Ways to Give: Charity begins at home

It goes without saying that La Jolla has some dedicated and generous residents who frequently step up to make the community a better place for all. For example, there are civic organizations that do not rely on city funding, “Friends Of” groups that enhance what they hold dear. Here’s a list of those seeking some help this year (and next!) that strive to ensure The Jewel retains its sparkle. All are 501 (c) 3 non-profits.

La Jolla Library

What to give: A financial donation to Friends of La Jolla Library

Why: The library made history when it opened its biotech lab and 3D printing lab in April, becoming the first public library in the country with such facilities. To keep it going, the lab needs its equipment updated and working properly. Contributions are also used for laptops for the 3D design workshops; to fund programming such as children’s story times, lectures for adults and chair yoga for seniors; to support modernization of the sound system and audio-visual equipment; and buy books for the new Scripps Express Book Collection that features the latest bestsellers each month, exclusively for La Jolla patrons.

How to give: Send or drop off a donation to Friends of La Jolla Library, 7555 Draper Ave. San Diego, CA 92037 or visit

La Jolla Recreation Center

What to give: A financial donation to La Jolla Rec Center board

Why: Now in its 100th year, the Rec Center provides low-cost children’s programming during the day and in the evening becomes a venue for more than a dozen monthly civic meetings. Leading up to the centennial, the interior and exterior were repainted and the floor was replaced, but there are other cosmetic improvements to be made. Chiefly: the audio system needs to be replaced (the current one is from 1960!) and more lighting would make the facility safer at night and deter people from sleeping on the grass. The play equipment on the “tot lot” needs to be sanded and repainted. The Rec Center board would prefer to keep the wooden equipment rather than replace it with metal gear that gets hot during the summer. Because these are optional improvements, the city will not pay for them.

How to give: Donate to La Jolla Rec Center Board c/o La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St. San Diego, CA 92037

La Jolla Community Center

What to give: Financial donations

Why: La Jolla’s adult Community Center provides lost-cost programs and services to promote lifelong learning, wellness and friendship including yoga, dancing, technology workshops, language classes, movie clubs, bridge clubs, cooking classes and special events. Center leadership said a common misconception is that the center receives government funding, which it does not. The Center is in the midst of its end-of-the-year appeal and hopes to raise $100,000 by the end of December. In previous years, the campaign paid for capital improvements, but with many of them complete (including the new courtyard), funds collected this year will help underwrite programs and special events for 2016.

How to give: Donate at or mail/drop off a donation to 6811 La Jolla Blvd. San Diego, CA 92037

La Jolla Historical Society

What to give: Time or a financial donation

Why: The Historical Society is dedicated to the discovery, collection and preservation of La Jolla’s heritage through its collections and programs. Monetary contributions would support rotating exhibits throughout the year that are free and open to the public. The current exhibit, on display through January 2016, explores the architects that studied under Frank Lloyd Wright. The next, which goes up in February, will look at the work of La Jolla resident and La Jolla Country Day School art and drama teacher William Newport Goodell. The Historical Society is also seeking gallery docents for the exhibits. Those interested can call the Society for more information about volunteering.

How to give: Donate at or call (858) 459-5335 or mail an end-of-year gift to La Jolla Historical Society, P.O. Box 2085 San Diego, CA 92038-2085

La Jolla Town Council

What to give: Time (in the form of membership)

Why: The Town Council is a forum for any and all issues that concern La Jollans — including politics, sea lions, the historicity of properties and/or the development of new ones. It is also a forum to which other civic organizations and government representatives report. In October, the Town Council hosted a forum for the three city council candidates vying for the seat to be vacated by Sherri Lightner.

While monetary contributions would help the council promote meetings and rent equipment for community events, current leadership would like to see its membership increased. By being a member, one also qualifies to be elected a voting trustee in early 2106.

How to give: To become a general member, e-mail for an application.

La Jolla Parks & Beaches, Inc.

What to give: Financial donations

Why: In addition to serving as an advisory group to the city, Parks & Beaches manages an account to raise funds for projects and enhanced services. Current projects under its the auspices include: Whale View Point, to improve the coastal area on the 300-500 block of Coast Boulevard; Children’s Pool Walk, to upgrade the sidewalk area above Children’s Pool; La Jolla Cove Pavilion Project, to replace the restroom facility near La Jolla Cove; WindanSea S-Curve, to repair infrastructure at WindanSea; and more.

By giving to this advisory group, funds may be used for myriad projects along the coast, and ongoing park improvements and miscellaneous smaller projects. The board also produces a wish list of projects for the city to fund.

How to give: Go to or drop off a donation at the board’s monthly meeting: 4 p.m. fourth Mondays at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

Muirlands Foundation

What to give: Financial donations

Why: Muirlands Foundation is a parent-led community building and fundraising organization with the goal of raising $114,000 this year. Contributions will support afterschool homework help, teaching assistants, materials for student clubs, updated books and scholarships for students to go on organized school trips (Camp Cuyamac for sixth-graders, Yosemite for seventh-graders and the East Coast for eighth- graders). But chiefly, the Muirlands Foundation would like to purchase 12 new touchscreen computers for the library and ultimately, a whole new computer lab.

How to give: Visit and click on “fundraising” and then “Muirlands Gives.” Or mail a donation to Muirlands Foundation, c/o Muirlands Middle School, 1056 Nautilus St., La Jolla, 92037

The Foundation of La Jolla High School

What to give: Financial donations

Why: The Foundation manages an account referred to as the Greatest Need General Fund to cover whatever the school might require that the district doesn’t cover. The General Fund is largely used for capital improvements to the campus: including the track, which is used by the community at large as well as students; Coggan Pool, also used by the community and the students; and general campus cleanups for the athletic matches and weekend/summer camps and tournaments that are held there. Additionally, Foundation funds support academic enrichment and athletic clubs. Further, there is a “matching challenge” going on through the end of the year, through which all donations up to $20,000 will be matched by an anonymous Foundation supporter.

How to give: Visit where there are options to donate and review donor recognition opportunities

La Jolla Community Foundation

What to give: Financial donations or membership

Why: The Foundation is looking to beautify the community and assist non-profits carry out their projects. Earlier this month, it was announced the LJCF is establishing a Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) to supplement city beautification services and maintenance, and would begin informational outreach in early 2016. But it costs thousands of dollars and a ballot measure, so every little bit helps. Additionally, the LJCF distributes grants to non-profits to carry out projects. This year, it gave more than $26,000 to five local groups for beautification projects. Further still, the Community Foundation has taken to fundraising for the planned La Jolla High School Biological Science & Technology Center, to build a state-of-the-art science facility on the High School campus.

How to give: Become a member to assist with Foundation efforts or visit or

La Jolla Town Foundation

What to give: Financial donations

Why: La Jolla Town Foundation is a “parent non-profit” that accepts donations for community projects, so those wanting to implement individual projects do not need to form non-profits themselves.

The three main projects under the Town Foundation are: the Sparkle & Shine campaign, to clean up Village sidewalks; the Village Memorial Bench Program; and the annual Fourth of July Fireworks at La Jolla Cove. Donations to these projects are made to the Town Foundation, which then funds the cause. The Town Foundation has been funding community improvements for more than 20 years, is project-specific and does not give grants.

How to give: Send a check to La Jolla Town Foundation, P.O. Box 89 San Diego, CA 92038 with a note in the memo line as to which project the donor would like to support. Leadership also requests listing a phone number.

Friends of La Jolla Shores

What to give: Financial donations or letters to the city

Why: Friends of La Jolla Shores, which carries out projects that enhance and preserve public parks and beaches in La Jolla Shores, is working toward getting The Map re-installed. This artistic educational display shows the wildlife and ocean canyons (with respective depths) found at the Shores. The Friends would like to rope off The Map on three sides. In addition to the cost to build and install it, sidewalk repairs leading up to The Map are required.

To help with this project, leadership requests letters of support be sent to City Council President Sherri Lightner’s and Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office.

How to give: or write to Lightner’s office c/o City Administration Building, 202 C St., MS #10A, San Diego, CA 92101 or Mayor Kevin Faulconer c/o City Administration Building, 202 C Street, 11th Floor, San Diego, CA 92101

Friends of Coast Walk Trail

What to give: Financial donation or volunteer time

Why: Friends of Coast Walk Trail seek to improve the walking path between Goldfish Point and Coast Walk off Torrey Pines Road. Their long-term goals include stabilizing the environmentally sensitive bluffs, improving trail safety and creating an ongoing maintenance plan.

The Friends have already improved trail safety by filling in the deep grooves down the middle of the path and restoring some of the plantings. Volunteers also host cleanup days to remove dead vegetation and litter from the trail.

The group also contracts for regular maintenance to prevent deterioration and limit the need for larger projects. In addition to smaller projects, the Friends are working toward a master plan to examine the ecosystem as a whole and look at long-term maintenance.

How to give: or e-mail for information