Amanda Merz July 28, 2020 at 8:30 AM

SAFE donates $60,000 in emergency pandemic grants

SAFE Credit Union answered the call to assist local nonprofits with crucial funding to help support efforts to address urgent needs brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAFE has donated a total of $60,000 to four Sacramento-area nonprofits who are focused on serving our community’s most vulnerable. And the need is tremendous. Our grants committee received more than 200 applications, and spent considerable reflection on paring it down to the four recipients.

The four organizations who received the SAFE grants are providing essential services for those most at risk in the pandemic. They are putting food on the tables of the newly unemployed. They are serving homeless women and their children with services in the face of lost volunteers and reduced donations. And they are helping former foster youths enrolled in college continue their education with much-needed laptops.

Here are the four organizations SAFE awarded grants to and how they plan to use the funding to assist their clients.


River City Food Bank has seen a tremendous growth in need for its services as thousands of Sacramento-region residents face food uncertainty due to lost jobs and wages. At the same time, it had to cancel its largest fundraiser due to the pandemic. The grant will go to help the River City Food Bank serve groups particularly affected by the pandemic: families new to the food bank and members of low-income families who have lost jobs during the pandemic and are at risk of homelessness.


St. John’s Program for Real Change, which provides tools for formerly homeless woman and children to change the trajectory of their lives, has experienced a loss of income as it had to close its two restaurants and catering company, as well as cancel one of its largest fundraisers. Moreover, it has lost the help of over 450 volunteers as it closed its campus. St. John’s will use the grant to help continue to provide services to the 200 women and children living in the St. John’s Shelter.


Wellspring Women’s Shelter will use the grant to help fund its expanded emergency services to both women and men in response to new challenges posed by COVID-19. The organization is an essential provider who serves meals and provides therapy and other services to those in need.


Foster Youth Education Fund will purchase much-needed laptops for former foster youths enrolled in college courses that have moved exclusively online. The laptop purchases fall squarely within the Foster Youth Education Fund’s main mission to provide educational and financial support for former foster youths enrolled in higher education or a trade school.


The grants are part of SAFE’s overall philanthropic mission that includes direct donations and volunteer service. In 2020, SAFE will award $400,000 in donations to the nonprofit community in the Greater Sacramento region.

To learn more about grant opportunities from SAFE, please email

To learn more about how SAFE is helping its members through the pandemic, visit


Amanda Merz

Amanda is the Community Impact Manager for SAFE and is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s mission to give back is fully realized.