Organization increases partnerships and communities impacted while building nonprofit awareness 

PASO ROBLES — Must! Charities’ $100K Out of the Box Investment Project’s intent was simple: a total of $100,000 invested into organizations on the Central Coast, serving the needs of our community’s greatest resource: our people. Sixty-six local organizations applied with ambitions to expand services to meet the needs facing our region. 

Of those 66, the $100K Out of the Box Investment Project resulted in the selection of 12 diverse nonprofits representing organizations in our community who feed, heal, shelter, educate, inspire, enlighten, and nurture SLO County’s most vulnerable populations. Their stories illustrated a broad range of needs: board development, strategic planning, infrastructure expansion, additional staffing, leadership training, marketing, and web design.

“The project reaffirmed what we already know about our region — that great people are doing great things in our community,” says Randy Gray, community projects manager at Must! Charities. “So many organizations in our region share the same passion. What is exciting to us is the opportunity to pursue collaborations with them, with each other and ultimately increase those served in SLO County.”

Throughout the process, no ask was considered too small or simple, and no ask was overlooked. Staff and committee members tirelessly reviewed applications and projects and determined an investment of the following organizations for Must! Charities’ $100K Out of the Box Investment Project:

AIM Youth Mental Health SLO County

Parent office hours with a mental health professional that ensure quality evidence-based support for parents.

City Farm SLO

An outdoor kitchen makeover to enhance its hands-on educational farm that focuses on programs for underserved SLO County youth.

Family Care Network Inc.

Its housing support services provide safe housing and necessary support to our community’s most vulnerable youth and families. Funding purchased necessary essentials: furniture, beds, linens, cribs, closet organizers, utensils, cleaning supplies, and more.

Habitat for Humanity SLO County

Habitat’s Aging in Place initiative focuses on senior homeowners and services that can help ensure applicants continue to live safely and comfortably in their own homes.

Infinite Music

Funded three music programs for underserved youth in SLO North County, grades K-12 (Makin’ Music Club, Rising Stars, and Special Needs for Arts).

One Cool Earth

Twelve cooking kits + specialty items for the 29 school gardens across SLO County.

Paso Robles Youth Arts Center

Expand equipment, software, and staff for the video production program and prepare young filmmakers for the 2024 Estreno Film Festival.

Restorative Partners’ Bridge Cafe

Launch the Bridge Cafe’s Catering program with new equipment and training/certifications necessary to properly prepare, serve and execute catering operations.

SLO Botanical Garden

Remodel the Children’s Garden outdoor teaching kitchen with a pizza oven, Santa Maria BBQ, sinks, storage, and shaded demonstration platform.

SLO Noor Foundation

Expand the Whole Community Care project — Must! funds utilized to hire a bilingual outreach coordinator to facilitate an awareness campaign to increase access to health and support services to hard-to-reach populations in under-resourced geographical areas in SLO North County.

Smart Share Housing Solutions

Grow its North County HomeShareSLO home-sharing program, essential homeless prevention, which serves lower-income seniors with housing and support to age in place.

Tolosa Children’s Dental Center

Purchased a Statim G4 Cassette Autoclave to enable faster sterilization to more efficiently address the dental needs of their underserved and underinsured children.