These 25 nonprofits are improving the
lives of many Marin residents. BY JIM WOOD
The groups mentioned
here serve a wide range of
narrowing focus to one specific
community or area.
IN NEED Adopt-A-Family of Marin offers
services providing stability for families in
need, including help with rent, food, car
repairs and counseling; it is highly effective.
Want to look your best? Bloom, which has
a San Rafael retail store, provides compli-
mentary wardrobes and life skills training
to folks seeking self-reliance. Community
Action Marin directly addresses concerns of
those facing poverty in Marin. At five loca-
tions, Marin Community Clinics provide
physical, dental and mental health care to
more than 35,000 insured and uninsured
Marin residents. At its facility in Novato and
at 47 local “pantries” throughout Marin, the
SF-Marin Food Bank distributes six million
pounds of fresh produce and unused staples
a year to people who are hungry. San Rafael’s
St. Vincent de Paul Society serves nearly 300
free hot meals a day, 365 days a year.
SENIORS Throughout the Bay Area,
Hospice by the Bay ensures quality of life care
for the terminally-ill and those close to them.
Senior Access says more than 6,000 Marin
families deal with someone suffering from
memory loss, and they offer help and guidance;
even a clubhouse. Encouraging the indepen-
dence and well-being of older adults is the goal
of Whistlestop; they do it through classes,
cultural gatherings and excellent meals.
YOUTH EDUCATION The amazing 10,000
Degrees makes college scholarships available
to qualified Marin students. Marin County
School Volunteers matches tutors with stu-
dents needing help; currently 350 adults
and students volunteer in 45 Marin schools.
Thanks to SchoolsRule-Marin, in recent
years local businesses have contributed close
to $3 million to benefit every school in the
county. Founded 120 years ago, Sunny Hills
Services helps vulnerable youth and their
families (2,700 in total this year) “develop
healthy relationships and fulfilling lives.”
We are fortunate to have these caring and
sharing nonprofits in Marin. That’s my point
of view. What’s yours?
IT’S THE SEASON to discuss nonprofits and the outstanding job they are doing. The groups mentioned here serve a wide range of individuals, without narrowing focus to one specific community or area.
AGRICULTURE Marin Agricultural Land
Trust, MALT, uses grants and donations to
acquire development rights from ranchers and
farmers. To date, nearly 50,000 acres in West
Marin have been preserved. The Agriculture
Institute of Marin manages the popular civic
center farmers’ markets; it also educates
children on healthy nutrition, and the organi-
zation intends to build a permanent market.
ANIMAL LIFE For almost 110 years, the
Marin Humane Society has been headquarters
for pet-related matters including licensing,
adopting and caring for animals. Rescuing and
rehabilitating injured mammals from local
waters is the mission of the Marine Mammal
Center in the Marin Headlands. “An urban
wildlife hospital” is how WildCare describes
itself; annually, its San Rafael facility cares for
4,000 wild animals from 200 different species.
COMMUNIT Y If area nonprofits have
a “mother ship,” it’s the Marin Community
Foundation, which distributes $65 million
annually to worthy causes, most in Marin.
MarinLinks is “an incubator and sponsor
of groups seeking to fill unmet community
needs.” Indeed, it does that.
CULTURE On Fourth Street in San Rafael,
Art Works Downtown connects artists with the
community via affordable studios, art exhib-
its and retail sales. Once a year, Marin Open
Studios invites Marin residents to visit hun-
dreds of artists’ studios in support of the arts.
ENVIRONMENT For more than 50 years,
the Marin Audubon Society has protected
wildlife habitats, often buying land that’s
slated for development. Simply put, the
Marin Conservation League’s mission is “to
preserve, protect and enhance the natural
assets of Marin.” This is a vital organization.
Conservation Corps North Bay enables youths
(ages 18–25) to earn a high school degree.
The vie ws and opinions expressed in this article are
those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
policy or position of Marin Magazine and its staff. RIC