This banner hanging over Main Street this week says it all: Contribute to the 2019 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund.
Donations are especially important this year to help nonprofits that are focused on schools and those in the Tri-Valley who are homeless.
One beneficiary of this year's Holiday Fund is PPIE (Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation). For more than 30 years, PPIE has supported education in our community, which today includes 15,000 public school students, 9,400 school families and more than 800 teachers with district-wide funding and programs.
With support from school families and Holiday Fund contributors, PPIE was able to allocate over $700,000 to Pleasanton schools this past year.
These funds helped pay for key supplemental staff such as math and reading intervention specialists, support counselors and librarians, and inspiring grants for STEM projects and other programs.
"PPIE also has a strong partnership with our local business community, which provides additional funds, volunteers and other support to our schools and makes our impact possible," said Steve McCoy-Thompson, PPIE's executive director.
"PPIE works closely with parents, teachers and school district leadership to set annual funding priorities and to allocate these funds in a way that directly benefit our students," he added.
Contributions to the Weekly's Holiday Fund also support the Pleasanton school district's Foster and Kinship Youth Program. This is a unique program designed to provide direct support to the often-overlooked foster youth in our community. Many of these youth come from difficult family situations and have trouble adjusting in school.
"The Foster and Kinship Program has made remarkable progress in supporting and guiding these young people through school," McCoy-Thompson said. "It has succeeded in placing the vast majority in college."
Also supporting the needy is CityServe of the Tri-Valley, another Holiday Fund beneficiary.
"This is an organization that is, at its core, focused on mobilizing mercy," said Marielle Evans, its director of operations.
"Whether that be through connecting volunteers from the faith-based and wider community to human service needs in our area, coordinating resources between partner nonprofits and agencies to better serve those in need, or providing direct case management and crisis intervention for those who are in need and who are at-risk of or are experiencing homelessness, we are about compassion in action," she said.
"What that means is that Holiday Fund and other contributions to CityServe will be used to leverage an impact for good here in the Tri-Valley," Evans added.
Last year, the Holiday Fund and other donations helped stabilize a single mother in Pleasanton who was in and out of homelessness due to the negligence and child support dodging of her former spouse.
"We were able to help her and her children find secure, safe and stable local housing," Evans said. "This included connecting her to legal support that she needed to create a sustainable trajectory for her and her kids."
Also in Pleasanton, CityServe was able to help homeless seniors who had been living in their vehicle for years, but lacked the access to supportive services.
"With contributions like the Weekly's Holiday Fund, we were able to get their vehicle, which is their home, repaired and legally registered so that they could physically access the safety net services they badly needed," Evans said.
Please join me in contributing to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund that this year supports PPIE, CityServe and eight other deserving nonprofits. To learn more or to donate, visit our Holiday Fund webpage.