Make It Count: Full List

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 45 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.


Syzygy Dance Project – A class to two veterans in recovery.

Bread and Roses A microphone cable and stand.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma – Afternoon snack for one day at one of 15 Clubhouses (we provide more than 70,000 meals and snacks annually).

SchoolsRule Marin – Art supplies for a classroom project.

Halleck Creek – A set of hoof boots for sore horses.

Marin Center for Independent Living – Will provide a life-saving prescription to a low income person suffering from seizures or any other medical affliction.

Whistlestop – Provides 145 miles of mileage reimbursement for volunteer drivers taking seniors where they need to go through our S.T.A.R. program.

Headlands Center for the Arts – Pay for a week’s worth of food for one Artist in Residence.

Marin Humane Society – Buys leashes and harnesses so volunteers can safely walk our shelter dogs.

River Otter Ecology Program – Supports one Otter Blog post.

Autistry Studios – Buys books for the Autistry lending library.

The Conscious Kitchen – Covers field trip and meal costs for a student to go on a field trip to Green Gulch Farms for our Conscious Kitchen Ambassadors.

Offerings – One child with special needs in a third world country will receive a jersey, soccer ball and afternoon of learning soccer with an American soccer coach.

WildCare – Will feed an orphaned baby songbird in WildCare’s Birdroom for 10 days.



Syzygy Dance Project — A class for four veterans with limited mobility.

Bread and Roses – One new microphone for vocalists to use for isolated audiences.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma – One week of full-day summer camp for one club member.

SchoolsRule Marin – Will buy sheet music for a choral program.

Halleck Creek –  Will buy a new SEI approved riding helmet in extra small to fit smallest riders.

Marin Center for Independent Living –  Provides prescription eyeglasses to a person with low vision, keeping them living independently.

Dedication to Special Education – Buys Apps used by teachers in the classroom.

Whistlestop – Provides 30 home-delivered meals and home safety checks for homebound seniors through our Meals on Wheels program. Often, this is the only outside contact the senior will have all day.

Headlands Center for the Arts – Keeps the lights on across Headlands’ nine building campus for a day.

Marin Humane Society – Covers one month of food and medicine for a dog or cat in our care.

River Otter Ecology Program – Supports upkeep on our Otter Spotter map of the Bay Area for 3 months.

Autistry Studios – Buys general art supplies (paints, brushes, clay, canvas, etc.)

The Conscious Kitchen – Will purchase then organic cotton student aprons.

WildCare – Will feed a baby owl the five meals a day it needs to grow up strong, healthy and ready to return to the wild.



Syzygy Dance Project — Give a class to an inpatient psychiatry unit.

Bread and Roses – Pays for an artist to perform to isolated audiences.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma – Covers six months of programs for one club member or gas for 10 field trips in our Club vans.

SchoolsRule Marin –  Will buy a tablet for classroom use.

Halleck Creek – Will fund water-saving irrigation pipes in our Plants Gone Wild adaptive vegetable garden.

Marin Center for Independent Living – Will install grab bars in your bathroom—1 in 3 older adults fall every year—mostly because of instability in their bathroom. There are 82,000 older adults in Marin and only 1,200 assisted living beds and 1,400 skilled nursing beds, the math is easy. We need to keep people living safely in their homes.

Dedication to Special Education – Buys a Chromebook for classroom.

Whistlestop – Covers the cost of a technology class for a group of seniors, empowering them to feel confident and competent when communicating with their grandchildren.

Headlands Center for the Arts – Subsidize a Bay Area Affiliate Artist’s studio rent for one month.

Marin Humane Society – Awards Marin Humane Society summer camp scholarships to two low-income children. – Equips five volunteers with the tools they need—delivery bag, ice packs, ExtraFood apron—to pick up donated food and deliver it to those in need.

River Otter Ecology Program – Supports procurement of a Bushnell motion sensitive remote video camera, allowing the study population numbers, pup emergence and behavioral interactions.

Autistry Studios – Purchases several bolts of fabric and sewing notions.

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

The Conscious Kitchen – Will purchase 125 pounds of fruit for school snacks.

Stone Soup Marin – Will fund a full home-style meal service for 60 of our friends at the Mill Street Center. Each meal is lovingly prepared by a team of volunteers, and always provides a nutritious and comforting menu, including dessert.

WildCare – Will provide a visit from WildCare’s Nature Van for a classroom at any Bay Area School.



Syzygy Dance Project – Gives classes to veterans with PTSD.

Bread and Roses Provides sound engineering for high profile concert performer.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma – Pays for a year of programs for one club member.

SchoolsRule Marin – Will buy a set of early reader books for a school library.

Halleck Creek – Will fund new adaptive riding equipment including saddle pads, ladder reins and sheepskin seat savers.

Marin Center for Independent Living – Will allow MCIL to provide a newly refurbished wheel chair to a client.

Dedication to Special Education – Buys an iPad for the classroom.

Whistlestop – Provides fresh produce and protein sources to 160 hungry, low-income seniors through our Brown Bag Pantry Program four times a month.

Headlands Center for the Arts – Pays for airfare for a national Artist in Residence.

Marin Humane Society – Provides an essential pre-adoption dental procedure.  

River Otter Ecology Program – This would support six months of participation in this study.

Autistry Studios – Purchases wood and woodworking supplies.

Opening the World – Pays for educational, trade and entrepreneurship scholarships per person for one year. Finances have often been a source of extreme stress for OTW participants due to the instability and scarcity they experienced as children. Unfortunately, for most, that financial struggle continues. Because of this fact and other challenging life events, OTW participants are often further behind their cohorts. While financial aid is sometimes an option, it does not always provide enough of a relief for our youths so they have to delay their educational goals. Others wish to pursue trade-related or entrepreneurship paths. OTW would like to provide small scholarships each semester to help our young adults get on their right path sooner and with confidence.

The Conscious Kitchen – Will cover food and cooking teacher costs for one family cooking class.

Offerings – Pays for an entertainer with special needs to be hired to perform at an Offerings annual event. This would provide them with the chance to demonstrate their gifts and talents like their typical peers in the entertainment world.

WildCare – Will purchase an incubator to keep tiny fluffy ducklings warm and safe when they are at their smallest.



Syzygy Dance Project  – Supports movement training workshops for VA staff.

Bread and Roses – Pays for a Veteran’s Day jazz quartet performance at the VA Hospital.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma –  Pays for new school supplies for 40 club members.

SchoolsRule Marin – Will buy a pottery wheel for an art class.

Jessica’s Haven – Will pay for 10 special needs participants to come take part in the 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. Everyone is capable of holding a dog, and giving them love.

Halleck Creek – Will enable three riders to attend our summer riding clinics for free.

Marin Center for Independent Living –  Will allow MCIL to match low cost, high quality caregiving for our MCIL Caregiver Registry to 10 clients who cannot afford a private agency to continue to live independently.

Dedication to Special Education – Buys a combination flat-screen tv, with Apple TV and cart as well as cables for flexible classroom learning and interaction .

Whistlestop – Provides 62 non-native seniors with Citizenship Classes last year.

Headlands Center for the Arts – Covers travel expenses for an international Artist in Residence.

Marin Humane Society – Covers the cost of spay or neuter for four shelter animals. – Enables ExtraFood to deliver one ton of healthy, fresh food to those in need.

Stitchin’ for Kids – Will cover operating expenses (boxing materials and office expenses, mainly comprising labels, plastic bags, website and printing costs) for the year.

River Otter Ecology Program – Supports three school class field trips for under-served children.

Autistry Studios – Purchases nutritious lunches for one full month of workshops.

Opening the World – Pays for travel scholarships. This will fund one-third of a participant’s travel expenses. OTW wholeheartedly believes everyone needs to learn the important life skills of self-resiliency, pride in working towards a goal and earning one’s way. A scholarship fund will allow us to assist those participants in times of need and relieve the stress the OTW team experiences each year as we have not had additional budget to accommodate these challenges. The scholarship recipient would be expected to provide a minimum of forty community service hours for our community in addition to all of OTW’s existing program requirements (i.e., fundraising events, OTW activities, trip meetings, monthly community service outings, etc.).

The Conscious Kitchen – Will support three “food of the month” tasting events.

Offerings – Will pay for a University Student, Retired Professional or Expert in the fields of Special Education, Occupational Therapy or Speech Therapy to travel to India, Indonesia or Puerto Rico or Bolivia. This would help offset the costs of their travel and stay while mentoring, coaching and teaching in schools and centers for special need, expanding acceptance and knowledge.

WildCare – Will buy fish to feed WildCare’s resident pelican, cormorants and gulls for a year.



Syzygy Dance Project – Sponsors public dances for veterans in recovery and their families.

Bread and Roses – Buys portable sound systems for institutional programs.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma – Pays for five teen club members to attend the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Keystone Conference.

SchoolsRule Marin – Will pay for materials in a high school wellness center.

Halleck Creek – Will provide for a portable ramp for riders to use mounting and dismounting horses at Pt. Reyes Western Days parade.

Marin Center for Independent Living – Will allow MCIL to install a ramp in a home to make it more accessible. A few month ago MCIL installed a ramp for a client with MS out into her backyard, she hadn’t been in her backyard for over 5 years because she couldn’t.

Whistlestop – Keeps the doors open, the lights on and the rooms comfortably cooled or heated at Whistlestop’s Active Aging Center for a day. The Active Aging Center is open every week day year-round and provides myriad of educational classes, workshops, discussion groups, exercise classes, information referral services, multicultural and social events to enrich seniors’ lives each day.

Headlands Center for the Arts – Provides prepared dinners for all Artists in Residence for a week.

Marin Humane Society – Enables the training and support for two therapy dogs to brighten the lives of patients, seniors, bereaved children and the disabled.

Stitchin’ for Kids – Will buy fabrics, fleece and notions for the toys.

River Otter Ecology Program – Adds a class and camera site to the Hands on High School program, which gives high school students the chance to learn field biology and technical skills while contributing to long-term genetic studies on the ecosystem niche of river otters. If desired, the donor could name the camera site.

Autistry Studios – Purchases Lego educational robotic sets for five students.

Opening the World – Pays for vocational internships. Learning about possible career interests before fully investing in an academic future will not only save participant’s years of wasted time and money, but will also provide them with the hands-on work experience and skills necessary to be competitive in today’s education system and job market. OTW’s ultimate goal is to create an internship program partnering with local Bay Area companies.

The Conscious Kitchen – Will cover production costs for The Conscious Kitchen cookbook.

WildCare – Will buy a year’s worth of x-ray films to help diagnose wildlife patients from hawks and owls to raccoons, bobcats and coyotes.



Syzygy Dance Project  – Supports 6 months of classes at a Bay Area VA facility.

Bread and Roses – Pays for 6 months of programming for at-risk youth.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma – Buys 25 tablet devices to allow club members to access digital arts educational programs.

SchoolsRule Marin – Pays for technology training in special education classrooms.

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

Marin Center for Independent Living – Will allow MCIL to transitions a client out of a skilled nursing facility and back into their home and support them with a caregiver for up to 225 hours of transitional care and they move back into the community.

Whistlestop – Covers 800 one-on-one grocery store outings for seniors in our CarePool program who cannot drive and would not otherwise have fresh produce or food.

Headlands Center for the Arts – Covers onsite housing and studio space for an Artist in Residence for a month.

Marin Humane Society – Purchases a new commercial washing machine for our mountain of daily laundry.

Stitchin’ for Kids – Will buy dolls and Hot Wheels for two major deliveries to five hospitals.

River Otter Ecology Program – Endow a five-year internship, to be named after the donor, if desired. The internship program teaches college students field, office and volunteer management skills while encouraging them to pursue their dreams of conservation biology and ecology.

Autistry Studios – Supports one student for one year in the Core Workshop.

Opening the World – Pays for a weekend therapeutic retreat. In 2016, OTW was offered a weekend therapeutic retreat by two local, professional psychotherapists in preparation for the 2016 annual trip pro-bono and it was a huge success. The retreat was held in a remote location that allowed participants to connect with nature and fully experience group dynamics. Moving forward, OTW would like to make an annual therapeutic retreat part of the curriculum to help our young adults further their emotional development and facilitate group bonding prior to the annual trip.

The Conscious Kitchen – Will pay for a one-week of training session for new school chefs.

WildCare – Will help WildCare buy a van to transport our Wildlife Ambassadors for live animal presentations at schools throughout the Bay Area.


$ 10,000+

Syzygy Dance Project – Supports a year of classes at a Bay Area VA facility.

Bread and Roses – Pays for a year of programming for developmentally disabled audiences.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Marin and Petaluma – Pays for one year of programs for 20 club members.

SchoolsRule Marin – Will pay for additional middle school counselling services.

Halleck Creek – Will provide five Marin County youth with specials needs with weekly Saturday trail rides for a full year.

Marin Center for Independent Living – Will allow MCIL to cover the cost and installation of a stairlift in the home of two clients who are unable to fully access their home any longer. These stairlifts will either be up to bedrooms or to their front door. Most of Marin’s older adults own their own home but they are living longer and now on a very fixed low income. Many are prisoners in their own home. Some sleep in their garage if they cannot make it up the stairs to their home after an outing.

Whistlestop – Allows Jackson Café to keep its doors open for one month, providing chef-prepared, nutritious, subsidized meals to seniors and community members. Jackson Café provides good nutrition but also an inviting setting where seniors can share a meal with others instead of eating alone.

Marin Humane Society – Provides specialist care for four or more animals in need of surgery or treatments to make them adoptable. – Helps ExtraFood add staff time to recruit new food donors and add the necessary infrastructure to recover and deliver their new donations.

River Otter Ecology Program – Supports ongoing work to understand the role river otters play in local coastal, marsh and river ecosystems. This donation would fund a prey study using cutting edge genetic analysis to give baseline information on otter prey species seasonally.

Autistry Studios – Provides sliding scale for two or more students in the Core Workshop.

Opening the World –  Provides mental health and therapeutic services scholarships. Many OTW participants have suffered significant trauma in their past. Individual psychotherapy for one person for a year can average close to $10,000.

The Conscious Kitchen –  Will allow development tasting, curriculum and education materials for presentations to ten potential Conscious Kitchen schools.

WildCare – will cover a year’s worth of busing/transportation scholarships for underserved students to experience WildCare’s hands-on nature education programs.


Kasia Pawlowska

Kasia Pawlowska loves words. A native of Poland, Kasia moved to the States when she was seven. The San Francisco State University creative writing graduate went on to write for publications like the San Francisco Bay Guardian and KQED Arts among others prior to joining the Marin Magazine staff. Topics Kasia has covered include travel, trends, mushroom hunting, an award-winning series on social media addiction and loads of other random things. When she’s not busy blogging or researching and writing articles, she’s either at home writing postcards and reading or going to shows. Recently, Kasia has been trying to branch out and diversify, ie: use different emojis. Her quest for the perfect chip is never-ending.