Collage of grantees in Santa Cruz County who received funding during the pandemic

CFSA + Santa Cruz Community Foundation Awards Over $240,000 to Local Nonprofits

In partnership with our generous donors and supporters, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona and the Santa Cruz Community Foundation is pleased to announce that a total of $240,282 to date in COVID-19 Community Response Funds/Event Relief funds and from the Santa Cruz Community Foundations Grant Fund were provided over the last eight months to the following nonprofit organizations in Santa Cruz County:

Literacy Connects serves the community by connecting people of all ages to a world of opportunity through literacy and creative expression. Literacy Connects’ Reach Out and Read Southern Arizona partners with pediatric healthcare providers in Cochise, Pima and Santa Cruz counties, as well as the Tohono O’odham and Yaqui Nations, to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.

Melisa Woodhall, Grants Manager for Literacy Connects, shared, “Many families missed well-child visits when the pandemic began. Now they are coming in to make up visits and get vaccinations. And, the children are clamoring for books! They are thrilled to finally receive them again. For many, the RORSA books are the only ones they own.

Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest stabilizes people during crisis and transition, builds a foundation where people can thrive, and preserves dignity and respect for the most vulnerable.

Linda Manjarrez, Aging & Disability Services/Home Care Regional Director for Lutheran Social Services, shared, “We have been able to help those people in need during these times of uncertainty and made them feel that they are not alone. Thank you so much for supporting our mission, that allowed us to make a difference to the people we serve in Santa Cruz county!”

East Santa Cruz County Community Food Bank (ESCCCFB) has been working to meet emergency food needs for vulnerable communities.

James Staudacher, President of ESCCCFB, shared, “The grant provided by the Santa Cruz Community Foundation to the East Santa Cruz County Community Food Bank, Inc has allowed us and our community partners to provide for the emergency food needs of our clients during this most challenging time.  We would have been unable to confront the increasing demand for our services without the Foundation’s generous support.”  

Support Education and Employment for Vets (S.E.E. 4 Vets) supports and encourages veterans to complete their education to help enable them to secure meaningful and productive employment for their civilian life. Chairman of the Board, Ray Torres, explained that the funds will be used for the Emergency Financial Relief Program at Pima Community College and will help student veterans pay for essentials like food, rent, utilities and other living expenses.

One of the student veterans utilizing the S.E.E. 4 Vets program at Pima Community College shared, “Thank you so much for all of your help during these difficult times. I am more than thankful because of this as well as continuing to stay safe.”

Patagonia Youth Enrichment Center’s Director, Anna Coleman, and her daughters, Caitlyn and Annika, have found unique ways to support the youth they serve while their doors remain closed. “As of the last week of May, the PYEC handed out approximately 4,320 dinners to the community, all prepared in the youth center’s commercial kitchen,” said Coleman. They have also prepared food staple items for families to prepare their own meals, held Zoom meetings, sent texts, and made personal calls to the PYEC youth to check-in and support their mental health while being socially isolated.