Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - December 10, 2010

Editorial: Holiday Fund 'makes dreaming big possible'

It may not seem like much in the big picture of budget crises and political debates, but it's often the little things in life that truly count. Like kids.

To fourth-grade teacher Sarah Milo of the East Palo Alto Charter School two small grants have made a big difference: A $200 "new teacher" grant last year bought basic classroom supplies and a whiteboard, and a $500 grant this year bought a projector so children could share and critique their art projects as a class.

The grants "make dreaming big possible," she says of the benefit to her students, in a short video on www.PaloAltoOnline.com.

Both grants came from the East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, an all-volunteer organization that has received grants from the Weekly's Holiday Fund for all the fund's 17 years.

Teachers "are true role models ... that instill the love of learning in the kids, and show them that college is possible," Kids Foundation President Laura Roberts adds. Being all-volunteer means there is limited time for paperwork-heavy grant-seeking, and sources such as the Holiday Fund are key.

"For us it's been wonderful to have a supporter in the community that we can count on year after year," she said, echoing scores of other comments from grant recipients.

This year's Holiday Fund runs through January. This year's goal of $275,000 is a stretch from last year's $240,000 total, especially during a difficult economy.

Yet in terms of value, both human and financial, there is no better investment. All grants benefit children and families, and the Weekly absorbs overhead costs — so 100 percent of every donation goes to grants, and matching funds double the value of the donations. Please stretch with us.

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