Thank you to the more than 250 donors to the Pleasanton Weekly's 2019-20 Holiday Fund. Your generous contributions allowed us to provide a total of $64,878 to 10 deserving nonprofit beneficiaries.
The Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund was launched in 2003 to "help alleviate the needs that exist, despite our community's prosperity." Today we still strive to meet the unfunded and under-funded needs of Tri-Valley agencies and the need for financial support continues to increase as does the growing number of those in need.
Because our fiscal sponsor, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, handles the contributions at no cost, and we donate our time and advertising space, every penny donated by our readers goes directly to the beneficiaries. This year each organization received $6,487.80.
The funding is unrestricted, which is unusual, and very much appreciated by the nonprofits because the money can be used for any need.
"Your generous donation provides us with the flexibility to support a wide variety of initiatives," said Shaké Sulikyan, executive director of the ValleyCare Charitable Foundation. "Our focus is local, with the monies supporting state-of-the-art healthcare technology and equipment, facilities, clinical programs and services at Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare."
According to Sue Compton, CEO of Axis Community Health, this year's donation will support dental visits for low-income, uninsured residents at the Axis dental clinic. "The Holiday Fund truly makes a difference in our ability to provide care for Tri-Valley families," Compton said.
"Thank you to all of the supporters of the 2019 Holiday Fund. Because of you, more children, adults and seniors can count on food from Open Heart Kitchen," said Denise Bridges, OHK's development director. "We served more than 335,000 meals last year throughout the Tri-Valley. Your donations help feed our most vulnerable neighbors who do not have enough food to lead healthy lives. Hunger is affecting seniors on a fixed income and families struggling to make ends meet, and your gift provides a healthy meal that they otherwise may not be able to afford."
Another organization that helps the Tri-Valley's most vulnerable residents, CityServe of the Tri-Valley, is a relative newcomer to the list of beneficiaries. CityServe coordinates resources and volunteers to connect with and care for individuals and families facing crisis. With an increasing number of homeless, CityServe provides much-needed service and "we are privileged to be a part of a community that encourages its fellow citizens," said CityServe's CEO Christine Beitsch.
"We are humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the Pleasanton Weekly readers!" said Edie Nehls, executive director of Sunflower Hill, which creates residential communities and vocational programs for adults with developmental disabilities.
"This generous donation enables our team to continue to develop plans for accessible and exceptional living spaces, create and implement systems and procedures to support our residents and develop inspiring programs and activities to ensure a full and meaningful life for those who will live at Sunflower Hill at Irby Ranch," Nehls added.
"This past year has been an exciting and busy one for REACH with the addition of two new properties and remodel projects at two others," said Kay King, Tri-Valley REACH board chair.
"REACH now has 11 homes, providing independent living for 34 adults with developmental disabilities or other special needs. Maintaining 11 homes and keeping them in good working order is a No. 1 priority for REACH," King added. "We could not do it year after year if it weren't for the generosity of our wonderful community!"
"Because of the attention brought through programs like the annual Holiday Fund and the gifts we have received, we have been able to help directly over 1,500 cancer patients and impacted nearly 5,000 people in our community since 2009," Sandra J. Wing said of the foundation named in her honor, Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation, which offers grants for cancer patients to receive complementary healing therapies to provide comfort during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
The people who benefit from the annual campaign are not only those who find themselves in unfortunate or challenging circumstances, whether that be homelessness or hunger, disabilities or illness.
"This will make a huge difference to our students," wrote Steve McCoy-Thompson, executive director of Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE), which supports Pleasanton schools. "Thank you very much for your ongoing generosity and support."
"These funds help support so many patients and their families," Hope Hospice CEO Jennifer Hansen said. "We appreciate this so very much."
"Thank you again for providing an opportunity to the community to support local charities," Wing added. "We are deeply honored to be included in the 2019 Holiday Fund with amazing organizations, all of whom do such important work for our community."
We would also like to thank readers for supporting our community and neighbors with your donations.
Look for information about the 2020-21 Holiday Fund campaign in November.