The 2015 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund is about to close.
As of today, contributions total $56,156, short of the $80,940 that was received last year. If you haven't yet contributed, please consider donating by Friday, Jan. 15, when this year's campaign closes.
Contributions to the 2015 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund will be distributed to 12 Tri-Valley nonprofit organizations in two tiers, with 65% of all dollars raised going to Axis Community Health, Open Heart Kitchen, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation, Valley Humane Society and Stanford Health/ValleyCare Health System.
Another 35% of the contributions will go to Agape Villages Foster Family Agency, Hope Hospice, the Museum on Main, Resources Education Activities Community and Housing for special-needs adults (REACH), Sandra J Wing Therapies, Senior Support Services of the Tri-Valley and Sunflower Hill.
The 2015 Holiday Fund is a timely effort. Many local nonprofit agencies and services that care for those in need year-round are still faced with diminished contributions as a result of the waning recession while needing increased funds to meet a growing number of those in need.
Open Heart Kitchen, a Tri-Valley charity that is again on the Holiday Fund list for 2015, has increased its outreach this year because of a growing need. Linda McKeever, executive director, said that Open Heart now serves six low-income senior centers, has added more schools to its children's box lunch programs and has expanded the program to serve lunches during the summer months. It has also added longer hours and additional sites to its hot meal programs.
"The Weekly's Holiday Fund has been extremely helpful in allowing Open Heart Kitchen to expand its programs and keep up with the growing need in the community," McKeever said.
Axis Community Health, which is the Tri-Valley's sole provider of medical and mental health services for individuals and families who have a low income or who are uninsured, will also benefit from this year's Holiday Fund contributions. The agency serves more than 14,000 Tri-Valley residents each year through a variety of services that include medical care for children, adults and seniors, prenatal care and women's health services, mental health counseling, drug- and alcohol-recovery services and a WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition program.
More than 25% of Axis patients are children under the age of 12. The families who depend on Axis are the working poor; 95% of Axis medical patients have a family income less than 200% of the federal poverty level, which is less than $46,100 a year for a family of four.
"Axis is proud to be selected as a recipient of the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund again this year, and we look forward to being able to provide more medical visits for low income Tri-Valley families who would otherwise have no access to health care," said Sue Compton, CEO of Axis.
Other organizations also need the financial help Holiday Fund donors provide. REACH uses its share of donations to enhance the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities, providing education programs for activities and to provide housing opportunities. It has nine homes in the Tri-Valley serving 26 people with disabilities that range from cerebral palsy to Down syndrome to autism, with some being more impaired than others.
Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation provides cancer patients with the benefit of complementary therapies to help alleviate the side effects caused by radiation and chemotherapy. This organization is supported entirely by generous donations, including those from the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund.
Again this year, the Weekly is partnering with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which will handle all finances related to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund. This will allow donors to take advantage of a tax deduction in 2016 for the dollars they contribute through the Foundation's 501(c)(3) status to the fullest extent of the law. Also, the Pleasanton Weekly will handle all costs of the campaign. That means that every dollar will go directly to the 12 nonprofits with no administrative expenses.
How to Give:
Contributions should be directed to:
Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund
c/o Silicon Valley Community Foundation
2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300
Mountain View, California 94040.
Checks should be made payable to Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
Donations also can be made by credit card at www.siliconvalleycf.org/pleasantonweeklyholidayfund/
We look forward to your contributions to make this a truly happy new year for these are nonprofit organizations.