Sahm Family Foundation Announces $500,000 Matching Grant to Help San Diego Seniors

SAN DIEGO—The Sahm Family Foundation announced on Wednesday its matching grant of $500,000 to the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation, officially kicking off the “No Senior Alone” campaign, a countywide initiative to raise $1 million in support of local isolated seniors affected by Covid-19.

San Diego’s senior population has been hit especially hard during the pandemic. What was already a rising crisis has been made even worse in recent months, due to mandated closures of senior centers and increased isolation of older adults, who are considered at higher risk than younger people of contracting the novel coronavirus.

“COVID-19 is indiscriminate in choosing who it affects, and the reality for older people is that we are at high risk of infection and at even higher risk of long-lasting impacts due to social isolation,” said Bob Kelly, founder, CEO and president of San Diego Seniors Community Foundation. “Health and economic wellbeing later in life has little to do with personal sacrifice on an individual level. It has more to do with our collective willingness to give where it helps to build a community that supports all of its residents. That’s what the No Senior Alone initiative is about.”

The Sahm Family Foundation has a long history of helping seniors, tracing back to its co-founder Roland Sahm. Mr. Sahm witnessed the financial plight of many of his former employees upon retirement and sought to assist them and other aging San Diegans in similar situations.

The foundation has three main focus areas of charitable giving. In addition to the welfare of seniors, these include the welfare of children and the fine and performing arts.

In 2020, the foundation announced its awarding of nearly $1 million in grants to local senior centers and agencies. The grant marked one of the largest donations of its kind in San Diego’s history.

“Nationally, there is a major shortage of philanthropy when it comes to senior programs and services, but here in San Diego, by 2030, we will have 930,000 residents over the age of 60 (a 130 percent increase since 2000),” said Abigail Sahm, great-granddaughter of Roland and Ramona Sahm and spokesperson for the foundation. “We kindly invite leaders in the San Diego region to join us to ensure San Diego leaves No Senior Alone.”

Statistically speaking, senior programs are dramatically underfunded, with less than 2 percent of U.S. philanthropic dollars going to aging services. The Sahm Family Foundation’s pledge aims to change that. It will match every dollar raised by the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation (SDSCF), up to $500,000, working toward a total campaign goal of $1 million. SDSCF has already raised close to $200,000, and plans to begin immediately awarding grants to local programs and projects that support isolated seniors, with additional grant cycles scheduled for the months ahead.

To learn more about how you can help the San Diego Seniors Community Foundation reach its $1 million goal and donate to the campaign, visit sdscf.org/no-senior-alone.