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Each year, the Community Foundation for San Benito County provides nonprofits an opportunity to apply for a Community Impact Matching Grant from the board-directed Sonny Paullus Fund. Forty applications were accepted, totaling $313,169 in requests, and after vetting each application, the Grants Committee met on July 10 to determine who the recipients would be.

With a dozen committee members in attendance, the conference room echoed with lots of chatter – everyone had their favorites. Gretchen Blatter voiced her opinion in favor of Friends of the SBC Free Library, “This organization makes things happen with a lot of volunteers.” At the opposite end of the table, Alan Clarke shared his thoughts about CASA, “I was very impressed with CASA and the work that they do.” Allison Rohnert summed up Kitchen Table Advisors with just two words, “Incredibly impressive.”

With so many good options and only $233,000 to grant, hard decisions had to be made. Here are the recipients:

  • Anzar High School—$1,500 to enhance vocational arts by reviving after-school wood shop class
  • BenitoLink—$10,000 to address the continuing need for free, ethical, and reliable home-grown news
  • CASA of SBC—$3,000 to ensure foster youth receive necessary support, especially infants and toddlers
  • Central Coast Quality of Life Programs—$1,000 to increase accessibility of services for people who are afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis in San Benito County
  • Chamberlain’s Children Center—$4,750 to eliminate termites and make repairs to the Wellness Center
  • Community Food Bank of SBC—$10,000 to provide nearly 9000 individuals in San Benito County with fresh, nutritionally balanced supplemental food
  • Community Media Access Partnership—$7,000 to continue the Youth Media Program, providing skills and self-confidence to thrive in the digital age
  • Economic Development Corporation of SBC—$10,000 to fund a part-time Executive Director position
  • Family Service Agency of the Central Coast—$6,500 to support their suicide prevention program
  • Fishes & Loaves—$10,000 to provide packaged food for over 10,000 individuals, 246 days a year
  • Friends of the SBC Free Library—$6,000 to introduce teens to library resources
  • Girls Inc. of the Central Coast—$6,000 to allow graduating middle school girls an opportunity to experience university life for a week
  • Hazel Hawkins Hospital Foundation—$6,777 to provide essential state-of-the-art equipment for the Barragan Family Diabetes Center
  • Health Projects Center—$5,000 to provide services to caregivers of family members living with cognitive impairment
  • Hollister Pregnancy Center—$5,000 to provide STD and HIV testing for anyone over the age of fourteen
  • Jovenes de Antaño—$10,000 to serve 20,000 meals to low-income, frail, and Latino elderly
  • Kitchen Table Advisors—$10,000 to provide sustainable farmers with a three-year business advising program
  • Mission SJB Preservation Fund—$10,000 to develop construction documents pertaining to the preservation of Mission San Juan Bautista
  • Native Daughters of the Golden West #179—$10,000 to repair and restructure deteriorating balcony of historic adobe
  • Partnership for Children—$10,000 to increase access to medical care for children with serious illnesses
  • REACH San Benito Parks Foundation—$3,853 to provide local youth on probation a positive outlet of expression through art
  • Roza’s House Organization—$10,000 to develop a historic walking tour of San Juan Bautista including plaques for 34 historic locations
  • San Benito Babe Ruth Bambino Division—$3,500 to purchase equipment and jerseys for a new division of Babe Ruth geared towards individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities
  • San Juan Committee—$10,000 to enhance current website, engaging with the visitor and providing services
  • SBC Ag in the Classroom—$8,500 to engage and excite the community about local agriculture through educational materials
  • SBC Arts Council—$6,000 to engage at-risk youth in a year-long, multi-disciplinary artist-in-residency program
  • SBC Business Council—$5,000 to enable collaboration, defining goals and objectives of community economic development
  • SBC Office of Education—$2,500 to help ensure all children arrive at kindergarten ready to succeed
  • SBC Police Activities League—$7,875 to provide life and social skills through PAL FUNdamentals, a summer and after school program for youth
  • Sun Street Centers—$10,000 to purchase a 12 bedroom residential, addiction treatment center in Hollister for women and children
  • The Salvation Army—$10,000 to fund director’s salary and expand the Corps’ Youth Programming for local kids and teens
  • Youth Alliance—$10,000 to strengthen out-of-school/after-school programs to prevent youth dropouts and school push outs

The Community Foundation would like to thank the Grants Committee for its dedication to this program. Director of Grants, Curt Mead, said, “The Community Foundation relies on community-oriented volunteers to help with the vetting process to ensure funding is applied to projects that will have the most impact in San Benito County.”

Funding for the Community Impact Matching Grants is provided through a grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The Community Foundation looks forward to sharing many success stories with the community at