Morongo Awards Nearly $200,000 to Community Groups at Inaugural Community Outreach Luncheon

Members of the Morongo Tribal Council, the Morongo Community Outreach Committee, and representatives of Carol’s Kitchen of Banning, Guide Dogs of the Desert, and Olive Crest gather onstage at the Morongo Community Outreach Awards Luncheon.

In furtherance of its goal to help support local non-profits, the Tribe provided grants to 67 different organizations serving others across local communities.

MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION – The Morongo Band of Mission Indians awarded nearly $200,000 to dozens of non-profit organizations serving local communities as part of the Tribe’s inaugural Community Outreach Awards luncheon, held on Wednesday, April 13.

The 67 award recipients represented a wide array of organizations across Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including those involved with Native American culture, social services, education, hospitals or health organizations, and support groups for members of the military and military families.

Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin speaks at the Morongo Community Outreach Awards Luncheon where the Tribe awarded $200,000 to 67 non-profit organizations from across the Western Riverside County and the Coachella Valley.

Community Groups of the 2022 Community Outreach Awards

“Giving back to the community is central to our core values at Morongo, and we are delighted to be able to provide assistance to dozens of non-profit groups that do so much to serve those in need all across the Inland region,” said Morongo Tribal Chairman Charles Martin. “There are so many exceptional groups out there who work so hard in the service of others, and we are excited to be supporting and recognizing their missions through our Community Outreach Awards Program.”

Morongo launched the new Community Outreach Awards Program last year to expand the number of smaller, community-based Inland groups to which the Tribe provides philanthropic support in neighboring communities. Grants of up to $5,000 each were awarded through the streamlined process.

“We have worked with the Morongo Band of Mission Indians for many years, and the Tribe has always generously supported our work to help feed the hungry and homeless of the San Gorgonio Pass,” said Ann Blair, vice president of Carol’s Kitchen in Banning. “Morongo truly wants to help make the world a better place.”

Robert Maher, executive director of Guide Dogs of the Desert said the Tribe’s donation will help the organization in its mission to train guide eye dogs for the visually impaired. The group has provided almost 825 guide dogs since 1972. 

“We are deeply moved and thankful for Morongo’s support of our mission to provide mobility, companionship and independence for individuals with vision loss, by providing custom-trained guide dogs,” Maher said.

During the luncheon, award recipients were recognized for their exceptional service and partnership with Morongo.

Groups that received awards from Morongo hailed from across the Inland region, ranging from Immanuel House in Moreno Valley (transitional sober living environments) to Voices for Children in Riverside (social services for abused children), Family Services of the Desert (food assistance), Inland Harvest of Redlands (food assistance), Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Inland Empire in Riverside (mentorships), the CARE Project of Riverside (breast cancer support) and veterans groups such as the Western Eagle Foundation in Temecula and American Legion Post 53 in Hemet.

Over the past decade, Morongo has provided more than $15 million to support local and national non-profit organizations that serve the San Gorgonio Pass and the surrounding regions, as well as greater Southern California.

For information about the 2023 Community Outreach Awards program, groups are encouraged to visit