Allan Hancock College, San Luis Obispo Food Bank and CAPSLO receive holiday funding

SANTA MARIA — Local nonprofits have been a first line of economic defense against the adverse financial effects of COVID-19.  

As jobs are lost, food bank lines get longer and housing becomes less secure, these organizations step forward to help keep communities stable.  

For Giving Tuesday, CoastHills Credit Union has directed $10,500 of donations to organizations that directly help those impacted by the virus and is challenging others to join the effort throughout this holiday giving season.  

“As a member-owned financial institution, we have worked very hard to provide our members support in the way of loan forbearance and flexibility with payments during the pandemic,” CoastHills President/CEO Paul Cook said. “Additionally, it’s very important that we continue to provide funding for the crucial local organizations helping our communities get through this difficult time. 


“We hope Giving Tuesday can help inspire others to join in. We certainly are not stopping with today’s donations.”   

To date this year, the Credit Union and its employees have been responsible for $117,875 of support overall to local nonprofits. 

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 to encourage people to give back and do good on the heels of the Thanksgiving holiday shopping season and has grown globally. The Credit Union’s Giving Tuesday efforts include $5,000 to Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO), an organization helping local families, seniors, veterans and more achieve economic stability through various social and housing programs.  

“CAPSLO has been serving San Luis Obispo County for 55 years, helping our most vulnerable residents become self-sufficient, through the life-cycle, from newborns to seniors in the community,” said CAPSLO CEO Elizabeth “Biz” Steinberg. “It is an honor to receive this support from such a community-centered organization like CoastHills Credit Union. This donation will not only help us secure a match from an anonymous family but will provide 250 shelter nights for the many people that seek our services each night at our 40 Prado Homeless Services Center.” 

CoastHills also donated $3,000 to the Allan Hancock College Student Emergency Fund and $2,500 to San Luis Obispo Food Bank

The trio of donations are in addition to separate November donations of $5,000 to Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down and more than $2,600 in the form of 200 turkeys to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County.  

“CoastHills Credit Union and their team members have demonstrated their dedication to caring for our community by generously leaning in during these difficult times and offering relief to those who are at risk of hunger,” said Branna Still, Development Director of SLO Food Bank. “Their recent charitable contribution will literally help fill 17,500 plates that may otherwise be empty or filled with empty calories. Thank you for providing the purchasing power to provide meals to thousands of SLO County residents.” 

Providing rapid-response emergency funding to students experiencing acute financial crisis, the Hancock Student Emergency Fund provided more than $50,000 in a matter of weeks in the form of $25-to-$500 subsidies for food, housing, medical or transportation expenses.  

CoastHills volunteer board director Bernard “Bee Jay” Jones helped direct the Credit Union’s $3,000 contribution to the fund.  

“When any student at AHC has an emergency need for funds, they can count on the Student Emergency Fund,” said Jones, who previously spent 12 years serving on Hancock’s elected Board of Trustees.  

Said Jon Hooten, executive director of college advancement at Hancock, “CoastHills is helping support the Student Emergency Fund at a time when our students’ needs are about to increase once again. Since 90 percent of Hancock students are local, a gift to Hancock is a gift to the broader community. And the Student Emergency Fund is helping those who need it most stay on track with their education.”  

The Hancock donation expands on a recent CoastHills tradition of directors helping guide sponsorships to local organizations making a difference in the lives of those in need on the Central Coast.  

This month, longtime Credit Union director and 2020 Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Hugh Rafferty helped CoastHills present a $5,000 donation to Santa Barbara County Veteran’s Stand Down for its drive-through Veteran’s Day grab bag giveaway.  

Earlier this year, director Bruce Coggin helped present a $3,000 donation to the Lompoc Family YMCA, and director Chuck Scheitauer threw out the first pitch at the Orcutt National Little League’s opening ceremony on a day he helped present a $3,000 check to the league where his sons played decades ago.