Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - December 10, 2010

Support the Holiday Fund

A banner will go up under the Arch in downtown Pleasanton on Monday reminding everyone of the opportunity to contribute to the 2010 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund. More than ever, the Holiday Fund's beneficiaries need our help as more residents in the Tri-Valley find themselves with shrinking pay, shrinking health care benefits or no jobs or health care coverage at all. The larger lines at Axis Community Health and Open Heart Kitchen -- two of the Fund's beneficiaries this year -- show the needs here are increasing as a continued sluggish economy fails to provide employment opportunities.

This week's debate over extending unemployment benefits shows the concern nationally that millions of Americans, including many in the Tri-Valley, still need financial help for shelter, food and medicine. For many there's now the added concern over the pending loss of Cobra, the discounted health insurance available temporarily after an individual loses a job and employee health plan coverage. Often, these additional costs are more than families can afford, leading to deteriorating health care at home.

Besides Axis and Open Heart Kitchen, this year's beneficiaries of the Holiday Fund are Hope Hospice, the Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center at ValleyCare, and the Valley Humane Society. Nationally, Americans are giving about 3% less this year compared to 2009, and this downward trend affects local charities, too, and at a time when their needs are growing. That makes contributions to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund even more important and for at least two reasons. First, for every $1 given to the Holiday Fund, the Tri-Valley Community Foundation will provide another $1 in matching funds up to a total of $100,000, this year's campaign goal. Second, all administrative costs are covered by the Pleasanton Weekly. Unlike contributions that may go to national organizations where administrative costs can skim 15-20% off the top, every dollar contributed here stays here. Also, funds contributed to national charities often don't make their way back here again. Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley are not on anyone's list as a demographic area in need of public aid, even though if you're poor in Pleasanton, you're just as poor as those in other parts of the country.

As of press time, contributions to the Holiday Fund with the matching dollars total $48,764, including an anonymous donation of $10,000 received this week. We hope you'll help us meet our goal of helping the local nonprofits that serve our community.

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