Thunderbirds Charities Gives Back to Community with $3.8 Million Donation to Valley Non-Profits During Covid-19 Crisis


Keeping with their mission to support local non-profit organizations here in the Valley, Thunderbirds Charities – the charitable giving arm of The Thunderbirds – awarded more than $3.8 million in grants to 43 Valley charities during its 2020 spring funding cycle.

Reaching and serving the community in a meaningful and impactful way, especially during these unusual and unprecedented times, is the chief concern of The Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Local organizations need support now more than ever and Thunderbirds Charities remains committed to being stewards of our communities and a much-needed source of funds and supplies to our wonderful charity partners who do incredible work for children and families in need right here in Arizona.

“The impact we can make in our Arizona communities is far and away the most rewarding thing we do as hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open,” said Tim Woods, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “It’s an honor to be able to assist the missions of these wonderful Valley organizations and help improve the lives of our fellow Arizonans.”

The Thunderbirds raised $14 million alone from the 2020 WM Phoenix Open, and in 85 years have raised more than $160 million to benefit the local community. It’s a very proud moment each year when they gift this money to so many deserving charities, but it hit home more this year with the Covid-19 pandemic that has affected not only the state of Arizona, but the entire world.

“We understand the importance these charities serve and that was never more evident than this spring when we had to band together to battle this pandemic,” Woods said. “To see what is happening in our community and how we as an organization are able to help so many is a very proud moment.”

This $3.8 million that was awarded during the spring cycle is separate from the $1 million “Community Emergency Fund” that The Thunderbirds voted on and approved in March to help charities on the front lines with immediate needs by offering financial assistance, PPE masks and other integral supplies.

“This just goes to show the tremendous support we receive every year for the Waste Management Phoenix Open,” Woods said. “Because of this outstanding support, The Thunderbirds are able to give to so many worthy and needy charities, and we can’t thank our supporters enough for being such a valuable part of our community. Without them this would not be possible.”

While the spring funding cycle is in the books, Thunderbirds Charities 2020 fall funding cycle is now open (through September 1). Information about the fall funding cycle can be found at



BENEVILLA VOLUNTEER HOME SERVICES FOR SENIORS – $60,000 will help provide much needed services to older adults in the West Valley challenged with the daily routine of independent living and staying safe with extra precautions during COVID-19. All services are provided free of charge by a team of Benevilla volunteers and staff and include grocery shopping, transportation to medical appointments, phone pals and more.

“In the world of COVID-19, the Benevilla Home Services program has become a lifeline for many in our community who wish to remain safe at home,” said Joanne Thomson, Benevilla President and CEO. “With the support of Thunderbirds Charities, we are able to support our neighbors who may otherwise be alone, have nowhere else to turn and are without these everyday resources.”

FLORENCE CRITTENTON SERVICES OF ARIZONA – $75,000 will go toward its Girls Living Well Program to provide yearly on-site preventive, primary and behavioral healthcare services that are gender-specific, culturally competent and trauma-informed for 200 clients at FloCrit’s Therapeutic Group Home (TGH), a 40-bed residential treatment facility. The Girls Living Well program prioritizes and fosters the development of positive life-long wellness practices including healthy eating, active lifestyles, and trusting relationships between clients and healthcare professionals.

“Our medical team brings a tremendous amount of support to our youth daily. Our nurses are available via TeleMed and in person to assist with any medical concerns the staff/youth may have,” said Deana Morgan, LPC, Director of Clinical and Residential Operations. “Several of our youth have not maintained their physical health or understood the importance of maintaining their physical health prior to coming to our facility. Our medical team provides youth with an opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the importance of taking care of both mental and physical heath.”

HOMELESS I.D. PROJECT – $100,000 will aid in their efforts to help individuals and families end their homelessness and rebuild their lives by providing the critical first step of identification replacement services. While it is not something many people think about, it is not possible to get a job, gain housing, apply for healthcare, or enroll kids in school without current and valid identifying documents. Homeless I.D. Project helped to issue nearly 8,000 documents in 2019 alone, and plans for growth to serve all those in need in order to eliminate barriers to obtaining identification documents across America.

“Our mission is to help people end their homelessness by providing access to replacement documents,” said Executive Director Rick Mitchell. While it is not something many of us think about, it is not possible to get a job, to gain housing, to apply for healthcare, or enroll kids in school without current and valid identifying documents. Support from Thunderbirds Charities will help us provide the critical first step of replacing lost of stolen identification documents necessary for so many individuals and families seeking to end their homelessness.”

MILITARY ASSISTANCE MISSION (MAM) – $100,000 will help the organization provide financial and moral aid to Arizona’s active-duty military, their families, and post 9/11 Purple Heart Recipients. Through its financial assistance program, MAM meets the needs of the lowest ranking service members by helping pay for basic necessities such as housing, utilities, groceries, car payments, and insurance.

“Receiving this grant from Thunderbird Charities is a game changer for MAM,” said Trey Vineyard, MAM Board President. “I am excited to see how this funding will help us respond even more effectively to the needs of military families. This support will most certainly change the trajectory of their lives and we are humbled by the opportunity to offer programs to those who have given and continue to sacrifice so much for the American way of life we all cherish.”

TREASURES 4 TEACHERS (T4T) – $40,000 will help hundreds of teachers and students from Title 1 schools in metro Phoenix to benefit from a delivery of school supplies from 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 student supplies with their own money.

“Teaching is the one profession that teaches all others,” said Barbara Blalock, Executive Director of Treasures 4 Teachers. “Where would we be if we didn’t have a teacher to educate and inspire us?”



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