Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Update

The mission of the Rob Benzon Dan Ferbal Foundation is to provide unexpected help and hope to individuals in the San Diego community who are suffering from a personal catastrophic event not of their making who are in need of emergency support for actual expenses. The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic falls outside of our mission for individual grants.

We recognize that with the constantly changing COVID-19 situation in our community and all around the world, this is an unprecedented time for everyone — a time that, for many, is filled with uncertainty. RBDFF is committed to our community and should your needs fit our grant criteria, we encourage you to apply.

We are all in this together, and we look forward to offering our support as best we can during these challenging times.

Our Grants

It is our honor to help our fellow San Diegans through our grant program. Below are some of our grant recipients throughout the years. To protect their privacy, first and last names may not be displayed.

To request a grant, click the “Request a Grant” button.

Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship and Daniel J. Ferbal Memorial Scholarship

The Rob Benzon Foundation awarded two scholarships through the annual PFLAG Scholarship Awards to two LGBTQ students pursuing higher education. The Rob Benzon Memorial Scholarship was awarded to G Trupp who was honored to win and said, “I look forward to being able to pay it forward.”

The first ever, Daniel J. Ferbal Memorial Scholarship was awarded this year in honor of our beloved past RBF President and dear friend, Dan. Patrick Loehr was the much-deserved recipient. Patrick said that was honored to receive the award. He said, “This support means a lot to me, it’s tremendously and sincerely appreciated.” Patrick’s goal is to achieve great things in Dan’s name.

Grant was made March 2020

Carlitos D.

Carlitos D. was a cancer survivor with many other health ailments including diabetes, renal failure, a recent heart attack as well as being septic. His huge health hurdles made it impossible to work and the out of pocket costs not covered by insurance were tremendous. he and his family got behind on their household bills. Our foundation provided financial assistance for their phone bill, and utility bills in order to avoid disconnection.

Grant was made March 2020

Being Alive San Diego

Being Alive San Diego was granted $1000 for their food pantry “Daniel’s Market” which provides groceries each month for 1,000 needy individuals affected with HIV/AIDS in San Diego. “Daniel’s Market” is a farmer’s market style food distribution that restores not only their client’s ability to get enough to eat but, as Shannon Wagner, BASD Executive Director put it, “It also restores their HOPE.” She went on to say, “Our clients that are affected by HIV/AIDS are also seniors, working poor, families and most importantly; our family, friends and neighbors.”

Grant made February 2020

Kerrie S. and Karen S.

We have received and paid an emergency grant request from Kerrie and her wife Karen. Karen has had some profoundly serious medical issues and was not able to work. She eventually lost her job due to these issues. It is sad and ironic that they found themselves suddenly in a position desperately needing financial assistance. They lived their lives constantly assisting the San Diego LGBTQ community. In fact, they only recently were honored by San Diego civic leaders for their years helping raise money for those in need. It was an honor for our foundation to be able to give back to this wonderful and generous couple when they were the ones needing help. We gave them rental assistance for two months and paid an overdue phone bill to avoid disconnection.

Grant made February 2020

Eugene F.

Eugene was a 24 year old gay man who was in his senior year at Cal State University-San Marcos. He was scheduled to graduate with a degree in May in Business Administration. Unfortunately, his grandmother died unexpectedly at the age of 77 leaving him without any family support or financial support. She had raised him since he was five years old and he had no other family to whom he could turn. The Rob Benzon Foundation approved a grant to pay his past due rent, cover a small tuition bill so he could get his degree and we bought him some much appreciated groceries.

Grant made December 2019

Raymond C.

Raymond was diagnosed with terminal kidney disease and while being able to work for awhile to support his family, a year later he was no longer able to do so. He was unemployed, receiving disability benefits, getting in-home care and undergoing daily dialysis at home. The dialysis machine resulted in higher energy costs and the family had fallen behind with SDGE to the point that they were threatened with disconnection of their power. Our foundation was able to approve a grant to pay the family’s SDGE bill so as to avoid disconnection of service allowing Raymond to continue his desperately needed daily dialysis treatments.

Grant made December 2019

Children of Holiday Magic Project

Children of Holiday Magic Project produces yearly, several thousand, 12-page activity/coloring and interactive CD books, that are distributed to sick and hospital bound children at Rady’s Children’s Hospital of San Diego during the holiday season. The Rob Benzon Foundation approved a grant to pay for the printing costs of these much-anticipated children books for the hospitalized children.

Grant made December 2019

Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The Rob Benzon Foundation has again answered the call to assist with costs of the annual Scott Carlson Community Thanksgiving Dinner held at the San Diego LGBT Community Center on Thanksgiving Day. Started in 1988 by Scott Carlson as a dinner for HIV/AIDS patients, the tradition of giving continues to provide a hot Thanksgiving meal for those in need in our community on the day we earmark to give thanks. The dinner now includes people with cancer and other ailments, homeless people, and anyone needing a safe and inviting place to come together as a community on this holiday. More than 500 individuals benefited from this year’s dinner.

Grant made in November 2019

John N.

John’s family were refugees from Uganda that were already struggling to afford to live in San Diego before an illness brought them additional financial hardship. They were living paycheck to paycheck as their income is only enough to rent which meant that were unable to keep current with their water utility bill. Our foundation was able to approve a grant to pay their water bill to avoid disconnection.

Grant was made November 2019

Douglass H.

Douglass, 67, had a surgery to remove his cancerous bladder and prostate. Doctors were able to construct a new bladder from his small intestine. Tubes were used to deal with his temporary incontinence. Douglass used incontinence pull-ups as he heals. His health problems and resulting bills, meant he was financially challenged while his insurance company denied covering the needed pads. The Rob Benzon Foundation provided several months of needed pull- ups incontinence supplies so he could make a safe and comfortable recovery.

Grant was made October 2019