covid-19 (coronavirus) update

The mission of the Rob Benzon Foundation is to provide unexpected help and hope to individuals in the San Diego community who are suffering from a personal catastrophic event not of their making who are in need of emergency support for actual expenses. The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic fall outside of our mission for individual grants.

We recognize that with the constantly changing COVID-19 situation in our community and around the world, this is an unprecedented time for everyone — a time that, for many, is filled with uncertainty.

Our hearts and thoughts go out to each and every one of you as we navigate through these unprecedented times.

Our Grants

For the privacy of our recipients, all first and last names may not be displayed below.

most recent grants

  • Hannah’s House

    Hannah's House

    Hannah’s House is a non-profit organization, that since 1988, has served over 23,000 families. They have provided over 268,000 hours of warm and peaceful child-parent supervised family time. In 2016, Hannah’s House made the transition to electronic note taking. Most of their older laptops were outdated and were in desperate need of replacement. The Rob Benzon Foundation answered their call and approved a grant for 8 new Chromebooks for their inventory.

    Grant was made May 2020

  • Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship and Daniel J. Ferbal Memorial Scholarship

    The Rob Benzon Foundation awarded two scholarships through the annual PFLAG Scholarship Awards to two LGBTQ students pursuing higher education. The Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to G Trupp who was honored to win and said, “I look forward to being able to pay it forward.”

    The first ever, Daniel J. Ferbal Memorial Scholarship was awarded this year in honor of our beloved past RBF President and dear friend, Dan. Patrick Loehr was the much-deserved recipient. Patrick said that was honored to receive the award. He said, “This support means a lot to me, it’s tremendously and sincerely appreciated.” Patrick’s goal is to achieve great things in Dan’s name.

    Grant was made March 2020

  • Carlitos D.

    Carlitos D. was a cancer survivor with many other health ailments including diabetes, renal failure, a recent heart attack as well as being septic. His huge health hurdles made it impossible to work and the out of pocket costs not covered by insurance were tremendous. he and his family got behind on their household bills. Our foundation provided financial assistance for their phone bill, and utility bills in order to avoid disconnection.

    Grant was made March 2020

  • Being Alive San Diego

    Being Alive San Diego was granted $1000 for their food pantry “Daniel’s Market” which provides groceries each month for 1,000 needy individuals affected with HIV/AIDS in San Diego. “Daniel’s Market” is a farmer’s market style food distribution that restores not only their client’s ability to get enough to eat but, as Shannon Wagner, BASD Executive Director put it, “It also restores their HOPE.” She went on to say, “Our clients that are affected by HIV/AIDS are also seniors, working poor, families and most importantly; our family, friends and neighbors.”

    Grant made February 2020

  • Kerrie S. and Karen S.

    We have received and paid an emergency grant request from Kerrie and her wife Karen. Karen has had some profoundly serious medical issues and was not able to work. She eventually lost her job due to these issues. It is sad and ironic that they found themselves suddenly in a position desperately needing financial assistance. They lived their lives constantly assisting the San Diego LGBTQ community. In fact, they only recently were honored by San Diego civic leaders for their years helping raise money for those in need. It was an honor for our foundation to be able to give back to this wonderful and generous couple when they were the ones needing help. We gave them rental assistance for two months and paid an overdue phone bill to avoid disconnection.

    Grant made February 2020

  • Eugene F.

    Eugene was a 24 year old gay man who was in his senior year at Cal State University-San Marcos. He was scheduled to graduate with a degree in May in Business Administration. Unfortunately, his grandmother died unexpectedly at the age of 77 leaving him without any family support or financial support. She had raised him since he was five years old and he had no other family to whom he could turn. The Rob Benzon Foundation approved a grant to pay his past due rent, cover a small tuition bill so he could get his degree and we bought him some much appreciated groceries.

    Grant made December 2019

  • Raymond C.

    Raymond was diagnosed with terminal kidney disease and while being able to work for awhile to support his family, a year later he was no longer able to do so. He was unemployed, receiving disability benefits, getting in-home care and undergoing daily dialysis at home. The dialysis machine resulted in higher energy costs and the family had fallen behind with SDGE to the point that they were threatened with disconnection of their power. Our foundation was able to approve a grant to pay the family’s SDGE bill so as to avoid disconnection of service allowing Raymond to continue his desperately needed daily dialysis treatments.

    Grant made December 2019

  • Children of Holiday Magic Project

    Children of Holiday Magic Project produces yearly, several thousand, 12-page activity/coloring and interactive CD books, that are distributed to sick and hospital bound children at Rady’s Children’s Hospital of San Diego during the holiday season. The Rob Benzon Foundation approved a grant to pay for the printing costs of these much-anticipated children books for the hospitalized children.

    Grant made December 2019

  • Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner

    The Rob Benzon Foundation has again answered the call to assist with costs of the annual Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner held at the San Diego LGBT Community Center on Thanksgiving Day. Started in 1988 by Scott Carlson as a dinner for HIV/AIDS patients, the tradition of giving continues to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal for those in need in our community on the day we earmark to give thanks. The dinner now includes people with cancer and other ailments, homeless people, and anyone needing a safe and inviting place to come together as a community on this holiday. More than 500 individuals benefited from this year’s dinner.

    Grant made in November 2019

  • John N.

    John’s family were refugees from Uganda that were already struggling to afford to live in San Diego before an illness brought them additional financial hardship. They were living paycheck to paycheck as their income is only enough to rent which meant that were unable to keep current with their water utility bill. Our foundation was able to approve a grant to pay their water bill to avoid disconnection.

    Grant was made November 2019

  • Douglass H.

    Douglass, 67, had a surgery to remove his cancerous bladder and prostate. Doctors were able to construct a new bladder from his small intestine. Tubes were used to deal with his temporary incontinence. Douglass used incontinence pull-ups as he heals. His health problems and resulting bills, meant he was financially challenged while his insurance company denied covering the needed pads. The Rob Benzon Foundation provided several months of needed pull- ups incontinence supplies so he could make a safe and comfortable recovery.

    Grant was made October 2019

  • Kevin Moss

    Kevin M. was a local massage therapist that always would volunteer his time for local charity events helping the LGBTQ community until his own health took an unexpected turn for the worse. His family had a history of kidney issues and Kevin it turns out, was no exception, He was going to require a kidney transplant. He was scheduled for a kidney transplant but last minute heart problems brought about an unexpected delay to his surgery. This also meant more unexpected medical bills and more time not being able to work. Our foundation approved a grant for both rental assistance and groceries to provide him with both stable housing and nutritious food during his recovery.

    Grant was made September 2019

  • Patrick S.

    Patrick was a 56 year old man who had been suffering from AIDS and associated issues for years. He was unemployed, without significant assets resulting from fall several months prior that shattered both his wrists so he was unable to work, drive or deal with other daily tasks. With four needed surgeries and a long road to recovery ahead of him, a disability insurance mistake meant an unexpected delay that left him without funds to pay his bills. The Rob Benzon Foundation approved a grant for his rent to prevent his impending eviction and thus allow him the time to heal without further hardship.

    Grant was made August 2019

  • Jose A.

    Jose was a 36 year old man suffering from AIDS and until a few months ago homeless. Despite his situation and through several battles with severe illness, he decided 3 years ago to change his life around. He completed 2 years of community college and was accepted to Cal State San Marcos where he received a Cal Grant for financial aid covering most of his tuition per semester leaving him still slightly short for this semester’s tuition. He was not in a position to borrow the additional funds and has no other source of payment. Our foundation provided a grant of much needed emergency tuition funds to allow him to finish his education to get his degree.

    Grant was made August 2019

  • Swantay E.

    Swantay E. was a 38 year old woman raising a 6 year old daughter who had been served a 3 day notice to quit. She had a history of steady employment but recently suffered a severe attack from her abusive spouse which on top of her physical injury, triggered a PTSD reoccurrence that she first suffered from when her mother was murdered years ago. Her hospitalization and psychiatric treatment caused her great financial hardship which caused her to fall behind on her rent. The Rob Benzon foundation approved a grant to cover her rent so she and her daughter would not be evicted from their apartment.

    Grant was made July 2019

  • Haydee G.

    Haydee was fighting a brave fight against cancer. Because of her illness, her bills became insurmountable to the point that she could not afford her critically needed medical insurance. Our foundation approved a grant to fund the cost of reinstating her medical insurance so she could maintain her life-saving treatment schedule.

    Grant made June 2019

  • The Live and Let Live Alano Club (LLLAC)

    LLLAC is the 4th oldest Sober Community Center in the country. They provide meeting space to 1,000 participants per week with over 45 weekly Twelve-step recovery meetings which include meetings about alcohol, drugs, co-dependency, nicotine and the list goes on. LLLAC was told they were being evicted from their long-time location and they needed help to relocate to a new location. Our foundation approved a grant for assistance with their first month’s rent in a new location which allowed them to open their doors promptly and maintain assisting the community with no interruptions to their vital community meeting schedule.

    Grant made June 2019

  • Bernard G.

    A grant was approved for Bernard, in the form of one month’s rental assistance, after the sudden and unexpected illness and death of his best friend and roommate, Tad. Bernard was overwhelmed with expenses associated with this tragic event and we were able to help him avoid eviction.

    Grant made June 2019

  • Leighton M.

    The Foundation assisted Leighton who was being treated for breast cancer by paying her rent while she received treatment.

    Grant made in April 2019

  • Lewis A.

    Lew is a person who was assaulted first, then in visiting the hospital, blood work and tests showed him to have prostate cancer. He was also in a car accident the same month with a $1,000. deductible. Because Lew’s ongoing illness, the hospital stays and ongoing bills that came with it, Lew was unable to pay his rent on time and was facing eviction from his apartment. The Foundation provided 3 months of rental assistance which allowed Lew to remain in his home and receive the medical care he needed without the fear of becoming homeless.

    Grant made in March 2019

  • Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship

    The Rob Benzon Foundation awarded two scholarships at the annual Launching Leaders PFLAG Scholarship Awards to two LGBTQ students pursuing higher education. The Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Ramon Aquino and Levin Guerra.

    Grant made in March 2019

  • Robin P.

    A senior and member of the LGBT community, she had been been bedridden with multiple serious health conditions, and at great risk to developing a UTI because her health insurance denied her the correct type of antibiotic treated catheter she needed. Because of the financial burden connected with her past and current health issues of multiple sclerosis, Robin’s family found itself unable to afford the expenses associated with purchasing the catherters. The Foundation stepped in to help by paying for the much needed catheters with a one year supply though a grant in 2018 and again in 2019.

    Grant made in March 2018 & March 2019

  • Mama’s Kitchen

    The Foundation once again awarded a grant to Mama’s Kitchen to support their Home Delivered Meal Service program, a home-delivered meal service that provides meals to individuals in San Diego County affected by AIDS or cancer. The meal program delivery package contains 6 meals (a warm dinner for Monday, breakfast/lunch/dinner for Tuesday, and breakfast/lunch for Wednesday). On an average delivery day, there are typically 320 individuals who receive these meals daily through this program.

    Grant was made in March 2019.

  • Special Delivery

    Rob Benzon Foundation again answered the call to improve the nutritional status and quality of life of members of the LGBT community living with life-threatening illnesses in San Diego through the provision of medically-appropriate meals. This grant was targeted specifically for funding for the food pantry at Special Delivery San Diego, which purchased groceries providing 3 meals per day for materially-poor clients with AIDS, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease and other life-threatening illnesses for at least two weeks.

    Grant was made in February 2019

  • Camp Erin

    The Foundation was able to support Camp Erin in partnership with the Center for Compassionate Care of the Elizabeth Hospice and part of network of free bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6 to 17 years of age who have experienced the death of someone close to them. Camp Erin’s counselors run specially designed activities to assist these children with the bereavement process and this grant provided funds for camper backpacks and for the kids attending the camp. A second grant was also approved to supply all of the kids and volunteers attending the camp with much needed event-themed T-shirts.

    Grants were made in February 2019.

  • Billy D.

    The Foundation paid for the funeral expenses for a decorated Vietnam Veteran who passed away suddenly from cancer and his family could not afford the cost of his funeral arrangements.

    Grant made February 2019

  • Margarito P.

    The Foundation assisted Margarito who was being treated for breast cancer by paying her rent while she received treatment.

    Grant made in February 2019.

  • The Annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Day Dinner

    The Rob Benzon Foundation once again supported the annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Day Dinner. The grant provided funds to assist organizers with the cost of the food needed to feed the underprivileged and homeless members of the LGBTQ community. The event is held annually at the San Diego LGBTQ Community Center on Thanksgiving Day.

    Grant made in November 2018.

  • Crystal C.

    The Foundation assisted Crystal who was being treated for a rare bone cancer called Chordoma. Her treatments, which involved many lengthy hospital stays and much time off from work, caused her to miss months of work causing much financial distress. We paid her rent while she received treatment allowing her the time to heal with out the fear of becoming homeless.

    Grant made in October 2018.

  • Eddie R.

    After a lengthy hospitalization due to being struck down by a hit and run accident while riding his bike, the Foundation assisted Eddie with his past due rent allowing him to avoid possible eviction from his home.

    Grant made in September 2018.

  • Serenity K.

    The Foundation provided Serenity with rent and other household expenses while unable to work due to ongoing chemotherapy treatments for stage 4 breast cancer.

    Grant made in July 2018.

  • Joseph P.

    After recent major surgery due to diabetes which amputated his left foot, the Foundation assisted Joseph with past due utility bills which successfully restored water to his home.  

    Grant made in June 2018.

  • Tim C.

    Assisted an local Indian tribe member and Korean War veteran with a terminal diagnosis of end stage renal disease and diabetes with a past due balance of his gas and electric bill.

    Grant made in May 2018.

  • Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship

    On May 19, 2018, the Rob Benzon Foundation awarded two scholarships at the annual Launching Leaders PFLAG Scholarship Awards to two LGBTQ students pursuing higher education. The Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarships were awarded to: (1) Sav Schlauderaff who is pursuing a graduate degree at San Diego State in Women’s Studies and (2) Taylor McElroy who is pursuing a law degree at California Western School of Law. 

    Grant made in May 2018.

  • William V.

    The Foundation provided assistance with rent for an individual who is unable to work due to terminal COPD syndrome.

     Grant made in April 2018.

  • Camp Erin

    The Foundation was able to support Camp Erin in partnership with the Center for Compassionate Care of the Elizabeth Hospice and part of network of free bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6 to 17 years of age who have experienced the death of someone close to them. Camp Erin’s counselors run specially designed activities to assist these children with the bereavement process and this grant provided funds for comfort items for the kids attending the camp. 

    Grant made in April 2018.

  • Leslie H.

    Assisted a member of our community with a terminal diagnosis of ALS with a six month supply of catheters needed for her care.

    Grant made in March 2018

  • Tracie Jada O’Brien Transgender Youth Scholarships

    Two separate scholarships were presented to two trans students pursuing higher education at the Tracie Jada O’Brien Transgender Youth Scholarships Awards.  These scholarships assist high-achieving trans students defray the cost of college, graduate school or trade school. 

    Grant made in March 2018

  • Heidi

    Heidi is an elderly woman that has been living with HIV for over 20 years and is now struggling with dementia.  Earlier this year, Heidi was approached by a salesperson at a trolley stop that convinced her to sign up for a free “Obamaphone”.  Heidi signed up, but did not realize that the new phone contract would cancel her Lifeline with AT&T (a special reduced phone service for the elderly on a limited budget).  Over the next few months, the phone charges for the new service began to accumulate and since she did not have the income to support the huge phone bill, her phone was service was cut off.  Heidi desperately needed to have her phone service reinstated, since she was missing important messages and reminders for her care from her doctors and caregivers.  The Foundation paid for the past due amount of her phone bill which allowed her to have her original discounted service reinstated. 

    Grant made in December 2017

  • Interaction for Peace

    The Foundation funded a grant for Interaction for Peace, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, for Beyond Bullying – Awareness, Education, Action, their anti-bullying program in elementary and middle schools in San Diego County. Beyond Bullying – Awareness, Education, Action is an innovative, unique experience that brings awareness to bullying behaviors and their impact and builds resilience through live theatre, group discussions, specific tools, and curriculum in local elementary and middle schools in San Diego County. 

    Grant made in November 2017

  • Sandra

    Sandra learned she was pregnant and soon afterward was the victim of domestic abuse when her husband almost strangled her to death.  Her husband was subsequently arrested.  Sandra now lives alone and is due to deliver her baby girl by C-section in less than 30 days.  The Foundation assisted her with paying her rent, so that she can recover from the surgery and take care of her new baby girl. 

    Grant made in November 2017

  • Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner

    The Rob Benzon Foundation has again answered the call to assist with costs of the annual Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner held at the San Diego LGBT Community Center on Thanksgiving Day.   Started in 1988 by Scott Carlson as a dinner for HIV/AIDS patients, the tradition of giving continues to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal for those in need in our community on the day we earmark to give thanks. The dinner now includes people with cancer and other ailments, homeless people, and anyone needing a safe and inviting place to come together as a community on this holiday. More than 500 individuals benefited from this year’s dinner. 

    Grant made in October 2017

  • Nickey

    Nickey suffers from Lupus Nephritis that has affected her kidney function and has had to deal with advance kidney disease.  She has had to endure a very rough road of aggressive treatment and it has been overwhelming for her.  Unable to work, the Foundation paid for her rent and basic necessities. 

    Grant made in September 2017

  • Vanita

    The Foundation provided cleaning and home day care support services for this individual with a terminal diagnosis of chronic obstructive respiratory disorder and congestive heart failure. 

    Grant made in August 2017

  • Cheryl-Anne

    Cheryl-Anne was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and has undergone a lumpectomy, reconstructive surgery and chemotherapy.  The Foundation provided funds to pay her rent for one month while she underwent radiation treatments.

    Grant made in August 2017

  • Aleyah

    The Foundation provided funds to pay past due rent and prevented the impending eviction from her apartment for this individual that was recovering from surgery.

    Grant made in July 2017

  • Funeral Expenses for Fleur S.

    The Foundation provided a family in need with the amount necessary for the burial expenses for their mother.

    Grant made in July 2017

  • Funeral Expenses for Bob W.

    Bob was a member of the LGBT community in San Diego who passed away unexpectedly in July.  With no family in San Diego, the nearest relatives were unable to travel to San Diego or provide assistance with his memorial/cremation/burial. The Rob Benzon Foundation stepped in to pay for his funeral expenses.

    Grant made in July 2017

  • Jaison

    Jaison had an accident which seriously injured his eyes and nearly left him blind.  Unable to work during his recovery, the Foundation provided funds to assist with his rent.

    Grant made in July 2017

  • Special Delivery San Diego

    The Rob Benzon Foundation partnered with Special Delivery San Diego to purchase food items for their food delivery program.  For twenty six years, Special Delivery San Diego has been providing food for the people in the San Diego community who are in need of food security, along with some love and hugs. 

    Grant made in May 2017

  • Cheryl-Anne P.

    The Foundation assisted Cheryl-Anne who was being treated for breast cancer by paying her rent while she received treatment. 

    Grant made in May 2017

  • Igenea

    Igenea was recently diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism with multiple clots in her lungs.  Unable to continue to work during her treatments, the Foundation assisted her with a grant to assist with her rent. 

    Grant made in May 2017

  • Keeyun

    is a young San Diegan who recently celebrated one year of sobriety and being self-sufficient.  Though a hard worker, his hours were significantly reduced at his job through no fault of his, causing him to not meet his basic needs.  The additional stress had him very concerned that it might impact his continued sobriety, so the Foundation stepped in to pay his very modest rent for one month as a bridge while Keeyun secured more reliable work. 

    Grant made in July 2017

  • Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship

    The Rob Benzon Foundation awarded two scholarships at the annual Launching Leaders PFLAG Scholarship Awards to two LGBTQ students pursuing higher education. The Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Suhaila Aaradhya Devidasi and Ryan Snyder.

    Grant made in June 2017

  • Mama’s Kitchen

    The Foundation awarded a grant to Mama’s Kitchen to support their Monday’s Delivery Package program, a home-delivered meal service that provides meals to individuals in San Diego County affected by AIDS or cancer.  The Monday’s Delivery Package contains 6 meals (a warm dinner for Monday, breakfast/lunch/dinner for Tuesday, and breakfast/lunch for Wednesday).  On an average delivery day, there are typically 320 individuals who receive these meals through this program.

    Grant made in June 2017

  • Live and Let Live Alano Club

    The Foundation approved a one-time emergency assist grant to the Live and Let Live Alano Club (LLLAC) to support their facility meeting space for the multiple recovery support groups they host each week.  LLLAC, the fourth oldest Sober Community Center in the country, is not a treatment or rehab facility, but instead is committed to providing ‘long haul support’ of individuals beginning and sustaining sobriety as an ongoing way of life.

    Grant made in June 2017

  • Savannah

    , a young lady with multiple serious health conditions, is a senior in high school.  Because of the financial burden connected with her past and current health issues of multiple scelerosis, Savannah’s family found itself unable to afford the expenses associated with having her attend her senior prom.  The Foundation stepped in to help by paying for the family’s rent for one month.  By doing so, Savannah’s family was able to give her what she wished for, which was to purchase a dress, obtain transportation and attend her high school prom.  

    Grant made in May 2017

  • Krystal

    , a 30-year-old stay at home mother of three girls (ages 9, 5 and 1), was recently diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer.  Krystal would not be able to successfully complete her upcoming radiation and chemotherapy treatments without first securing dependable childcare for her three young children.  The Foundation stepped in to provide funds for the cost of the childcare, so that she could proceed with the aggressive treatment she faced and give her the needed childcare assistance to help her body heal.  

    Grant made in May 2017

  • Lisa

    a 59-year-old veteran, ran into serious financial trouble after her husband passed away unexpectedly. In light of the hospital and funeral expenses along with his lost income, Lisa found herself in a very serious financial crisis and was left nearly destitute and homeless.  The Foundation stepped in to provide emergency housing and was instrumental in moving her to a permanent apartment in a local senior living facility.

    Grant made in May 2017

  • Kathy

    The Foundation approved a grant to assist Kathy, a terminally ill person in need of caregiver assistance during her final weeks of life.  Kathy, a humble woman that was a caregiver herself, worked tirelessly for years to provide care for individuals without families or friends in San Diego.  Testimonials for individuals that know Kathy describe stories of her faithful and  loving care provided to persons who would otherwise would have been alone on their death beds, had it not been for her.  Unfortunately, Kathy did not have the financial means to arrange for a caregiver for herself.  The Rob Benzon Foundation provided approved a grant to allow Kathy to realize her dying wish – to be able to live her final days at home and pass away with dignity in her own home.
    Grant made in February 2017

  • Kevin

    Kevin has advanced kidney disease and is scheduled to undergo a kidney transplant in the next few weeks. The Rob Benzon Foundation approved a grant to assist him with paying his rent and living expenses while he recovered from the surgery.
    Grant made in March 2017

  • Toni Atkins Lesbian Women’s Health Fund

    The Rob Benzon Foundation provided a grant to the Toni Atkins Lesbian Women’s Health Fund, which assists low income women in need of medical treatment, referrals, support, education, advocacy and guidance through the healthcare system.
    Grant made in January 2017

  • Melodee

    Melodee was undergoing treatment for the cancer when she suffered a stoke which resulted in partial paralysis of her legs.  While she recovered, the Rob Benzon Foundation provided her with three months of rent.
    Grant made in December 2016

  • Embrace

    Embrace mobilizes the skills, resources and manpower of local volunteer college students to remodel homes for disabled veterans making the homes both aesthetically beautiful and also handicap accessible.   The Rob Benzon Foundation provided funds to purchase materials for the project.
    Grant made in November 2016

  • The Annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Day Dinner

    The Rob Benzon Foundation once again supported the annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Day Dinner.  The grant provided funds to assist organizers with the cost of the food needed to feed the underprivileged and homeless members of the LGBTQ community. The event is held annually at the San Diego LGBTQ Community Center on Thanksgiving Day.
    Grant made in November 2016

  • Leo

    Leo was in a very serious car accident where the car hydroplaned after a heavy rain storm on a local San Diego freeway.  The car spun out of control and was then broadsided by an oncoming vehicle.  Leo broke his shoulder bone, several ribs and suffered from a collapsed lung and was hospitalized for several months.  Unable to work during his recovery, the Rob Benzon Foundation paid for his rent and food for two months to help him get back on his feet.
    Grant made in October 2016

  • Art

    The Rob Benzon Foundation assisted Art with two months of housing as he transitioned from Stepping Stone (a residential treatment facility) into sober living at Enya House in San Diego.
    Grant made in August 2016

  • Kyle

    Kyle recently underwent a five-week series of debilitating chemotherapy treatments. The Rob Benzon Foundation stepped in to provide funds to cover the day care expenses for his two young daughters, so that he could complete the treatments.
    Grant made July 2016

  • PFLAG San Diego Scholarship Program

    On May 13, 2016, the Rob Benzon Foundation awarded two scholarships at the annual PFLAG San Diego Scholarship Awards to two LGBTQ students pursuing higher education. The Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Antonio Mendivil and the Brian Wilson Memorial Scholarship went to Riley Gibson.
    Grant made May 2016

  • Stepping Stone

    This year, Stepping Stone of San Diego celebrates 40 years of providing life saving programs to individuals in the LGBTQ community seeking recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Stepping Stone is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is proud to be one of the nation’s only alcohol and drug treatment facilities that specializes in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Stepping Stone delivers alcohol and drug treatments, HIV and other health interventions, recovery, education and prevention services specializing in the challenges of the LGBTQ community. After serving three meals a day for over 15 years to its program residents and visitors, the old stove in their kitchen called it quits. The Rob Benzon Foundation stepped in to provide funds to purchase a new commercial stove for their kitchen, which makes nearly 100 meals each day for residents participating in their alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, as well as for individuals visiting their facility seeking assistance.
    Grant made April 2016

  • Camp Erin San Diego

    Camp Erin is hosted by the Center for Compassionate Care of The Elizabeth Hospice and part of network of free bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6 to 17 years of age who have experienced the death of someone close to them. The camp counselors run specially designed activities to assist these children with the bereavement process. This grant provided funds for comfort items for the kids attending Camp Erin in June 2016.
    Grant made March 2016

  • Helen

    Helen recently became the sole home healthcare provider for her elderly and bedridden mother after her son Michael passed away from a massive heart attack. After Michael’s unexpected death, Helen was left on her own to provide constant supervision and round-the-clock care for her mother. Unable to leave her home or get any rest, Helen was becoming mentally and physically exhausted. Because Helen could not afford alternative home healthcare, this grant provided funds to pay for a home healthcare provider to cover for Helen one afternoon per week for ten weeks for a much-needed break.
    Grant made March 2016

  • Hannah’s House Transitions Program

    Hannah’s House is a community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides vital services to children in crisis situations, including those who have experienced abuse, witnessed domestic violence, been victims of abduction, lived with a parent with a substance abuse problem, or are in the midst of a difficult family breakup. These children are at risk for emotional or physical abuse who would otherwise lose a relationship with either their mother or father during difficult family transitions resulting in clear negative long-term effects for the child. This grant provided funds to purchase new outdoor playground equipment for their therapeutic work with these children and their parents.
    Grant made March 2016

  • Francisco

    The Rob Benzon Foundation came to the aid of a member of the San Diego LGBT community working in the U.S. on a temporary work authorization. Francisco is a high school Spanish teacher who is very well-liked by his students and peers.  He has worked with LGBTQ kids, including offering much support to a member of the transgender community that has just started to transition.  Due to a delay by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States), he was removed from his teaching position, because of this delay in the approval process.  This grant helped Francisco with housing expenses until his work authorization was reinstated.
    Grant made February 2016

  • Nellie

    Nellie is an elderly resident of San Diego who recently took a serious tumble and broke her kneecap. Because of the injuries sustained, she was unable to walk, drive or work during her recovery period. This grant covered her living expenses for three months.
    Grant made January 2016

  • Carmen

    Carmen received a terminal diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Her last wish was to make the pilgrimage to the Basilica de Guadalupe in Mexico City. This grant provided her the opportunity to travel to Mexico City.
    Grant made January 2016

  • Molly

    A few months ago, Molly was diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer. By the time she found the cancer, it had spread to her lymph nodes, but thankfully not to any other organs. As a result of the aggressive treatment she underwent, she was off work for almost three months. This grant provided Molly with the funds to pay her rent for three months.
    Grant made January 2016

  • Trans Lifeline

    Trans Lifeline runs a nationwide suicide prevention hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. They provide culturally competent services to trans and gender nonconforming people in crisis. They work with trans people and allies to end the plague of trans suicide. This grant provided the organization with enough to cover their phone expenses for a period of three months.
    Grant made December 2015

  • Chris

    Chris, a member of the San Diego LGBT community living with HIV, recently lost everything he owned due to a break in at his apartment.  Chris’s vocation is specialized construction work and while onsite at a construction job out of town, Chris’ apartment in San Diego was burglarized.  The break-in was catastrophic as Chris had just moved to this new apartment and most of his belongings (including most of his tools) were still packed in boxes, which made for easy work for the thieves to literally walk away with everything he owned.  The resulting stress of the loss of all he owned caused Chris to have a health crisis, which sent him to the hospital for a week. This grant helped Chris get himself back on his feet and back to making a living.
    Grant made November 2015

  • Francisco

    The Rob Benzon Foundation came to the aid of a member of the San Diego LGBT community working in the U.S. on a temporary work authorization. Francisco is a high school Spanish teacher who is very well-liked by his students and peers.  He has worked with LGBTQ kids, including offering much support to a member of the transgender community that has just started to transition.  Due to a delay by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the government agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States), he was removed from his teaching position, because of this delay in the approval process.  This grant helped Francisco with living expenses until his work authorization was reinstated.
    Grant made November 2015

  • Gregory

    The Foundation provided assistance for this member of the San Diego community who has been battling stage 3 Non-Hodgkin’s Malt Lymphoma. Gregory was treated with eight weeks of radiation therapy and is now on his third cycle of chemotherapy. The chemo treatments will continue every two months for two years. His prognosis for health is bright, since the cancer has gone into remission, but he was unable to work during the treatments. Without the ability to work, he has had a staggering amount of bills to contend with. This grant provided immediate assistance to pay for living expenses.
    Grant made November 2015

  • 2015 Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner

    The Rob Benzon Foundation once again answered the call to assist with costs of the annual Scott Carlson Thanksgiving Dinner held at the San Diego LGBT Community Center on Thanksgiving Day.  Started in 1988 by Scott Carlson as a dinner for HIV/AIDS patients, the tradition of giving continues to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal for those in need in our community on the day we earmark to give thanks. The dinner now includes people with cancer and other ailments, homeless people, and anyone needing a safe and inviting place to come together as a community on this holiday. More than 500 people benefited from this year’s dinner.
    Grant made November 2015

  • The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Behavioral Health Services in memory of Kurt Cunningham

    In honor of the late Kurt Cunningham, this grant provided funds for the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Behavioral Health Services to benefit those suffering from depression and other behavioral health issues in our community.
    Grant made October 2015

  • Nisha

    Nisha was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors. The Rob Benzon Foundation provided her with funds to help cover the cost of expensive co-payments for the radiation treatments she needs.
    Grant made October 2015

  • Patricia

    Patricia received a terminal diagnosis of heart failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and is not expected to live more than six months.   Her dying wish is to be able to transition in a clean house with as much love and respect as possible alongside her elderly husband of 30 years.  The Foundation approved a grant that would provide funds for housekeeping services at her home twice a month for 12 months.
    Grant made August 2015

  • Theodore

    Theodore, a 77 year old gentleman, suffered with a terminal diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD.  He and his wife spent most of their lives helping impoverished children in Guatemala, the Philippines and the US.  He was in hospice with his body failing quickly.  His dying wish was to be able to ride the train to Santa Barbara to visit his best friend who just turned 99.  The Rob Benzon Foundation granted Theodore the necessary funds for the cost of the train ride for both he and his wife so she may assist him and for one night’s lodging in an affordable nearby motel.
    Grant made June 2015

  • San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation

    This grant was used to fund the cost of books at the San Diego Multicultural LGBT Literary Foundation’s “We Alive: A Celebration of Black Lesbian Womanhood” event, which was held on March 8, 2015. The highly successful program featured the acclaimed Black lesbian performance poet Lenelle Moïse and other performance artists. We Alive took place on International Women’s Day and was the only lesbian-focused International Women’s Day event held in San Diego. The focus on Black lesbian women was intended to address anti-Black racism that has most recently led to the creation of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In that spirit, the Rob Benzon Foundation provided funding for 50 copies of Lenelle Moïse’s book, which was delivered to California women’s prisons with an emphasis on local women’s correctional facilities in San Diego.
    Grant made February 2015

  • Special Delivery San Diego

    Rob Benzon Foundation again answered the call to improve the nutritional status and quality of life of members of the LGBT community living with life-threatening illnesses in San Diego through the provision of medically-appropriate meals. This grant was targeted specifically for funding for the food pantry at Special Delivery San Diego, which purchased groceries for approximately 150 materially-poor clients with AIDS, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease and other life-threatening illnesses for three months.
    Grant made February 2015

  • The Elizabeth Hospice: Grant to Camp Erin

    This grant paid for camper equipment and supplies related to grief activities for children campers attending Camp Erin San Diego. Camp Erin is a free overnight weekend camp experience that addresses the needs of children and teens grieving the loss of someone close to them. Hosted by Center for Compassionate Care of The Elizabeth Hospice, this annual weekend summer camp is open to children and teens ages 6 to 17 and will be held June 5 – 7, 2015 in Julian. This unique camp experience combines traditional, high-energy camp activities with grief support and education. Camp Erin San Diego is part of the largest nationwide network of free bereavement camps for children and teens ages 6 to 17 years of age who have experienced the death of someone close to them.
    Grant made February 2015

  • Toby L.

    This grant paid for extensive medically needed dental work that was not covered by insurance for a senior of limited financial means.
    Grant made September 2014

  • USCA 2014 Youth Lounge

    This grant provided partial funding for the creation of the West Coast Lounge used by youth attending the 2014 USCA Youth conference. Held on the UCSD campus in La Jolla, this very successful conference provided educational, psychosocial and networking activities for children and teens.
    Grant made August 2014

  • San Diego Unified School District

    This grant provided funds for a storage shed to secure the outdoor toys, bikes, water play materials, balls, and other equipment donated by the community to benefit students in the Auditory/Oral DHH Program at Whitman Elementary.
    Grant made August 2014

  • Donna J.

    This grant provided a low income senior citizen funds for a medically necessary bone graft, so that she could get dentures.
    Grant made July 2014

  • Foster and Displaced Children in Court

    The Rob Benzon Foundation once again provided more than 500 new stuffed animals to comfort the scores of scared children in our county’s juvenile dependency court rooms. The children are there for hearings which include taking kids away from their parents, and placing kids in foster homes after abuse or neglect. Each child gets to pick out a stuffed animal for comfort during the hearing and then is surprised with the news that they keep their new friend and take it home.
    Grant made July 2014

  • H.P.

    H.P. is a 22 y/o, newly diagnosed, gender fluid individual who had ran into very tough times. He had little family support and gender fluidity presented challenges for housing and employment. His landlord illegally evicted him from his apartment without any notice and immediately changed the locks. H.P. had been able to scrape up the last of his money to pay for a hotel room for three days but would have been back on the streets and homeless without quick assistance coordinated by his caseworker and paid for by RBF to get him temporary housing. H.P. is a very motivated and resourceful person and the Foundation was glad to be able to help H.P. with a short-term emergency need to keep him from homelessness and give him the bridge he needed back to safe self-sufficiency.
    Grant made May 2014

  • Margaret I.

    Margaret I.is a 75 year old woman who has the diagnosis of chronic respiratory failure. She is on constant oxygen and is chair bound. She is slight of build. The chair she has is very uncomfortable and she is starting to have painful skin breakdown on her heels and her elbows. The chair makes her back hurt and she has difficulty getting in and out of the chair. Rob Benzon Foundation was able to get her a medically recommended chair that enabled Margaret to get in and out with creating sores and pain and helped provide much needed comfort to this lovely woman.

    Grant made April 2014

     

  • PFLAG Scolarship Fund

    Donation made for the PFLAG Rob Benzon Scholarship Fund which is awarded to a bisexual, transgender, lesbian or gay student planning to attend a post-secondary educational institution. The purpose of the PFLAG scholarships is to recognize outstanding LGBT seniors in high school, undergraduate and graduate students, to encourage them to continue post-secondary education, and to promote a positive image of LGBT youth. The recipients this year were Gabriel Figuroa & Juan Carlos Ortega.
    Grant made March 2014

  • Felicitas G.

    Rob Benzon Foundation was able to give 72 year Felicitas and her family comfort and relief in her final months of life. Felicitas has a terminal diagnosis of respatory failure, a history of stroke, heart problems, and renal failure. She was a pre-school teacher for most of her life and her husband was a maintenance man. Felicitas could not afford the breathing machine that would give her comfort and help her sleep through the night. RBF stepped in and quickly covered the cost of the machine to get Felicitas immediate help. Felicitas died peacefully a few months later. Her lovely family was struggling with how to cover her medical bills. With the help of her amazing social worker who negotiated the bill down, Rob Benzon Foundation was able to help the family so they were left with memories of Felicitas and not medical bills.
    Grant made January 2014

  • UCSD Mother, Child and Adolescent HIV Program

    Provided support to help with a holiday celebration bringing a meal and small gifts to children and mothers struggling with HIV. The donation helped UCSD bring much needed support and holiday cheer to the families living with chronic illness and stigma.
    Grant made December 2013

  • Special Delivery

    Rob Benzon Foundation answered the call to improve the nutritional status and quality of life of members of the LGBT community living with life-threatening illnesses in San Diego through the provision of medically-appropriate meals. RBF provided a targeted grant to help Special Delivery support its Home-delivered Meal Program; specifically, special-diet meals. Our grant provided three home-delivered special-diet meals per day for approximately 30 clients with AIDS, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease and other life-threatening illnesses for about three weeks.
    Grant made November 2013