Season of giving: Nonprofit wish lists to help everyone spread holiday spirit

Consider making a purchase for those in need while shopping in Pleasanton this weekend

This Thanksgiving weekend begins an important stretch for retailers throughout Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley, with shopping showcase days like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

From there, it's full bore for store owners/managers/employees and shoppers alike through Christmas and into the New Year, a time for families to fulfill their gift lists and for many local businesses to meet their 2018 profit goals.

But this is also a time to remember not everybody can experience enjoyment during the holiday gift-giving season, even in an affluent community like Pleasanton. That's where many local nonprofits step in, to help provide a little more joy to those in need during the holidays.

As we begin to fill our homes with holiday cheer, we often include the tradition of remembering others and sharing our bounty.

We reached out to Tri-Valley nonprofits this month, and many have provided their wish lists for those residents who want to include them in their gift-giving. So the next time your shopping at you're favorite retailer, grocery store or small business here in Pleasanton, consider also making a purchase to help these nonprofits during the holidays.

Museum on Main

Founded in 1969, the Museum on Main's mission is "enriching community life through education and preservation." As a cultural resource for Pleasanton, the museum tells the stories that have shaped our community through collections, research, exhibitions and programs.

Wish list:

* Amador Valley High School yearbooks for the following years: 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1965, 1966, 1977, 1988, 1998-2018.

* Foothill High School yearbooks for 1979, 1981,1983,1984, 1993, 1995, 1999-2018.

* New presentation projector

* Craft items: Glue sticks, scotch tape, masking tape, colored paper, colored card stock, Crayola crayons, washable markers, popsicle sticks

* Gift cards to purchase supplies at Ace Hardware, Michaels, Party City, Safeway, Office Depot

* iPads for new exhibit space

* New office desk chair.

Items may be dropped off at the Museum on Main, 603 Main St. in Pleasanton, during open hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays or 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. For information: (925) 462-2766;,

Open Heart Kitchen

Founded in 1995, Open Heart Kitchen's Mission is to serve prepared, nutritious meals free of charge to the hungry people of the Tri-Valley area. They are the largest hot meal program of its kind in the Tri-Valley. They feed the hungry every weekday at multiple locations in Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin.

In 2017 Open Heart Kitchen served over 330,000 meals through our three meal programs: the Hot Meal Program, the Children's Weekend Bag Lunch Program, and the Senior Congregate Meal Program.

Wish list:

* Pasta sauce

* Pasta

* Canned fruit

* Canned beans

* Canned tuna/chicken

* Rice

* Cream of mushroom/chicken soup

* Decaf coffee

* Gift cards to local grocery stores

* Fresh produce.

Items may be dropped off at their Production Kitchen, Ridgeview Commons, 5200 Case Ave., Pleasanton, between 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For information: (925) 580-6793;,

Pleasanton Military Families

Pleasanton Military Families is a nonprofit group. They are a support-through-service organization for active duty troops, veterans and their families. They have monthly meetings, homecomings for returning military and three times a year volunteers send care packages to the deployed troops overseas.

Wish list for care packages:

* Beef jerky

* Mid-calf black cotton socks

* M/L/XL T-Shirts in army green and brown

* Disposable razors and non-aerosol shaving cream

* Hand warmer packs

* Protein bars

* 8-16 oz. plastic jars of peanut butter

* Baby wipes, 50-75 count packages

* Individual bags of nuts or trail mix

* 1 oz. energy shots.

Items can be dropped off at 3111 Half Dome Drive, Pleasanton. For information:

Sunflower Hill

Sunflower Hill is working to build an intentional community for adults with developmental disabilities. Its residential communities and vocational programs (Sunflower Hill at the Stable Cafe and Sunflower Hill Gardens) are designed with the goal of creating a stronger community while providing life enhancing opportunities for the population and families they serve. As they look to 2019, they are increasing staffing to better support their programs and developing procedures to ensure efficiency across all sectors of the organization.

Wish list:

* Volunteers to work at the Sunflower Hill Gardens

* Large baskets to gift produce and specialty items back to the community

* Two touch-screen iPads with data connectivity to track volunteers

* Three laptop computers for staff to plan curriculum

* One office desk chair

* Mulch

* Office supplies, reams of paper

* Gift certificates to Lowe's to purchase garden tools and equipment as needed.

Items may be dropped off at their office or garden, 1040 Florence Road in Livermore or

455 Olivina Ave., Livermore. To coordinate a drop-off time, call (925) 800-1042 or email

Tri-Valley Haven

Now in their fourth decade, Tri-Valley Haven continues to be a vital community resource serving adults and children who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or homelessness.

Tri-Valley Haven is seeking donations of gifts for teens, adults and seniors as well as toys for children. Gift cards to local stores are welcome.

Wish list:

* For infants: Educational toys (Spanish and English), playmats, musical toys, push and riding toys, and baby bouncers/activity seats.

* For children (3-12 years): Art supplies; small riding toys, bikes and scooters; sports equipment and clothing; dolls and Barbies; Spanish learning toys; skateboards and helmets/pads.

* For teens: Fidget spinners; headphones; warm clothing (hoodies, winter coats, sweats, leggings, infinity scarves, mittens, gloves, hats); bedroom decor; electronic games; cosmetics; fitness and sporting goods; hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners.

* For adults: Small household appliances; cookware and cooking utensils; bedding; shaving kits; hair dryers, curling irons, straighteners; towel sets; tool sets; pajama sets, robes, slippers; warm clothing (hoodies, winter coats, sweats, leggings, infinity scarves, mittens, gloves, hats) L and XL.

New, unwrapped gifts can be delivered to Asbury Church, 4743 East Ave., Livermore on between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Dec. 10-12 or by calling Christine at (925) 667-2707. A full list is available at or by calling 499-5845.

ValleyCare Charitable Foundation

ValleyCare Charitable Foundation raises funds to support programs and services at Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare (SHC-VC) Hospital in Pleasanton. One such program is the Clothing for the Homeless, launched by SHC-VC's Emergency Department team to provide new, clean clothing and footwear to homeless patients in need.

Wish list:

* Toothbrush kits

* Women's and men's sandals

* Sweatpants, all-gender, sizes S-2XL

* Sweatshirts, all-gender, sizes S-2XL

* Men's T-shirts, S-2XL

* Women's and men's socks, crew style

* Women's briefs underwear, sizes 7-10

* Men's boxer briefs, sizes L and XL.

To coordinate drop-off, call (925) 373-4560 or email

Valley Humane Society

Valley Humane Society (VHS) creates a brighter future for cats and dogs by encouraging and strengthening the bond between people and pets. VHS rescues and rehabilitates companion animals, champions responsible caretaking, shares pets' soothing affections with people in need of comfort, and supports and preserves existing pet-guardian relationships.

Wish list:

* Dry cat food

* Flea preventative

* Pine litter (non-clumping)

* Gift cards to purchase supplies: ACE Hardware, Costco, gas gift cards, Home Depot, JoAnn Craft Store, Office Max, Pet Food Express, Petco, Petsmart, Visa and Safeway

* Puppy Pads.

Items may be dropped off at their facility, 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton, during open hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For information: (925) 426-8656;,

Easterseals Bay Area

A local nonprofit that has been providing services and programs to individuals with special needs and their families for over 90 years, Easterseals Bay Area is launching their newest service line of interest-based social clubs for clients with autism who are between the ages of 5 and 13.

These clubs focus primarily on STEAM-based activities -- like robotics, chemistry, engineering and art -- while providing social skills training to young children with autism throughout Northern California, so they need the community's help to build out their library of educational club materials.

* Lego or building blocks sets

* Robotics or K'nex kits

* Science and chemistry sets (child-safe and non-toxic)

* Tempera paints

* Reusable paint mixing plates

* Polymer clay packs

* Wooden sculpting tools

* Paintbrushes

* Board and card games

* Magic kits

* Nintendo Switch and compatible games

* Gift cards to Michaels, Target, Amazon, Costco.

All questions and comments can be directed to Donated items must be sealed in package, and can be dropped off or shipped to: Easterseals Bay Area, 2730 Shadelands Drive, Bldg 10, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.

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2 people like this
Posted by Volunteer
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 23, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Volunteer is a registered user.

Don't forget Paws In Need! Paws In Need is a local nonprofit that financially aids pet owners with spay/neuter surgeries and urgent necessary veterinary care in the Tri-Valley area. Our mission is to improve animal welfare in our local community. Along with events, our fundraisers include sales of catnip pillows and handmade items made by our volunteers.

Wish List:
* Gift cards of any amount for Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts and Michaels
* Gift cards of any amount for PetSmart, Petco, Pet Food Express, Pet Supplies Plus, or
* Gift cards of any amount for Office Max, Office Depot, or Staples
* New pet crates and cages of any size (local area pick-up or delivery only)

Gift cards may be sent to Paws In Need, PO Box 3436, San Ramon, CA 94583, or contact us at 925-511-1877 or to arrange delivery or pick-up.

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