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: Kathy Rae

Grantee Relations Committee Chair: Sue Steele

Membership Committee Chair: Alice Jacobson

Grant History:

Over the past six years, Hand to Hand has distributed grants totaling over $202,000 for programs and services for women and girls

2015 grants:

  • Just in Time for Foster Youth – $10,000 for Financial program
  • Boys & Girls Club of Vista – $3,500 for SMART Girls
  • Girls on the Run – $3,000 to expand program
  • Girls Rising – $3,000 for outreach activities
  • Mana de San Diego – $5,000 for Las Hermanitas mentoring program
  • Casa Cornelia Law Center – $10,000 for the Domestic Violence Program

Welcome Home group

Hand to Hand members with Welcome Home Ministries staff member Amie and founder Carmen Warner Robbins at the 2014 Grant Ceremony.    Welcome Home was awarded a grant for their mentoring program for women who are leaving Las Colinas Dentention facility.

2009-2014 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 / 2013)
  • 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)
  • Girls Rising for girls’ mentor program (2013 / 2014)
  • 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)
  • Just in Time for Foster Youth for Career Horizons program for girls (2012 / 2014)
  • Leap to Success for the women’s leadership program (2011)
  • MANA de North County San Diego for the Hermanitas® mentorship program (2010)
  • New Entra Casa for residential treatment program (2014)
  • 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)
  • Welcome Home Ministries for Fair Dorm project and peer re-entry program (2013/ 2014)