A HISTORY OF GIVING
Theodore Gildred, Sr. was born in 1900 in Rochester, NY. He grew up and was educated in Argentina and Ecuador before attending New York University, where he graduated in 1918 as a civil engineer. After returning to San Diego, he married Maxine Edmonds. In 1934, he relocated to Mexico City with his family, where he would lead a very successful life as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Theodore passed away in June of 1967. Prior to his death, he established the Gildred Foundation in San Diego, which has since made major contributions to medical research through the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, Salk Institute, and University of California at San Diego. Other grant recipients have included the University of California San Diego Cancer Center at University Hospital, the San Diego Aerospace Museum, the San Diego YMCA in Mission Valley, the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, the Foundation for Latin American Health and Education, and the surgical wing of Children’s Hospital and Health Center.
MEG FOUNDATION AND SG FOUNDATION
In 1974, The MEG Foundation was formed in Theodore’s wife’s honor, with Theodore and Maxine’s son, Stuart Gildred, Sr., at the helm of the organization. Through the MEG foundation, national grants were awarded in the areas of housing and hunger, vocational training, drug prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, and domestic violence. Internationally, grants supported medical assistance in Asia and Latin America and agricultural development in Africa. Other grants were awarded to World Neighbors, World Relief, Mercy Corps International, Food for the Hungry, Heifer Project International, and See International. Other endeavors that MEG helped initiate include the Santa Ynez Valley YMCA, the Jubilee Foundation in Lompoc, CA, and the Wood River Network for Drug-Free Youth in Sun Valley, ID. Other ongoing major commitments included the Network for Drug-Free youth in Santa Barbara County, relief for the poor through the American Friends Service Committee, and endowing the Edward Ames Edmonds professorship for study of economics at Stanford University.
In 1984, Stuart Gildred, Jr. formed the SG Foundation to continue the work that the MEG Foundation had begun. From its inception, the goal of the SG foundation has been to help the less fortunate of the world to live better lives using the strong Judeo-Christian values of the founders as guidelines, and to help people help themselves. Stuart Jr. formed a board of qualified, experienced businessmen who were devoted to service and whom shared the same values. In 1991, Stuart also formed the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation, a community foundation designed to improve the lives of people in the Santa Ynez Valley and Los Alamos, CA by investing in programs that feed the poor, promote health, nurture seniors, challenge the area’s youth and inspire the community to make a difference…all themes that were born out of Stuart’s belief that communities can and should take care of their local problems with a minimum of federal programs. Stuart stayed very involved in the SG foundation until his death in 2001. The SG Foundation still exists today under the guidance of his widow, Lynn Gildred. The foundation’s current focus is giving to charities mostly on the central coast of California.
LINDA VISTA FOUNDATION
In 2021, Stuart Gildred, Jr., who has served on the SG Foundation’s board since 2001, formed the Linda Vista Foundation to continue his father’s legacy. The Linda Vista Foundation was formed to improve the quality of life for people by providing grants and loans to our partner organizations primarily for community development, education, and locally driven projects. Our belief is that a hand up is preferable to a handout. Guided by Christian principles, it is our mission to serve others with compassion, transparency and love.