Charity raises spirits for beneficiaries and donors alike. Do you have a cause or legacy to leave and want to do something about it? Whether you audition, volunteer or donate money, charity changes lives. Those giving back to the San Francisco arts and culture include recent Jefferson Award winners featured by CBS. There’s a wealth of charitable acts going towards San Francisco Arts. Get involved with any of these options.


Lamplighters Music Theater
469 Bryant St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 227-4797

Lamplighters celebrates its 60th season of hosting comic operas from Gilbert & Sullivan. This organization offers music education to school children and waives fees for qualified schools. Lamplighters provides a school assembly program called “H.M.S. Pinafore – Get on Board with Gilbert & Sullivan” or an actual mini-residency called “The Pirates of Penzance: Walk the Plank with Gilbert & Sullivan.” The latter is a program that assists in the production of this play, training student cast and chorus members for the performance. Lamplighters features three productions annually. This year’s lineup includes “The Mikado,” “Princess Ida” and The Sorcerer.”

Related: Mimes, Magicians And More: Best Street Performers In San Francisco

(credit: Richard Gillette)

Pegasus Voyages
1554 Sonoma Ave
Albany, CA 94706
(510) 717-4439

Docked at Berkeley Marina
125 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720

Pegasus is a 50 foot, mahogany sailboat built in Maine in 1972. It sets sail with at-risk youth, community and charter groups to provide a basic understanding of marine wilderness in the San Francisco Bay. The captains and crew, both professional and volunteer, build confidence and inspire teamwork while educating those on board about sustainable living. The majority of youth voyagers are low income and minorities from East Bay and beyond. Pegasus used to sail to the Caribbean yearly for marine research but has since traveled much less. The bowsprit seat is a crowd favorite as it provides you with the illusion of flight over water.

Related: Jefferson Award Winner Helps Bay Area Children Set Sail

(credit: Richard Gillette)

Spirit of the Sea
2340 Powell St #212
Emeryville, CA 94608
(510) 478-4600

Docked at Jack London Square
70 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607S

Spirit of the Sea makes a splash in the Bay and beyond the Golden Gate this spring with Ocean Watch. A 64 foot boat with a warm hearted and seasoned captain, seeks to help at-risk or disadvantaged youth, the disabled, those suffering from illnesses and any others who would not otherwise have an opportunity to set sail. Since March 2012, Spirit of the Sea has provided education about oceans for middle and high school students throughout the Bay Area. They teach how to protect the ocean from overfishing, pollution, oil spills, climate change, habitat destruction, invasive species and more. Jefferson Award winner Captain Richard expects 501(c)3 approval in 2012, making all donations tax deductible. Donors can contribute through Paypal and the Facebook fundraiser page.

(credit: Cindy Warner)

San Francisco Opera Guild
301 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 864-3330

The San Francisco Opera Guild supports the arts with events and adult education. This year, they are presenting Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at their Opera Ball in September. The guild provides fun and casual insight panels where the cast and director answer questions from audience members. This summer, the opera guild plans to present a panel on “Nixon in China.”  Guild volunteers pick up talent from the airport, work as receptionists at the Ivy Street location and help out in any other roles as necessary. Donations are tax deductible, and the opera offers a form online or accepts checks by mail made out to the San Francisco Opera Guild.

Jefferson Award winners and co-founder of Kelly Porter and Hallie Immroth (credit: CBS) keeps things small and personal by giving iPods to children in hospitals. Its co-founder, Kelly Porter, recently won a Jefferson Award and was featured by CBS San Francisco on a visit to Children’s Hospital in Oakland, delivering a personalized iPod to a child undergoing treatment for cancer. AIDAAN provides children with inspirational or uplifting songs on their donated iPods, encouraging recipients to share their favorite songs and videos on the website. This organization fosters a culture of giving. They use music therapy to help children suffering from chronic illnesses and long hospital stays. The idea behind it all is to do something small that makes a big difference.  Help out by raising awareness about AIDAAN which stands for Angels In Disguise Are Always Near. The more visibility, the longer these kids can enjoy some classic tunes.

Related: Jefferson Award Winners Bring Joy Of Music To Hospitalized Children

The Creative Work Fund supported Lisa Hamilton's visual and writing project bridging rural and urban with car cards on BART. (credit: Cindy Warner)

The Creative Work Fund
1 Lombard St #305
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 402-2793

The Creative Work Fund awards grants to arts creating new work in collaboration with non-profit organizations. The non-profits must be based in any of the 14 northern California counties, working in two of five possible artistic areas. This fund supported Lisa Hamilton with her visual and writing project, a photography exhibit called “Real Rural.” This exhibit is on display at the California Historical Society. It represents the merging of rural and suburban life. The images display electronic devices such as cellphones and laptops paired with those who work with their hands in nature, primarily on farms or with ranch animals.

RelatedBest Exhibits at the African American Art & Culture Complex

Cindy Warner is a freelance writer and a San Francisco Bay Area native. Cindy has covered SF theater and opera for via her bicycle since January 2009. Check out her work on