History of The Patriots Connection
In 2009, our San Diego Marines and Sailors saw record deployments. It was at this time that RSF Foundation’s Board of Directors decided they needed to step into action and support local nonprofits serving junior enlisted military families. The Patriots Connection (TPC) began as a way of raising funds and awareness for the challenges local servicemen and their families face. As the program evolved and grew, we saw the need to include veterans and transitioning service members. Since its inception, The Patriots Connection has granted more than $1.8 million to nonprofits across San Diego serving our heroes.
The San Diego Directory
With almost 12,000 nonprofits in San Diego County, it’s difficult to navigate which organizations’ programs and services are available and reliable. In 2013, RSF Foundation decided to make that easier for donors by compiling a list of trusted and effective Organizations of Distinction. By using the San Diego Directory, donors and community members can trust they’ve found reputable nonprofits operating in San Diego County that provide services to local military and veteran communities and their families. To be listed on the San Diego Directory, organizations must demonstrate financial stability, transparency and accountability in their reporting, and the ability to measure outcomes, effectiveness, and capacity growth.
Each year, The Patriots Connection invites all Organizations of Distinction on the San Diego Directory to apply for grant funding. The 2021 grant cycle just concluded, and the grants committee received more than $800K in requests from 40 nonprofits. While we wish we could fund all requests, we are limited in our resources. We were able to grant $289,500 to 16 nonprofits. Grants this year funded programs from fresh produce for military and veteran families from Coastal Roots Farm to veterans pursuing careers in the life sciences through Biocom Institute. Programs for military families including Operation Bigs at Big Brothers Big Sisters and veterinary care for military pets through Helping Paws Foundation. RSF Foundation and The Patriots Connection’s goal is to help in all aspects of military and veteran families’ lives. They have all done so much for our community, we feel honored to be able to support them in return.
From a Grant Recipient – Interfaith Community Services
In early February 2021, Interfaith’s Housing Stability Case Manager for Veterans was contacted by a veteran in need of rental assistance for himself and his family. Tomas and his family of five were facing the very real probability of becoming homeless for the first time in their lives. Tomas, a local realtor, has always been able to make ends meet through his income. However, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tomas was unable to close on any homes and found himself unemployed. When Tomas came to Interfaith, he was six months behind on rent ($6,000) and fearful as he faced the likelihood that he and his family would soon be homeless. With the help of this generous funding from The Patriots Connection, Tomas and his family were able to access emergency funds to pay their rent and remain in their home. The family is currently engaged in case management focused on long-term stability.