Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the WM Phoenix Open – awarded more than $2.4 million in grants to 60 Valley charities during its 2022 Fall funding cycle. Some of the largest grants were $225,000 to Homeward Bound, $133,000 to Central Arizona Shelter Services Inc, $100,000 to Arizona Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired, $100,000 to ICAN and a $50,000 grant to Dress for Success Phoenix’s Mobile Career Center.

With the 2022 Fall funding cycle complete, Thunderbirds Charities has now opened its 2023 Spring funding cycle. Information about the Spring funding cycle can be found at

“This is by far the best part of being a Thunderbird, to give back in a big way to our local communities,” said Dr. Michael Golding, Big Chief of The Thunderbirds. “We are so fortunate to be able to help in any way we can and support our communities in such an impactful way.”

With the help from Thunderbirds Charities, Homeward Bound will be able to facilitate wrap-around services to existing families on Thunderbirds Family Village campus, along with housing navigation services to obtain sustainable housing in the Phoenix metro area. Grant funds will be directed to the shelter component of the program, including the staff, expertise, and momentum needed to respond to the increase in families experiencing homelessness and the critical need for safe shelter as part of a continuum of care. Funds will also support the housing navigation staff, who work with client families to find and secure permanent housing, access available assistance, and provide landlord mediation.

The $133,000 grant to Central Arizona Shelter Services Inc. will renovate the reception and client service areas of their Vista Colina Family Shelter. The “Thunderbirds Charities Family Welcome Center” would incorporate a warm, friendly, and trauma-informed design, creating a safe and inviting space for children and families to take the first step to ending their homelessness.

Arizona Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ACBVI) $100,000 grant will go towards the creation of a Community Health Center.   ACBVI is addressing the healthcare equity needs for their highly vulnerable client population and the surrounding community, by bringing a Community Health Center to their campus.  This will provide an array of services including case management, primary care, behavioral health, care coordination, pharmacy, and substance abuse treatment.

ICAN was awarded $100,000 from Thunderbirds Charities to support their highly impactful and award-winning Positive Youth Development Program, serving youth ages 5-18 years old. This free, year-round out-of-school programming serves vulnerable youth who are under-performing academically and impacts the economic mobility of families by allowing parents and caregivers to work undisrupted. ICAN expanded recently to two, Title I elementary schools in Mesa, increasing the number of youths served by 30%.  The critical youth skills program includes Learning Skills (collaboration, communication), Literacy Skills (STEM), and Life Skills (social-emotional learning). Youth receive nutritious meals, academic support, S.T.E.A.M. activities, structured sports, and recreation.

Dress for Success Phoenix’s Mobile Career Center (MCC) travels throughout Maricopa County to deliver job-readiness training, resources, and services to low-income women and youth who are hindered by transportation and/or geographical barriers. The MCC equips clients with the necessary tools to secure meaningful employment, such as interview apparel, resume and cover letter assistance, and career consultations.  With the $50,000 grant, an addition of a Mobile Teen Workforce Career Center vehicle will deliver crucial professional development resources and services to vulnerable youth.


Additional grants awarded from the Fall 2022 cycle:

Act One Foundation Field Trip Programs $25,000
Agua Fria Food And Clothing Bank Inc Emergency Food Program $30,000
Almost Famous Theatre Company Foundation Youth Programming $5,000
American Red Cross SW States Sickle Cell Initiative and Minority-focused Blood Drives $20,000
Arizona Burn Foundation H.O.P.E. Services $50,000
Arizona Center For The Blind And Visually Impaired Community Health Center $100,000
Arizona Educational Foundation Inc Arizona Spelling Bee $25,000
Arizona Outdoor Adventures Outdoor Kitchen Reno $5,000
Arouet Foundation Economic Opportunity Center $25,000
Barrow Neurological Foundation Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle for Neuro-Rehab Center $50,000
Be A Leader Foundation Be A Leader Pipeline of Postsecondary Access and Success Programs $75,000
Be Kind People Project Foundation AT-RISK YOUTH Programming $50,000
Billys Place Inc Youth Grief Support Services $10,000
Bloom365 Youth Violence Intervention and Prevention Project (Y-VIPP) School-Based Intervention and Enrollment Specialist $12,500
Bridges Reentry, Inc. Beyond the Gates Mentoring $20,000
Central Arizona Shelter Services Inc Thunderbirds Charities Family Welcome Center $133,000
Childsplay Inc In-School Performance Program $25,000
College Bound Adopt A Student Program $5,000
Desert Voices Oral Learning Center SLPs Help Children Achieve Their Language Goals $80,000
Dress For Success Phoenix Mobile Teen Workforce Initiative Career Center $50,000
Elaine Transportation Assistance Program $30,000
Esperanca Inc Children’s Oral Health Education Program $35,000
Family Promise-Greater Phoenix A Journey Home $100,000
Feeding Matters Arizona Grassroots Outreach, Education, and Support Initiative $40,000
Free Arts For Abused Children Of Arizona Programs for Children $12,500
Fresh Start Women’s Foundation Family Law Support for Women in the Phoenix Metro $100,000
Future For Kids STEAM Coordinator and Mobile Lab $15,000
G Road G Road Transportation for After-School Programming $30,000
GiGi’s Playhouse Phoenix, LLC GiGiFIT Program Growth and Studio Expansion $35,000
Homeward Bound Shelter and Community Services $225,000
House Of Refuge Inc Adopt a Home $15,000
House Of Refuge Sunnyslope Inc Campus Expansion Project $50,000
Hushabye Nursery Opioid Crisis: Direct Patient Care $100,000
ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth Positive Youth Development Program $100,000
Impactone Breast Cancer Foundation Hope Box Program $10,000
Live and Learn Economic Empowerment for Women $25,000
Meals of Joy Senior Meals $25,000
Mesa Arts Center Foundation MABEL: The Mobile Arts Based Community Engagement Lab $10,000
Harvest Compassion Center West Valley Location $40,000
New Pathways for Youth Holistic Youth Transformation Program $40,000
Open Table, Inc. Preschool Initiative $50,000
Phoenix Conservatory Of Music College Preparatory Program $10,000
Phoenix Performing Arts Center Inc Arizona Wolf Trap $10,000
Positive Coaching Alliance Arizona Creating A Positive Sports & Youth Development $50,000
Raising Special Kids Navigation, Coaching Support-4-Families for Children Birth-5 with Disabilities $25,000
Read Better Be Better Afterschool Literacy Program $30,000
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix Keeping Families Together Program $30,000
Ryan House Sponsor-A-Stay for Children & Garden Reno $50,000
Save The Family Foundation Of Arizona Homeless Families Intervention Project $100,000
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) Cultural Connections Through the Arts $5,000
Sounds Academy Comprehensive Youth Music Program $5,000
Step-Student Expedition Program Inc College-Prep Program $25,000
Summer Youth Program Fund  SYPF 2023 Summer Youth Programming $50,000
The Centers for Habilitation/TCH P.A.S.S. Program (Participation, Accessibility, Socialization, Sports) $10,000
The Opportunity Tree MakerSpace for Youth in Avondale $25,000
Upward Foundation Child Care Center $20,000
Valley Youth Theatre Literacy and the Arts $10,000
Veterans Furniture Center Household Furniture $35,000
Veterans Heritage Project Since You Asked $10,000
Zion Institute The Well Mental Health Services $50,000

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