Non-Profit of the Year : Morgan Hill Community Foundation
The Morgan Hill Community Foundation began in 2002 with the mission “ to connect donors with local needs for lasting impact on quality of life in our community ,” said current President Bob Lipscomb . Since its inception it has granted out hundreds of thousands of dollars to existing non-profits , and acted as a fiscal sponsor for many other groups who hope to become non-profits themselves .
While they ’ ve given generously to numerous organizations in its six key areas – arts and culture , health and human services , education and lifelong learning , recreation , environment and agriculture , and science and technology – the pandemic temporarily diverted their focus .
The board had already begun to discuss creating a disaster fund that would be available for immediate use in 2019 . When the pandemic hit in 2020 , the fund went into action with $ 10,000 in seed funds and the community jumped into action to add their donations . As public awareness grew , Lipscomb said , so did the fund , and the amount of grants the Foundation handed out . “ We had five grant cycles ( as opposed to just one or two ), granting out $ 129,000 to 14 non-profits , with 27 individual grants ,” he said . “ This was a quantum jump in needs in our community , and a jump in people recognizing those needs and responding to that ." The grants paid for “ a multitude of fundamentals needed for daily life ,” Lipscomb explained , including meals , rent , hygiene kits , family and individual support , groceries and more .
The Foundation also granted more than $ 25,000 from the same disaster relief fund to small , local distressed businesses impacted by COVID-19 . And they developed partnerships , such as one between the YMCA and Morgan Hill Unified School District to provide childcare for essential workers . And another with the Downtown Association to provide meals to essential workers at hospitals from distressed restaurants in the community . “ The past year and a half has been very busy and very rewarding . It ’ s great to see people give their time and resources to help other people ,” he said . The pandemic reinforced the Foundation ’ s “ give where you live ” philosophy . The 10-member board is grateful for their award , which recognizes the hard work of all the volunteers “ and the impact of local donors providing much needed resources .”
Volunteer of the Year : Peggy Martin
Peggy Martin , believes in giving back the good fortune that life has handed to her . She utilizes her skills as a financial advisor in the business she runs with her husband Craig , The Family Wealth Consulting Group , to give her time , wisdom , and philanthropy to numerous non-profits in Morgan Hill .
She is currently the American Association of University Women ( AAUW ) Morgan Hill Branch Chair for the AAUW Fund , which coordinates closely with AAUW at a national level . “ I want to promote young girls and women to achieve their highest potential ,” she said . “ Seeing a girl become educated and make choices based on that education is very gratifying .”
She has also volunteered for seven years with the Morgan Hill Community Foundation , where she is CFO / Treasurer . “ I ’ m very motivated with that organization because of all they do with the local community , especially during the pandemic ,” she said . She was proud to be part of their disaster relief response for essential workers and others in need . “ We received an outpouring of donations from the community that made it possible .”
Another volunteer effort that ’ s dear to her is The Sue ’ s Story Project . This organization works to increase awareness , caregiving resources , and research funding for Lewy Body Dementia , the second leading cause of progressive dementia worldwide . As someone who has watched loved ones suffer with dementia , she said , “ it ’ s very close to my heart .”
She has also volunteered with the South Valley Science and Engineering Initiative , and the Young Women Leaders , where working with younger girls has been “ refreshing .” She said , “ They give me a different perspective on life and a different way of thinking .”
Volunteering is something that feels right to her and also helps her through challenging times . “ When you go through what we ’ ve just gone through as a society in the pandemic , having that outlet that is bigger than your own personal situation keeps you focused . It gives me the ability to participate in the broader world and get out of my own head .”
Morgan Hill is an especially warm and friendly place to volunteer , she added . “ There are a lot of active participants , and because it ’ s smaller , I feel a connection with a lot of the non-profits . “ I ’ m about making a difference in my community and I want to be remembered as a person who cared .”
gmhtoday . com gmhTODAY Magazine SPRING 2022 25