Our Community Comes Together

RESPONDING TO CRISIS: Donate now to either our COVID-19 Response Fund or Fire Response Fund.

COVID-19 Grants

Our Community’s COVID-19 Grants

We are working together with trusted nonprofit leaders to ensure every resident in Santa Cruz County has access to basic needs: food, shelter, and healthcare. We are prioritizing those already disadvantaged by inequities: undocumented families, low-wage essential workers, seniors, and people with severe illness. Rental assistance and food continue to be the greatest needs with unemployment at 14% in our county and 19% in Watsonville.

Additionally, we are focused on childcare for essential workers, internet access for those shut out by the digital divide, supporting a healthy farming season for farmworkers, and communications about COVID-19 prevention & safety. We are making grants every day to address these needs. Our nonprofit partners are immediately putting funds to work. 100% of gifts go directly to our community. Since the announcement of school closures on March 12th , the Community Foundation has granted $3,339,862.

  • Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz County: $20,000 for child care for low-wage essential workers.
  • Catholic Charities: $145,000 for rental and household financial assistance with first priority to undocumented individuals and mixed immigration status families.
  • Center for Farmworker Families: $427,000 for food, rental, or household financial assistance for farmworkers with first priority to undocumented individuals and mixed immigration status families.
  • Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County: $390,700 for food distribution supplies, client safety & hygiene kits, technology costs to connect remote staff, and supplies for farmworker families. For direct rental, and household financial assistance with first priority to undocumented individuals and mixed immigration status families. Emergency financial assistance for those ineligible for public aid and services to families at the Davenport Community Resource Center and laborers at the Day Worker Center. For COVID-19 patient economic support and wage replacement.
  • Community Bridges: $304,000 for food, meals, and services to residents served by Mountain Community Resources, Nueva Vista Family Resources, La Manzana Community Resources, Live Oak Family Resources and to support transportation needs of medically fragile Lift Line clients. To purchase a freezer for Meals on Wheels to expand services to seniors and emergency shelf stable meals for seniors impacted by expected PGE emergency shut offs. Direct rental and household financial assistance with first priority to undocumented individuals and mixed immigration status families.
  • County Office of Education, Cruz One & Cruzio: $18,200 to ensure low-income students gain access to adequate broadband for distance learning.
  • Dientes: $100,000 to purchase PPE supplies and necessities to reopen clinics safely to provide dental care for uninsured, underinsured and publicly insured children, adults and seniors.
  • DigitalNEST: $10,000 for youth-led communication about COVID-19 prevention and safety.
  • Diversity Center Santa Cruz County: $10,000 emergency financial assistance with first priority to LGBTQ+ seniors, transgender, immigrant or BIPOC individuals in Santa Cruz County.
  • Elkhorn Slough Foundation: $7,500 to provide additional produce at Hall District Schools and Ohlone Elementary School's food distribution in Pajaro.
  • Encompass Community Services: $5,000 for phones to help youth experiencing homeless and transition age foster youth stay connected to case managers, maintain social connection, and apply for jobs, housing or unemployment.
  • Families in Transition: $98,000 for food, rental or household financial assistance with first priority to undocumented individuals and mixed immigration status families.
  • Friends of Santa Cruz County Parks: $5,000 to support summer childcare program for essential workers at the county parks.
  • Grey Bears: $107,600 to support food delivery and distribution for an increasing number of isolated seniors.
  • Holy Cross Food Pantry: $25,300 to buy emergency food for low income families, an additional refrigerator for increased food distribution, PPE supplies, and other direct essential financial assistance to low-income immigrant families.
  • Hospice Santa Cruz County: $100,000 for ongoing work and enhancements for unanticipated costs of caregiving for the ill in the time of COVID-19
  • Housing Matters: $101,500 for extra safety supplies and sanitation personnel, increased meal costs, purchase of additional beds, and added technology costs. For food, rental, or essential financial assistance for individuals and families in the residential program, supportive services, or rapid rehousing program in order to stabilize their housing and employment.
  • Jacob's Heart: $75,000 for ongoing work and enhancements for unanticipated costs of caregiving for children with life threatening illnesses in the time of COVID-19.
  • Monarch Services: $72,000 for rental assistance and household financial assistance with first priority to undocumented individuals and mixed immigration status families and those unsafe due to domestic violence.
  • Neighbors Helping Neighbors: $10,000 for emergency food for low-income families in Aromas.
  • Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes: $81,000 for food, basic essential items, and pantry support to provide food to low income, undocumented or farmworker families in Pajaro Valley. For volunteer management software to support the increase need for coordination and outreach for more volunteers.
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention & Student Assistance: $40,000 for added IT costs for telehealth behavioral health services with youth and workforce communications, costs of services to support client families without income and ineligible for benefits. For Save Lives Pajaro Valley communications campaign for COVID-19 prevention and safety.
  • Pajaro Valley Shelter Services: $40,000 to help cover residents’ rental payments as they face job loss. For increased hygiene supplies and technology capability.
  • Salud Para La Gente: $10,000 for uninsured and underinsured patients to have the medications they need to manage their chronic illnesses.
  • Salvation Army of Santa Cruz: $110,000 to expand their shelters for the unhoused to 24hr a day/7 day a week shelters and to provide food, meals and household supplies for low income families and individuals in Santa Cruz.
  • Salvation Army of Watsonville: $80,000 to provide food, meals, and household supplies for low income families and individuals in Watsonville.
  • Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos: $40,500 for emergency food and basic essential items for low income or undocumented families and formerly incarcerated individuals, and one time assistance for volunteers.
  • Santa Cruz Community Health Centers: $133,000 for food, essential hygiene and household supplies, and rental/household financial assistance with first priority to undocumented individuals and mixed immigration status families in Live Oak in partnership with Cradle to Career.
  • Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau: $35,000 to lead a coordinated effort with local government, health care providers, and farmers to ensure a safe and healthy farming season. To work with growers to ensure worker safety.
  • Santa Cruz County Human Services Department: $56,062 for Great Plates Delivered Santa Cruz County helping low income older adults receive delivered meals from local businesses.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank: $80,000 to meet the need for increased food distribution countywide.
  • Senderos: $317,000 for food, rental, or household financial assistance for immigrant families.
  • Seniors Council: $10,000 to support the purchasing of equipment and internet access to connect isolated seniors.
  • Senior Network Services: $5,000 for technology and communications upgrades to support isolated seniors access to information and assistance.
  • St. Francis Soup Kitchen: $30,000 to buy food for the soup kitchen and transitional shelter.
  • St. Philip's Episcopal Church Pantry: $1,000 to buy food and basic essential items for low income families.
  • Teen Kitchen Project: $39,500 to support increased meal, delivery and packaging costs and to increase healthy meal delivery service to seniors and clients with life-threatening illnesses.
  • UndocuFund Monterey Bay, Santa Cruz Community Ventures: $95,000 for UndocuFund to provide direct financial assistance for our undocumented community in Santa Cruz County.
  • Valley Churches United Missions: $25,000 for emergency food, rental and utility assistance to low-income families and seniors in San Lorenzo Valley.
  • Vets 4 Vets: $15,000 for emergency financial support for local veterans.
  • Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center: $25,000 to provide food and rental assistance for survivors of domestic violence and low-income single parents.
  • Watsonville Family YMCA: $20,000 for very small group child care to serve the needs of essential workers who must be at work.
  • YMCA of The Redwoods: $20,000 for very small group child care to serve the needs of essential workers who must be at work.

Read more about the impact of our COVID-19 relief efforts directly from our nonprofit partners and donors.

Donor-Advised Philanthropy In Motion

We are encouraging all our donors to give to nonprofits they care about. Since the announcement of school closures on March 12, our donor advisors have granted $5,573,144 in local, regional, and national efforts. In addition to supporting COVID-19 grants, donor advisors are giving to their favorite organizations, be it in the arts, environment, or another cause.

Donor advisors are making a profound impact on our relief efforts and recovery, here are just a few examples of the unrestricted gifts given:

What we plan to do next

In order to move resources quickly, we are not hosting a formal application process for COVID-19 grants. We are in direct conversation with nonprofit leaders on the front lines every week. Until all residents in our county have access to basic needs, this will continue to be our highest priority. We are planning for the long road of recovery ahead. Nonprofits will absolutely play an essential role in healing and envisioning a better future for our county. We will work together to achieve this and keep you updated on next steps.

We encourage all nonprofits to fill out this short survey to keep us updated about your evolving needs and plans. Respond as often as you like. Along with 9 other local funders, we review these responses weekly.

Stronger Together

Thank you to everyone for the many ways you are coming together to serve our community through your generous gifts and your everyday actions.

You can donate to the COVID-19 Local Response Fund here. 100% of the gifts go directly out to the community.