Make it Count

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 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.

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

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

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

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.

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


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

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

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

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

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

SchoolsRule Marin
Buys sheet music for a choral program.

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.

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


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

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

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.).

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.

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


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

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

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

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.

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

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


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

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.

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.

Stitchin’ for Kids
Covers operating expenses for the year for 362 kids.

Buys a pottery wheel for an art class.


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.

Autistry Studios
Purchases LEGO educational robotic sets for five students.

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.