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Editorial: Your chance to give back through the Holiday Fund

Thousands of people in need are helped through nonprofit agencies receiving Holiday Fund grants

As the year winds down, giving to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund is an easy way to support dozens of local nonprofits and the families they help.

Thanks to the more than 200 individuals and families who have already donated, the 2013 Holiday Fund is off to a strong start, but many more gifts are needed to reach our goal of raising more than $350,000 to support local organizations supporting families and kids in need.

Don't let the reviving Silicon Valley economy lull you into thinking that there isn't a continuing divide, even in the affluent Palo Alto area, between those riding high and the many families living on the edge and needing a bit of help.

Children are too often the innocent victims of economic hard times, and we are lucky to have so many well-run nonprofit organizations that are serving their needs.

The Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, now in its 20th year, provides everyone in our community the opportunity to make a donation and know that it will be combined with hundreds of others and dispersed to approximately 50 carefully vetted local agencies, mostly in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto

There are two important reasons why giving to the Holiday Fund uniquely leverages your donation: First, every dollar raised is given away (in the form of grants to nonprofits that apply), and the Weekly and Silicon Valley Community Foundation underwrite all the expenses. So none of your money goes to cover administrative costs.

And second, thanks to the support of the Packard, Hewlett, Arrillaga, and Peery foundations and a Palo Alto family that wishes to remain anonymous, any donation you make is doubled in size. So if you give $100, the Holiday Fund is able to grant $200 to a worthwhile program serving children and families in our area.

The list of organizations the Holiday Fund supported this last year is available here. The organizations include groups in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto that are providing counseling, tutoring, mentoring, reading programs, environmental education, health services, child care, food, shelter, music, art and science curriculums, and much more.

We have a deep commitment to community service and to supporting nonprofits that are working hard to help those who need it, and we hope you will join us in this cause.

Whether you give $25 or $25,000, it is a powerful statement when hundreds of local people unite around a common philanthropic objective and combine their giving to raise $350,000 or more to give back to the community.

Giving is easy, and it's fully tax-deductible. Go online to PaloAltoOnline.com/holiday_fund to make your donation today. Along with the thousands of kids and families that ultimately benefit from your gift, we are grateful for your help.

Read about the work of Holiday Fund agencies:

Project WeHOPE offers shelter, dignity

Finding a voice through film

Palo Alto Humane Society creates a Critter Club

Jobs and mentoring program sets youth on positive path

In training for a 'warm, welcoming, delicious' experience

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