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Stories of Impact

Stories of Impact

Creating an impact everyone can feel.

The Marin Community Foundation is dedicated to making and facilitating change in Marin County, elsewhere in the U.S., and around the world. Through our discretionary grants as well as the grants recommended by our donors, we are doing everything from funding schools to finding cures.

Tapping into Novato's Natural Leaders

 Tapping into Novato's Natural Leaders

In communities around the world, often in developing countries, natural leaders play a vital role in ensuring the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. These individuals reach out to their neighbors, friends, family, fellow parents at school, and others in order spread the word on local issues, enlist them to help neighbors in need, connect them to local services, organize neighborhood activities, and provide education, often on health issues.

Keeping the Wheels Moving at Whistlestop

 Keeping the Wheels Moving at Whistlestop

It's impossible to drive anywhere in Marin without seeing the familiar white vans operated by Whistlestop. They represent the "wheels" part of the organization's slogan, "Meals, Wheels, and More."

Bettina and Mike Jetter: Just Doing It

 Bettina and Mike Jetter: Just Doing It

When Bettina and Mike Jetter, Corte Madera residents and MCF donors since 2005, think about their charitable giving, one starting place is what they call "tapping into (their) inner global citizen."

Absorbing Carbon on Marin's Rangelands

 Absorbing Carbon on Marin's Rangelands

Drives through West Marin are usually noted for views of the hills, ocean, farmlands, and picturesque towns. Less visible are scientific experiments that could bring West Marin even more notoriety, since that part of the County is becoming the center of efforts to see whether carbon dioxide can naturally be absorbed by ranchlands as a way to reduce its impact on climate change.

Saving for a Better Future

 Saving for a Better Future

When Liane Sanchez imagines her future, she focuses on her dream — owning her own home. A single mother of two, she has rented an apartment in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael for the past seven years. She envisions a backyard where her children can play, a garden, separate bedrooms for her son and daughter, and, in general, seeing herself progressing in life, having a more secure future.

A Loan on Lincoln

 A Loan on Lincoln

With help from a $1 million loan from the Foundation's Loan Fund, Buckelew Programs renovated a 12-unit apartment building in downtown San Rafael for its clients.

Steven and Sally Schroeder: Family Giving in Action

 Steven and Sally Schroeder: Family Giving in Action

The Schroeders are convinced that family philanthropy contributes to a child’s growth. “The exercise of educating yourself about the problems in your own community, presenting your argument, and making the site visits can aid a child’s maturation,” says Steven. “And it certainly adds an extra dimension to all our lives.”

Max Weinreb: Moving Up as a Mentor

  Max Weinreb: Moving Up as a Mentor

At San Rafael’s Aroma Café, sixteen-year-old Max Weinreb awaits a 5 p.m. meeting of Next Generation Scholars, a nonprofit group committed to helping economically disadvantaged children attend college. Weinreb is planning a free class in break dancing for at-risk students living in San Rafael’s Canal District.

Julia and Jake Sze: Sharing Our Plenty

 Julia and Jake Sze: Sharing Our Plenty

Julia Sze laughs at the idea that she is a philanthropist. “Those big players who have millions of dollars to move,” she says, laughing. “Aren’t those the philanthropists?”

MCF's 25th Anniversary Video

 MCF's 25th Anniversary Video

Watch MCF’s 25th anniversary video, a way of saying thank-you to our community.

Marin City CDC: Strengthening the Community

 Marin City CDC: Strengthening the Community

It was a good sign that the Marin City Community Development Corporation needed more space to provide programs in job training, microenterprise support, and employment services in industries including green energy, facilities maintenance, and landscaping. But to make that possible, it needed to purchase and renovate an historical building in Marin City. It did just that, with a loan from MCF.

No Longer Homeless

 No Longer Homeless

Before Thomas Riley moved into Toussin Senior Apartments, he had lived for a while in the woods above Fairfax and in transitional housing. “Toussin is the nicest place I could have hoped for,” he said. Toussin was funded in part with a $3 million loan from MCF’s Loan Fund.

Developing Skills and Sparking Imagination in the Classroom

 Developing Skills and Sparking Imagination in the Classroom

In two elementary school districts in Marin, the arts are being integrated into classroom learning in new ways. In one kindergarten class in Sausalito, students are learning a variety of new skills, including how to let go of having “the right answer.”

Getting Legal Help to Save a Family

 Getting Legal Help to Save a Family

Legal help is often the key to living securely and safely. But for people who can’t afford attorneys, legal aid clinics provide much needed help. For one woman and her family, these services helped turn lives filled with danger into ones filled with hope.

Making It Better for LGBTQ Youth

 Making It Better for LGBTQ Youth

When young people have a passion about something—and receive support and guidance—they can change the world. One group of Marin teens is trying to do something to support the LGBTQ community in their schools.

Learning English—and A Whole Lot More

 Learning English—and A Whole Lot More

Learning English as a second language can be about much more than studying grammar. As one group of students showed, it can also be about becoming more confident, independent, and integrated in their new community.

Preparing Young Students for Success in School, and Beyond

 Preparing Young Students for Success in School, and Beyond

When pre-school and kindergarten teachers got together one afternoon, they focused on how to help youngsters make the critical transition into kindergarten. No topic was left unexplored. They even talked about seating arrangements.

Restoring Marin’s Open Space, One Plant at a Time

 Restoring Marin’s Open Space, One Plant at a Time

For a group of volunteers, planting a hillside with native plants is an act of dedication and perseverance. On a cold December day, they planted seedlings grown from seeds they had collected two years earlier.

Benefiting from a Local “Medical Home”

 Benefiting from a Local “Medical Home”

Getting good medical care is about much more than health benefits. For one West Marin resident, it also means going to a clinic where he and his family are known and feel welcomed—having a “medical home.”

Educating Kids, Saving Energy

 Educating Kids, Saving Energy

Installing solar panels on the schools in the Dixie School District was much more than a project in energy-efficiency. It also gave students a close-up way to learn about climate change—and how to reverse its effects.

Opening a Spa, and a Door to Economic Security

 Opening a Spa, and a Door to Economic Security

When Nelly Sanchez opened a spa in San Rafael, it also opened her door to economic security. To help her succeed, she received training in how to be an entrepreneur and develop skills to run her own business.

Writing from Within

 Writing from Within

When incarcerated youth have the opportunity to write about their lives, it gives them a chance to reflect, dream, and even vent. That’s what happens when they write stories for The Beat Within at Marin’s Juvenile Hall.

Finding Affordable Housing and a Promising Future

 Finding Affordable Housing and a Promising Future

For one single mother, finding a secure and affordable home was critically important for her and her young son. With help from local agencies—combined with her own perseverance—she’s now on a path with a brighter future.

Counting Birds, Enjoying Open Space

 Counting Birds, Enjoying Open Space

When young students and their families explore open space in their neighborhood, they’re learning a lot while enjoying time with each other. In January, families in the Canal neighborhood went on a bird count.

Habitat Comes to Marin

 Habitat Comes to Marin

With help from a $125,000 grant from MCF, Habitat for Humanity has dedicated its first home in Marin.

Videos and Podcasts

 Videos and Podcasts

"The more I work with the MCF, the more impressed I am by the Foundation's professionalism, commitment to mission, and dedication to donor charitable intentions. MCF is an exceptional resource to our charitable community and provides much needed stewardship of donor assets. I am always very pleased to be able to refer clients to them."

Julia Sze, CFA
Managing Director, Sonen Capital, LLC, Member of MCF's Investment Committee, and a Donor since 2006