Five nonprofits have been selected as this year's recipients of the eighth annual Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, the community-wide campaign that started Friday to provide needed funding for vital local nonprofits.
This year, the Tri-Valley Community Foundation has agreed again to provide matching funds to the campaign so that for every $1 contributed, another $1 will be given to these five nonprofits. With the match, this year's goal is $100,000 with the funds to be allocated equally to each of the five organizations: Axis Community Health, Hope Hospice, Open Heart Kitchen, Valley Humane Society and the Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center at ValleyCare Health Systems.
"Even though we're still in the midst of a difficult economy, our expectations brightened when we found that contributors from past years have already donated nearly $17,000 to help us launch our campaign early," said Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly.
Unlike most other fundraising drives by individual organizations, the Holiday Fund has no administrative expenses or other overhead. The Pleasanton Weekly donates all the support services so all money raised can support local nonprofit groups.
All funds are held in trust by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.
David Rice, president of the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, said giving to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund this year is more important than ever.
"Although Pleasanton is ranked as one of the wealthiest cities of its size in the nation, there are thousands who rely on many of these organizations for individual and family assistance, emergency aid when they're suddenly without jobs and health care," Rice said. "Not everyone is wealthy here, not everyone has a job, not everyone has health insurance. These are the people who need our help."
"Whether we're employers or among the employed or in business for ourselves, each of us has been affected by fast-rising costs -- in health care, for gasoline, for basic food and milk," Rice said. "Those on the bottom rung of the employment ladder may have a job, but they don't earn enough to meet these ongoing higher living costs. They often have inadequate or no health insurance at all. Some have lost their jobs or their benefits, or both, because of corporate downsizing, layoffs and benefit reductions. Just this month, more than 1,000 have been laid off by employers."
"We know what the needs are locally through the Tri-Valley Community Foundation's programs to help serve their financial needs," he explained.
"We can put money to work very quickly whereas it might take quite a long time for these organizations to partner up with donors themselves. So this is a much more effective and direct way to get money to work in the community by giving to the Holiday Fund."
How to give
Contributions to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund will be increased by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation. For every $1 contributed, $2 will be donated to these local organizations. All contributions will go directly to programs that benefit Pleasanton and Tri-Valley residents. Contributions will be distributed by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation to the five agencies listed below. No administrative costs will be deducted from the gifts, which are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
This year, due to the tremendous need of all nonprofits, donations will be shared equally among the five recipient agencies.
Contributors should make checks payable to Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund and send or deliver to: The Holiday Fund, Pleasanton Weekly, 5506 Sunol Blvd., Suite 100, Pleasanton, CA 94566.
You can also donate with a credit card on a secure form.
For more information call us at 600-0840 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following agencies will be supported by the Holiday Fund:
* Axis Community Health: Provides medical, mental health, addiction counseling and health education services to more than 20,000 patients and clients each year, regardless of their ability to pay. An estimated 70 percent have no medical insurance or are underinsured, including some that have recently lost their jobs and health benefits. Call 462-1755 or visit www.axishealth.org.
* Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center at ValleyCare: The ValleyCare Health Library and Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center, established in 1991, offers free access to easy to understand, up-to-date health and medical information. Open to the public, the library is located in the ValleyCare Medical Plaza, 5725 W. Las Positas Blvd., Suite 270, Pleasanton. The center is named for Ryan Comer, a star baseball player at Amador Valley High School who died of a rare form of pediatric cancer known as rhabdomyosarcoma in 1991 at age 17.
* Hope Hospice: Hospice care is unique because it works to not only meet the needs of those at the end of life but also supports the emotional and spiritual needs of the family as well. Hope hospice care is provided regardless of the ability to pay and relies on contributions such as those raised by the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund.
* Open Heart Kitchen: As the only nonprofit free soup kitchen in the Tri-Valley area, this service provides nutritious meals for low-income people in the area at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pleasanton, Holy Cross Lutheran and Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Livermore, and CrossWinds Church in Dublin. Visit www.openheartkitchen.org or call 580-1616.
* Valley Humane Society: This nonprofit group's mission is to teach responsible pet ownership. It assists in rescuing and placing abandoned or injured animals and operates an adoption center on Nevada Street in Pleasanton. It does not euthanize unless health problems dictate. Call 426-8656.