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.