Grantee Highlight: Jack’s Helping Hand

Jack Ready, 2004


Many families of children with disabilities require assistance to meet their children’s special needs. Founded in 2006 by Paul and Bridget Ready in memory of their son, Jack, Jack’s Helping Hand provides assistance to local children struggling with cancer, special needs, and disabilities in San Luis Obispo County up to the age of 21.

How do they do it? Jack’s Helping Hand fulfills requests for assistance with medical equipment, provides transportation, food and lodging for out-of-town appointments and procedures, and helps with medical bills when there are no other sources to cover these needs. Their team assists over 70 families each month locally, and when they travel for appointments, surgery, and chemotherapy outside of our county. 

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is grateful to support the work of Jack’s Helping Hand in the form of multiple grants. Various grants from our Foundation, the Alex Quaglino Family Fund, and Women’s Legacy Fund have successfully supported their Assistance Program enabling families to travel to specialty children’s hospitals for the best possible care, support the purchase of hearing aids, therapeutic braces, mobility devices, and supportive seating devices.  

Annie at Camp Reach for the Stars

The Robert H. Janssen Foundation – a fund of The Community Foundation – has been a significant supporter of Camp Reach for the Stars, the no-cost summer camp for children dealing with cancer and their families.  Located at Camp Yeager in Cambria, this family event is filled with activities, camping and plenty of opportunities for fun.  The Camp aims to give all kids coping with cancer the chance to be kids—an experience often taken away or put on hold by the disease. It allows the children to shed the hefty “cancer patient” label yet be surrounded by others who understand similar experiences.    

Jaylin, 2022


This month, their team is especially proud of Jaylin, who just finished a two- and half-year treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia B.  Providing the fuel, food, and lodging to alleviate that added financial burden on her parents has been our mission since meeting them in 2019. Being able to support her family for their treatments in Los Angeles has been a humbling experience for their team.  Jaylin’s mother states it best:

“Jack’s Helping Hand has been such a blessing to our family. There are no words to describe how thankful we are to them. Driving 6 hours round trip to LA several times a month and having to stay overnight in hotels for treatment and procedures would have been impossible without their assistance. We are also so thankful to all the donors who give to Jack’s Helping Hand because of them Jaylin was able to go camp last year and was able to attend many fun events over the last couple of years.”

Jack’s Helping Hand has recently started building a universally accessible and inclusive park on 30 acres of generously donated land in Nipomo. The Jack Ready Imagination Park will be a place for children with disabilities to play with their families and peers. Current plans for the park include a large accessible playground, therapeutic riding facility, hardscape courts, playing fields, hiking trails, and barbeque and picnic areas.  

Learn more and support Jack’s Helping Hand at https://www.jackshelpinghand.org/

Grantee Highlight: The Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo County

Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month – a month-long celebration that recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. With a population rich in Hispanic heritage, our county is full of diverse programs, collaboration, and organizations that not only better the lives of Hispanic Americans and their families, but positively impact all SLO County residents. 

The Promotores Collaborative of San Luis Obispo County was established by the Center for Family Strengthening and works to build, foster, and support a network of promotores – a group of community leaders who serve as liaisons between their communities and health and social services providers. 

Promotores are community-based and are made up of outreach members and volunteers who work to eliminate barriers between public and private organizations and underserved minority populations. They provide training, emotional support, and materials in order to empower a healthier community. They act as family educators, health or patient advocates, outreach workers, peer educators, and system navigators.

Their impactful work ripples across our community: agency partners and community organizations seek their bilingual and bicultural expertise to provide Mental Health Interpretation services, provide health outreach education at community events and food distribution sites, and help promote healthy family functioning. By working closely with their community partners, the Promotores Collaborative identifies resources needed to benefit San Luis Obispo County residents and complements (not duplicates) existing efforts of the County’s Health and Human Services Department.

“The Promotores have created a tremendous impact in their community. The Latinx community has expressed that they feel welcome at the Public Health Mobile Clinics, food bank distributions, and other local events where the Promotores participate,” says Erica Ruvalcaba-Heredia, Director of Programs. “Families have shared that when they see Promotores they know they can trust them, and they will always provide the right resources for them.” 


Promotores are unique because they provide services in Spanish, Mixteco, and occasionally in English. They are culturally competent, they go into the community to do outreach, business, and residential canvassing, they support the mobile vaccine clinics and provide direct services to the Latinx community in San Luis Obispo County. They serve as community liaisons and go above and beyond by working weekends and after business hours in order to warmly connect Latinx neighbors to various community resources and agencies.

In spite of the Pandemic, the Promotores have continued with their leadership educating the Latinx community by providing culturally appropriate and translated (Spanish, Mixteco & English) information. The Promotores Collaborative have been recognized by the Public Health Department, the Behavioral Health Agency, First 5 SLO County, and SLO County Food Bank as essential workers in San Luis Obispo County. 

This year, the Community Foundation continued our support of this inspirational program by awarding $20,000 in funding to the Promotores through the Women’s Legacy Fund. “We are very excited and grateful to The Community Foundation because we will be able to continue providing education and support to the Latinx community by providing financial literacy classes. Some of these topics include setting goals, saving and building savings, dealing with debt, understanding credit reports and scores, and others. Our aim is to provide the tools and information to help the community set and achieve goals; build skills in managing money, credit, and debt; and choose financial products that are right for them. Learning to use these tools will help them reduce the financial stress that they are dealing with, especially during these uncertain times.” 

Moving forward, the Promotores aim to continue to build the Promotores Collaborative capacity in order to promote health-related resources and create new ways to involve Latinx neighbors in SLO County, specifically in rural and underserved communities.


Follow The Promotores to learn more:

Website: www.cfsslo.org  
Facebook Community Page: https://www.facebook.com/slo.promotores 
Facebook official Page: https://www.facebook.com/PromotoresSLO 
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/slopromotores/

Leaving Your Legacy with a Donor-Advised Fund

This content has been edited from its original version, which was created and published by National Philanthropic Trust. You can view the original article here.

Your estate plan is a powerful tool that can help you achieve many important goals. First and foremost, it allows you to provide for your loved ones when you’re no longer there. It can help you reduce probate fees, minimize your estate and inheritance taxes and plan how your affairs will be handled if you become incapacitated. It can also help you pass on something more: your values and beliefs. 

For many people, this process—often called legacy planning—involves incorporating philanthropic goals into an estate plan. With a donor-advised fund (DAF), you have several ways of creating a lasting legacy. We will show you how a DAF can help ensure that your charitable work continues for future generations.

Planning a Charitable Legacy with a Donor-Advised Fund is part of CFSLOCO’s Philanthropic Services. Learn more at https://www.cfsloco.org/donors/

A simple solution for legacy planning: DAFs

A DAF is a charitable giving vehicle that is popular for its ease of use. To establish a DAF, you complete an application and make an irrevocable, tax-deductible contribution to fund the new account. 

This typically involves naming your DAF—possibly using a family name like the Jones Giving Fund or the Jones Family Foundation—and, in most cases, appointing family members or others to serve with you as joint, secondary, or successor advisors. There are no start-up costs other than your initial contribution. 

When you contribute to a DAF, you are making an irrevocable gift to charity, but you and any other individuals you appoint will retain advisory privileges—which include the right to recommend investments within and charitable grants from the DAF. Contributions made during your lifetime, which may include cash, appreciated stock, real estate, or other complex assets, generally receive an immediate income tax deduction for up to the full fair market value of the gift. 

Bequests to a DAF are eligible for an estate tax charitable deduction and may also reduce applicable state inheritance and estate taxes, which together could result in significant tax savings. You may also make your DAF the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, retirement plan or charitable remainder or lead trust. 

For instance, if your DAF is the beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust, you will not be constrained by a limited number of charities identified in the trust document. Instead, the trust’s assets can ultimately go to any charity the advisors of the DAF recommend. This gives you and your heirs the flexibility to meet the world’s changing needs.

Multiple ways to build a charitable legacy

While your DAF can be funded after your lifetime, one benefit of a DAF is the ability to involve your loved ones in giving during your lifetime. You can appoint a spouse or partner as a joint advisor, and name your children as secondary advisors, so that you can make charitable decisions together as a family. 

You can also ensure that future generations can continue a legacy of giving by appointing individual successors to the DAF. Some legacy options include (but are not limited to):

  • Naming a joint advisor to recommend investments and grants now and to assume responsibility of the DAF after your death 
  • Naming one or more individual successors to manage their own DAF account funded with your DAF assets 
  • Naming one or more charitable beneficiaries to receive all remaining DAF assets Establishing an endowment and recommending that assets be distributed over time in annual, recurring gifts to one or more charities 
  • Creating a Legacy Plan involving any combination of the options described above

You can choose the plan that’s right for you now, with the option to change it later. 

A DAF in action: The Hernandez Family Giving Fund

Rose and Frank Hernandez were both in their late 50s and in their peak earning years when they began to think deeply about their charitable legacy. They wanted to find a way to provide lasting support for several small organizations, including one that had helped Frank’s parents when they first immigrated to the U.S. These small organizations were only equipped to receive gifts of cash, which meant that Rose and Frank often sold securities, paid the income taxes on the gains and then made the gift using the cash proceeds. The couple also wanted to involve their daughters, who lived in different cities, in giving. 

Rose and Frank decided to commit $50,000 to charitable giving in the current year, with an eye toward giving more in the future. Their advisor helped them consider two different strategies to achieve the goal:

GIVING TODAY: By setting up a DAF, Rose and Frank could serve as primary and joint advisors, and their daughters could work alongside them as secondary advisors and eventually as individual successors on the account. Rose and Frank also found that they could give more with a DAF, because it allowed them to give appreciated stock and save substantially on taxes. Their DAF offered Rose and Frank a seamless, tax-efficient way to donate stock which could then be liquidated for charitable grantmaking. 

GIVING IN THEIR ESTATE: Although Rose and Frank’s net worth did not exceed the estate tax exemption amount, they had significant assets in traditional retirement accounts. These assets would be subject to income taxes if their daughters inherited them. Retirement assets left to charity, however, avoid estate and income taxation. This prompted Rose and Frank to make their DAF one of the beneficiaries of their retirement plan. Upon their death, the DAF would receive $150,000 of Individual Retirement Account assets, allowing the family to create a $100,000 endowed account to continue grantmaking to Rose and Frank’s favorite causes. At the same time, they could leave each daughter her own $25,000 DAF to continue supporting local organizations.

Advantages of starting your legacy today

Just as Rose and Frank did with their daughters in the example above, many families want to engage the next generation in their giving practice. A DAF can support your efforts to plan for your family’s future of giving, while allowing you to have a charitable impact today. 

By establishing a DAF during your lifetime, you can: 

  • Involve family members in managing the DAF alongside you as joint or secondary advisors, so that you can give together to the causes that are important to you as a family. 
  • Appoint loved ones as individual successors and leave them a giving tool that requires no administrative work—the DAF sponsor oversees compliance, accounting, tax filing and other duties that the staff of a private foundation would otherwise have to do themselves. 
  • Contribute appreciated assets to receive a deduction for the full fair-market value of the gift and avoid paying capital gains taxes on the asset’s built-in gains. 
  • Save on income taxes. With the 2020 estate tax exemption at $11.58 million for individuals and $23.26 million for couples, fewer estates are subject to taxes than in the past. Opening a DAF now allows you to enjoy the benefits of a charitable income tax deduction, and ultimately to have more to give to your favorite causes. 
  • Support your favorite causes now and beyond your lifetime. You can use a DAF to make present-day giving easy, with options for recurring grants and specialized grant agreements. By establishing a Legacy Plan for the DAF, you may also ensure that your favorite nonprofits will be supported even after your death as beneficiaries, either with a lump-sum gift or via annual grants until your DAF assets are depleted. 

If you would like to discuss these or other options, please email our team at info@cfsloco.org or (805) 543-2323. CFSLOCO does not provide legal or tax advice. This brochure is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be, and shall not be relied upon as, legal or tax advice. The applicability of information contained herein may vary depending on individual circumstances.

‘Women & Wealth: Leave Your Legacy’ Event

Presented by Women’s Legacy Fund from The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County

What if you could learn how to improve your financial health while creating lasting change for women and girls in San Luis Obispo County?

Join inspirational members of our community for an evening of abundance as the Women’s Legacy Fund collaborates with Women Making Waves on ‘Women & Wealth: Leave Your Legacy’. Bringing together the next generation of Legacy Leaders through The Young 100, this non-profit event creates a unique conversation around financial literacy, philanthropy, and community impact for women in SLO County. Through a hosted evening of passed apps, sponsored drinks, and motivational workshops, you’ll leave feeling educated and empowered with a better understanding of what it means to experience financial health along with how to leverage that wealth to benefit others. Hosted by Leann Standish of SLOMA, two phenomenal speakers will take the stage. Jill Wilde and Sara Rubalcalva will connect on a deeper level of giving by sharing their workshops and wisdom with you. You will walk away knowing that your contributions and commitment are part of the bigger vision to creating lasting change for women and girls in San Luis Obispo County. When women of a community are uplifted, it creates a ripple effect of compassion, creativity and confidence for all.

Event Speakers

Sara Rubalcalva:

📣 Introducing Sara Rubalcalva, award-winning Marketing Communications Professional with over twenty-five years’ experience turned Transformational Speaker and Lifestyle coach empowering others to reach their highest potential in life by providing tools to recognize and remove barriers to success.

You can define and refine what it means to receive, have, and gift.

This workshop will give you the tools to map out your vision for individual wealth and achieve a healthy money mindset through awareness, connection, and vision.

Above and beyond that, you will discover what it means to commit to a life of giving back, leveraging your wealth for impact, and doing big things for your community. Leave empowered, and with a plan! In this workshop you will dive into how a healthy money mindset can shift an individual, a family, and a community at large.


Jill Gutierrez
Wilde:

📣 Meet Jill Wilde, Chief Magic Maker at Wilde Big Sur: a new forest retreat and music venue on the South Coast of Big Sur. In this discussion with philanthropic icon Jill Wilde, learn what it means to discover wealth independent of your financial circumstances.

Workshop through what wealth means to you, on a deeper level than the amount of money in your bank account. Overcome the daily stresses of monetary success and learn what it takes to develop a wealthy lifestyle for yourself resulting in a more impactful legacy in your circle of influence. We’ll workshop how we navigate our current financial realities in order to pave a different path of success, choosing personal responsibility for our own wealth now and into the future.

Leave feeling confident in your ability to generate wealth, wield power and have influence beyond what you could imagine.


Event Details

Thursday, August 4th from 6pm – 9pm
The Penny SLO | 664 Marsh St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Your ticket includes:- Small bites and (2) complimentary drinks from SLO Cider
– Women-owned winemaker tastings
– Interactive workshops with Jill Wilde & Sarah Rubalcalva
– Social time with community members and leaders
– Dance party with DJ SLO GRRRL to network & celebrate

$65 for Legacy Leaders / Young 100 Members
$75 for General Admission

Partners:
– The Penny SLO
– Brick & Mortar Catering
– SLO Grrrl DJ
– SLO Cider Co.
– Hubba Wines
– Ranchero Cellars
– Lumina Wines
– Idlewild Flower Arrangements
– Jill Wilde
– Sara Rubalcalva
– Leann Standish (SLOMA)

The Women’s Legacy Fund is a field of interest fund through The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County which was established in 2003 to strengthen women and girls’ physical, emotional, intellectual, and financial well-being. Since its inception, the fund has provided more than $300,000 in support of a broad spectrum of issues affecting women and girls in San Luis Obispo County, from basic needs and education to physical and mental health.

Access for All Advocate: Paul Wolff

Foundation Family Highlight: Paul Wolff

Today, the American Disabilities Act turns 32. This important civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities within schools, transportation, and all places that are open to the general public.

Across San Luis Obispo County, allies and activists are dedicated to ensuring that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. One of these individuals is Paul Wolff: a local architect and accessibility advocate.

Paul Wolff advocates for an accessible, diverse, and welcoming community that values disability and encourages the full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Not to mention, the annual Paul Wolff Accessibility Advocacy Awards (PWAAA) were established in honor of Wolff. These awards are implemented through Access for All, a field of interest fund through The Community Foundation, and honor those who strive to make San Luis Obispo County a barrier-free community.

Paul – Professor Emeritus of Architecture at Cal Poly State University – has an incredible life story. Paul was born in 1929 in Hamburg, Germany to Jewish parents. After his father’s arrest during Kristallnacht in 1938, young Paul and his family fled Nazi occupation to London, England in 1939. Fortunately, as the political climate grew more volatile, they were able to secure a 30-day transatlantic crossing and landed in San Francisco on August 1, 1939 – only 30 days before the start of WWII in Europe.

In the 1950s, Paul was drafted into the US Army and served in Europe. After his service, the GI Bill of Rights enabled him to enroll in the graduate program of architectural studies at The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. After graduation, he began his architecture career working with renowned architect Richard J. Neutra in Los Angeles and later started his own architecture practice in Palo Alto. In 1971, Paul began teaching Architecture at Cal Poly State University. It was during this time at Cal Poly that he began to recognize the need for accessibility in architectural design, partly due to the effects of his sister’s advancing MS diagnosis.

After earning his master’s degree in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey in Guilford, England, Paul returned to Cal Poly where he introduced Environmental Psychology and Universal Design into the School of Architecture’s curriculum. In July of 1990, architectural accessibility finally became a national requirement as the American Disability Act (ADA) was passed into law. After 23 years at Cal Poly, Paul retired to focus on community involvement. He and his wife Marion, who escaped from Vienna as part of the Kindertransport, continue to talk to students and groups sharing the stories of escapes from Nazi Germany and exploring the impact of the current violence we see in our society today and its relationship to the evils of prejudices and discrimination. Paul worked with local activists to start Access for All, which promotes accessibility, supports advocacy work, and provides connection through The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County. He currently serves on the Access for All advisory committee.

We are extremely grateful to know and work closely with Paul – he is an inspiration to us all. Read his own account of this incredible story, which we are honored to share with you.

“Today there is so much for which to be grateful. Since I have been allowed to survive for 92.5 years, there is so much to recall. I started long, long ago, so far distant, in a radically different universe, within a far different culture and language.

The first 9 family years in Hamburg, Germany, ended abruptly on the infamous Kristalnacht, 11/9/1938, as the Gestapo invaded our house to arrest my father despite his 4 years as a wounded/decorated army captain fighting for Germany in WWI . Yet, not until many years later in SF, did I fully comprehend the politics of the times.

These were events that must never be forgotten! Towards that end, Marion and I devoted much time in our later years to sharing both of our Holocaust experiences with high school and university students in Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg, as well as locally. Marion’s exodus at 8, from Vienna, via the Kindertransport was always of great interest to our audiences. Today, I gladly continue to talk to students and local groups about learning from our recent destructive history and its relationship to the evils of current prejudices and discrimination.

We were among the fortunate few. Six months after Kristallnacht we were able to reassemble our small family in London and board the Hamburg-American freighter SS Dynteldyke for the 30-day Atlantic crossing to SF.

The subsequent 9 years were filled with growth and challenge from school, sports, and a variety of jobs in San Francisco. New freedoms and responsibilities emerged as I advanced to UC Berkeley, Yosemite, Livermore, and Texas, Missouri, and Germany courtesy of the US Army.

My 1953 rejection from OCS (Officers Candidate School) actually worked to my benefit. Subsequently, being drafted into the US army led to my assignment as the operator of a 20-ton crane in a chaotic divided post-war Germany. That year – 1954 – gave me the exciting opportunity to explore Hamburg, Mainz, Paris, Stromboli, Sweden, Finland, and London.

Upon my discharge from the US army, the GI Bill of Rights allowed me to enroll in stimulating graduate architecture studies at The Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Thereafter, I obtained passage home on the USS Langfitt by teaching and counseling some 400 Hungarians seeking refuge in the USA.

[I] spent the following 3 years living and working with renowned Architect Richard J. Neutra in his LA studio. By 30, in 1960, I found and wed a young German visitor from London, Marion Pollak. Three precious children followed: Karen, 1962, Linda, 1964, Charles, 1966.

During the following 10 years as I started my architectural practice in Palo Alto, I became increasingly aware of my sister Eva’s advancing disability due to her MS. I also noted that the CA building code tended to ignore accessibility issues. In 1970 the emerging Department of Architecture at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo was expanding… and I applied.

By September 1971, we had sold our remodeled Eichler home in Palo Alto and moved to SLO as I started teaching my first classes. Two years later I had to decide my future. To advance at the University would require a Masters Degree.

Due to the strong influence of Neutra’s humanistic architecture and my access concerns, I chose to pursue a Master’s program in Environmental Psychology at the University of Surrey in Guilford, England. This allowed Marion to support the 5 of us by working as a secretary at the University.

Upon my return to teaching, I introduced Environmental Psychology and Universal Design, creating a more inclusive environment (including people with disabilities) into the architectural curriculum. National interest in the rights of all people to have equal access to our environment was increasing, which led me to work with many local activists to start Access for All in SLO County.

In July of 1990, architectural accessibility finally became a national requirement as the American Disability Act (ADA) became the law of the land. After 23 years at Cal Poly, I retired in order to do more consulting and designing, returning to my home-based architectural practice. Community involvement plus travel to fascinating places further enriched these memorable years.” – Paul Wolff

Access for All Advisory Committee

Consider making a donation to Access for All by clicking HERE.

Now Accepting Applications: 2022 Grants Cycle

We are now accepting applications for our 2022 grants cycle! Over $450,000 is available through our General Grants program for organizations serving the environment, arts, seniors, people with disabilities, and more. And for the first time, in order to further support stability and trust within SLO’s philanthropic sector, all General Grants will be unrestricted.  

“Starting this year, 100% of the grants we are offering through our General Grants Program will be unrestricted, meaning these funds can be used however each recipient deems necessary,” said Heidi McPherson, CEO of the Community Foundation. “Challenging times require a new approach, and we believe that unrestricted funding gives our nonprofit partners the flexibility they need to succeed in today’s environment. ”

The primary goal of our 2022 General Grants Program is to provide funding for agencies and programs that directly address community needs while helping nonprofit organizations fulfill their mission. We will prioritize applications that support community well-being, resiliency, collaboration, and demonstrate cultural competency.

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR

To streamline funding efforts, nonprofit organizations can either submit new applications directly to The Community Foundation or submit a copy of an application that has been drafted to the County American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

 “We hope that by accepting grants previously submitted to ARPA, our beloved nonprofit community can save time and money by eliminating duplicative grant writing,” says Cassandra Kartashov, Director of Grants & Programs at The Community Foundation. “The General Grants Program will also be supporting multi-year awards as we know how important it is for nonprofits to have funding stability.”

All grants offered by The Community Foundation’s General Grants program will not only be unrestricted but will also have a two-year funding term. The average grant awarded through the General Grants Program is anticipated to be $15,000. Funding will support the following interest areas:

  • Arts
  • Environment
  • Human Services 
  • Seniors and People with Disabilities

IMPACT OF GRANTS IN SLO COUNTY

Since its inception, our grants program has grown and pivoted to reflect the changing needs of SLO County. To ensure the greatest impact of funds, we leverage data and community members’ lived experiences to inform decision-making. 

For example, Growing Together for LGBTQ+ Fund – a Field of Interest fund managed within The Community Foundation – developed its recommendations for grant distribution based on data analysis from multiple sources, subcommittee members’ independent research, lived experiences, and thorough discussion. In spring, over $19,000 was distributed to Planned Parenthood California Central Coast, SLO Children’s Museum, KCBX Radio, and Lumina Alliance based on these recommendations. 

The Women’s Legacy Fund – another Field of Interest Fund managed by The Community Foundation – recently granted over $75,000 to the Center for Family Strengthening, People’s Self-Help Housing, and Boys & Girls Club Mid Central Coast: all of which are programs supporting women and girls.

The BUILD Grant and Opportunity to Thrive Grant are also grants available for this year but are separate from the General Grants cycle. The goal of the BUILD (Building Unity, Infrastructure, Leadership, and Development) Grant program is to provide capacity-building funding for agencies with an annual operating budget of less than $500,000. BUILD Grants support the following areas:

  • Capacity-building
  • Staff or board training and development
  • Communications or donor development efforts
  • Capital equipment improvement (hardware, software, furniture, etc.)

Opportunity to Thrive supports organizations that offer direct assistance to individuals with a one-time emergency, focusing on empowering and strengthening individuals to overcome obstacles while embarking on the road to self-sufficiency.

HOW TO APPLY

Organizations that meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply at https://www.cfsloco.org/nonprofits-2/

We are hosting a Virtual Grant Informational Session which will be hosted on Friday, June 17, and will equip attendees with information on how to submit a successful application. To attend, please use this sign-up sheet

Completed applications must be submitted online by August 15, 2022 at 5pm. Applicants will be notified of their award status later this fall. For further questions about the application process or if you are interested in evaluating grant applications, please contact Cassandra Kartashov at ​​cassandra@cfsloco.org

Scholarship Recipients for 2022-2023

We are excited to announce that $308,500 in scholarships has been awarded to dozens of students across San Luis Obispo County. Thanks to the support of our donors and leadership from our Board of Directors, 62 scholarships for the 2022-2023 school year were distributed in May of 2022.

For over 20 years, our Scholarship Program has enhanced access to education for students of all backgrounds and academic levels in San Luis Obispo County. The scholarships are as varied as their recipients and span a range of academic interests from nursing to agriculture to technology and beyond. 

“Our scholarship program is a reflection of our values as a whole,” said Heidi McPherson, CEO of The Community Foundation SLO County. “We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the donors that make these scholarships possible, and reward students of varying backgrounds and career paths with the financial support needed to pursue higher education.”

In years past, scholarships from The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County have been used to support room and board fees, tuition, textbook costs, and other qualified education expenses. Unlike loans, these funds do not have to be repaid and cannot be treated as taxable income. 

Some of these scholarships include The Riggs Family Scholarship, which was established to help graduating seniors from San Luis Obispo County high schools make a successful transition to a four-year university. The scholarship is open to graduating seniors from a San Luis Obispo County high school with a 2.8-3.8 GPA who demonstrate financial need. The John S. Renner Memorial Scholarship funds LGBTQ+ youth as they aspire to achieve their goals, especially in the fields of creative or performance arts. This scholarship is open to LGBTQIA+ students who are pursuing arts education at either a 2 or 4 year university.

Emilio Pena playing baseball
Scholarship recipient Emilio Pena playing baseball

The Yeagar Scholarship fund is a scholarship which provides support to for a graduating senior at Coast Union, Morro Bay or Paso Robles High School who is planning to pursue a degree, at a California public university, in physical or technical science (Physics, Geology, Math, Engineering, Chemistry, Computer sciences or Architecture). This year’s recipient of the $23,000 scholarships is Emiliano Pena Ramirez, who had this to say: “This county is filled with such talented students, and I feel so honored to be selected. My parents did not graduate from middle school and moved to the United States so that me and my siblings would have more opportunities. My parents always stressed the importance of hard work, and it is so special seeing that hard work come to fruition. I’m putting myself through college, so this generous scholarship is a game changer for me.” Emiliano is graduating from Coast Union High School and will be majoring in Aerospace Engineering at Cal Poly. 

Students of all academic backgrounds and interests are considered for scholarships based on varying criteria, including but not limited to:  

  1. Financially disadvantaged students who would like to attend a 4-year anniversary;
  2. First-generation college students whose parents are vineyard or farm workers;
  3. Students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community; 
  4. Women in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM).

Learn more about scholarships at https://www.cfsloco.org/available-scholarships-2/

Wathen Castanos Homes Fund and Partnership

In 2019, The Community Foundation was approached by Joshua Peterson, President of Wathen Castanos Homes, seeking to create a novel partnership while they were in the early stages of a development in South Morros. Knowing that The Foundation and Wathen Castanos Homes shared the goal of ‘building community through relationships’ and by fostering the idea that neighbors help each other, Wathen Castanos and The Community Foundation joined forces; in 2020, the Wathen Castanos Homes Fund was officially established.  

The Partnership in Action

A portion of each sale price of every home built by Wathen Castanos is contributed to a Donor Advised Fund within The Community Foundation. From there, grants are then awarded to local organizations that offer programs to improve the lives of those who live in the community. Grants may support a variety of needs including arts and culture, education, parks and trails, recreation, wildlife rescue, women,  youth, as well as those that benefit the homeless. Through their homes and grantmaking, Wathen Castanos is giving back to the future of the community that they are literally building!

In July 2021, the first Wathen Castanos Fund grant was awarded to Operation Surf, which uses curriculum-based programs to inspire injured veterans to seek mental and physical wellness by providing resources, tools, and peer-to-peer support. Using the healing powers of the ocean and their core values of care, inclusion, commitment, integrity, and communication, they help to change participants’ lives – one wave at a time. Participants have experienced a marked decrease in PTSD and depression symptoms. One week and six-month programs are offered in coastal communities, in addition to ongoing virtual support and community. Through the grant, Wathen Castanos has given back to the veterans who have given so much in service  to our country.

By serving as a catalyst to help others and connecting those who want to help with those who need help, Wathen Castanos Homes and the Foundation have teamed up to serve San Luis Obispo County and build a better future. 

 

Martha’s Place: Supporting Child Safety in SLO County

One in ten children suffers from child abuse, and since there are 50,000 children living in San Luis Obispo County, there are roughly 5,000 children in SLO County who might be struggling from child abuse and a lack in safety. Programs that promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families are crucial to the security of our community. 

The Center for Family Strengthening strives to make positive systemic changes in the lives of families, understanding stronger families will bring up kids who are healthier and more resilient.

Bob and Pat Barlow understood how important early intervention is for children at risk for behavioral and mental health issues and their families, so in 2021 they set out to support a local children’s assessment center. The James Robert (Bob) and Patricia Barlow Fund for Strong Families and Communities – held at The Community Foundation –  awarded Martha’s Place Children’s Center with a grant through the Center for Family Strengthening in order to help strengthen families, prevent child abuse, and provide essential resources to support families in need within our community. Martha’s Place Children’s Assessment and Treatment Center allows children in SLO County to reach their full potential, to be loved, to be emotionally well developed and to enter school ready and able to learn. They give the most vulnerable young children a voice and a safe, stable environment in which to thrive. 

How do they do it?

Martha’s Place offers expert, multidisciplinary assessment of infants and young children who exhibit extreme behavioral concerns, developmental delays, and known prenatal substance exposure. Case Managers and Family Advocates guide families through the stressful process of accessing appropriate services, linking them to other recommended services, and providing additional information and support and generally navigate the complex mental and behavioral health systems. By working with the family and partnering with family support organizations throughout SLO County, they help families in need access appropriate services for their child, protect children from abuse, and ensure that strong families are a community priority. 

The Community Foundation is proud to serve as the connector between the James Robert (Bob) and Patricia Barlow Fund for Strong Families and Communities and Martha’s Place as they strive to make SLO County safe for all children. 

Welcome New Board Members

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is proud to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors. Rick Williams and Rob Garcia both have extensive experience giving back to the community and serving on nonprofit boards.

Rick Williams

Rick Williams is the former CEO of the Sobrato Family Foundation and the founder and President of Realize Consulting Group. Rick also previously served as the Director of the Asset Funders Network and the National Programs Director of the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. Additionally, Rick previously served as the Deputy Director of the Santa Clara County Mental Health Department and as an executive in several nonprofit organizations. 

Rick has served on many nonprofit boards and is currently the Vice Chair of Third Sector Capital Partners.  He also serves as a board member of the Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County and Pivotal, the largest foster youth-serving organization in Silicon Valley.  Previously, Rick served as the Board Chair of Archbishop Mitty High School, and as a Board Member of Northern California Grantmakers, the National Council of Family Philanthropy, Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Silicon Valley Law Foundation, and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. 

Rick holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology from Antioch University and Washington State University. He resides on the Central Coast of California with his wife of 36 years, Barb. He has a daughter who is working and living in Pittsburg and a son who is working and living in Silicon Valley.

Rob Garcia

Rob is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and has earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® professional designation from Fiduciary 360, receiving formal training in investment fiduciary responsibility. He also obtained a Certificate in Financial Planning from Boston University and holds FINRA Series 65 certification.

Rob graduated cum laude from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1997 with a degree in Business Administration concentrating in Financial Management. Rob believes in giving back to the
community. He currently serves on the Cuesta College Foundation Board as well as their Finance Committee, the French Hospital Medical Center Foundation Finance Committee, and on the Board of Directors for Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo, CAPSLO. As a veteran, he has been a member of the American Legion Post 66 for
over 20 years.

Rob lives in Templeton, with his beautiful wife, Deb, his two sons, Brandon and Jakeb, and their golden-doodle, Jack. The Garcia family is often found on the tennis court, as all four enjoy the game, or headed out for a camping trip.

We thank outgoing Board members Mary Verdin and Jim Brabeck for their decade of service.

Connect With Us
Heidi H. McPherson Chief Executive Officer (805) 543-2323