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Co-chairs of the Giving Hearts event, Deborah and Les Cross, announce The Country Friends’ 2018 funded agencies. Courtesy photo
CommunityRancho Santa Fe

The Country Friends announces agencies to be funded in 2018

A list of funded agencies is below the story

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Country Friends has chosen a total of 52 agencies to be funded in 2018. Since it opened its doors 64 years ago, the Rancho Santa Fe-based organization has gifted close to $14 million to agencies based in San Diego which lend a helping hand to women, children, the elderly, those with special needs and the military. 

Marci Cavanaugh, human care funding director for The Country Friends, said the 52 agencies were announced at a special Feb. 2 “Giving Hearts” event at Fairbanks Ranch. Deborah and Les Cross co-chaired the gala.

Since the gala, the word is getting out about the agencies receiving financial assistance from The Country Friends totaling more than $200,000.

Cavanaugh said nearly 25 agencies applied for a grant that The Country Friends had never funded before. She reiterated that there does need to be a San Diego County connection.

“Many times, we’ll have different agencies that are international, but they have a specific program only in San Diego,” she said. “We make sure when they fill out their formal funding application that that money stays in San Diego.”

Applicants also can provide up to three objectives for the grant committee to choose review. 

“Agencies are very clear on where the money will go,” Cavanaugh said.

From there, the grant committee will review the formal funding application and pick which objective The Country Friends would like to fund.

“We are very specific as to where that money goes,” she said.

Cavanaugh said the nonprofit would love to fund all those agencies that fit into their guidelines.

“And that’s what we’re really working towards — there are so many agencies that have such a need in San Diego,” she said, adding that she’s also very compassionate about them.

One example she cited was Generate Hope, which helps victims of sex trafficking and is one of the 52 agencies which will be funded in 2018.

The Country Friends works hard on making wise choices, Cavanaugh said, adding how it helps both San Diego North and South counties.

“I think our board takes very seriously on where the funds go, and what we can do to make a difference in our community,” she said.

Cavanaugh also describes the board as amazing while noting a new generation of younger women are joining as members.

“I think the younger women really enjoy how strong our board is and how lean and tight we are as far as our overhead,” she said.  “Everyone becomes friends — we are all very committed, and we come from all walks of life, and we are always looking forward to the future.”

Funded Agencies

Angels Foster Family


Alzheimer’s San Diego

ARC of San Diego

Border View Family YMCA

Boys To Men Mentoring

Brother Benno’s

Burn Institute

Casa de Amparo

Center for Community


Community Campership


Community Resource


Elizabeth Hospice

Friends of Vista Hill


Generate Hope

Girls Rising

Helen Woodward

Animal Center

Include Autism

Jacobs & Cushman

San Diego Food Bank

Just in Time for Foster Youth

Kids’ Turn

La Jolla Meals on Wheels

LightBridge Hospice

Mama’s Kitchen

MANA de San Diego

Miracle Babies

Mitchell Thorp Foundation

Olivewood Gardens &

Learning Ctr

Palomar Family Counseling

Palomar Health Foundation

Partnerships with Industry

Project Concern Int’l —

San Diego

Pro Kids The First Tee

of S.D.


Reading Legacies

Reality Changers


Ronald McDonald House

Charities San Diego

Rancho Santa Fe

Community Center

San Diego Blood Bank

San Diego Brain Injury


San Diego Rescue Mission

Saving Horses

Serving Seniors

Special Delivery


Tender Loving Canines

Think Dignity

Vision of Children

Voices for Children

Walden Family Services

Warriors Live On

YWCA Becky’s House