2019 Thunderbirds Charities Newsletter
Another edition of “The People’s Open” is in the books, and like the seven years prior to this 84th playing, another record has been broken as 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 its history, dating back to 1932, the Phoenix Open has raised more than $147 million ($147,718,790) for charities in Arizona.
“With the tremendous partnership from The Thunderbirds, we are proud that the Waste Management Phoenix Open generated record-breaking charitable contributions and benefits hundreds of charities,” said Jim Fish, Waste Management president and CEO. “2019 marked our 10th year as title sponsor. Given the tremendous impact this zero waste tournament provides the community and environment, it’s no surprise we also announced our title sponsorship extension through 2030.”
UPWARD, founded in 1958, is one of the few organizations in the Valley dedicated to serving children, youth, and in response to a growing need, adults, who are medically fragile and have severe disabilities. This year UPWARD will serve approximately 190 Maricopa County individuals. With their campus expansion, made possible due to the support from Thunderbirds Charities, child care, special education school and adult day treatment programs are growing to help meet the demand for care.
Thunderbirds Charities most recently supported UPWARD’s on-site nursing program, ensuring that medically fragile children and adults with disabilities can attend three critical programs:
Inclusive child care – integrates children who have disabilities with typically developing children. Special education – for children in grades Pre-K -12 whose disabilities are too challenging for their district to manage. Adult day treatment – for children aged out of the school system.
With a mission to bring hope and joy to the children being served. They are able to help children with special needs achieve their highest potential, while empowering their families to thrive.
Human Services Campus
Human Services Campus, owns and operates a 13-acre campus at 12th Avenue and Madison that is home to 20 nonprofit organizations providing services and resources to people experiencing homelessness. To help individuals experiencing homelessness remove barriers leading to permanent housing, Thunderbirds Charities made a significant donation towards HSC’s Critical Client Services. These services will provide, Diversion (reuniting individuals with family/friends, preventing the need to enter into the homeless services system); Post Office (provides individuals with a mailing address to send/receive mail, needed for applying for and receiving benefits, employment, etc.); Store to Explore (provides a place for individuals to safely store their belongings while accessing services on the campus); Navigation (HSC Navigators help individuals navigate the 20+ partner resources on the campus: identification; medical, behavioral, dental healthcare; shelter; employment; meals; benefits; housing assistance; and off-Campus services); Weather Relief (temporary shelter during nights with excessive heat/cold temperatures or precipitation).
“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.”
The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute
Camp O’Connor is a free, merit based week-long summer program providing interactive civics education and leadership development for 7th and 8th graders. Now in its third year, Camp O’Connor takes place in downtown Phoenix at the Beus Center for Law and Society, home of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute and the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. With a large Arizona contingent, an increased focus on outreach to rural communities resulted in participation by students from Bullhead City, Yuma, Chino Valley, Sahuarita, Tucson, Hereford, Clifton, Florence, and Nogales, in addition to Maricopa County.
Camp O’Connor works to educate, inspire and encourage the next generation of leaders to develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for our democracy and their important role as citizens. Campers develop leadership skills, greater knowledge of our nation’s democracy and experience civics in action, enhanced by field trips to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of Arizona’s government.
Thunderbirds Charities has funded Camp O’Connor since its inception in 2016. The O’Connor Institute extends its deepest gratitude to Thunderbirds Charities for once again demonstrating their remarkable civic leadership and philanthropy, spanning over several decades.
Founded in 1986, Teen Lifeline is making a difference by enhancing resiliency in youth and fostering supportive communities to prevent teen suicide. Their vision is that all youth possess a sense of connectedness and hope for their future. Teen Lifeline focuses on connection to individuals, family, community, and school; life skills (including problem solving and coping skills, ability to adapt, emotion regulation); hope for the future—optimism; and awareness of and access to effective mental health care/peer counseling hotline.
Thunderbirds Charities has generously supported Teen Lifeline’s core program, their 24 hour Free and Confidential Peer Counseling Crisis Hotline/Textline. A place callers/texters feel that the conversation is safe and private, and that the Peer Counselor can “relate” to the pressure they feel which allows the caller to talk openly and without judgement. Of the 24,000+ calls/texts TEEN LIFELINE answers each year, 1 in 3 callers is depressed and considering suicide. The Peer Counselors understand the gravity of their position and the responsibility that comes with answering a peer’s call for help. They treat each caller with dignity and respect and carefully guide callers through problem identification, risk assessment, and an evaluation of alternatives. It is crucial to note that Peer Counselors do not make decisions for callers. Instead, they help the caller evaluate potential outcomes and walk them through a proven decision-making process.
Local Arizona First
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.
According to the 2018 annual report, 450 Fuerza Local Business Accelerator graduates have created 536 new jobs and generated $6.2+ million in new sales just in the last year alone. With support from Thunderbirds Charities, Fuerza Local Business Accelerator will be able to expand their reach further into our underserved Latino community.
Teach for America
Teach for America is a leadership development organization that recruits remarkable, diverse college graduates and professionals to teach for at least two years in low-income communities, and supports them as lifelong leaders and advocates working from every sector and field to increase educational opportunities for students. Currently, there are nearly 500 Teach For America corps members and alumni teaching in Arizona’s schools with over 1,000 alumni working across numerous communities to expand opportunities for children and families.
As a result of Thunderbirds Charities investment, the TFA Phoenix 2019 corps will increase educational access and opportunity for over 5,700 students across the valley. In addition, corps members will begin their two year commitment with a rigorous six-week training program to develop the instructional skills needed to be ready for the first day of teaching.
Girl Scouts – Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC)
In partnership with more than 10,000 adult volunteers, GSACPC serves 20,000 girls grades K-12 in more than 90 communities across central and northern Arizona. Since 1936, GSACPC has helped girls develop leadership skills and tools for success in a rapidly changing environment. We know that given the opportunity, every girl can become a leader, act confidently on her values, and connect with her community. Girl Scouts grow courageous and strong through girl-driven programs, ranging from summer camp to troop activities and product sales.
With the generous support of Thunderbirds Charities for GSACPC ‘s Social Impact programs, they will be able to expand and reach girls who may not otherwise have access to Girl Scouting. These programs operate as early intervention programs and empower girls–who face challenges outside of their control–to break cycles of poverty, incarceration, abuse, and other issues, and realize their full potential. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Girl Scouts’ social impact work in Arizona, that began with the innovative Girl Scouts Beyond Bars program that connects girls with their incarcerated mothers. And will continue with Girl Scouts in Refugee Communities, Girl Scouts in Foster Care and the newest, Girl Scouts Juvenile Opportunity Youth.
Treasures 4 Teachers
With an average of more than $700 annually coming from their own pockets, educators are struggling to get their students the basic supplies they need to be successful learners. Treasures 4 Teachers (T4T) has found a way to support educators with those needs by collaborating with community businesses, other non-profit agencies, and individual donors to collect new and re-usable resources and make them available for low or no cost to educators in our community.
Through the generous support of Thunderbirds Charities, the T4T on Wheels mobile program will provide truckloads of free school supplies 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.
At-Risk Youth & Families
Community Outreach / Quality of Life
Domestic Violence / Homeless / Poverty