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Make it Count

These Marin organizations are improving people's lives and you can help.

INSPIRED BY RECENT headlines citing Marin County Free Library’s largest donation in history, we thought it would be a good idea to come up with a list of more groups here in Marin who could also benefit from donations large and small. Undoubtedly, giving to charitable causes feels good. Yet some donors wonder, “Where does my money actually go?” To shine a light on this issue we spoke with 28 groups here in Marin, asking them to answer that question in concrete terms. Depending on the organization, your donation will help mitigate therapy costs or provide training, nutrition or other kinds of care. Of course, any kind of assistance — whether it’s giving money or giving time — is appreciated by these groups. Visit marinmagazine.com/givingback for the full list.


Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma
Covers the cost of afternoon snacks at one of 15 clubhouses for a day. This branch of the national charity provides more than 70,000 meals and snacks annually. petaluma-marinbgc.org

Marin Humane Society
Buys two leash/harness combos so volunteers can safely walk shelter dogs. marinhumanesociety.org

Marin Advocates for Children
Will provide a foster child with a birthday gift — for some children, their first birthday gift ever. marinadvocates.org

Marin Center for Independent Living
Covers a lifesaving prescription for a low-income person suffering from seizures or other serious medical affliction. marincil.org

SF-Marin Food Bank
Fills seven bags for those in need who are enrolled at one of the 250 pantries around Marin and San Francisco. Each bag weighs about 30 pounds and is stocked with a balance of nutritious foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains. This amount helps feed three families for a week. sfmfoodbank.org

Headlands Center for the Arts
Pays for a week's worth of food for one Artist in Residence. headlands.org


Autistry Studios
Buys general art supplies (paints, brushes, clay, canvas, etc.) for students with autism. autistrystudios.org

Bread and Roses
Buys one new microphone for vocalists to use when performing on location. breadandroses.org

Funds a recreational activity for four people with developmental disabilities in the Lifehouse Teen Program. lifehouseagency.org

Syzygy Dance Project
Provides a dance class for four veterans with limited mobility. syzygydanceproject.org

River Otter Ecology Project
Supports upkeep of the Bay Area Otter Spotter map for three months. riverotterecology.org

SchoolsRule Marin
Buys sheet music for a choral program. schoolsrule.org

Warm Wishes
Buys five StreetPacks for needy families. Each StreetPack includes a brand-new scarf, rain poncho, hat, socks, a handmade card, and a pair of gloves for the cold winter months. warmwishes.org

Feeds a baby owl the five meals a day it needs to grow up strong, healthy and ready to return to the wild. wildcarebayarea.org


10,000 Degrees
Helps cover the cost of needed supplies like scientific calculators. 10000degrees.org

Equips five volunteers with the tools they need — delivery bags, ice packs, ExtraFood apron — to pick up donated food and deliver it to those in need. extrafood.org

Halleck Creek
Funds new water-saving irrigation pipes in the Plants Gone Wild adaptive vegetable garden. halleckcreekranch.org

Opening the World
Pays for community bonding activities. Each year, OTW leads three to four outings that provide youth with opportunities to learn more about themselves and enjoy cultural shows they may otherwise not be exposed to (a theatrical play, a Cirque du Soleil performance, a professional sports game, barbecue, fitness activities, etc.). openingtheworld.org

Stone Soup Marin
Funds a full home-style meal service for 60 residents at the Mill Street Center. Each meal is prepared by a team of volunteers and features nutritious and comforting fare, including dessert. stonesoupmarin.org

Sindisa Sanctuary
Will buy a health-check visit for an elephant. sindisasanctuary.org


Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma
Pays for a year of programs for one club member. petaluma-marinbgc.org

Do It For The Love
Provides four concert tickets for wish recipient, friends, family or caregivers. doitforthelove.org

The Conscious Kitchen
Covers the cost of food and a cooking teacher for one family class. consciousktichen.org

Pays for an entertainer with special needs to be hired to perform at an Offerings annual event. This allows the performer the chance to demonstrate gifts and talents like their peers do in the entertainment world. globalofferings.org

Provides fresh produce and protein sources to 160 hungry, low-income seniors through the Brown Bag Pantry program four times a month. whistlestop.org

Allows the purchase of an incubator to keep tiny ducklings warm and safe when they are at their smallest. wildcarebayarea.org


Bread and Roses
Pays for a Veterans Day jazz quartet performance at the VA hospital. breadandroses.org

Marin Advocates for Children
Brings The Lisa Project, an immersive, multisensory experience that gives each visitor a firsthand view of the world of child abuse, to a public place for a week. marinadvocates.org

Jessica's Haven
Allows 10 special needs participants to take part in a vocational program and learn job skills by bathing the rescues, vacuuming the floors, folding towels and if they are capable, walking the dogs for one week. jessicashaven.com

Stitchin' for Kids
Covers operating expenses for the year for 362 kids. stitchinforkids.org

Buys a pottery wheel for an art class. schoolsrule.org


Marin Center for Independent Living
Allows MCIL to install a ramp in a home to make it wheelchair accessible. A recent backyard ramp installation made it possible for a client with multiple sclerosis to go to her backyard for the first time in five years. marincil.org

Autistry Studios
Purchases LEGO educational robotic sets for five students. autistrystudios.org

River Otter Ecology Program
Adds a class and camera site to the Hands on High School program, which gives teens the chance to learn field biology and technical skills while contributing to long-term studies on the ecosystem of river otters. If desired, the donors can have the site named after them. riverotterecology.org


The Conscious Kitchen
Pays for a one-week training session for new school chefs. consciousktichen.org

Halleck Creek
Provides hay for a full year for six equine therapists. halleckcreekranch.org

Headlands Center for the Arts
Covers on-site housing and studio space for an Artist in Residence for a month. headlands.org

Marin Humane Society
Purchases a new commercial washing machine to tackle the organization’s mountain of daily laundry. marinhumanesociety.org

Richardson Bay Audubon Center
Fixes trails to improve public access and create interpretive signage about the birds and plants of the sanctuary. audubon.org

Sitchin' for Kids
Buys dolls and Hot Wheels cars for two major deliveries to five hospitals. stitchinforkids.org

Syzygy Dance Project
Supports six months of classes at a Bay Area VA facility. syzygydanceproject.org


Helps ExtraFood add staff to recruit new food donors and add the necessary infrastructure to recover and deliver the new donations. extrafood.org

Marin City Health and Wellness Center
Pays a month’s salary for two staff facilitators to run youth programs serving 100 middle schoolers and high school teens who live in Marin City. marincityclinic.org

Opening the World
Provides mental health and therapeutic services scholarships. Many OTW participants have suffered significant trauma in their pasts. Individual psychotherapy for one person for a year averages $10,000. openingtheworld.org

Allows Jackson Cafe to keep its doors open for one month, providing chef-prepared, healthy, subsidized meals to seniors and community members. Besides good nutrition, the cafe also offers an inviting setting where seniors can share a meal with others instead of eating alone. whistlestop.org

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