Past Community Grants

Community Grants

Community grants are the largest single component of Palo Alto Rotary’s charitable budget. Local non-profit and educational organizations may apply once a year in early November.  A Grant Guidelines information page for 2023-2024, with specific dates, is available on the Rotary website. Community Grants will be awarded at a Rotary Club meeting in March 2024.
The 2023 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:
  • Ada’s Café - $10,000 to help fund direct expenses associated with the opening of a wholesale jam, granola and dog biscuit social enterprise, now in production, focused on training and employment, based out of Ada’s existing kitchen in Mountain View.
  • Adolescent Counseling Services -$5,000 to support its Mental Health Access for Youth Initiative during 2023, providing access to no/low-cost mental health screenings and a wide range of such services, both in-person or remotely.
  • Art in Action -$5,000 to support the AiA arts education curriculum, art supplies, teacher support, and related lesson materials for 120 kindergarten students in four classrooms in the Ravenswood City School District for 2023-2024 school year.
  • Hidden Villa - $5,000 to help provide full-day charter buses for eight 6th-12th grade classes from Ravenswood City School District and Sequoia Union School District so the students may participate in full-day immersive nature field trips.
  • Kara - $5,000 to support the expenses of their annual bereavement camp, Camp Kara, which is provided at no cost to families. The weekend of July 7-9, about 85 campers (ages 6-17) supported by trained volunteers and staff, have fun, develop meaningful new friends and practical coping tools to navigate their grief and loss.
  • La Comida –$5,000, to promote a return to all in-person dining for the senior nutrition program. They will develop public outreach materials, newspaper ads, etc., throughout the year. Meals are served at Stevenson House and First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto. In FY 2221-22, 988 unduplicated diners were served.
  • Palo Alto Players - $5,000 for Rotary to partner in providing approximately 350 students from schools in the nearby Peninsula to see a play. The grant will fully subsidize the cost of the special matinee, to open the theater for an additional show, royalties, artist, staff, and crew compensation, printed educational materials.
  • Peninsula Healthcare Connection - $10,000 to budget for clinic operation expenses such as medical supplies, medicines, and preventative medicine items. Funds will also be used to supplement the client support fund, used for those exhibiting dire need of immediate basic needs.
  • RAFT – $5,000 to support a Title-1 school in Palo Alto or East Palo Alto to bolster Maker Mobile engagements for STEAM Project Kits and materials for educators serving up to 100 students and 20 educators.
  • Vista Center for Blind & Visually Impaired - $10,000 to support programs for blind and visually impaired youth to acquire skills for daily living and take part and enjoy outdoor activities.
The 2022 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:
  • Animal Assisted Happiness - $2,100 to support six visits of barnyard animals to Achieve Kids in Palo Alto.
  • EPA Kids Foundation (Fund a Need) – $10,000 to fund mini-grants to educators in the Ravenswood City School District to purchase supplies and other materials for the classroom and fund field trips.
  • Eden Housing - $7,500 for the purchase of computer equipment for the community learning center serving residents at the 801 Alma Family Apartments, an affordable housing development in downtown Palo Alto.
  • Foundation for a College Education - $5,000 to support students from the East Palo Alto area in the College Success Program, including a weeklong summer program for high school seniors transitioning to college in the fall.
  • Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo - $3,400 to fund an after- school science exploration program at the Boys & Girls Club in East Palo Alto for 1st and 2nd graders.
  • Peninsula Bridge - $5,000 for one-on-one tutoring of low-income middle and high school students from East Palo Alto and surrounding communities.
  • Ravenswood Classroom Partners - $5,000 for tutoring and mentoring of K-5th graders in the Ravenswood City School District.
  • Rebuilding Peninsula Together - $10,000 to support two facility repair projects at nonprofit agencies in East Palo Alto: Youth United for Community Action and Bayshore Christian Ministries.
  • St. Anthony’s Dining Room - $7,000 to purchase a new refrigeration unit for one of two food delivery trucks.
  • Vista Center for Blind & Visually Impaired - $10,000 to support programs for blind and visually impaired youth to acquire skills for daily living and take part and enjoy outdoor activities.
The 2021 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:
  • Christmas Bureau – Fund-A-Need.  Small holiday checks to low-income individuals and families in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto referred by LifeMoves and Downtown Streets Team. 
  • Ecumenical Hunger Program - $5,000 for the purchase of shopping bins and carts to enable individual self-selection of food from its pantry, allowing choice and reducing food waste.
  • Foundation for a College Education - $5,000 to support supplemental STEAM tutoring of low-income middle school students of color in East Palo Alto and surrounding communities, in partnership with Bay Area Tutoring. 
  • Jasper Ridge Farm - $5,000 to provide virtual therapeutic animal assisted programs for children and teens with special needs being served by Children’s Health Council during COVID restrictions.  
  • Kara - $5,000 to support culturally relevant Spanish language individual and group grief support and outreach to the Latinx community, currently being conducted virtually. 
  • Magic Bridge Foundation - $5,000 to support the renovation of the Spinning Zone in the Magical Bridge playground at Mitchell Park and the installation of a “buddy bench.”
  • Nuestra Casa - $5,000 to support a COVID-necessitated food distribution program that provides groceries to low-income residents of East Palo Alto apartments complexes.
  • Palo Alto Players - $5,000 to develop a 21st century, post-COVID hybrid model that will continue to make available the experience of live theater performances to audiences unable to attend in person. 
  • Rise Together Education - $5,000 for college scholarships to low income graduating seniors attending Palo Alto High School.  
  • St. Anthony’s Dining Room - $5,000 to purchase a new refrigeration unit for one of two trucks that are essential to picking up food from grocery stores, restaurants and other locations for use in its meal and grocery distribution program.
  • St. Elizabeth Seton School - $5,000 to purchase ten food carts and a new milk cooler to facilitate breakfast and lunch service to its low-income students. 
  • WeHope - $5,000 to purchase four generators to provide power and heat to families participating in the RV Safe Parking program in East Palo Alto. 
The 2020 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:
  • Ada’s Café - $5,000 for general support of its program to provide employment opportunities to the developmentally disabled through its café and catering services.  
  • All Student’s Matter - $8,000 to expand its Mentoring Book Club literacy program to 5th graders in the Ravenswood City School District following a successful pilot program last year.  
  • Art of Yoga - $7,000 to support new weekly yoga and creative arts classes for boys from East Palo Alto who are incarcerated at San Mateo County Juvenile Hall.
  • CASSY - $6,000 to provide therapists working with East Palo Alto elementary school students the ability to purchase basic supplies for them, including items such as earplugs, clothing, alarm clocks and healthy snacks. 
  • EPA Kids Foundation - $8,000 to fund mini-grants to educators in the Ravenswood City School District to purchase supplies, other materials for the classroom and fund field trips. 
  • Ecumenical Hunger Program (Fund a Need) - $10,000 to shift to a food delivery system in which clients can make their own food choices instead of only providing pre-packed boxes that contain items that don’t appeal to some clients. 
  • LifeMoves - $5,000 to purchase new tablet computers for use by the drop-in clients at the Opportunity Center to access the Internet for employment and housing services and to access email.  
  • Marine Science Institute - $8,000 to support science program for underserved Ravenswood elementary school students, including field trips at either tide pools or marshland south of Half Moon Bay or aboard a 90-foot marine research vessel. 
  • TheatreWorks - $8,000 to support its Oskar touring productions to present elementary school assemblies with educational plays designed to build critical social and emotional skills, such as tools to handle and respond to bullying. 
The 2019 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:
  • Adolescent Counseling Services - $7,000 for mental health and counseling services in support of its Outlet Program, which supports LGBTQ+ youth                     
  • Beechwood All Students Matter - $3,500 for the materials needed to construct raised planting beds for each of its 10 classrooms.
  • Environmental Volunteers - $4,500 in support of the EV school program, serving fourth and fifth graders at Los Robles Magnet Academy in East Palo Alto
  • Kara - $5,000 to support its annual Camp Erin weekend grief camp for youth aged 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. 
  • Menlo Atherton Ecology Research Outdoors (MERO) - $10,000 to support after-school science program for English Language Learners at Menlo-Atherton High School.
  •  Pacific Art League - $10,000 for development of “DREAMS” (design, reading, engineering, art, math, science,) a pilot after-school design-based arts program at Ravenswood CSD.       
  • Ravenswood Education Foundation (Fund a Need) - $10,000 to provide coats, uniforms and other clothing to homeless students in the Ravenswood City School District. 
  • Rebuilding Together - $10,000 to support it’s Safe at Home program, which makes needed repairs and home safety modifications for low-income homeowners in East Palo Alto
  • Stanford Jazz Workshop - $5,000 to support after-school music education program for middle school students in the Ravenswood City School District. 

The 2018 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • Ada's Cafe - $5,000
  • All Students Matter - $10,000
  • DreamCatchers - $5,000
  • East Palo Alto Kids Foundation - $10,000
  • Nuestra Casa - $6,000
  • Silicon Valley Urban Debate League - $9,000
  • Youth Community Service - $5,000
  • Project WeHope - $10,000 (Fund-a-Need)

The 2017 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • Abilities United - $7,000 to support the creation of an art studio for people with disabilities.
  • All Students Matter - $10,000 to expand volunteer classroom assistance program to the 5th grade in the Ravenswood City School District.
  • Episcopal Senior Communities Foundation - $5,000 launch a weekly produce market at Stevenson House, a low-income senior community in Palo Alto.
  • Family & Children’s Services - $5,000 to support counseling services for low-income individuals and families.
  • La Comida - $5,000 to support the move of the senior lunch program to a new location.
  • Palo Alto Players  - $3,000 to provide free theater tickets to a performance of Peter Pan to low-income children in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto.
  • Project WeHope - $5,200 to purchase a new refrigerator and a holding cabinet for keeping donated prepared food warm until dinner is provided to clients.
  • St. Elizabeth Seton School - $4,000 to purchase book bags as part of a new bilingual literacy program for kindergarten through fourth grades.
  • TheatreWorks - $5,000 to support its youth outreach programs, including its popular Oskar anti-bullying educational plays performed at elementary schools.
  • Mayview Community Health Center – $10,000  (Fund-a-Need)  to support subsidized health services for low-income residents of Palo Alto and East Palo Alto.

The 2016 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • Child Advocates of Silicon Valley - $5,000 
  • East Palo Alto Kids Foundation - $10,000 
  • Environmental Volunteers - $3,000 
  • Foundation for a College Education - $10,000
  • Kara - $3,000 
  • Marine Science Institute - $8,000 
  • My New Red Shoes - $10,000 
  • DreamCatchers -  $10,000 (Fund-a-Need)

The 2015 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • 10 Books a Home - $7,500
  • Acterra - $4,950
  • EPA Youth Court - $10,000
  • I Cubed - $4,500
  • Marine Science Institute - $9,816
  • Palo Alto Housing Corp - $4,000
  • Ravenswood Education Foundation - $5,000
  • Downtown Streets Team  (Fund A Need Proceeds) - $10,000

The 2014 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants: 

  • Able Works - $5,000
  • Building Futures Now - $5,000
  • Dream Catchers - $5,000
  • East Palo Alto Youth Court - $5,000
  • St. Francis of Assisi Youth Club - $5,000
  • Youth Community Service - $5,000
  • 10 Books A Home (Fund A Need Proceeds) - $10,000

The 2013 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • Ada's Cafe - $4,000 (+ $TBD Fund-A-Need) to support the acquisition of equipment for the café to be operated at the new Mitchell Park Library & Community Center by this non-profit devoted to supporting developmentally-disabled adults.
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW) - $2,000 for scholarships to needy 7th grade girls so they can attend Tech Trek, a residential summer math/science camp held at Stanford.
  • Environmental Volunteers - $5,000 in support of the new Baylands Junior Naturalist Program at the newly opened EcoCenter, providing 25 children in grades 3-5 a structured after-school program to learn about the baylands and its habitat.
  • Foothill DeAnza Foundation - $10,000 to support a new summer math and science camp program targeting 11th and 12th grade girls and underrepresented students with the goal of inspiring them to pursue science, math and technology studies in college.
  • Palo Alto Community Child Care - $4,000 to purchase new books and other materials for the Providor Connection, a resource center of education, training and professional development materials for preschool teachers and others who work with young children.
  • Parents Place - $5,000 to provide parenting workshops and one-on-one counseling to approximately 90 low-income parents..
  • Peninsula Bridge - $10,000 to support a new Transitions Program to help underserved 8th graders make a successful transition to high school, held on ten Saturdays during the academic year.

The 2012 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • Adolescent Counseling Services  - $12,400 ($1,280 + $11,120 from Fund-A-Need) to support the On Campus Counseling program in Palo Alto secondary schools, where trained ACS counselors are available at all three middle schools and both high schools.
  • Building Futures Now  - $7,500 to fund a five-week summer program for 60 East Palo Alto and east Menlo Park students entering or in middle school to bolster their academic skills, especially in math, reading and writing so they can enter the new year at grade level.
  • Food Closet of South Palo Alto  - $2,320 for shelving needed as part of improving the Food Closet's space at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Palo Alto, which provides groceries on a weekly basis to 85 Palo Alto families.
  • Friends of Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo  - $5,000 to fund field trips to the museum and zoo by East Palo Alto students being served by the Junior Museum's outreach education program which presents science curriculum to 500 elementary school students at Willow Oaks School.
  • La Comida  - $9,000 to fund the costs of van transportation for seniors living in Palo Alto wanting to attend the daily La Comida lunch program operated at Avenidas but who cannot drive.
  • Mayview Community Health Center  - $10,000 to fund immunizations for low-income children, offsetting funds that have been eliminated by the state due to budget cuts. 

The 2011 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • California Family Foundation (Beechwood School) - $4,000 to equip the school’s 5th through 8th grade classrooms with LCD projectors in order to enable multimedia teaching methods.
  • East Palo Alto Youth Court - $5,000 in support of a juvenile justice diversion program in which under-age, first-time offenders of minor crimes plead guilty and are then diverted for sentencing to a mock court process conducted entirely by other young people serving as attorneys, judges and jurors.
  • Foothill College Book Program - $2,000 (plus what is raised at the fundraising event as a “Fund a Need” project) for textbook vouchers to disadvantaged, full-time Foothill College students needing financial assistance.
  • Palo Alto Art Center Foundation - $4,000 to support the Cultural Kaleidoscope Program, which partners elementary school classes in the Palo Alto and Ravenswood school districts to work with a resident artist on collaborative art projects. 
  • Ravenswood Education Foundation - $8,700 to fund an extension of the normal school day for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Green Oaks Academy in East Palo Alto by one hour four days a week, with a goal of improving academic proficiency and test scores.
  • Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired - $1,300 to purchase eight copies of OpenBook Software, which converts printed documents into electronic speech format to enable blind or visually impaired individuals to access their mail, books, bills and other documents via audio formats.

The 2010 recipients of Palo Alto Rotary Charitable Community Grants:

  • Abilities United  - $1,000 (plus whatever is raised as the “Fund a Need” item at the annual Rotary fundraising event) to purchase up to eight custom-designed waterproof wheelchairs allowing individuals with physical disabilities to access the pool for therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Adolescent Counseling Services  - $10,000 in support of the On-Campus Counseling Program, which provides free individual and family counseling and crisis intervention for students at all five secondary schools in Palo Alto, plus Menlo-Atherton High School, Redwood High School in Redwood City and La Entrada Middle School in Menlo Park.
  • Big Brothers and Sisters  - $5,000 to support the one-on-one mentoring programs at Green Oaks Academy, East Palo Alto Charter School and the 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto, in which adults and high school students work with at-risk elementary and middle school students.
  • Cleo Eulau Center  - $7,500 to support the Collaborative Counseling Program, providing group and individual therapy for at-risk youth at the Court and Community School South in East Palo Alto, consisting of students on probation or expelled from other schools.
  • Lytton Gardens  - $5,100 to purchase an Arjo Walker for the Lytton Gardens Health Care Center. The Arjo Walker is a hydraulic lift reduces risk of injury for both patient and therapist when lifting or lower the patient to and from a standing position.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank  - $5,000 to provide free produce to low-income families in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto once a month through the Ecumenical Hunger Program.