community foundation

A grant announced May 25 by the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County will allow the nonprofit Salud y Cariño to continue its mission of bringing physical fitness and socio-emotional programs to Santa Cruz County girls.

The Santa Cruz-based organization was one of 77 nonprofits that received a portion of $1.58 million of the Foundation’s annual grant disbursement.

“We are extremely grateful to offer our meaningful programs to more than 125 youth from Live Oak families, at no cost,” said Salud y Cariño Founder and Executive Director Theresa Cariño. “This is really important in such a high-cost community, where parents often work two or more jobs just to make ends meet.”

The multi-year, unrestricted grant was a “huge win,” Cariño said.

“It allows more time and energy to focus our efforts on deepening our program impact and strengthening our connections with other youth-serving organizations in our community,” she said. 

The grants come thanks to the donors who give to the foundation, including the organization’s Greatest Needs Fund.

This includes the Borina family, which has supported the Pajaro Valley for years, the foundation stated in a press release.

More than half of the grant funds are going to South County programs, and a majority support organizations directed by leaders from Black, Indigenous, Asian and Latino communities.

First-time awardees included Santa Cruz Black, Housing Santa Cruz County, and Santa Cruz Welcoming Network.

Using its $20,000 grant, the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History will work with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band to launch the First People’s Educator Workshop series.

The Coastal Watershed Council will use its $20,000 allocation to expand their Watershed Rangers program.

Watsonville Wetlands Watch’s Climate Corps Leadership Institute will train 34 high school students to lead their community in climate action.

Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative, which received $15,000, will expand its Youth Ambassadors program, through weekly programs and events that center Black culture and mental wellness.

Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action (COPA) will help train and support new leaders.

“Our annual Community Grants fund community solutions that improve the quality of life in Santa Cruz County,” said Community Foundation Director of Engagement and Impact Kevin Heuer. “Each year we look to leverage these resources towards a future that is just, equitable, and inclusive of our diverse community. We see these grants and the work our nonprofit partners will be able to do, as building blocks towards a more resilient and equitable future.” 

2023 Community Grant Awardees

Activities4All – $15,000

Agricultural History Project – $10,000

Asian American Pacific Islander Collective, SC – $1,615

Association of Faith Communities of SC County – $10,000

Aztecas Youth Soccer Academy – $20,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters – $20,000

Black Surf Santa Cruz – $10,000

Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County – $20,000

Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music – $1,179

CASA of Santa Cruz County – $40,000

Catholic Charities of Monterey Diocese – $40,000

Central Coast YMCA – Watsonville Family YMCA – $30,000

Coastal Watershed Council – $20,000

Communities Organized for Relational Power in Action – $20,000

Community Action Board – $50,000 †

Community Bridges – $50,000 †

Cradle to Career – $30,000

Dientes Community Dental Care – $25,000

Digital NEST – $30,000

El Sistema – $30,000

Esperanza del Valle – $10,000

Families in Transition – $45,000

Food What?! – $20,000

Girls Inc. of the Central Coast – $25,000

Grey Bears – $45,000

Health Projects Center – $20,000

Housing Matters – $5,000

Housing Santa Cruz County – $5,000

Juneteenth Festival (Friends of Parks And Rec) – $2,500

Life Lab – $40,000

Monarch Services – $20,000

Mountains 2 Sea – $15,000

NAMI Santa Cruz County – $25,000

O’Neill Sea Odyssey – $10,000

Pajaro Valley Loaves & Fishes – $25,000

Pajaro Valley Shelter Services – $30,000

Positive Discipline Community Resources – $15,000

PVUSD (Raising A Reader) – $845

Raíces y Cariño – $5,000

Salud y Cariño – $25,000

San Lorenzo Valley Historical Society – $4,500

Santa Cruz Art League – $10,000

Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos – $5,000

Santa Cruz Black – $5,000

Santa Cruz Community Health – $15,000

Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative – $15,000

Santa Cruz Local – $20,000

Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History – $30,000

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History – $20,000

Santa Cruz Welcoming Network – $5,000

Save Our Shores – $10,000

Save the Music Foundation – $25,000

Second Harvest Food Bank – $45,000 †

Senderos – $25,000 †

Senior Legal Services – $25,000

Senior Network Services – $25,000

Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center – $25,000

Teen Kitchen Project – $30,000

The 418 Project – $5,000

Tobera Project – $2,500

United Way of Santa Cruz County – $10,000

Valley Churches United Missions – $10,000

Ventures – $25,000

Vets 4 Vets Santa Cruz – $20,000

Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center – $25,000

Watsonville Film Festival – $25,000 †

Watsonville Law Center – $40,000

Watsonville Wetlands Watch – $30,000

White Hawk Indian Council – $3,000

Compassionate Care 2023

Coastal Kids Home Care – $30,000†

Hospice of Santa Cruz County – $90,000†

Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association – $30,000

Diversity Partnership LGBTQ+ Fund 2023

Birds of a Feather – $5,000

Diversity Center – $17,300

Queer Youth Task Force – $7,777

Santa Cruz Pride – $10,000

School GSA, Pride, Rainbow clubs (25) – $2,500

† Two-year commitment

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General assignment reporter, covering nearly every beat. I specialize in feature stories, but equally skilled in hard and spot news. Pajaronian/Good Times/Press Banner reporter honored by CSBA.


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