Help those in need through the Holiday Fund | November 30, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - November 30, 2012

Help those in need through the Holiday Fund

It's December and the Pleasanton Weekly's 2012 Holiday Fund campaign is now under way, a time when the public is asked to turn its thoughts to supporting local nonprofit agencies and services that care for those in need year round.

This year, the Holiday Fund is a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. A contribution to this fund allows donations to be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Although there will be no matching funds as we have had at times before through the now-closed Tri-Valley Community Foundation, SVCF and the Pleasanton Weekly will handle all costs of the campaign. That means that every dollar will go directly to the 10 nonprofits we've chosen as this year's beneficiaries, with all administrative expenses being handled by the SVCF and the Pleasanton Weekly.

The Holiday Fund's goal in this 10th annual campaign is again $100,000, with contributions to be disbursed in two tiers. A total of 75% of all dollars raised will go in equal amounts to Axis Community Health, Open Heart Kitchen, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation, Valley Humane Society and ValleyCare Health System. Another 25% of the contributions will go to Hope Hospice, Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council, REACH, Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation and Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley.

It's our most ambitious campaign ever. Despite a modest economic recovery in the Tri-Valley, these are still-troubling times with unemployment in Alameda County, alone, at more than 8%. Further, the agencies we have targeted for assistance have found that they now have many more to serve and often fewer dollars from their regular donors who have found themselves at times facing financial, employment and health care challenges and uncertainties.

Last year, when the state of the economy was perhaps even more dire, Pleasanton Weekly readers rallied to the call and contributed $104,000 in direct donations to the Holiday Fund. When the campaign ended, and with more organizations seeking financial assistance, the Weekly provided four more recipients with a share of the donations. This year, we've identified 10 organizations that are counting on your contributions to the Holiday Fund.

We know what the needs are locally because of our expertise in covering these nonprofits in the Weekly's news columns and through the community foundation's programs to help serve their financial needs. We can put money to work very quickly whereas it might take quite a long time for these organizations to partner up with donors themselves. Reports about two of the organizations that will benefit from Holiday Fund donations this year, Hope Hospice and Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley, are in this edition with more stories to follow as the campaign continues.

About the only difference in this year's campaign from earlier ones is that as the Holiday Fund is a donor advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, 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.

There is also an opportunity to donate through Pay Pal online at

All donations will be acknowledged shortly after being received.