Our Grants

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

most recent grants

  • 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

  • Mama’s Kitchen

    Mama’s Kitchen pantry service provides a once a month shopping opportunity for San Diego County residents affected by HIV/AIDS who are able to prepare meals and whose income is less than $1,400 per month. Qualified clients visit Mama’s Pantry and select their own non-perishable items such as cereals, pastas and canned goods from a wide selection. A limited number of perishable items, including meat, dairy, fresh fruit, and bread, are also available. This October, Mama’s kitchen experienced a huge demand on their pantry program and was in need of emergency assistance to help meet the need for service. RBF provided substantial assistance so that Mama’s Kitchen Pantry remained opened and stocked for all the clients who rely on this critical resource.
    Grant made October 2013

  • K-9 Friendly Visitors

    The Foundation gave a grant for to help provide a vehicle to K-9 Friendly Visitors so they could get the service dogs to local special needs children in need. K-9 is a wonderful local non-for-profit that is the only organization of its kind that uses specially trained dogs to increase self esteem and academic excellence in the deaf, hard of hearing and special needs students directly in the San Diego school system.
    Grant made September 2013

  • 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 and friend and take it home.
    Grant made September 2013

  • School supplies for low income children in LGBT families

    RBF provided 30 children with backpacks and school supplies for the upcoming school year. Through your generosity, children in our community will have the opportunity to start off a new school year with necessary tools for learning and the added bonus of excitement and a smile. RBF provided the backpacks stuffed with supplies to The Center’s Family Matters program provides children growing up in LGBT-headed families the support necessary for healthy childhood and family development.
    Grant made August 2013

  • Moises A.

    Last August San Diego student Moises lost four fingers when they were severed by a rope during an accident while visiting Mexico. He was lifeflighted back home to San Diego for a 19 hour emergency surgery that consisted of attempting to reconnect nerves, tendons, bones, and veins to the four fingers that he had lost. On the seventh day after the first surgery, Moises woke up with three unresponsive lifeless black fingers. They had failed on him due to a lack of blood flow and any remaining hope of recovering his fingers was now gone. Since then, Moises has turned his hope to modern medicine. He is raising funds to be outfitted for a prosthetic that will work from the nerves in his palms to move the artificial fingers. Rob Benzon Foundation is helping Moises reach his goal by this summer. Moises says the first thing he wants to do with his new prosthetic is shake hands with the 1st surgeon who spent 19 hours trying to save his fingers.
    Grant Pledged March 2013

  • Family Matters / The Center

    There are San Diego families known to The Center staff with needs screened by their case managers. These families have no other source of assistance during the holiday season and insufficient resources to provide food on the table or small toys for the children. Rob Benzon Foundation adopted a family of five – a single mom with 4 children, and provided age-appropriate toys for each of the children to brighten their holidays during this difficult time.
    Donation made in December 2012

  • Hannah’s House

    In support of our secondary mission helping local charitable causes serving the youth and the LGBT communities with a specific need, the Rob Benzon Foundation is proud of a grant to Hannah’s House to help them get kid safe furnishings for their visit rooms. 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, been effected by a parent with a substance abuse problem, or are in the midst of a difficult family breakup.
    Grant approved in September 2012

  • Wade P.

    On June 28, 2012, Wade P was rushed by ambulance to the hospital unable to breathe. He was diagnosed as having pneumonia. Wade spent 8 days in the hospital without insurance to pay for the costs. He also lost 10 days of work which put him in deep financial turmoil. Wade was working at a job that did not provide benefits and was at loss how to recover financially from his hospitalization. The Rob Benzon Foundation paid two month’s rent on behalf of Wade and this enabled him to use his income for other critical needs to get back on his feet. When Wade learned of the help, he wrote, “I am absolutely speechless. I was not expecting such generosity. Thank you so so much.” We told Wade that the real thanks go to the Rob Benzon Foundation donors, sponsors, and underwriters.
    Donation made in August 2012

  • 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 and friend and take it home.
    Donation made in August 2012

  • Mike P.

    A long-time resident of San Diego, Mike learned that his 93 year old father was in the hospital with little time left and he immediately jumped on a plane to be with his father. Mike used his rent money to buy his ticket and missed work, and hence pay, to be with his father making paying his rent a real problem. The Rob Benzon Foundation was glad to be able to tell Mike before he boarded the plane that his next month’s rent was covered so that he could focus on his time with his father. Mike P and Rob Benzon were great friends and it was wonderful for the Rob Benzon Foundation to be able to do exactly what Rob himself would have done – help a friend in need.
    Donation made in July 2012

  • Bobbie B.

    Bobbie is an elderly partially disabled Navy veteran who was laid off from her job and suffered from a disability making her unable to gain new work. She was at risk of becoming homeless when she could not afford the property tax payment for her 28 year old mobile home in East County. The Rob Benzon Foundation paid off the tax arrears to stop the foreclosure process and gave this deserving San Diego senior some much needed piece of mind and assistance.
    Donation made in June 2012

  • Stepping Stones

    Founded in 1976, Stepping Stone is a trusted San Diego non-profit alcohol and drug recovery agency that provides alcohol and other drug treatment, HIV and other health interventions, recovery, education and prevention services focusing primarily, but not exclusively on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities of the greater San Diego region. Their clients are as varied as the community we serve. At the time of this grant their residents included a transgender person, an l8 year-old gay youth, several African-American San Diegans, a mother of four, a pregnant woman and a number of persons who are HIV+.
    Donation Made in May 2012

  • Michael D.

    28 year old Michael D was just diagnosed with TYPE 1 diabetes. Michael has been in and out of hospitals this past year and fights each day to get his insulin levels under control. In one critical hospitalization Michael went into a diabetic coma as his organs started failing. Michael was unemployed at the time of his diagnosis, lived with his aunt who cleans houses and had no insurance or other means to help him with the critical pump that will keep his insulin levels safely managed outside of the hospital environment. Michael’s friends and family did small fundraisers to try to raise the significant funds needed but could not raise enough money. The Rob Benzon Foundation stepped in and made up the difference, agreeing to cover the gap to purchase an insulin pump for Michael to keep him healthy, safe, and out of the hospital.
    Donation approved in May 2012

  • PFLAG Scholarship – Ryan C

    Ryan is the 2012 recipient of the RBF PFLAG scholarship. Ryan is a San Diego grad now moving to Michigan to get his PHd in Clinical Psychology. Ryan overcame his own early child diagnosis with the help of excellent doctors and now wants to pay it forward by doing research that will help other youths. Ryan wrote a note to the Rob Benzon Foundation and our supporters stating, “This scholarship will take an enormous amount of stress of my shoulders when paying for grad school. It is so wonderful to know there are such generous people as yourselves within our community!” We wish Ryan every success in his bright future.
    Donation made in April 2012

  • Luke A.

    9 year old Luke Acuna was riding his skateboard on the sidewalk along Kansas Street and when he turned to look back at his friends he collided with a trash truck. Luke, who was wearing a helmet, suffered internal injuries, broken bones and was put in a medically induced coma. His left leg was a amputated Nov. 30, and he has undergone multiple surgeries. Luke has been in the hospital more than 100 days and Luke’s parents could not work and be by Luke’s side in the hospital. Not able to pay rent and secure a home for Luke to return to, the Rob Benzon Foundation stepped in paid almost two months rent to the Acuna’s landlord to try to lighten the family burden in some small way. Rob Benzon Foundation board member Terry Lehr attended Luke’s 100 day celebration at Children’s Hospital and got to meet the entire Acuna family who were so appreciative of the Rob Benzon Foundation’s unexpected help and hope in a time of crisis.
    Donation made in January 2012

  • Family Matters / The Center

    There were 50 San Diego families known to The Center staff with needs screened by their case managers. Although the situations vary from parents who recently lost their jobs or had their homes foreclosed upon to those who are suddenly caring for ill relatives, in each case the families had no other source of assistance during the holiday season and insufficient resources to provide food on the table or small toys for the children. RBF provided the needed remaining funds and Center staff members shopped for food and grocery items, as well as small, age-appropriate toys for each of the families. These grocery items and toys were then packaged and distributed or delivered to each of the families in time for the holidays.
    Donation made in December 2011

  • Kimberly H.

    A young mother suffering from a relapse of Crohn’s disease requiring hospitalization was behind in her rent and unable to provide medical necessities for her children including expensive prescriptions for of the children. RBF stepped in and paid her landlord one month’s rent and also arranged for an account at her pharmacy where funds were put in place to provide reliable payment for her children’s prescriptions. When Kimberly was informed about the grant, she replied, “I cannot begin to express my gratitude. . I will never forget what your organization has done for us and you will be where I donate back to in return. Thank you for hearing me when no one else would listen.”
    Donation made in October 2011

  • Elizabeth Nguyen/PFLAG

    Elizabeth plans to be a community activist. “I’ve begun this work by helping lead queer and feminist organizations and by interning at my university’s LGBT Resource Center. “However,” she continued, “I’d like to further my activism through literature. Through stories, I want to express the suffering, joy, oppression, and liberation of those in our community. I want to be able to speak of my own stories as a queer woman of color, which have been long silenced by hostile cultural attitudes.
    Donation made in July 2011

  • Evan K. and Francisco H.

    Both recipients were victims of the fire that hit 1033 University Avenue on July 6, 2011. Both recipients lost all of their belongings, school books, personal items, etcetera and had no insurance or savings. RBF provided the means to replace some of their emergency personal items such as clothing and personal care items. RBF also provided the means to replace some basic furniture items such as a bed and drawers as these two young men started over.
    Donation made in July 2011

  • Foster and Displaced Children in Court

    RBF provided more than 500 new stuffed animals to comfort the scores of scared children in our local 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. One judge described the impact of the toys as, “the animals make a huge difference. I have seen young children sobbing in court who immediately brighten up when told they can pick out an animal before they go.”
    Donation made in June 2011 | Click here for a note from the recipient

  • Janine C.

    Janine was a victim of horrific domestic violence. Janine, along with her 10 year old daughter had to flee their home for the sake of their safety. RBF helped Janine and her daughter by paying emergency rent in a stable living situation to help Janine and her daughter remain away from the abuser. In late June, RBF got a note of thanks for helping Janine stay safe and the good news that Janine is stable and safe out of state.
    Donation made in May 2011

  • Ethan F.

    5 year old Ethan is a San Diego child diagnosed with high risk medulloblastoma – a malignant brain tumor. He had two surgeries to remove the tumor and shunt replacement. Ethan developed cortical blindness and posterior fossa syndrome which left him unable to walk, swallow, or talk. Ethan eventually started to verbalize again but needs intense speech and physical therapy. One of the specific items needed by the Ethan and provided by RBF was a special walker to help Ethan excel in his physical therapy. RBF wishes Ethan a speedy recovery.
    Donation made in April 2011

  • PFLAG/San Diego

    Donation made for the PFLAG Rob Benzon Scholarship Fund which is awarded to a San Diego bisexual, transgender, lesbian or gay student planning to attend a post-secondary educational institution.
    Donation made in March 2011

  • Fawn L.

    Fawn is a vibrant young San Diegan diagnosed with a malignant tumor. With her strength and courage Fawn’s friends know that she will come through this. It will take some time however for Fawn to recuperate. She will not be able to work for 4-6 weeks. Fawn’s medical expenses are extremely high and she will not be able to cover her living expenses for some time, rent, utilities, bills, herbs and supplements. RBF stepped in and covered one month’s rent for Fawn.
    Donation made in Feb 2011 | Click here for a note from the recipient

  • Mike M.

    Mike is a San Diegan who has been unable to work due to HIV compilations and two herniated discs. When the situation was dire and Mike was not able to pay rent, RBF stepped in to assist with one month’s rent paid directly to Mike’s landlord.
    Donation made in Feb 2011

  • Maria M.

    Maria is a wonderful hard working San Diegan who had been struggling financially for a long time due to her husband being unemployed. Things got worse when Maria lost her Mother on 12/23/10. They had no life insurance and were in financial distress so the body of Maria’s mom remained in the morgue until they could come up with the money to have her cremated. RBF paid the crematorium the balance owing for Maria’s mother’s cremation.
    Donation made in January 2011 | Click here for a note from the recipient

  • Antonia C.

    Antonia had a surgery due to diabetes and disc problems in March that went badly and she had been virtually incapacitated since. She was hospitalized for several months and then homebound on an IV and unable to work. Antonia was laid off from work while recovering. She has survived so far with help from family and friends but that help is tapped out. Antonia was really desperate with two kids (ages 2 and 4) and not being able to provide for them. RBF paid for the next month’s rent and also provided a food card so she could have groceries and essential needs for the children.
    Donation made in October 2010

  • Jared K.

    Jared is a young San Diegan who suffered very serious injuries in a Vespa accident. Jared’s injuries were so severe that it was unknown whether he would be able to walk again unassisted. He did have vehicle insurance but not injury coverage and the bills quickly mounted. Jared only had “major medical” health insurance leaving him responsible for a large chunk of the medical costs. The vehicle insurance paid for his Vespa and he used that money to chip away at bills. RBF paid for much of the emergency room services which enabled Jared to use his disability checks for rent, utilities, and other basic needs. We got an update from Jared a few months later that his recovery is going great and he is walking unassisted!
    Donation made in August 2010 | Click here for a note from the recipient

  • Jose A. Family

    Tragedy struck a local family when 21 year Jose was killed in car accident just a day after finishing his college summer school class. Jose and a co-worker were driving in separate vehicles; Jose was following his co-worker. As they were driving, the co-worker swerved to miss a coyote that was in the road which caused his vehicle to roll over. Jose swerved to avoid hitting his co-worker and lost control of his car. As Jose’s vehicle was spinning, the rear portion of Jose’s vehicle collided with the front end of an oncoming Ford F-150 pickup truck. Jose’s family has very limited means and was struggling with how to pay for the funeral and burial costs while also dealing with their unimaginable grief. Friends of the family covered the burial expenses and RBF paid for the head stone that marks Jose’s final resting place.
    Donation made in August 2010

  • Nick O.

    Nick is the sole provider for he and his wife. His testicular cancer was initially misdiagnosed which cost him valuable time and allowed the tumor to grow even larger and the recovery and time away from work more difficult. RBF helped Nick and his wife with Kaiser medical bills which mounted quickly. The good news is the Nick’s surgery was successful and he appears to be cancer free!
    Donation made in July 2010 | Click here for a note from the recipient