Wellbeing Microgrants Round 4: Fall 2020

Out of 24 total applications, these thirteen projects were selected for the Fall 2020 round of Wellbeing Microgrants. In creative and exceptional ways, they each focus on aspects of community, environment, learning, health, and economic opportunity.

Many respond to the issues our communities are facing in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Selection was based on the Evaluation Criteria listed below.

Improving Community Wellbeing during COVID-19

Even prior to COVID-19, Santa Monicans were experiencing issues of loneliness and isolation, health challenges, decreasing sense of ability to influence local government, and inequities across race, age and gender. For Fall 2020, we seek to fund projects that address these issues uncovered by the Wellbeing Index, and likely exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified specific prompts within each dimension of the Wellbeing Index and funded resident-lead initiatives to improve one or more of these areas.


COVID has made it difficult for people to stay connected. In particular with the holidays approaching, we are interested in supporting solutions to issues of isolation and loneliness.


Even before the pandemic, Santa Monicans were worried about paying rent or mortgages. While economic issues require big solutions, microgrants can spark small economic growth for individuals and communities that have a big impact. You might apply to cover your own skills training to increase employment options, or to kickstart a new business.


At the top of mind nowadays is our collective health - both physical and mental. A microgrant might support public health efforts or a series to decrease daily stress.


Many have taken up gardening or environmental sustainability efforts as a way to take action during times of uncertainty. Microgrants can encourage neighbors to take an active role in on Santa Monica's environmental progress.


Arts, cultural opportunities, and social justice and equity initiatives have sprung up during COVID. Microgrants can provide new learning opportunities in your community.


Current Projects


Make your own cloth face mask for Covid-19

Lizeth Antonio

Lizeth will teach Santa Monica residents how to make their own face mask through a series of lessons over zoom to learn a little bit more about face masks (fabric type, purpose of pattern, and fit) and how to make one on their own. This class would be open to teenagers and on, and skills may vary from beginner to experienced sewing level. It will also be friendly to hand sewing and machine sewing.

The classes will be held in Spanish and English. Dates coming soon.

Your Vote. Your Voice.

Rene Buchanan & Keonna Harris

This project is designed to educate voters, specifically Community Corporation residents, about the candidates running for local government and ballot measures directly affecting the City of Santa Monica so that they feel empowered to make informed decisions in the upcoming November 3, 2020 election. Since knowledge is not partisan but is key to feeling one's vote matters, all information provided will be impartial, based solely on facts and, if applicable, pertinent data. Armed with this knowledge, CCSM residents will be able to responsibly represent their interests which will in turn strengthen their ties to the community and, therefore, the community itself. Simply, they will feel like their voices were heard and their votes counted.

Voter Brochure for Community Corporation Residents

Portable Solar Chargers for Unhoused Neighbors

Rebecca Cannara

This project began in community and continues in the spirit of connecting our community even further.Portable solar chargers allow unhoused residents to access technology, a most essential tool for connecting to others. The ability to connect not only reduces social isolation and loneliness, but also promotes mental health and physical health through allowing residents to access the services they depend on, or even prepare for the weather.

This project involves partnership with Unite to Light and with volunteers who help with distribution. Details to come.

Senior Citizen Care Packages

Tyson Clark

Partnering with his brother, Phoenix, Tyson will create care packages for senior citizens for this project. These care packages will contain activities, such as coloring books, crayons, puzzles, and other activities. In partnership with facilities interested in our care package program, the grant leaders will create kits for each facility and deliver them. It's easy to forget about people you don't usually see every day. They hope the senior citizens see how much we care about them.

A stitch in time

Maggie Ehrig

A hands on creative learning and sewing circle for children 4-14 years old who live in the CCSM low income housing/apts. Basic cutting and sewing skills will be taught with an emphasis on encouraging each child's strengths ie: organizing, hand eye coordination, design, planning and leadership. As the older children expand their sewing skills they will teach the next group of learners… each 1 teach 1.

Elaboración de cubrebocas / Face Mask Making Business & Gifting Project

Domitila Escalante

El objetivo de este proyecto es poder establecer un mejor sistema de compra venta de materiales para la elaboracion de los cubrebocas. Domitila utilice su habilidad de Costurera y compra retazos de tela para elaborar mascaras protectoras y así contribuye con su comunidad. El proyecto wellbeing dará un respiro a este pequeño negocio,y fortalecerá la publicidad de sus productos entre la Comunidad.

The objective of this project is to establish a better system for buying and selling materials for the manufacture of face masks. Domitila uses her skills as a seamstress and buys pieces of fabric to make protective masks and thus contributes to her community. The wellbeing project will give a break to this small business, and will strengthen the publicity of its products among the Community.

WestLA4BlackLives Film expo

Janee Lennox & Team

The project will help bring a drive-in film expo to the westside of Los Angeles to bring awards and education to Black Lives. Through the power of film, this project shares a strong tool to educate people on what is happening in the the current movement and revolution. The goal is to spread awareness and help people get involved to help the Black and Brown community here in Los Angeles and all over the the United States.

Date to come.

The Soilist

Jane Monteagle

Saving topsoil from chemical destruction and dehydration is of paramount importance in a world where scientists are estimating only 60 harvest remain if we do not change our growing methods. That environmental degradation is global and starts at a local level. As well as product ready for donation, this project will provide educational opportunities to learn about healthy soil and growing your own food.

Economic Development through Youth Entrepreneurship

Kathleen Mulcahy

Kathleen and team have launched an online marketplace for youth to sell their services and products called the Youthful Savings Marketplace. It started in New York City and this Microgrant will expand it to Santa Monica. Each participating youth receives capital investment and completes the My Own Business Challenge curriculum via weekly online learning. The goal is to include youth in the global economy and help revamp city GDP and tax revenue through youth entrepreneurship!

Creating Election Awareness for the Ethiopian Community in Santa Monica

Alemu Negaro

Ethiopian Community members in Santa Monica are mainly first-generation immigrants, and have seen low voter turnout and registration rates, in part due to misconceptions about the power of their vote. This project will produce a bilingual flyer, which explains the importance of voting to their community as well as themselves and distribute it to each household of Ethiopian community members. In addition to the flyer, they will host a virtual meeting via zoom and invite a guest speaker to explain and motivate participants for the upcoming election.

Date to come soon.

View Flyer

California Ballot Measures

De mi cocina a la suya / From my kitchen to yours

Sofia Ramírez

Este proyecto es una presentación para expresar la cultura y la herencia a través de la comida. Creará algo donde todos encuentren "common ground". La comida es algo muy importante porque la lo gente viene con el propósito de compartir y convivir. La comida hace la comunidad. El comer en casa y en familia es lo más saludable, es algo que practico diariamente y lo quisiera promover con este proyecto.

This project is a presentation to express culture and heritage through food. It will create something where everyone can find common ground. Food is very important because people come with the purpose of sharing and living together. The food makes the community. Eating at home and with the family is the most healthy, it is something that Sofia practices daily and would like to promote with this project.

Comfort 4 COVID

Willa Wells

This Microgrant will support the design and creation of crocheted shawls to be sent to women who have suffered unimaginable family loss during this pandemic. Working in partnership with local agencies, hand-crocheted shawls will be sent to those who have been most deeply impacted by COVID-19.

Family Fitness- Staying Healthy in the Midst Social Distancing


This Zoom based two-part project will focus on what families can do to stay physically and mentally healthy while keeping COVID-19 away from their doorsteps and practicing the CDC regulated social distancing guidelines. The first workshop will talk about shedding that extra weight some may have gained during these unprecedented times and tips on eating healthy to stay healthy and movements that can be enjoyed by the entire family to stay active and fit. The second workshop will focus on emotional wellness. We'll have a conversation about what that looks like and how to maintain your sanity with everyone Zooming from home, being at home and removed from their pre-CoVID-19 activities and lifestyle. Things have shifted. Life has changed. Yes, there is even chaos in the midst of all this, but families can and will get through this one healthy meal and physical activity at a time.

Dates to come.

The City of Santa Monica's Office of Civic Wellbeing has closed.
Our work continues as Civic Wellbeing Partners, a non-governmental organization, and we will continue to update this website and our social media. Stay tuned!