San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Gives Out $13.5 Million in 2023

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena at awards ceremony in April, 2023. (Photo/Levi Rickert)
San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena at awards ceremony in April, 2023. (Photo/Levi Rickert)

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians keep on giving. Last week, the tribe announced it has completed its 2023 grant cycle. During the grant cycle a total of $13.5 million was given out to 161 different grant recipients.

The majority of the money was given to eligible nonprofit groups within the Inland Empire region and Indian Country.

In the Inland Empire region $1.2 million was granted to the Dodger’s foundation to build three new “Dreamfield” baseball fields in San Bernardino at Blair Park to revitalize recreation and inspire the next generation of athletes in an underserved community.

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In Indian Country, the National Indian Child Welfare Association was granted $450,000 to advocate for the preservation of Native American families, and $450,000 was given to the Boys and Girls Club of America to fund 14 clubs that will support Native American populations with after school programs. Additionally, funding was granted to housing organizations such as US Vets and Mercy House that serve vulnerable populations.

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairwoman Lynn Valbuena says philanthropy is critical to their Call of Yawa’: to act on one’s beliefs.

“Often times, we find hardworking people dedicated to improving lives and communities, yet may have limited resources to complete their calling. Without these altruistic individuals, many of the tools used to support mental health, family housing, cultural preservation, and even to pursue higher education, would not exist,” Valbuena said. “As a Tribe, we understand the importance in providing a hand up so that nonprofits and community leaders can make the impacts that change the world around us.”

Over the course of the past two decades, San Manuel has granted over $350M to non-profits residing in Serrano ancestral territory and around the country. Grants range from $5,000 to $3 million.

Their commitment to the Call of Yawa’ formed their four philanthropy pillars: Inspiring our future through education, empowering lives, reinforcing healthy and resilient communities, and preserving cultural traditions and empowering Indian Country. All grant projects must align with those four pillars to be considered for funding.

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