona is doing tremendous work in our community assisting underserved […] More

Treasures 4 Teachers

 It is ‘Back-to-School’ and thanks to the generous financial support of Thunderbirds Charities, hundreds of teachers and students from Title 1 schools in metro Phoenix will benefit with a delivery of school supplies from Treasures 4 Teachers – T4T on Wheels. This year truckloads of free school supplies will be delivered directly to Title 1 schools, serving an average of 50 teachers and 1,500 students in one trip. Most students in Title 1 designated schools live in low-income households and are less likely to be adequately equipped with the supplies they need to learn. The T4T on Wheels mobile program provides a solution to this problem while also alleviating the financial pressure many teachers feel when having to purchase their students’ supplies with their own money. Supporting teachers is critical. “Teaching is the one profession that teaches all others” says Barbara Blalock, Executive Director of Treasures 4 Teachers. “Where would we be if we didn’t have a teacher to educate and inspire us?” Barbara expands by saying, “Treasures 4 Teachers has always been available to educators all over the state, but we often hear that they cannot access the supplies they need because of time, money or distance.” Back-to-School is the […] More

Homeward Bound

Thunderbirds Charities granted a whopping $250,000 to Homeward Bound towards their Empowering Homeless Families with Children program. The monies, raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament, will be divided between direct services and programming for residents, and maintenance on the now 20-year-old apartment campus named Thunderbirds Family Village. Homeward Bound is a local nonprofit that- along with a housing component- provides tailored stabilization programs targeted at the root issues of homelessness for children and their parents to get back on their own two feet. 89% of Homeward Bound resident families are headed by young, single women with an average of 3 children, limited education and large debt. “Homeward Bound has such a tremendous impact on at-risk families, giving them tools to be self-sufficient and thrive,” said Chance Cozby, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We are happy to support their efforts in our community.” With homelessness on the rise in 2019, and Arizona temperatures rising even faster, Thunderbirds Family Village is the heart of Homeward Bound’s two-generational program. With the help of the funds granted, homeless children and their families are housed, the parents access training for family-supporting jobs, learn how to advocate for their children, and manage finances. Meanwhile, […] More

Kids Need to Read

Kids Need to Read was the fortunate recipient of a generous $25,000 grant award from Thunderbirds Charities. This is the third year of funding Kids Need to Read has received from Thunderbirds Charities, which has provided over $147 million of charitable donations to Arizona-based organizations over the years. The funds will be used to provide books and other reading resources to children living in low socioeconomic and rural areas of Arizona via The Page Coach, Kids Need to Read’s mobile conveyor of literary treasure.  The Page Coach was selected for funding because of its ability to reach areas traditionally overlooked by many literacy programs, including remote areas where children live without electricity and running water. Kids Need to Read has also worked with Thunderbirds Charities to deliver books to the Blessings in a Backpack program at Nevitt Elementary School in Tempe, Arizona via The Page Coach. “Ensuring that children have access to books is vital to breaking the cycle of generational illiteracy that exists in many impoverished areas of the state,” said Kids Need to Read Executive Director Denise Gary. “The Page Coach makes it possible for our organization to deliver books to children living in areas where the need […] More

Making a Difference: CREATE at Arizona Science Center

Please take a moment to watch a video of one of the impactful organizations that Thunderbirds Charities supports, CREATE at Arizona Science Center. We specifically supported CREATE on Wheels, a mobile makerspace experience for students at Title I schools, youth in children’s hospitals and families at community centers throughout Maricopa County. We are helping take AZ Science Center out to our community! More

Making a Difference

Please take a moment to watch a video of one of the most impactful organizations that Thunderbirds Charities supports, Special Olympics Arizona. We have been part of these very special games since 1975. We all should be proud that we are Making a Difference for these spectacular athletes and their families. More


Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open – announced today at an official groundbreaking ceremony, that a record-breaking donation of $1 million has been gifted to Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ).  The donation is the largest single gift handed out by Thunderbirds Charities since its inception in 1937, and the gift will help support the building of a new Special Olympics Arizona state office and distribution center adjacent to Perryville Prison in Goodyear. “We’re extremely proud of every charitable contribution we make to our local communities, but this gift to Special Olympics Arizona – the largest in our organization’s history – is extremely special,” said 2019 WM Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman Chance Cozby.  “This gift is only possible through the incredible support we receive from our corporate partners and from the best fans in golf who attend the WM Phoenix Open each year. We’re honored and humbled to have such a strong giving presence in the Valley.” This much needed new facility, which will be led by JE Dunn Construction, will provide statewide support for programs and events that are not just for Special Olympic athletes and personnel, but also for […] More

WM Phoenix Open Raises Record $13.2 Million for AZ Charities

Thunderbirds eclipse $13 million donation mark for first time, eighth straight year breaking record. PHOENIX, Ariz. – The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community – raised a record $13.2 million ($13,254,334) for local charities through proceeds from the 2019 tournament.  This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, breaking last year’s record total of $12.2 million and the first time eclipsing $13 million in tournament history. It also marks the eighth-consecutive year breaking the tournament record of charitable dollars raised in a single year. “We’re always extremely proud when we make this announcement, and we’re pleased to break our single-year charitable contribution record for the eighth-straight year,” said 2019 WM Phoenix Open Tournament Chairman Chance Cozby. “It is a testament to the public involvement around our event and we’re grateful for the support of the community, our corporate partners and especially our title sponsor Waste Management so we can continue to achieve our goals to help Arizona children and families in need.” The Thunderbirds and the Waste Management Phoenix Open have raised more than $81 million ($81,672,224) for local charities since 2010 when Waste Management became title sponsor. In […] More

Video – WM Phoenix Open Raises Record $13.2 Million for AZ Charities

The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community – raised a record $13.2 million ($13,254,334) for local charities through proceeds from the 2019 tournament. This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, breaking last year’s record total of $12.2 million and the first time eclipsing $13 million in tournament history. It also marks the eighth-consecutive year breaking the tournament record of charitable dollars raised in a single year. More

UPWARD for Children and Families

UPWARD for Children and Families, founded in 1958, serves children with special needs. Their purpose is to help children with special needs achieve their highest potential, while empowering their families to thrive. A number of the children who attend UPWARD programs are severely disabled and medically fragile and could not attend programs on campus without nursing on-site. Thunderbirds Charities has been a strong supporter of this critical Nursing Program at UPWARD for many years. More


PHOENIX – Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Presented by The Ak-Chin Indian Community – awarded $3.9 million in grants to 71 Valley charities during its fall 2018 funding cycle. Most notably, Thunderbirds Charities granted $400,000 to Phoenix Children’s Hospital (PCH), $350,000 to Barrow Neurological Foundation, $335,000 to St. Vincent De Paul, $200,000 to Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley, and $172,000 to United Food Bank. Thunderbirds Charities has now opened its 2019 spring funding cycle. Information about the fall and spring funding cycles can be found at “Without a doubt, giving back to our communities is the most fulfilling thing about what we do as tournament hosts,” said Carlos Sugich, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re extremely proud and thrilled to give these grants to deserving organizations around the Valley. It’s an honor to see how the funds raised from the WM Phoenix Open impacts those in need in our community.” The $400,000 donation to Phoenix Children’s Hospital went toward funding the expansion of the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU). The hospital is doubling the size of the CVICU from 24 to 48 beds and acquiring […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Grants $10K to Hospice DreamCatcher Foundation

Hospice DreamCatcher Foundation Inc. (“DreamCatchers”) is excited to announce receipt of a $10K grant from the Thunderbird Charities. These funds will support the expansion and growth of DreamCatchers in Maricopa County.  Local high school and college students set up DreamCatchers chapters at their school, partner with a local hospice, and set about granting the final Dreams of hospice patients. With the Thunderbird Charities grant, DreamCatchers can start more chapters, allowing for the fulfillment of many more end-of-life Dreams for hospice patients throughout the Valley.  Both young and old see tremendous benefit in connecting together through DreamCatchers, enriching lives and widening intergenerational perspectives all while having a fun experience. Caitlin Crommett, the founder and president of DreamCatchers, states, “We are incredibly excited and grateful for the support provided through this grant by the Thunderbird Charities. We will now have the capacity to increase our presence here in Maricopa County- our home county- and impact more hospice patients and young students in the area. We are proud to be based in such a supportive community, and can’t wait to make a greater difference than ever with the support of the Thunderbirds.” “We’re extremely happy to help Hospice DreamCatcher Foundation in their efforts to benefit […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Funds New Classrooms for Child Crisis Arizona’s Mesa Facility!

Child Crisis Arizona was able to expand its Early Education Services, in partnership with Maricopa County Head Start, due in part to a generous grant from Thunderbird Charities. The gift enables Child Crisis Arizona to remodel a portion of its Mesa facility to house two classroom spaces for 40 four- and five-year-old children, and construct child-size bathrooms and Head Start staff offices. The Head Start program is a collaboration with Maricopa County Head Start to provide educational services to children who are aging out of the Early Head Start program yet are too young to start Kindergarten. The remodeled 4,300-square-foot Head Start classroom space is located at the Child Crisis Arizona Mesa campus, in the same building as the Early Head Start program. The one- to three-year-olds in the Early Head Start program have demonstrated a measurable, positive difference in achievement; therefore, giving children an opportunity to continue their education in a Head Start program will help better prepare them for success in Kindergarten. The two new classrooms are located in the same building where Child Crisis Arizona hosts parent education classes, community workshops and family activities. “We could not be more thankful to Thunderbird Charities for their ongoing support,” […] More

Phoenix Theatre’s Partners that Heal

Thunderbirds Charities recently awarded $15,000 in grant funding to support the direct service delivery of Phoenix Theatre’s expanding Partners That Heal program. Unduplicated in the United States, Partners That Heal is a therapeutic arts program in which specially trained actors perform improvisational care to bring laughter and joy to children and families undergoing traumatic medical diagnoses in healthcare facilities. Incorporating a repertoire of games, songs, puppetry, and instruments, the Partners’ creative services are personalized to the interests of the individual, and are approved for delivery within multiple hospital departments, including individual bedsides and isolation. Hospital staff who have worked with the program report consistent, significantly improved communication directly following a visit, which makes it easier to take vitals, draw blood, administer tests and determine the patient’s level of discomfort. Partners That Heal provides regular programming at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Banner Thunderbird Children’s Hospital, Ryan House, Banner Cardon’s Children’s Hospital, Arizona Burn Center, and Mayo Clinic, among others. Since its inception in 2008, the program has serviced over 52,000 individuals. A Child Life Specialist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital testified: “Partners That Heal allows a patient to be a child, to feel ‘normal’ again, sometimes for the last time. They strip away […] More

Southwest Human Development Received a $50,000 Grant

Southwest Human Development, Arizona’s largest early childhood nonprofit organization, received a $50,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to purchase audio-visual equipment for its Children’s Developmental Center and Good Fit Counseling Center programs. “This funding from Thunderbirds Charities will allow us to upgrade our technology solutions in three of our on-site evaluation and treatment playrooms at our Children’s Developmental Center and our Good Fit Counseling Center,” said Ginger Ward, chief executive officer of Southwest Human Development. “High-quality technology is vital to the clinical work we provide through these two programs and is a valuable tool for the training we offer to a wide range of community practitioners and students.” The nonprofit will use the grant funding to replace outdated camera recording systems in two of its evaluation and treatment playrooms and install a new system in a third playroom. The Children’s Developmental Center and Good Fit Counseling Center rely on the technology for observation and planning related to young children’s interactions and relationships with their parents, caregivers and Southwest Human Development staff. Each camera system will allow for multiple camera angles, zoom features, frame-by-frame playback and more. “We’re proud to help Southwest Human Development secure the technological improvements they need to upgrade […] More

A New Leaf and Thunderbirds Charities Partner to Help Vulnerable Youth

A New Leaf is pleased to announce the award of a $100,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities to support children and youth who are homeless, living in poverty, or who have experienced domestic violence. “We are deeply grateful for the ongoing support of Thunderbirds Charities,” said Michael Hughes, CEO of A New Leaf. “This gift of $100,000 will benefit children and youth in our community through a variety of programs at A New Leaf – from early childhood education to after school programs to residential treatment. A New Leaf helps individuals thrive, providing compassion, community resources, and certified care to give them a fresh start. Thunderbirds Charities is truly making an impact for vulnerable children and youth in our community.” A New Leaf will use the grant funding to help children and youth overcome challenges by providing vital services that support health and well-being, build positive relationships, resolve challenges linked to trauma, and foster academic and social success. Programs include an early childhood education program at Phoenix Day, afterschool programs for children who cannot attend mainstream programs due to behavioral and other challenges, and outpatient and residential behavioral health treatment and shelter programs. “We’re thrilled to help A New Leaf and […] More

West Valley Arts Council Received a Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

West Valley Arts Council (WVAC) received a grant from Thunderbirds Charities for Arts Education Partnerships, to support strengthening arts education in the West Valley. Funding will support program expenses of comprehensive AEP’s which serves the needs of 10,000 students and 34 or more fine arts teachers in Buckeye, Tonopah, Goodyear and Avondale. Many of these elementary schools are Title One. This initiative 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 Partnership programs 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 importantly, help develop cross cultural understanding and appreciation. “Providing accessibility to artistic expression and learning is something we’re very proud of,” […] More

Maricopa Health Foundation Receives $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

Funds to benefit the Mariposa: Wings to Safety Domestic Violence Program and Refugee Women’s Clinic at Maricopa Integrated Health System Thunderbirds Charities has awarded the Maricopa Health Foundation a $50,000 grant to benefit both the Mariposa: Wings to Safety Domestic Violence program and Refugee Women’s Health Clinic at Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS).  The grant supports a health provider cross-training bridge program designed to expand the effectiveness and reach of two critical programs for women and children. Mariposa: Wings to Safety is a hospital-based family violence advocacy program raising awareness and providing support to families affected by domestic violence, including child abuse and neglect.  The unique program provides crisis intervention, patient education and prevention programs to families throughout Maricopa County. Mariposa: Wings to Safety Advocates are available 365 days-a-year to provide screenings and assistance. During the program’s 12 years, it has served more than 4,800 women and families affected by domestic violence and educated more than 50,000. “Health education and a safe place to seek help is something every mother, child and family deserves,” said Carlos Sugich President, Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re pleased to help increase the impact of these two important women’s health programs and continue our support of MIHS […] More

First Place Phoenix



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Katie Stringham (480) 241-7128 Chandler, AZ (September 10, 2018) – A recent grant awarded to ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth from Thunderbirds Charities will support the organization’s Youth Development Program. Over 80% of ICAN families report poverty-level incomes and 90% of youth qualify for free/reduced meals. ICAN’s Youth Development Program seeks to accomplish five goals: improve life skills; increase resilience to avoid involvement in risky behaviors; improve academic achievement; prepare teens for college/careers; and increase community attachment through regular service work. “ICAN is honored to have been chosen by Thunderbirds Charities for support of our Youth Development Program. This program is ICAN’s core focus, providing life skills training to youth with the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty and providing them with a brighter future,” stated ICAN’s Chief Executive Officer, Shelby Pedersen. “The Thunderbirds are proud to support ICAN’s Youth Development program,” said Thunderbirds Charities President Carlos Sugich. “They’re teaching our youth essential life skills, and we are happy to help their efforts.” ICAN welcomes over 500 youth a year with free programs, including meals and transportation. ICAN youth live in low income neighborhoods and face a number of daily risk factors, including chronic poverty, […] More

Thunderbirds Charities Donates to K2 Adventures Foundation Programs

K2 Adventures Foundation would like to thank Thunderbirds Charities for their generous donation to our organization’s local programs. Our local Arizona programs would not be possible without the donations of local charities such as Thunderbirds Charities. More

Fall 2018

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Esperanҫa Announces Thunderbirds Charities Grant

Esperanҫa is proud to announce a $25,000 grant from Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community, in support of its Health Literacy Programs for At-Risk, Low-Income Latino Children and Adults. More

Thunderbirds Charities Funds Victim’s Services Program

Every 22 minutes someone becomes the victim of a violent crime in Arizona. When victims do not have the opportunity to get help, many turn to substances or struggle with overwhelming feelings and suicidal thoughts. More

MIM Receives Generous $50,000 Grant from Thunderbirds Charities

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 the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM). More