Phoenix, Arizona, 2017 – The Thunderbirds Charities provided a $25,000 grant to support OCJ Kids’ Transition Success Centers, which provides much-needed items, including clothes, shoes, diapers, hygiene products and more, to Arizona foster children – the most vulnerable people in our community. OCJ Kids procures and stores these items in its Transition Success Centers, and then provides them to the children through hundreds of foster group homes and families.
“We are honored and humbled to receive this generous grant award from the Thunderbirds Charities,” said Gary Webb, OCJ Kids President and Founder. “Children go into foster care with just the clothes on their backs. It can take up to a month before they can get hygiene items, brushes, clothes, shoes and other items that they need. Thanks to the Thunderbirds Charities, we will be able to provide these needed items – and our supportive programming — to thousands of foster children through our Transitional Success Centers soon after they enter foster care so they do not have to wait so long to get them. Words cannot adequately express our thanks to the Thunderbirds Charities for their support and compassion for these precious children.”
The Thunderbirds Charities’ generous grant will support the operations of OCJ Kids’ Maricopa County-based Transition Success Centers and enable it to provide desperately-needed items to assist at least 3,000 foster children. Through the Centers, OCJ Kids also distributes “transition suitcases” to youth who turn 18 and are required by law to leave their group home. Each suitcase contains a towel set, pillow, blanket, hygiene products, gift cards, and additional items to help them secure a place to live and a job. In addition, OCJ Kids pairs foster group home children with a Life Coach, who meet weekly with them to help with homework, encourage them, and (for older youth) prepare for independent living after foster care. Finally, OCJ Kids hosts back-to-school and Christmas events at the Transition Success Centers to distribute backpacks, school supplies, and Christmas presents; provide meals and play games with the children.
“OCJ Kids has such a positive impact on the welfare of foster youth in our community, providing the critical items to provide a successful transition to this very vulnerable population,” said Andy Markham, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re happy to assist in their efforts.”
About The Thunderbirds/Thunderbirds Charities:
THUNDERBIRDS CHARITIES is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on the Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.
About OCJ Kids
Founded in 1992, OCJ Kids’ mission is to equip at-risk and foster youth with tools, resources and healthy relationships to succeed and excel in every area of life. OCJ Kids addresses the physical, mental and emotional needs of Arizona foster children through its supportive programs. Each year, OCJ Kids assists more than 3,500 Arizona foster children. More information about OCJ Kids can be found at ocjkids.org and www.facebook.com/ocjkidsaz/