Our Compassion in the Community Award (modeled after the MacArthur Genius Fellowships) recognizes local, volunteer based organizations who give to the community in selfless ways. The nominations are anonymous, and our board recognizes one organization each quarter with a $5,000 award. 

Do you know a Contra Costa County, volunteer based organization that is small but mighty, and worthy of recognition? If so, we want to hear about it! Click here to submit information


Guitars Not Guns, Inc. provides guitars and lessons to foster kids, at risk youth and other deserving children in a classroom setting with qualified teachers. No child is turned away for lack of funds. They "loan" guitars and guitar accessories to their students that they use to practice and carefully maintain for eight weeks. The students and their guardians sign a lease contract for the equipment to teach the students to take care of possessions. For some it may be the only possession they have ever owned.


The students are not told this but, upon successful completion of the first level of classes, the guitars and accessories will be given to them to keep at no cost. The final class is a party to celebrate completion of the eight week program. The students play and they bring in accomplished musicians, some that are their age, to motivate them to further study with us and independently.


For some, it is the first time they have been exposed to live music.

To learn more about Guitars Not Guns, click here

Diaper need is real -- It impacts the physical, mental, and economic well-being of parents and children. One in three US moms report suffering from diaper need, and 40,000 Contra Costa children are living in poverty.


Many parents are forced to leave their children in soiled diapers much longer than is healthy. A monthly supply of diapers for one child is approximately $75, which for some can mean choosing between diapers and food.

Sweet Beginnings Diaper Bank supports families in need with clean diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products.

"We truly believe in 'It Takes a Village' and that our community is our responsibility. Every child deserves a 'Sweet Beginning.'"

The organization distributes approximately 15,000 diapers a month and is 100% volunteer run, including Lisa Sweet who started the program, and still actively works as a Pediatric RN.

Watch the video below as we surprise Lisa and the volunteers with a $5,000 donation!

To learn more about Sweet Beginnings Diaper Bank click here