Coming of Age Awards $10,000 in Grants to Bay Area Organizations

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Grants will help teams of volunteers age 50+ undertake projects including computer training for seniors and the disabled, education on fire safety, and teaching video skills to chronicle life stories.

Coming of Age:Bay Area is pleased to announce its "Make a BIG Difference" (MABD) Awards for 2012. Each of the four $2500 grants supports volunteer teams that address specific needs in the community and tap into the tremendous wave of knowledge and energy of people 50+.

The winning proposals are:

  •     Ashby Village: Creation of a team of volunteers trained in video production who can use those skills to promote storytelling among members and intergenerational sharing and learning. Volunteers will also record important Village events within the community.
  •     Community Technology Network: Training Team Leader Program, to improve training for volunteers who help low-income seniors and adults with disabilities master computer and Internet skills.
  •     Elder Wisdom Circle: The MABD team will work to enhance the application process for participants in an online intergenerational program pairing advice seekers (usually younger people) with a network of elders who provide free and confidential advice on a range of topics.
  •     Friends of the Emeryville Senior Center: Reduce the risk of fire-related accidents among seniors living at home with education, the provision of free fire extinguishers, and training to use them. Training from the Emeryville Fire Department will be combined with help from volunteers.

Recruitment for the new "MABD" teams will start in July with help from Coming of Age:Bay Area. To find out more or to volunteer for one of the "Make a BIG Difference" projects, call (888) 308-1767, email comingofage(at)ncphs(dot)org or visit

Winning proposals reflect the diverse needs of nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area, and highlight the valuable role that volunteers play in day-to-day operations. Andrea Mok of Ashby Village pointed out the shared effort in developing a winning program. She said, “Putting that grant together was a team effort by volunteers—most of them new to grant writing. So this success was a thrill….Thank you for this amazing opportunity.” Noreen McKeon, Program Manager at Coming of Age:Bay Area added, “We’re pleased to be able to support local nonprofits whose work reaches out to diverse populations and offers people over 50 the chance to participate in the community in meaningful ways.”

Coming of Age celebrates the ability of all people age 50+ to continue to grow, transform their communities, and become a force for public good. The organization is part of a growing national initiative that began in Philadelphia in 2002. The San Francisco Bay Area program, the first on the West Coast, offers workshops, educational events, one-on-one coaching, and a Clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities.

For nonprofit organizations, Coming of Age's staff development programs deepen and strengthen organizations' abilities to recruit, utilize and retain volunteers age 50+ and provide meaningful opportunities for them.

Coming of Age:Bay Area is sponsored by NCPHS (Northern California Presbyterian Homes and Services), with additional funding provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service/RSVP grant and other community grants, and in partnership with KQED.

For the full list of extraordinary volunteer opportunities for people 50+ visit the website at


Contact: Bonnie Lawrence, (415) 474-7787 ext. 13 or blawrence(at)ncphs(dot)org

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