Just in time for the holidays, the Cox Cares Foundation has awarded $4,000 in grants to three Santa Barbara nonprofit organizations — the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, Youth Interactive and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

Each organization received a grant in the amount of $1,000 to help fund programs that benefit children and families.

An additional $1,000 was awarded to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History for receiving the most votes during an online voting campaign in which the public voted for one of the three organizations to receive additional grant dollars.

The Cox Cares Foundation 2012 nonprofit grant recipients and their programs are:

» Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History — Quasars to Sea Stars science education program, providing an intensive four-year educational experience.

» Youth Interactive — Create a 3-D media center, which will include a state-of-the-art interactive media room. This software will allow students to create video programs.

» Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation — Tutoring for families and neuropsychological testing for children with cancer who have learning challenges.

The nonprofit grant opportunity is one of several programs funded by the Cox Cares Foundation, which is supported by Cox employees who regularly contribute a portion of their paycheck to the foundation. Those contributions are then matched 100 percent by Cox Communications.

— Sarah Clark is the public affairs manager for Cox Communications.