We love living in San Diego for the sunny weather, the beautiful beaches, and the mellow California lifestyle. At any age, San Diego is an idyllic place to live, and for the approximately 12% of San Diegans over 65, aging in this place is the ideal solution. Earlier this month, San Diego became an even friendlier place for seniors when 30 local non-profits received a total of $369,000 in grants from funds managed by The San Diego Foundation. In the true spirit of holiday giving, these grants were awarded to organizations nominated by leaders in their communities for their outstanding work in the health and human services field, outside of the normal grant application process. The need across the San Diego region, ranging from domestic abuse and crisis response, hospice care, aid to the homeless, mental health treatment, care of the developmentally disabled, and senior healthcare and nutrition. However, several of these grants will have a direct impact on the health, happiness and holidays of San Diego’s senior community. The recipients include Meals On Wheels, which delivers two healthy meals and vital human contact to seniors in San Diego five or seven days a week, including holidays. As part of a growing trend to bolster seniors’ support networks, Meals On Wheels Greater San Diego has partnered with Helen Woodward Animal Center to deliver AniMeals, free cat or dog food for companion animals. Angels Depot, another grant recipient, serves seniors living with food insecurity by providing free Emergency Senior Meal boxes containing enough food for 21 meals. The seniors that Angels Depot serves have an average monthly income of just $866, and the organization supplies nearly 1000 seniors every month in 24 locations around San Diego County. In February 2014, Angel’s Depot also became an AniMeals partner with Helen Woodward, and now also serves the pets of the elderly poor. The importance of preserving the animal-guardian relationship can’t be overstated, as research shows that seniors with pets are healthier than those who don’t. Pets offer companionship, security, entertainment, and a good reason to get out of bed in the morning, all of which improves mood, longevity, and even blood pressure! In addition to these worthy programs, several senior centers around San Diego County were rewarded with grants: the Chula Vista Veteran’s Home, the Oceanside Senior Center, the Ramona Senior Center, Rancho Bernardo Senior Services, and the Escondido Senior Center. The San Diego Foundation, the source of these grants, has been promoting charitable giving since 1975, with the goal of increasing the flow and effectiveness of philanthropy in San Diego. To date, The Foundation has awarded almost $900 million to the non-profits of greater San Diego. America’s Finest City is a great place to live for the sun, sand, and SoCal style, but for seniors, the support available not just from the community but in the home from companion homecare agencies makes living in San Diego even better.