Grantee Highlights

Below are brief descriptions of the work of some of our recent grantees representing different aspects of our giving:

Program/Project Funding

Tishániik Tribal Farm

The Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources established the Tishániik Farm in 2020 in Orleans, California to address ongoing food security needs of the local population as well as emergency food scarcity following the COVID-19 pandemic and the Slater Fire. The Smullin Foundation made this rural resilience/food sovereignty grant to the Karuk Tribe in the spring of 2022 which helped farm staff expand production and improve their produce distribution reach in the region. The support helped increase cultivation from 0.5 to 2.5 acres and 18,500 lbs. of produce were distributed in 2022, nearly four times more than the previous year. In total over 1,400 community members were served through 30+ farm stand/community events and targeted distribution to tribal elders and youth.

Multi-Year Grants

Breast & GYN Health Project

The Foundation has supported a Client Services Director for multiple years at this grassroots organization that is a community resource for those facing breast or gynecologic cancer concerns on California’s North Coast. The Project promotes healthy survivorship through information, hope, and healing support, while encouraging each person to become their own best medical advocate. A combination of trained volunteers who are cancer survivors and nurses on staff provide services free of charge. The Client Services Director provides a critical role to coordinate, train and support warm-line volunteers; collaborate to serve local Native American, Latino and other underserved populations; document client services activities; interface with the local medical community and develop internet-based communications to serve the needs of clients better.

Humboldt Senior Resource Center

The Foundation has supported the Alzheimer Services Program in Humboldt County since 2007. The 3-year grant funded in 2021 helps provide staffing, education, and support for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia patients and their families. An estimated 4,450 people have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the region and that number is growing rapidly as the population ages. The grant helps the organization provide outreach and advocacy to raise awareness and improve policies that affect Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers.

Capital Project Grants

The Smullin Foundation has provided more than $3.75 million in capital projects funding since its inception.

Food For People

Food for People works to eliminate hunger and improve the health and well-being of our community through access to healthy and nutritious foods, community education and advocacy. In 2016 they identified a need to replace their aging and overcrowded facility and consolidate warehouse space and the Foundation provided capital campaign feasibility study funding. After a sewer disaster provided the final motivation to start the project in 2017, they launched their campaign. Their goal was to build a new state of the art food bank and warehouse facility on their site. The Foundation answered the call to provide campaign kick-off funding without hesitation and made a $1.5M commitment to the project. After five years of planning, fundraising and construction, Food for People hosted a grand opening for the facility in 2023. The new facility provides a larger choice pantry for food distribution, increased storage space, including vital cold storage, and houses all staff under one roof. In addition, it can be reconfigured to serve as a community hub in an emergency or natural disaster. It will allow the organization to continue to be a valuable resource to improve community wellness for generations to come.

Grants Made in Collaboration with Other Funders

North Coast Grantmaking Partnership

The Smullin Foundation is an active member of the North Coast Grantmaking Partnership (NCGP). NCGP is a network of granting organizations that mobilizes resources to sustain healthy and vibrant communities on the North Coast. The emphasis of NCGP is on investing for greatest impact in the region. This is done by sharing resources, learning together and working collaboratively. NCGP frequently collaboratively funds projects or programs in Humboldt County and The Smullin Foundation participates in that funding if it is aligned with the Foundation’s priorities. Learn more about North Coast Grantmaking Partnership and view a list of active participants.

Other Collaborative Funding

The Smullin Foundation prefers to leverage resources by working with other funders to discover and fund important projects. Other collaborations have resulted in joint funding with Wild Rivers Community Foundation, Community Foundation of the North State, Four Way Community Foundation, The Trinity Trust and members of the Jefferson Funders Forum, Far North California Funders Network, and South Coast Oregon Funders Connect.

NCGP Funding of Warrior Institute

Warrior Institute is a grassroots organization in the Hoopa Valley of Northern California that utilizes a multifaceted and innovative approach to awaken the “warrior spirit” in local native youth to actively pursue wellness, balance, and world renewal. The Institute’s implementation model is based on mentoring, leadership, and hands-on service learning experiences within a context of inter-generational, inter-tribal, and inter-cultural activities. Within Health, Culture, and Outdoor Pathways, a diverse array of activities and curriculum is offered in their Fitness, Food and Farm; Traditional Skills, Arts, Language; and Mountain and River Programs. The success of these programs led to increased demand and rapid organizational growth. The organization’s development was supported by a grant from the North Coast Grantmaking Partnership.

Summer Youth Mini-Grant Funding Partnership

A group of funders including The Smullin Foundation have pooled resources since 2007 to make small grants available to nonprofits, city recreation programs and community groups that provide safe, healthy and enriching activities for children and youth during the summer months in Humboldt, Del Norte and Curry Counties. These programs are crucial for working parents and ensure that those who may not be able to participate due to inability to pay are not left out. Programs vary but include parks and recreation day camps, sports programs and overnight adventure camps. They teach everything from swim lessons to self-esteem and cultural arts to clowning and encourage young people to experience new activities and develop new positive relationships.

Arcata Parks and Recreation Day Program

Lost Coast Camp

Playhouse Arts Clown Camp

TRiO Upward Bound at Humboldt State University

The funders partnering with the Smullin Foundation on summer youth programs are: Humboldt Area Foundation/Wild Rivers Community Foundation, Mel and Grace McLean Foundation, and St. Joseph’s/Providence Health System.