What We Do - Grants - Grantee Stories

Grantee Stories

Arts & Culture

Inspiring a passion for the visual arts

Monterey Museum of Art

The Monterey Museum of Art collects, preserves, and interprets the art of California from the nineteenth century to the present day, within a national and international context. It operates two facilities in Monterey offering, showcasing 20 exhibits annually and touting a permanent collection with over 14,000 works of art.

As the only nationally accredited fine arts museum between San Jose and Santa Barbara, the Monterey Museum of Art operates two facilities in Monterey (offering 20 exhibitions annually in those locations) and its permanent collection numbers over 14,000 works of art. The Museum also operates interactive educational programs and activities, including family-friendly activities and collaborative programs with local schools, school districts and other arts institutions.

Visitors can enjoy art at the Museum’s two locations: a landmark building on Pacific Street in Old Monterey with eight galleries devoted to exhibitions of American and early California painting, photography and contemporary art. The museum also has an art reference library and gift shop. The Museum also operates La Mirada, located in one of Monterey’s oldest neighborhoods. La Mirada has lush gardens, historic charm and modern galleries designed by noted architect Charles Moore, and is a perfect venue for weddings, meetings and special events.

Monterey Peninsula Foundation has supported the Monterey Museum of Art since 1997.

Community & Environment

Utilizing Volunteerism to Build Change in Monterey County

Rebuilding Together Monterey-Salinas

For the past few years, homeowners in California, as well as the rest of the United States, have struggled to recover from the economic downturn and the resulting decrease in home values, increase in foreclosure rates, and tightening mortgage standards. Many homeowners cannot afford the cost of home repairs, frequently resulting in safety issues. Rebuilding Together focuses on owner-occupied homes and helping the low-income owners make necessary repairs so they may continue to live independently. All repairs are made at no cost to the homeowners.

As an all-volunteer organization, Rebuilding Together Monterey-Salinas strives to preserve and revitalize houses and communities, assuring that low-income homeowners (particularly those who are elderly, veterans, disabled, and families with children) live in warmth, safety and independence. Founded in 1995 as a local chapter of the largest volunteer home rehabilitation organization in the United States, Rebuilding Together Monterey-Salinas has rehabilitated 239 homes and 23 nonprofits, utilizing over 4,000 local volunteers. The estimated value of this work is more than $1.6M.

Monterey Peninsula Foundation has supported Rebuilding Together Monterey-Salinas since 1999.


Bringing Unique Learning Opportunities to Students on the Monterey Bay

O’Neill Sea Odyssey

O’Neill Sea Odyssey was founded in 1996 by wetsuit innovator and surfer Jack O’Neill. A living classroom was created on board a 65-foot catamaran sailing the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where 4th-6th grade students from schools throughout Central California receive hands-on lessons about the marine habitat and the importance of the relationship between the living sea and the environment. The program is conducted on board the catamaran with follow-up lessons at the shore-side Education Center at the Santa Cruz Harbor. It is free of charge, but students earn their way into the program by designing and performing a project to benefit their community. Since its inception, O’Neill Sea Odyssey has served 65,000 students.

The program serves 4th - 6th graders through a required community service project and classes on a 65-foot catamaran which sails through Monterey bay. The program is free and aligned with the National Educational Science Standards, and provides education about marine biology, conservation and preservation, ecosystems and marine science.

Monterey Peninsula Foundation has supported the O’Neill Sea Odyssey environmental and marine education program since 2000.

Health & Human Services

Promoting physical, social, and personal well-being and independence

Meals on Wheels of the Monterey Peninsula and Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley

Meals on Wheels programs in the United States trace their roots back to Great Britain when the Women’s Volunteer Service for Civil Defense helped people who lost their homes and ability to cook meals during the World War II blitz. They also brought refreshments to servicemen in canteens, which came to be known as “Meals on Wheels.” The first American home-delivered meal program began in Philadelphia in 1954, and in 1965, Congress passed the Older Americans Act and began the federal program of congregate and home-delivered meals.

Meals on Wheels of the Monterey Peninsula and Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley are two separate nonprofits with a similar mission: serving seniors, disabled adults and the homebound through nutritious home-delivered meals and other services.

On the Monterey Peninsula

In the early 1970's Sally Judd Griffin, founder of Meals on Wheels of the Monterey Peninsula, worked as a volunteer helping frail, older people. Through her volunteer work, she saw malnutrition as a hidden cause of failing health in older people who lived in institutions and alone at home. Sally would make and delivery meals to those in need, and two years later her passion and concerns led to the incorporation of Meals on Wheels of the Monterey Peninsula. Originally, the home delivered meals were cooked each day from scratch in the basement kitchen of a church. In the early 1980's the City of Pacific Grove offered land for a new facility near Lovers Point. A Capital Campaign began with a matching grant of $103,000; it eventually raised over $4,000,000, along with donated help for architecture, landscaping and in-kind equipment donations. The new facility was completed in 1986 and was named the Sally Griffin Center in honor of its dedicated founder. It is the only organization that provides three meals delivered daily and a congregate hot lunch and five other sites in Monterey, Marina, and Seaside. The agency also offers classes, workshops, a Farmer's Market and a satellite location for other services.

In Salinas and South Monterey County

Since the organization was founded in 1972 as a volunteer program, an estimated 12,000 frail seniors and disabled adults in the Salinas Valley have received nutritious home-delivered meals. The area of service includes the entire Salinas Valley from Pajaro to Aromas in the north to San Lucas and Bradley in the south. During that time, Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley has never had a waiting list for service. The long term benefits of the home-delivered meal program are considerable, and studies have confirmed that the condition of the elderly is enhanced when they continue to live at home, in a familiar setting. While the meal delivery service helps people remain in their homes, there are other benefits - the volunteer meal delivers are trained to check on the health and wellbeing of their clients and a volunteer’s visit is sometimes the only regular human contact for the clients.

Monterey Peninsula Foundation has supported both nonprofits since the 1980’s (Meals on Wheels of the Monterey Peninsula) and 1990’s (Meals on Wheels of the Salinas Valley).


Strengthening our communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility

Central Coast YMCA

The Central Coast YMCA (also known as "The Y") serves youth and families in five branches in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Programs include after school childcare, teen development and leadership, youth sports, day and school break camps, and neighborhood based programs for kids. Services are provided on a sliding scale fee basis and 25% of participants receive financial assistance. Nearly 27,000 people are involved in YMCA programs annually - half are children under 18. The Y offers financial assistance so everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of the Y's programs and services; no-one is turned away for the lack of ability to pay. Nearly 26,000 people are involved in YMCA programs annually; half are children under 18.

While the Y operates five branches, it also partners with other organizations to provide after-school programs at family housing sites, homework assistance, athletic programs and day and school break camps.

Monterey Peninsula Foundation has funded youth development and after-school programs at the individual YMCA branches since 2000, and the Central Coast YMCA is one of the Foundation’s largest grantees.