Thunderbirds Charities Donates Nearly $3 Million to Valley Nonprofits in Spring Fundraising Round – WM Phoenix Open Official Site


Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable arm of the Thunderbirds — hosts of the WM Phoenix Open presented by Taylor Morrison — awarded nearly $3 million in grants to nonprofits in 43 Valley during its spring 2022 funding round.

Some of the notable grants included $1 million for Child Crisis Arizona, $100,000 for The Joy Bus, and $90,000 for Local First Arizona. In total, Thunderbirds Charities awarded 17 grants of $100,000 or more and eight grants of $50,000 or more to Valley charities during this most recent funding cycle.

With the Spring Funding Round in the books, Thunderbirds Charities has now opened its Fall 2022 Funding Round online at

“With 2022 bringing back a sense of normalcy, it’s an honor to start giving back big again,” said Michael Golding, President of Thunderbirds Charities and Grand Chief of the Thunderbirds. “It is vital that we continue to lend a hand to our communities. Philanthropy and community service are at the forefront of our organization, and we will always strive to raise as much money as possible for our charitable partners each year.

The $1 million grant from Thunderbirds Charities will support Child Crisis Arizona’s Fostering Bright Futures Expansion, a new 38,000 square foot solar-powered, sustainability-conscious child and family wellness campus that will adapt to continuous growth and will house several programs to develop child and family resiliency. The new campus will house Child Crisis Arizona programs (foster care and adoption, counseling, family education, etc.) and administrative staff. Additionally, the increased space will allow for expanded offerings, many in collaboration with other local organizations, to provide services such as distribution of basic necessities, preparation of food for programs, screenings medical, therapeutic dance and art classes, job skills and mentoring for teens in foster care. , and more. Partnerships with other local nonprofits will allow children, youth and families to receive comprehensive, high-quality services in one convenient location, reducing the burden of locating and traveling to multiple agencies to access resources that they need.

“Child Crisis Arizona is truly honored to receive this transformational gift from Thunderbird Charities, said Torrie Taj, CEO of Child Crisis Arizona. “The Thunderbirds have been a strong and dedicated partner to this organization and have a rich history of supporting the growth of Child Crisis Arizona with significant investments in the communities we serve. This donation will not only help create an environmentally sustainable building for future generations, but will create and support sustainability so that vulnerable children and families have a safer and brighter future.

The $100,000 donation to The Joy Bus will help renovate their new facility by expanding the capacity of the kitchen, commissary and dining room. This will allow The Joy Bus to more than double the number of meal deliveries and home visits it currently offers. The Joy Bus provides homebound cancer patients with fresh medically appropriate meals, a social support system and nutrition education at no cost to the client, delivered to their doorstep.

“The Joy Bus is very grateful to Thunderbirds Charities and their continued support of our meal delivery program for those undergoing cancer treatment,” said Megan Norton, Program Director at The Joy Bus. “This expansion has taken years to prepare and we are very pleased to have Thunderbird Charities by our side as we change lives in our community with our newly renovated facility.”

The $90,000 grant to Local First Arizona will help support two programs – Fuerza Local and the We Rise program. The programs aim to support underfunded community entrepreneurs. Local First Arizona promotes and supports a sustainable Arizona economy by educating citizens about entrepreneurship, social equity, and collaboration.

“Thunderbirds Charities has been instrumental in the growth of our Spanish-language business accelerator, Fuerza Local. At Local First, we believe that entrepreneurship is our best resource for bridging the wealth gap that has burst across the country,” said Kimber Lanning, CEO of Local First Arizona. “With more than 800 small businesses graduating from the program in six years, we now have nearly 10 that make more than $1.25 million in annual sales and hundreds more thriving. This program is transforming lives and future generations. Thank you Thunderbirds, we appreciate your “helping hand” investment in creating opportunity for everyone.

Additional grants awarded starting in the Spring 2022 cycle:

Arizona Association for Foster and Adoptive Parents $10,000 Strengthening foster families, relatives and adoptive families. Programming of foster families, relatives and adoptive parents.
Arizona Children’s Cancer Foundation $50,000 Improving lives affected by childhood cancer. Family support for those diagnosed with childhood cancer.
Friends of Arizona Foster Children Foundation $30,000 Promote the success of foster children.
Arizona Museum of Natural History Foundation $10,000 Educational excursions to the Museum
Eastern Valley Helper League $20,000 Operation School Bell
Aging of asters $25,000 Neighbors Program
Arizona Childhood Crisis $1 million Foster the expansion of Bright Futures
Desert Sounds Performing Arts $5,000 Desert Sones Mariachi
Detour company theater $10,000 Main Stage Season
Educare Arizona $20,000 Extended Day Program for Early Childhood Education
Friends of Arizona Public Radio $15,000 Support for the SPOT 127 Youth Media Center program
Dignity Furniture $20,000 Expanded Essential Home Furnishings Program
Generation Justice $5,000 Children’s Law Clinic
Goodwill from Central and Northern Arizona $5,000 My Career Matters Campaign
Homeless Identification Project, Inc $100,000 ID strengthens our community – Ssecure IDs
Homeless Youth Connection $50,000 Empowering youth for the future
Campus of Human Services, Inc. $300,000 Critical customer services
Jobs for graduates in Arizona $50,000 Career and college preparation
Arizona Junior Achievement $50,000 Offer the JA BizTown program to 500 students. It also provides real-world skills to low-income children.
Focus on children $20,000 After School Photography Mentorship and Graduate Program
children need to read $25,000 The Page Coach – Used to buy books.
Arizona’s First Local Foundation $90,000 Fuerza Local and We Rise Business Accelerator programs
Midwest Food Bank, Arizona Division “The Backpack Program – Hope Packs” $15,000 Backpack Food Purchase Program
Native American connections $250,000 West Valley Home Youth Services
NotMYkid Inc. $50,000 [i]nspired: peer support for teens
OCJ Children $50,000 Thunderbirds Charities Restoring Dignity Room
Phoenix Community ToolBank, Inc. $10,000 Heat Re-Leaf Program
Prostate Onsite Project $5,000

All Sports Foundation DBA Prostate Onsite Project.
Rising Youth Theater $10,000 Artistic Leadership Program
Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy $50,000 O’Connor Institute Youth Civics Programs – for the Youth Civics Program.
Save Amy, Inc. $20,000 Progression program
Arizona Special Olympics $120,000 Arizona 2022 Special Olympics State Competitions.
Swift Youth Foundation $5,000 Youth Enrichment Programs
Lifeline for teenagers $75,000 Helpline / Texline for teenage crises
Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) $25,000 Economic Empowerment Initiative
The bus of joy $100,000 Capital campaign More than a meal
TigerMountain Foundation $15,000 Agri-Landscaping Initiative – all edible landscaping. Purchase of a double axle landscape trailer and support of program staff
Treasure $20,000 Life Skills Employment and Training Program
Treasures 4 teachers $50,000 T4T on wheels
United Service Organizations, Incorporated (USO Arizona) $100,000 Support for military service members and families
Innovations for Women’s Health in Arizona $30,000 Strong Families Program
Year in Arizona $50,000 Year-to-year Young Adult Education in Arizona. Includes workforce development and education programs.


Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization established in 1986 to distribute funds raised from the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board of Directors is made up of 15 board members from a variety of professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to help children and families, help those in need, and improve the quality of life in the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area. The organization’s donations are directed to organizations based in or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with a mission to promote the Valley of the Sun through sport. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and over 280 “life” members. For more information on Thunderbirds or Thunderbirds Charities, visit

Thunderbirds Charities Donates Nearly $3 Million to Valley Nonprofits During Spring Funding Round2022-08-02WM Phoenix Open official website


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