Ways to Support


DONATE NOW: Give today to help Vista Hill build stronger families and brighter futures.


  • CLICK – on DONATE; fill in required information (Select a Designation)
  • MAIL – a check to Vista Hill – 8910 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., S.D. 92123
  • CALL – (858) 514-5155 to charge over the phone
  • STOCK GIFTS – call for more information (858) 514-5151.


LEGACY GIVING: Join us in building stronger families and brighter futures by making an investment in Vista Hill.

Vista Hill’s Legacy Giving Program is for anyone interested in securing the future of Vista Hill by contributing through their estate plan or by making an endowment gift/pledge. Our ongoing Anniversary Endowment Campaign was kicked off in June 2003 with generous matching gift opportunities from the Lipinsky Foundation and the Parker Foundation.

planned gift is any major gift, made in lifetime or at death as part of a donor's overall financial and/or estate planning.

There are many options available to leave a legacy with a planned gift.  The most common form of planned gift is a bequest from a Will or Trust

  • Bequests may be a fixed amount (ex: $10,000), a percentage (such as 10%) or a remainder after all other specific bequests have been distributed
  • Specific property such as residential real estate, may also be used in a charitable bequest
  • Sample language to add a bequest to a Will or Trust: “I/We give and bequeath $xxx,xxx (or ___% of my/our estate) to Vista Hill Foundation, a California nonprofit corporation.  TIN# 95-1944230”

Planned Gifts may offer significant tax advantages to you or your heirs.  Some options with tax benefits include:

  • Gifting appreciated assets such as shares of stock or a business allows a donor to avoid capital gains tax when the assets are sold.
  • Beneficiary Designation: Vista Hill may be named as beneficiary of your life insurance policy or investment account. Any amount designated to charity will provide a credit for the estate thus reducing the impact of estate taxes.
  • When deciding which assets to leave to heirs and which assets to leave to charity, choose to make bequests to Vista Hill Foundation from retirement plans such as an IRA.  Retirement plan gifts are taxable to heirs, but not to charities.
  • Gifts from IRA’s also offer immediate tax benefits to donors over age 70½ who may gift a portion of their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) each year up to $100,000 directly to charity completely tax free. Click here for more information
  • Special Needs Trust: Families can provide funding to benefit a disabled family member without jeopardizing public support. Please call the Special Needs Trust Foundation (SNTF) at 619.201.2672 for specific information. Vista Hill is a charter member of SNTF.

Legacy Gifts, unless otherwise specified, will be used to sustain the overall work of Vista Hill’s mission.  Gifts may be designated to support a specific program or to the Vista Hill Anniversary Endowment Fund.  The Foundation will consider establishing separately named or restricted endowment funds for a minimum contribution of $500,000.

Some planned gifts even offer a way to increase your income while receiving a charitable deduction!  For more information on Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Gift Annuities or any of the options above, contact Rachel Peniche, Executive Director: (858) 514-5151 or [email protected]

If you are interested in going forward with a planned gift for Vista Hill, we encourage you to speak with your attorney or estate planning professional. The information provided here is not meant to provide specific advice about the legal or tax implications of charitable giving.


The charitable IRA rollover allows donors aged 72 or older an attractive, creative and simple way to make gifts to charities like the Vista Hill Foundation.

The IRA Charitable Rollover allows the following:

  • IRA owners can make an IRA charitable rollover (up to $100,000 per year) to a qualified charity and not have that transfer count towards their taxable income
  • Charitable rollover amounts count toward the donor’s required minimum distribution.

Why should I consider an IRA Charitable Rollover?

  • The IRS requires that all taxpayers begin taking minimum distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s) in the year they turn 70 ½. This is known as the required minimum distribution, or RMD.
  • RMD’s are treated as taxable income, and in some cases may put a recipient into a higher tax bracket, with one exception: people who gift their RMD’s directly to charity make this gift completely tax-free!
  • Even donors who won’t be itemizing their deductions may take advantage of this tax-wise way to give

What to Know about RMD Gifts from Your IRA

RMD gifts are easy to make – just follow these simple steps:

  • Funds must come from a traditional IRA account, Inherited IRA, Simple IRA (inactive) or an inactive SEP
  • Your gift must go directly to the charity – if you cash it out first, you will have to pay the tax and then claim a charitable deduction (if itemizing)
  • Your IRA administrator can process the transfer for you
  • The maximum contribution is $100,000 per taxpayer. If you own multiple IRA’s, you may make distributions from each, but cumulative contributions must not exceed $100,000 in order to receive tax and RMD benefits.
  • The gift will not be reported as taxable income, but will count for the required minimum distribution

Retirement accounts also make excellent legacy gifts

  • Unlike other assets, retirement accounts do not pass to beneficiaries tax-free. Recipients will pay income tax on all distributions
  • The one exception: charitable beneficiaries
  • Bequests for IRA’s are one of the easiest planned gifts to set up: all it takes is a simple change of beneficiary form – your IRA administrator can direct to you an online form
  • Retirement fund bequests must be for a percentage, rather than a fixed amount

For more information on any of the options above, contact Rachel Peniche, Executive Director: (858) 514-5151 or [email protected]



Acknowledgments are a wonderful way to remember birthdays, holidays, and other life events. Vista Hill will promptly notify the recipient of your good wishes by sending an attractive card. The amount of your gift will not be disclosed.


Make an In-Kind Contribution (Wish List)

You can help our programs in so many ways by contributing items, gift cards, or services.

Do you have a new, or very gently used, item to donate that can help Vista Hill help those who are trying to help themselves? In-kind contributions defray our costs and provide wonderful benefits that would not otherwise be possible for our children and families. The following is a partial list of needed items and volunteer services:

Stein Education Center

  • Gift Cards – to grocery stores to purchase food for cooking groups or individual cooking lessons.
  • Gift Cards – ($10-$15 gift card for fast food & stores) – to provide community-based instruction and reinforcers for good behavior.
  • Microwave & toaster ovens – for teaching cooking skills to disabled students.
  • Electronic keyboard – for musical activities for students.
  • Motorized treadmill – occupational therapy & fitness for disabled youth.
  • Small trampoline – for enjoyment and energy release for active students.
  • Hammock swing – calming activity for children with autism.
  • Balls of any kind - playground, soccer, basketball, tennis.
  • Racquets for badminton or tennis – build game-playing skills.
  • Coloring books and art supplies.
  • From Lakeshore Learning, Einstein Tool Box and other stores Dino Kit, Science Kit, Microscope with screen & slides, Butterfly Kit, Crystal Growing, Magnets, Balloon Physics, Volcanoes, Books about the Human Body. All contributions toward this are welcome!

Stein Education Center Adult Services

  • Gift cards - To Michael's to purchase craft items
  • Gift cards - To grocery stores and Costco to purchase food for cooking groups

Stein Special Care Services

  • Porch swing- For leisure and relaxation for our teens
  • DVD player- for video watching on fun Friday
  • Bean bags- for relaxation and story time
  • Scooters- for riding out on the playground during recess times
  • Popup soccer goal – for adaptive sports activities
  • Bike helmets- for safety
  • Puzzles and board games- for table game activity time
  • Art Supplies- construction paper, glue, markers, colored pencils, etcetera
  • Wii game console – indoor fitness with students

ParentCare Family Recovery Center

  • Baby supplies (diapers, bottles, etc.) - To assist young mothers at our ParentCare Center
  • Make-up, grooming & hygiene items - For ParentCare moms who are homeless
  • Gift Card ($10-$15) (retail stores) - Items for our “store” (incentives for clients to succeed; for example $10 to Target or Walmart)

Vista Hill Apartments

  • Household needs - Sheets, blankets, baby cribs, strollers, pots, pans, silverware, dishes

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard

Mother Hubbard's Cupboard was established in 2007 through a generous contribution from the San Diego Women's Foundation.

  • Nutritious, non-perishable food items - Examples: tuna, granola bars, 100 calorie snack bags, no salt nuts, soup (chicken noodle), cereal with low or no sugar,, peanut butter and jelly, canned beans, pasta, tomato sauce, canned fruit & veggies, apple sauce, rice cakes, oatmeal, juice, trail mix,PastaRoni, Rice-a-Roni, Mac & Cheese, etc.
  • Basic necessities - Diapers, wipes, toilet paper, hand soap, body wash, shampoo /conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, children's toys and learning materials.

Teen Recovery Center

  • Individually packaged non-perishable snacks (i.e. chips, cookies, granola bars, protein bars, trail mix, popcorn, canned soup, mac & cheese, ramen, soda)
  • Boys and Girls socks, underwear, under shirts, hooded sweatshirts
  • Gift Cards to Target, Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Costco
  • Field Trip Opportunities: Zoo tickets, SeaWorld, Boomers, Waterparks

Learning Assistance Center

  • Backpacks, school supplies and new school clothes – To send low income students “back to school” each fall with good self esteem

SAFIR & OnTrack

  • Young adult books on bullying - To assist with group counseling and support
  • Young adult books on anger control - To assist with group counseling and support
  • Gift Cards (grocery or retail stores) - Items for sobriety anniversary celebrations
  • Gift Cards / donations - To purchase DVDs for classes in Parenting, SAFIR, and OnTrack

Please call Jenny Cairncross at (858) 514-5155 to donate an item or service to Vista Hill. All donations can be dropped off or mailed to:

Vista Hill Main Office
8910 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. (Kearny Mesa area)
San Diego, CA 92123-1104


Sponsor or Underwrite an Event

To support Vista Hill's excellent programs. Events include the Annual Gala, Fashion Show, and Council on Mental Health Luncheons.

Donate Your Car/Boat

Donate your working or non-working car, boat, motorcycle or RV to help Vista Hill Programs. Please call CARS at 855.500.7433 and mention Vista Hill or go online to http://www.careasy.org/nonprofit/vista-hill

Join the Vista Hill Council on Mental Health

Offering annual membership, the Council on Mental Health provides educational luncheon forums on timely, important mental health issues and strives to erase the stigma of mental illness.Helping families live whole lives. Our mission is to:

  • Increase awareness and knowledge of mental health disorders and the effects they have on families;
  • Remove the stigma of mental illness through education and outreach; and
  • Provide help and positive support to those in need thereby improving their quality of life.

At any given time, approximately 20% of adults and children in the United States have a diagnosable mental health condition.
Mental health conditions include anxiety, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, substance use disorder , bipolar disorder, depression, eating disorders, , suicidal tendencies, and more.

The Vista Hill's Council on Mental Health is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of all those who are challenged with these and other mental health issues.
Vista Hill's Council on Mental Health members enjoy luncheon programs (Upcoming Events) that feature leading celebrities and authorities from around the nation who speak about a wide variety of vital issues.

Please join us! Call Jenny Cairncross at 858.514.5155 for information.

Our speakers have included these notable men and women:

Mariel Hemingway – Suicide
Jeanne Phillips (a.k.a. “Dear Abby”) – Alzheimer’s Disease
Christopher Kennedy Lawford – Substance Abuse/Alcoholism
Judith Viorst – Necessary Losses
Thomas Perls, M.D. – Living to 100
Sylvia Nasar – A Beautiful Mind – Schizophrenia
Harriet Lerner, Ph.D. – Strengthening Key Relationships
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. – Women and Depression
Kathy Cronkite – Depression
Rachel Simmons – Bullying
Iris Krasnow – Relationships
Gloria Steinem – Self Esteem
Bree Walker – Physical Disabilities
David Kessler – Grief and Loss

Membership Benefits

All memberships are renewable on a yearly basis. Enjoy Vista Hill Council on Mental Health (VHCMH) programs at a reduced rate and support Vista Hill. Join today!

$100 Member

  • 20% discount on tickets to VHCMH programs featuring nationally-renowned experts, authors, and celebrities
  • Subscription to bi-annual newsletter
  • Listing in Vista Hill’s Annual Donor Report

$250 Supporter

  • One complimentary event ticket per year
  • All Member benefits above

$500 Contributing Supporter

Additional complimentary event ticket
  • Program listing
Invitation to patron receptions
  • All Member and Supporter benefits above

$1,000 Major Supporter

  • Listing on invitation
Autographed book from speakers
  • All benefits from three levels listed above

$10,000 Lifetime Member

Join Vista Hill’s Council on Mental Health by calling Jenny Cairncross at 858.514.5155 or click on Membership Form.


Join a Committee for Fundraising Events

If you are interested in serving on an event committee for the Annual Fashion Show, Gala or Council on Mental Health Luncheon, please contact Jenny Cairncross at 858.514.5155.


  • Services can be donated to help our cause… can you provide dental care, landscaping, dependable drivers, food/supply delivery or other professional services? Please call Jenny Cairncross at 858.514.5155 to donate a service to Vista Hill.
  • Volunteering Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard - Seeking two or three volunteers to generously donate their time, and use of their personal vehicles, to pick up food supplies at the San Diego Food Bank for delivery to ParentCare on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Deliveries can be made any time before 11:30 AM on any weekday. Help is also needed afterward to sort and package food. A minimum 3-month committment is requested. Please call Angela Rowe, ParentCare Director at 619.668.4205.