Thunderbird Truly Does… CARE

This past weekend, Thunderbirds ventured far and wide to show just how much we care. Learn what amazing projects were done over seven different projects! Thanks to all who came out to participate.

Project Sun Valley Animal Shelter

My name is TJ Duff and I had the privilege to lead eleven amazing volunteers for ThunderCares.  Our project was at the Sun Valley Animal Shelter.  Some people may think that all we did was play with animals that day.  Unfortunately, this is not true.  While we did eventually get the chance to see and pet several dogs and cats at the shelter, our real assignment was to prune and cut trees.  I am proud to say my team did an excellent job, both in execution and utilizing great teamwork.  We had a great time, did something good for the community, and look forward to doing so again next trimester.

Project Glendale Xeriscape Demonstration Garden

About five minutes south of Thunderbird on 59th street tucked away behind the Glendale Main Library, is the four acres community xeriscape demonstration garden. The garden is managed by Joanne Toms of the City of Glendale, with assistance from only one other colleague and these two women were in need of some help! The were thrilled when our 24 member team descended on them early Saturday morning and were quick to put us to work! We had three generations from the Xu family making up litter patrol, leading them was none other than Haibing’s daughter our youngest volunteer. MaryAnne Riodique from Admissions helped along the serpentine path with Ted Kirby, Phuong Ha and several others, clearing leaf debris and trimming grasses. Sneha and Allison were on prune patrol as they sawed and hacked away at more than one tree.  We had several pre-MBA’s along with Erin and Leanne cutting back overgrown grasses to make way for new growth, but the biggest project of the day was spent raking, shoveling, and moving rocks from one end of the garden to the other. Thanks to the project management of everyone’s favorite receptionist, Sandra Collins, the operations and logistics expertise of our team members, and the brut strength of Juan Guo, we were able to turn a pile of rubble into a nice plot of land that Joanne will be repurposing for an additional upcoming showcase.

Project Japanese Friendship Garden

The started early for all of us we had to leave from campus at 6.30 AM. I was thinking that the volunteers would be sleepy as it was an early day but to my surprise, everyone was so enthusiastic and energetic. We reached the Garden at 7 AM and were greeted by Professor Zerio who arranged for a lovely breakfast, Bagels and Coffee. We then had a brief orientation of the garden with Mr. Micheal. Walking in the garden in that pleasant weather was probably the most soothing and refreshing thing. Soon we all started with our tasks and time just flew. At 10 AM the garden was open for general public and that is the time we stopped working. My Team members were enjoying the beautiful landscapes, the pond, feeding the fishes and just taking walks around the garden. Everyone in the team was simply amazing. And I am glad that they all had a good time.

Project Valley Life

My group served at two different Valley Life locations. Valley Life essentially sets up group homes for special needs individuals. The two houses that we worked had primarily women who were bound to wheel chairs. While speaking with one of the supervisors, I was told that one of the women had lived in the home since she was six months old, she is now in her forties. At both locations we were able to help by thoroughly cleaning both inside and outsides of the locations. Cleaning the windows and doors, organizing storage closets, and cleaning the outside equipment were amongst some of the things we were able to do. It was great to be able to work for an organization that impacts the lives of many others.

Project UMOM Shelter

A group of ten Thunderbird students volunteered at the UMOM homeless shelter, working with the kitchen manager to put together a healthy Saturday brunch for about 30 families. After putting together a healthy brunch of fruit salad and macaroni and cheese, we then helped distribute and organize a very large shipment of food that was to be perused by the homeless families. Each family was able to select 3 food items to take home with them and be able to enjoy a healthy, home cooked dinner. Working with UMOM was a rewarding experience, and I am sure that most of the Thunderbirds who volunteered there on Saturday will most certainly go back.

Project Thunderbird Facility Services

ThunderBird Facilities partnered with ThunderCares for the first time and it indeed was a unique experience to be working on the campus with our Facilities Services. The team comprised of 30 energetic Tbirds and family. By 8am we proceeded towards the Facility Services building where we were welcomed by the Thunderbird Facility Services team that included Mr.Victor, Mr. Sam and Mr.Adolfo. We divided ourselves into three groups for the three different activities namely gardening, painting and disinfecting the playground. While one team was entrusted with the task of painting the poles and fire hydrants, the other proceeded towards the volleyball court for landscaping activity. The third team took upon the task of disinfecting and cleaning up the children’s playground. The Thunderbird Facilities appreciated the work of the enthusiastic Tbirds who completed the tasks well before the allotted time. We wrapped up our activities by 12pm and the team got together to take a few pictures. If you happen to sight gleaming fire hydrants, bright yellow poles, a tidy playground or a well kempt garden as you walk around the campus, now you know that’s the work we, the Facilities Team, did on our ThunderCares Day!!

Project IRC Farm

We started at 830 at we had quite a few people waiting for us. It was well organized thanks to Emily from IRC. We had 26 people in total who had volunteered for this project. All of them were very excited to be part of the team and put in their best to help as much as they could. We helped the team pull weeds, build posts and benches, and dig a trench for a water canal. The volunteers were so involved that we ended up having more work done than what the team had expected. Everybody was at the event till 12 in the afternoon. All and all was a very successful project!

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