Spotlighting Atascadero’s Nonprofits in a Three-Part Series

By Hayley Mattson and Camille DeVaul 

In the heart of our community lies a network of incredible nonprofit organizations that work tirelessly to uplift, empower, and support our residents. These unsung heroes tackle a myriad of social challenges, ranging from education and healthcare to environmental conservation and poverty alleviation. As we embark on the first installment of our three-part series, we shine a well-deserved spotlight on these local nonprofits and delve into their vital role in shaping our society’s fabric.

Supporting local nonprofits is not just a gesture of goodwill; it is an investment in the betterment of our own backyard. These organizations serve as beacons of hope and catalysts for change, channeling resources and efforts toward causes that directly impact the lives of those in our community. From food banks ensuring no one goes to bed hungry to shelters providing refuge for the homeless and mentorship programs nurturing the potential of our youth – the impact is palpable and far-reaching.

Our community’s support is the lifeblood that keeps these organizations thriving. Financial contributions, volunteer hours, and even the power of spreading awareness through social media are integral to their sustainability. It is not just about giving back; it’s about collectively ensuring that vital services and opportunities continue to be accessible to all.

Beyond the immediate aid they provide, local nonprofits often serve as a vital resource hub for our residents. They offer educational workshops, skill development programs, and counseling services, creating a holistic support system that uplifts individuals and families. When we stand behind these organizations, we are essentially enabling them to stand by us in times of need.

This spotlight series will shed light on the remarkable work these nonprofits do and inspire a deeper understanding of their importance in our daily lives. 

As we celebrate these local champions, we hope to share how each of us can contribute to their enduring success. After all, a community is only as strong as the bonds that hold it together, and supporting local nonprofits is a powerful way to strengthen those bonds here in Paso Robles. 

Paso Robles chapter of PEO International (Philanthropic Educational Organization)

The Paso Robles of PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) focuses on helping women in north SLO County. The Kiper-Twist Scholarship Fund provides awards for residents and high school graduates with a minimum 2.8 GPA or GED equivalent who can attend a school of their choice. The local chapter also helps direct candidates to apply to PEO’s seven California state and PEO International’s six scholarship, grant, and loan programs. Since 2002, Chapter HL has helped over 60 women with awards totaling $153,500.

A nonprofit whose mission is “Women Helping Women Reach for the Stars,” PEO celebrates the advancement of women, educates women through scholarships, grants, loans, and stewardship of Cottey College, and motivates women to achieve their highest aspirations. When women are supported in their educational efforts, a lasting positive impact is created on families, communities, and countries around the globe. Founded in 1869, PEO International has 6,000 chapters and more than 372,000 members who have helped over 122,000 women across North America pursue their life goals by providing over $415 million in educational assistance.  

Star Card is PEO’s October fundraiser for Kiper-Twist Scholarships. Membership in PEO is open to women 18 years old and older.

PEO Chapter HL — Paso Robles

P. O. Box 1054, Paso Robles

Cancer Support Community — CA Central Coast

The Cancer Support Community — CA Central Coast is a beacon of hope and assistance for individuals and families navigating the challenging journey of cancer. Committed to enhancing the quality of life for those affected by cancer, this organization provides a nurturing and inclusive environment where individuals can find solace, share experiences, and access vital resources.

Through a wide range of programs, including support groups, educational workshops, wellness activities, and counseling services, the Cancer Support Community fosters emotional well-being, empowerment, and a sense of community. Their holistic approach recognizes the importance of addressing both the emotional and practical aspects of the cancer experience. CSC serves as a lifeline, connecting participants with fellow warriors, survivors, and caregivers who understand the complexities of living with cancer. 

Cancer Support Community California Central Coast

1051 Las Tablas Road, Templeton


Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Redwings Horse Sanctuary is a well-respected, accredited horse rescue and sanctuary with a long history of success. Redwings specializes in rehabilitating the most at-risk horses and finding forever homes for adoptable equines or providing permanent sanctuary. Redwings receives, on average, 20 calls or emails each month requesting a new home for an equine in need. Demand in our community for a safe home for at-risk and retired horses far outweighs the resources of sanctuaries like Redwings, animal services, and humane agencies. Among these many at-risk horse cases, Redwings fills a critical gap in services by bringing abused and neglected horses back to health. 

Join Redwings on September 10 for their 3rd Annual Block Party Fundraiser. Monte Mills and the Lucky Horseshoe Band will be providing wonderful music throughout the day. There will be fine wine, beer, and delicious food served by Chef Charlie. The most important part: the opportunity to get to know Redwings amazing horses! There will be demonstrations for everyone and, of course, the silent and live auctions! This annual event is their key fundraiser, and the donations support medical care and feed for the horses. 

Redwings Horse Sanctuary

6875 Union Road, Paso Robles

(805) 237-3751

Loaves & Fishes of Paso Robles

Loaves & Fishes is a family center that specializes in serving families with food and other services through personal attention. We serve families, the elderly living on a fixed income, and young parents struggling to make ends meet. These groups are often overlooked because they appear to be fine, but their need is real and in danger of falling further. Their goal is to serve well — serving at the very highest standard, providing quality food just as they would provide to their own families, and caring for people as they care for their own families. They are not government funded — meaning all our support comes entirely from the community. 

Loaves & Fishes believe that strong families make a strong society and that the well-being of a town springs from the health of its families — families oftentimes in need of support and a caring hand. Building a strong society requires leaning into the hard work of bringing up all people by providing meaningful and substantive help — help that will change the trajectory of the family. They are seeing our culture slowly erode the value of family, which ironically makes it more apparent the treasure that it is. Their work is to lift up our neighbors in need and to strengthen our community.     

Loaves & Fishes of Paso Robles

2650 Spring Street, Paso Robles

(805) 238-4742

Paso Robles Education Alliance

The Paso Robles Education Alliance (PREA) is a local nonprofit dedicated to raising funds for the Paso Robles schools in the form of teacher grants and Bearcat scholarships. With PREA, they can reach almost every child in Paso Robles, from the elementary schools through the high school. Their grants allow teachers to enhance our students’ education with things like science projects, music, art, math, and reading. Just last year, PREA provided new world maps to classrooms at Pat Butler, replacing maps that were over 30 years old! At Georgia Brown, PREA provided a book printer allowing the 1st graders to create their own hardback books providing their parents with memories forever. PREA’s board is 100 percent volunteer, and all of them are parents of kids in this district. To support the efforts of PREA, visit, or you can find us in the business section of Venmo under Paso Robles Education Alliance. Lastly, join them at their benefit concert in May 2024 at J Dusi Winery.

Paso Robles Education Alliance

PO Box 1290, Paso Robles CA


Applause Children’s Theater

Applause Children’s Theater was founded in 2016 by Vikky Mullin. Vikky’s dream and passion, after growing up in theater herself, was to provide a place where all kids who audition would be cast in the show and be a star. ACT has provided this for children ages 5 to 18 across the Central Coast for the past 7 years. ACT is dedicated to offering high-quality musical theater to the community with its top-notch productions featuring glamorous costumes, spectacular sets, and amazing choreography.

In addition to full-scale Broadway musicals, ACT offers a summer full of Theater Day Camps and smaller Fall productions. Many ACT students are represented by Agents and have filmed commercials, TV Shows, Music Videos, movies, and more. Older ACT students have chosen to pursue the arts and have been accepted to prestigious schools such as PCPA, Cal Poly SLO, and AMDA New York. Whether Central Coast children wish to pursue a career in musical theater or just enjoy singing and dancing with friends, ACT gives them the opportunity to explore their talents and abilities while learning lifelong skills. Their Fall productions of Newsies Jr and Charlie Brown Christmas will be presented in November of 2023. Tickets will be on sale soon.

Applause Children’s Theater

1413 Riverside Avenue, Suite D., Paso Robles

(805) 610-7187