Hand to Hand Logo

Hand to Hand is a group of women who grant funds to local non-profits which promote economic self-sufficiency and positive change in the lives of women and girls.


In the spring of 2008, a group of women began to discuss ways that they could make a difference in the community for women and girls through their joint philanthropy.  In October 2008 Hand to Hand was established as a charitable fund at Coastal Community Foundation. Nineteen women joined as founders.


Hand to Hand makes an impact in the lives of women and girls in San Diego County by directly resources to programs that empower change and self-sufficiency.  Hand to Hand fulfills its mission by funding education and job training for women, programs to help women re-enter the work force, mentoring programs for girls, and microloan programs through non-profit organizations.

Why You Should Join:

Grant funds are made possible through the membership donations. By investing $500, you become a voting member and you will be able to help select the grant recipients. OR you can participate as a “Friend” of Hand to Hand and your donation at any level provides additional funding for grants.

Additional information on becoming a member can be found in the Files section on the top right of this page. The About Us flyer contains a membership form. Information can also be obtained by emailing handtohand@coastalfoundation.org.  Donations may be made online by clicking on the Donate button which will take you to a secure page.  Under purpose please type Hand to Hand.

Chair Persons:

Chair of Hand to Hand: KJ Koljonen

Grants Committee Chair: Robyn Bailis Sirota

Grantee Relations Committee Chair: Sue Steele

Membership Committee Chair: Alice Jacobson

Grant History:

Over the past five years, Hand to Hand has distributed grants totaling over $168,000.

2014 grants:

  • Girls Rising – mentor program
  • Just in Time for Foster Youth – Career Horizons
  • New Entra Casa residential program
  • Welcome Home Ministries – mentoring program

2013 grants:

  • Casa Cornelia Law Center for the domestic violence program
  • Girls Rising for the mentor program
  • Welcome Home Ministries for the data collection project

HH Grant Ceremony 2012 Just in Time

Just in Time for Foster Youth staff members with Hand to Hand members at the 2012 Hand to Hand grant ceremony. In 2012, $10,000 was granted to Just in Time for Foster Youth’s Career Horizons for Young Women program, which helps young women on their path to professional success. For more information on Just in Time for Foster Youth please visit their website at www.jitfosteryouth.org

2009-2012 grants:

  • Angel Faces for a retreat to help girls with severe facial disfigurements build a positive self-image (2010)
  • Casa Cornelia Law Center for the domestic violence program (2012)
  • Community Resource Center for Life Skills training for domestic abuse survivors (2009)
  • Girls on the Run for development of a North County program (2009 & 2011)
  • Just in Time for Foster Youth for the Career Horizons Program for girls
  • Foundation for Women a microcredit loan program to help women in poverty start a business (2010)
  • From the Inside Out for the Girls Only mentoring program (2009 & 2011)
  • Leap to Success for the women’s leadership program (2011)
  • MANA de North County San Diego for the Hermanitas® mentorship program (2010)
  • San Diego Hope House to develop a “cottage industry” for women who have been victims of human trafficking (2011)
  • Shakti Rising for the Transformational Recovery Program for women (2009 & 2010)