The COVID-19 crisis has had profoundly distressing impacts on so many layers of the Mill Valley community.

There are the frontline hospital workers treating coronavirus patients and administering vaccine, as well as the essential workers ping-ponging between crazy schedules to being furloughed. And there are the business owners constantly having to reinvent a business model with every twist and turn of the reopening rollercoaster, all the while investing in ever-increasing workplace safety protocols to keep their employees and customers as safe as possible amidst a pandemic.

So when we launched our Mill Valley Thrive Fund this week to support Mill Valley businesses with tax-deductible donations from the community, we quickly heard from a number of donors who were looking for ways to bolster all of those critically important elements of our community at once.

The result has been $25,000 in donations that deliver a “win-win-win” salve: direct donations to a number of local restaurants, providing much-needed revenue for local eateries at a moment in which indoor and outdoor dining are both shut down through at least the first week of January. Those restaurants can use those funds however they want, for operations or pass-alongs to their employees, many of whom have been furloughed during the shutdown.

Many of the restaurants are using some of the funds to buy gift cards that will be passed along to essential workers. One anonymous donor designated Grilly’s as a recipient to provide 200 gift cards to employees at The Redwoods’ senior community. (Donation recipients: the Mill Valley Chamber can recommend gift card recipients – email us here for some “Secret Santa” suggestions).


Indicate recipient(s) in the “In Honor of” portion of the form – we’ll split the donation evenly among them. If you don’t designate a business, we will pool not-designated donations to support the continued creation of $1,000 direct cash grants to the businesses that applied to our GoFundMe campaign in the spring and summer but weren’t fulfilled with the funds raised.

Key details:

  • We welcome donations of any size to the Mill Valley Thrive Fund to help our business community, and we have already received donations from $25 to $25,000.
  • Donations of less than $100 will go into the General Fund for businesses that have previously applied for $1,000 direct cash grants. Applications for these grants closed in July 2020. We are no longer accepting new applications due to the overwhelming demand.
  • Donations earmarked for a specific business must be $100 or more.
  • Folks can specify multiple recipients at the $100+ level.
  • Not one nickel of the funds raised will go to the Mill Valley Chamber. This is one more way we are trying to help an incredible community in pain. After you donate, please spread the word! 

To make a donation by check, please make checks out to “Mill Valley Thrive Fund” and mail to:

5800 Northgate Mall, Suite 250
San Rafael, CA 94903

Questions? Email us.

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