Today we are launching our 2019 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, a campaign that will benefit 10 Tri-Valley nonprofit organizations.
Again this year, we are partnering with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, so all donations are tax deductible and 100% of the funds will go directly to the nonprofits with no administrative expenses.
Nonprofits benefiting from this year's campaign will be Axis Community Health, CityServe of the Tri-Valley, Hope Hospice, Open Heart Kitchen, ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, Valley Humane Society, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation, Sunflower Hill, Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation and Tri-Valley REACH.
"This is a time when we ask our readers to turn their thoughts to supporting local nonprofit agencies and services that care for those in need year-round," said Gina Channell, publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly and president of the Embarcadero Media East Bay Division.
"It's also a timely effort," she added. "Even with a record-high stock market, low unemployment and a booming economy as we head into the Christmas shopping season, nonprofits are not necessarily in these winners' circles."
Axis Community Health
One of this year's Holiday Fund recipients, Axis Community Health 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.
"The need for affordable, quality care has grown rapidly over the past decade," said Sue Compton, Axis CEO.
Axis, headquartered at 5925 W. Las Positas Blvd. in Pleasanton, now provides 50,000 medical visits, 2,000 dental visits and 12,000 mental health visits annually.
Its staff of 175 includes physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, mental health professionals and support staff. It also provides free enrollment assistance for anyone seeking coverage through Covered California insurance programs or Medi-Cal.
"Our job is to make access to health care available to all members of the community," Compton said. "The Holiday Fund has been vital to helping us provide care for our community's most vulnerable residents."
Another beneficiary is ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, which provides support for Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare's innovative medical programs and Pleasanton's hospital.
"This charitable foundation is dedicated to the health and betterment of the Tri-Valley," said Shaké Sulikyan, its executive director.
Sulikyan added: "For almost 60 years we have worked with our Tri-Valley neighbors to build a healthcare system that directly reflects their growing and changing needs.
"Donations and grants to ValleyCare Charitable Foundation provide us the flexibility to meet the ever-changing medical needs of our community by funding the equipment, programs, and services that enhance patient care.
"Donations to the Holiday Fund will help ensure that Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare will continue to deliver the highest quality care, close to home, to all who seek our help, now and for generations to come."
Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies
This year's donations to the Holiday Fund will also go to the Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation.
Founded in 2008 by Sandra Wing, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 1,400 individuals living with cancer in the Tri-Valley.
"Our organization relies on the support of generous donor organizations such as the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund," Wing said.
She added, "As a beneficiary, the Holiday Fund is a major asset of our program that aims to provide important services to people affected by cancer. Because of funds awarded last year, we were able to provide close to 100 healing therapies to cancer patients in the Tri-Valley.
Foundation patients receive assistance to identify the most appropriate complementary healing therapies (acupuncture, acupressure, therapeutic massage, deep breathing meditation and/or guided visual imagery) that help to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
Donations from the Holiday Fund have helped Sunflower Hill build its residential community at Irby Ranch, now under construction on Sunol Boulevard.
This year's fund will provide financial assistance to continue this facility with places and spaces where adults with developmental disabilities are expected to start moving into next June.
It will be the first affordable residential community in Pleasanton, specifically designed to provide a diverse, sustainable and productive quality of life for these special needs adults.
"The Holiday Fund has allowed our organization to continue to plan and build the framework of our programs and activities that will be core to the daily lives of the Sunflower Hill," said Edie Nehls, executive director.
A Dublin-based nonprofit provider of in-home nursing, Hope Hospice and Home Health offers a full spectrum of patient care, from monitoring and treating a patient's illness or condition, to helping to improve their quality of life at the end of life.
"In hospice, the focus is on keeping patients comfortable by managing their pain and symptoms and preserving their dignity," said Jennifer Pettley, the organization's director of development.
Hope Hospice brings compassionate, uplifting support to help families during this highly emotional time, added Jennifer Hansen, CEO of the nonprofit.
Open Heart Kitchen
Open Heart Kitchen is the largest hot meal program of its kind in the Tri-Valley.
"Our mission is to serve prepared, nutritious meals free-of-charge to the hungry people of the Tri-Valley area," said Denise Bridges, OHK's development director. "There is no qualifying process and meals may be eaten at numerous serving sites or taken to go."
"Contributions from the Holiday Fund will be used for our three programs to feed our community's most vulnerable neighbors -- the hot meal program, senior meal program and children's weekend bag lunch program," she added.
Open Heart Kitchen serves an average of 2,190 people and 2,750 children monthly throughout the Tri-Valley.
CityServe of the Tri-Valley also will receive contributions from the Pleasanton Weekly's 2019 Holiday Fund.
This is an organization that is focused on "mobilizing mercy," according to new CEO Christine Beitsch-Bahmani.
"We are about compassion in action," she said. "What that means is that contributions to CityServe will be used to leverage an impact for good here in the Tri-Valley."
Last year, the Holiday Fund and other donations helped a single mother in Pleasanton, who was in and out of homelessness. CityServe also helped a homeless senior who had been living in his vehicle for years but lacked the access to supportive services, according to Marielle Evans, the nonprofit's director of operations.
"This is just a small snapshot of the kind of work that CityServe engages in and that your contributions from the Holiday Fund will allow to continue," she added.
For more than 30 years, the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation has supported Pleasanton's 15,000 public school students, 9,400 school families and more than 800 teachers with district-wide funding and programs.
According to Steve McCoy-Thompson, PPIE's executive director, the organization was able to allocate over $700,000 to Pleasanton schools this past year for key supplemental staff, including math and reading intervention specialists, support counselors, librarians and more.
"The Pleasanton Weekly's Holiday Fund is used to support two key PPIE programs: our INSPIRE Grant Program, which provides grant funding for innovative STEM grants that give students and teachers access to technology and science, and the Mariachi robotics program at multiple public schools in Pleasanton," he said.
Added McCoy-Thompson, "Thank you for your tremendous support. Your funding makes a huge difference to our students and provides them an opportunity to access technology and learning that will position them for the future and enables them to contribute to our community."
Valley Humane Society
The Holiday Fund this year will also go to the Valley Humane Society, located at 3670 Nevada St. in Pleasanton.
This animal welfare organization offers lifesaving rescue and rehabilitation programs that provide hundreds of lovable dogs and cats with adoption into "forever" families.
The organization has spent more than three decades working in the Tri-Valley, giving it and its volunteers an intricate understanding of the community's needs.
"Valley Humane is independent and not supported by national humane societies or tax dollars," said Melissa Adkins, its marketing communications manager. "That's why donations from the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund make a meaningful difference."
An acronym for Resources Education Activities Community and Housing (REACH) for Special Adults of the Tri-Valley, this nonprofit provides safe, quality and affordable living environments where an adult with a developmental disability may live independently.
Over the years, REACH has served hundreds in their desire to live, work and socialize in the community where they grew up.
"The number of individuals desiring to live independently is growing and yet the number of affordable housing options is not," said Kay King, chairwoman of the nonprofit.
She said REACH relies on local grants, fundraising events and the generosity of our community, including those who contribute to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund.
"For that, we are most grateful," she added.
How to Give
As the Holiday Fund is a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, please direct your donations to:
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
P.O. Box 45389
San Francisco, CA 94145-0389
Checks should be made payable to Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
All donations will be acknowledged shortly after being received.
Or visit the donation page online here.