Santa Cruz & Monterey Based Community Foundations Partner on Flood Relief for Pajaro

Trusted local foundations have already granted a combined $1.8 million for storm and flood relief and recovery since January 

Aptos & Monterey, CA – The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) and Community Foundation Santa Cruz County (CFSCC) each activated funds to support storm and flood relief efforts when the first winter storms hit in early January. Both the Monterey County Storm Relief Fund and the Santa Cruz County Disaster Fund have been working to provide emergency assistance and relief through local nonprofits for immediate needs including food, emergency shelter, financial assistance to those evacuated, as well as longer term recovery efforts. Now, with the March 11th breach of the Pajaro levee—the dividing line between Monterey and Santa Cruz counties —both Community Foundations are directing relief funding to partner nonprofits who are helping thousands of evacuated residents, the majority of whom are Latino farm working families.  

Dan Baldwin, CEO of Community Foundation for Monterey County recognizes that, “the flooding in Pajaro is extremely challenging on many levels. The closest services are in Watsonville with Santa Cruz County government and nonprofit leadership, but the people from Pajaro are residents of Monterey County. Both our community foundations have strong and trusted partnerships with nonprofits who are on the ground providing immediate support.” 

Susan True, CEO of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County adds, “Generous people from both counties have been reaching out to ask where their donations can make the most impact. Due to the strong collaboration between our counties, we urge donations to either fund and assure you that your gift will make an immediate impact for the families of Pajaro.”

Donors are welcome to direct gifts specifically to the Pajaro area by noting “Pajaro” in comment field of the donation pages: Relief or 

Both community foundations have been in constant contact with nonprofit partners who are coordinating services for displaced residents. Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has made an initial grant to Second Harvest Food Bank for food for evacuees. Second Harvest is in direct contact with the state’s Office of Emergency Services and will soon get shipments of diapers, formula, and food this week. Both foundations will be making more grants this week and will continue to do so as long as donations allow.  

True notes, “People have been through so much already and with another storm looming on the horizon, there is still so much work ahead of us in the coming weeks and months. Community Foundation Santa Cruz County will work to bolster the disaster case management system we created with FEMA and the state to make sure that residents are helped with every public dollar available. Local philanthropy can address the gaps for relocation, repairs, and rebuilding.” 

Baldwin adds, “We are deeply grateful for the incredible expertise in disaster case management that our nonprofit partners have honed both through wildfire response and now storm and flood relief.”   

Both Community Foundations have deep experience responding to community needs through disaster grantmaking including more than $20 million combined granted for pandemic and wildfire relief. 

Those wishing to contribute to the Monterey County Storm Relief can donate online at, mail a check payable to “CFMC” to the Community Foundation for Monterey County, 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940 with “Storm Relief Fund” in memo line or call 831.375.9712 weekdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm  

Those wishing to contribute to the Santa Cruz County Disaster Fund can donate online at, mail a check payable to “CFSCC” to Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, 7807 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 with “Storm Relief Fund” in the memo line or call 831.662.2000 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  

About the Community Foundation for Monterey County
The mission of the CFMC is “to inspire philanthropy and be a catalyst for strengthening communities throughout Monterey County.” The CFMC has granted nearly $300 million to nonprofits working towards a vision of “Healthy, Safe, Vibrant Communities.” For more information visit or call 831.375.9712. / / @cfmco 

About Community Foundation Santa Cruz County 

Founded in the aftermath of the floods of 1982 and supporting our community through COVID-19 and CZU Fire recovery, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has brought together people, ideas, and resources to inspire philanthropy and accomplish great things for over 40 years. The Community Foundation helps donors and their advisors invest wisely in causes they care about, to provide grants and resources to community organizations, and to offer leadership around key local issues The Foundation manages more than $190 million in charitable assets, and provides customized and tax-smart giving solutions that resulted in more than $32 million in grants in 2022. Thanks to generous donors, over $223 million in grants and scholarships have been awarded since 1982. The Community Foundation seeks to make Santa Cruz County thrive for all who call it home, now and in the future. Learn more at