With GRATITUDE in our Hearts, we give thanks to all of our supporters who make our funding possible! After our most successful gala yet, we are thrilled to announce a record-breaking number of GRANTS for this year.
Center for Community Solutions
The National CHEERS Foundation is thrilled to provide support to the four CCS shelters — two short term emergency shelters and two long-term recovery shelters that house survivors and their children for up to 18 months as they work to rebuild self-sufficiency and recover from trauma. All shelters operate with the goal to holistically serve each survivor, offering not only basic needs like food and clothing, but also access to CCS trauma services such as counseling, child abuse therapy, and legal help. Survivors are provided with a warm, welcoming environment that is conducive to healing. CHEERS funded a grant for new mattresses and mattress protectors to be distributed where they are needed most across the four shelters.
College Area Pregnancy Services, Inc.
CAPS Pregnancy Clinics provide empathetic medical and practical help in the College Area, Pacific Beach and Downtown communities with a new Mesa Area Clinic planned to open in Fall 2020. Women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy can go to CAPS health and wellness clinics for medical services, education and resources. The majority of the women who use their services have no health insurance and are between 25-29 years old and are in a low income bracket. They serve approximately 1,000 women a year with a fully trained staff of volunteers who set up the appointments, greet the patients, assist them with finding insurance, referrals to OB/Gyn, community resources and follow up. Licensed nurses provide medical consultation, nutrition, healthy lifestyle education, ultrasound and dispensing of prenatal vitamins. CAPS also provides low to no cost STI/STD testing. National CHEERS Foundation granted funds for a certified refurbished exam table, ultrasound machine and probe.
Family Health Centers of San Diego
Founded in 1970, FHCSD is San Diego County’s largest nonprofit community health center, fulfilling a vital community need for high-quality, affordable medical, mental health, dental, and women’s health care. The 2020 CHEERS grant funds medical equipment they need to provide onsite second stage cervical cancer screenings for low-income, medically underserved, and uninsured/underinsured women in East County. The CHEERS grant funds a critically needed colposcope, which is a flexible, free-standing binocular microscope that allows a clinician to thoroughly examine the cervix to look for signs of cancer or precancerous abnormalities. For many women, the time, travel, expense, and prospect of undergoing a pelvic examination with an unfamiliar medical care provider discourages them from following through with the procedure. By providing colposcopies for women in their own community, transportation and access barriers are greatly reduced, and women at risk for cervical cancer can receive secondary screening and treatment in their medical home, with doctors and staff they know and trust.
Doris A. Howell Foundation
The Howell Foundation serves to make a lasting impact on the overall wellbeing of women by “Keeping the Women We Love Healthy.” The Foundation focuses on three key areas: Research Scholarships, Educational Events and Community Engagement. The Howell Foundation is dedicated to making a long-term, positive impact on women’s health throughout all of San Diego County. Nursing Scholarships have been awarded to all of the major universities in San Diego. There is a severe shortage of qualified nurses throughout the United States and San Diego is no different. Furthermore, there is also a shortage of nurses who hold a Ph.D. and fill important leadership positions as well as taking on teaching responsibilities. Many of the graduate nurses the Howell Foundation supported in the past have remained in San Diego, each of them improving health care in their chosen position. Funding from the National CHEERS Foundation supports graduate nursing students in their women’s health research. Each scholarship awarded expands the understanding of women’s health and prepares another potential researcher for a career in women’s health research.
Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health
Established in 1978, Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health is a state-of-the-art Breast Health Center that provides medical and surgical care for patients ages 18-99, with breast conditions ranging from advanced cancer to benign cysts. Grant money from the National CHEERS Foundation will go directly to Dr. Rebecca Shatsky’s Patient Assistance Fund to ease the burden for women with breast cancer as they go through the long process of treatment which can include surgery, radiation and multiple rounds of chemotherapy. Dr. Rebecca Shatsky is a translational researcher and physician who sees patients with some of the most complex and challenging types of breast cancer. Her patients sometimes have a significant distance to travel to see her and often require extended treatment protocols. For some patients the cost and fatigue of travel can be a barrier to their care. The grant helps eliminate the burden by providing funds for transportation to ease at least one of the challenges that accompany breast cancer treatment.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI San Diego’s mission is to support, educate, and advocate for individuals and their families affected by mental illness in San Diego and Imperial Counties. NAMI San Diego has the ability to meet an underserved need in the behavioral health community through housing. Housing for individuals living with a mental health condition in a family-centered environment is limited in San Diego County. Through the assistance of the Independent Living Association, NAMI San Diego opened its first independent living home in 2020. NAMI San Diego is honored to receive a grant award from the National CHEERS Foundation to create an outdoor retreat for NAMI San Diego’s first Independent Living Home (ILH) for women. Independent living homes are privately-owned or operated homes that provide shared housing for adults with disabilities, including mental illness. Tenants are able to live independently, are often on a fixed income, and do not need supervision or care. The outdoor retreat made possible by The National CHEERS Foundation will complement the home by turning the large outdoor area into a multipurpose space, allowing residents access to a nature retreat complete with outdoor dining, comfortable seating areas, and a future vegetable garden and meditation space. Nature and outdoor experiences have a tremendous impact on improving mental health.
South Bay Community Services (SBCS)
The funding from this year’s National CHEERS Foundation award will support the expansion of the Mi Escuelita Preschools, providing resources for additional teaching and classroom space needed for the critical care of underserved children. Mi Escuelita is a free, full-day, therapeutic preschool for children aged 3 to 5 who have been traumatized by family violence. The program provides therapeutic, developmental, and educational activities, as well as parent support services in a safe, healthy environment, including assessments, counseling, Healthy Development Services, Community Services for Families, and children’s mental health services. This innovative program, which is the only one of its kind in Southern California, combines early childhood education with therapist-led counseling and supportive parenting activities. Through Mi Escuelita, and the support of the National CHEERS Foundation, SBCS is able to assist their most vulnerable children to develop physically, emotionally and socially in supportive home and school environments, increasing their chances of long-term healthy development free from violence and abuse.
Y-Strong Girls, YMCA of San Diego County
The Y-Strong Girls Program is dedicated to providing tools to empower young women to create meaningful lives through healthy choices, self-awareness, mindfulness, movement, camaraderie and community involvement. The program is for girls, ages 13 – 18 who are currently enrolled in middle school or high school. The program includes mentoring opportunities, special events, community service projects, creative arts, field trips, and a speaker series. The goal of the Y-Strong Girls Program is to provide valuable experiences, teach new skills and highlight the importance of service and volunteerism. Funds from the National CHEERS Foundation support the Y-Strong Girls “Day at the Beach” service opportunity. The annual non-profit event hosted by the Windansea Surf Club benefits underserved children and challenged athletes in San Diego County, providing a full day of fun, sun and surfing instruction.