Four Organizations Awarded Grants to Make a BIG Difference

Oct 19, 2010, 09:00 ET from Coming of Age: Bay Area

First Coming of Age grants help local groups develop teams of volunteers age 50+ to impact Bay Area communities

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Coming of Age: Bay Area has announced the presentation of four mini-grants to local organizations for projects that will "Make a BIG Difference" in their communities.

The "MABD" awards, offered for the first time in the Bay Area, will fund diverse projects ranging from health education to creating urban oases. Each of the $2500 grants supports project teams that tap into the tremendous wave of knowledge and energy of people 50+ and address specific needs in the community.

The winners are:

  1. Clinic by the Bay, San Francisco – Health Education and Wellness Program.  Funds will be used to help volunteers age 50+ to develop and implement free bi-monthly health education workshops to increase health awareness and knowledge among this new clinic's underserved neighbors.
  2. Starting Blocks, Berkeley – Evaluation Program.  MABD team members will expand and implement a detailed evaluation for this student mentoring program, allowing the organization to understand the program's impact and effectiveness and determine opportunities for improvement.
  3. Maitri, San Francisco – MABD team members will create a garden "oasis" in which hospice residents can go to renew, relax and meditate.  This is the only outdoor experience many residents may have – most are dealing with depression or pain. Studies show that being in nature is restorative, relaxing and reduces stress.
  4. Oakland Landscape Committee, Oakland – the MABD team will develop a new school garden to serve approximately 500 students from low-income families at East Oakland Pride Elementary School. A series of planter boxes will be built to use in a school garden educational program that will help promote nutrition education, healthy eating habits, and beautify the school.

For more information about these projects, visit

According to Coming of Age: Bay Area co-director Janet Oh, "In collaboration with these excellent programs, we're thrilled to launch projects that will make a real difference in people's lives – and also utilize the talents of people 50 and older who will lend their energy and expertise. The four winning organizations address critical community needs. In these challenging economic times, here's a way to efficiently expand limited resources, using skilled volunteers aged 50+ to provide their priceless assistance."

Recruitment for the "MABD" teams will start immediately, with help from Coming of Age: Bay Area to build the programs.

Coming of Age is a growing national initiative that began in Philadelphia in 2002. The San Francisco Bay Area program is the first on the West Coast. Coming of Age programs help people 50+ explore possibilities, impact communities, connect with others, and chart pathways to a fulfilling, engaged future. For nonprofit organizations, Coming of Age's staff development programs deepen and strengthen organizations' abilities to recruit, utilize and retain volunteers and provide meaningful opportunities for them.

Coming of Age: Bay Area, founded in 2010, is sponsored by NCPHS (Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services), with additional funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service/RSVP grant, the Hands on Network and other community grants, and in partnership with KQED.

An expansive list of current volunteer opportunities for people 50+ can be found on the website. Visit

To find out more or to volunteer for one of the "Make a BIG Difference" projects, call (888) 308-1767 or email

SOURCE Coming of Age: Bay Area