Holiday Spirit

Student Allison Escobar, a freshman at UC Riverside, and tutor Jaime Caudillo work together at Cooley Landing Education Center in East Palo Alto on Nov. 23, 2020. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Posted November 12, 2021

Weekly sets $500K goal for Holiday Fund charity drive
Campaign will benefit local nonprofits that serve youth, families and others in need

by Palo Alto Weekly Staff

The Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund campaign to support local nonprofits that provide critical help to those in need is kicking off this week, with the aim of raising $500,000 — every cent of which will be distributed to community agencies.

Through the generosity of local residents and the Holiday Fund's partnering foundations, Palo Alto area service organizations will be able to send deserving teens to college, bridge educational gaps, put hot food in hungry stomachs, aid people with disabilities, step in with services when times are tough and more.

Recent grants from the Holiday Fund have ensured nonprofits were able to continue their important work of helping others during the pandemic. At the San Francisco 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto, staff set up a learning hub for kids who were unable to keep up with remote learning: homeless children, special education students, youth who take care of younger siblings because their parents are working all day, students without reliable internet access and immigrant children who were just starting to learn English. Each of these students received consistent, individualized attention as well as coordinated help to keep them both in school and thriving.

At the nonprofit Hidden Villa farm, gatherings at summer camps in 2020 were both unsafe and illegal, so the staff launched an at-home program called "Seeds of Summer." Students received boxes filled with 14 envelopes, each a lesson that blended recreation with education. The boxes included journals, a variety of craft supplies and bits of nature collected from the farm.

The generous support of matching grants from local foundations, including the Packard, Hewlett, Peery and Arrillaga foundations, are doubling each Holiday Fund contribution. A donation of $100 turns into $200 with the foundation matching gifts. And because the Palo Alto Weekly and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation are absorbing all administrative costs to run the fund, 100% of every donation goes directly to an agency for services.

The 2020-2021 Holiday Fund campaign raised and granted a record $680,000 to 74 nonprofits, bringing the total distributed over its 28-year history to more than $8 million. A list of the nonprofits is posted at PaloAltoOnline.com/holiday_fund .

"This year, we will be looking carefully at supporting those organizations that have used up their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and other one-time support and face challenges in needing to right-size their operations for the coming year and determining their path forward post-COVID," said Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Embarcadero Media, the Weekly's parent company.

Donors to the fund may make contributions in honor of someone special. All donors and their gift amounts will be published in the Palo Alto Weekly unless anonymity is requested. Donations can be made online at siliconvalleycf.org/Paw-holiday-fund.

The Palo Alto Weekly 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.

"Every year, donors to the Holiday Fund demonstrate their compassion and open hearts through their giving," Johnson added. "We hope they'll do the same this year."

The Holiday Fund campaign will run through early January. Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations in the spring. Agencies interested in applying for a grant, which this past year ranged from $2,500 to $25,000, can find an application at PaloAltoOnline.com/holiday_fund.

Apply for a Holiday Fund Grant

Nonprofits serving children and families may apply for funds by downloading our Grant Application Guidelines and Grant Application Form. Application deadline: 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 13, 2023.

Make a donation
2022 Recipient Agency

49ers Academy$10,000

AbilityPath$10,000

Able Works$10,000

Ada's Cafe$25,000

Adolescent Counseling Services$7,500

Art in Action$10,000

Bay Area Friendship Circle$5,000

Beyond Barriers Athletic Foundation$5,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters
of the Bay Area
$10,000

Blossom Birth & Family$5,000

Canopy$5,000

CASA of San Mateo County$5,000

Children's Health Council$10,000

Christmas Bureau of Palo Alto$5,000

Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto$10,000

Counseling and Support Services for Youth - CASSY$15,000

DreamCatchers$15,000

East Palo Alto Academy Foundation$10,000

East Palo Alto Charter School$5,000

East Palo Alto Kids Foundation$15,000

East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring$15,000

East Palo Alto YMCA$10,000

Eastside College
Preparatory School
$7,500

EPACENTER$10,000

Family Connections$7,500

Fit Kids Foundation$5,000

Foundation for a
College Education
$10,000

Fresh Approach$10,000

Friends for Youth$5,000

Friends of the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo$10,000

Heart and Home Collaborative$10,000

Hope Horizon East Palo Alto$7,500

Jasper Ridge Farm$5,000

Kara$15,000

Learning Home Volunteers$10,000

Live In Peace$10,000

Magical Bridge Foundation$10,000

Mannakin Theater & Dance$5,000

Marine Science Institute$5,000

Midpen Media Center$7,500

Music in the Schools Foundation$8,000

My New Red Shoes$5,000

New Voices for Youth$5,000

Pacific Art League of Palo Alto$12,000

Palo Alto Art Center Foundation$10,000

Palo Alto Community Child Care $30,000

Palo Alto Players$10,000

Peer Point$20,000

Peninsula Bridge$10,000

Peninsula College Fund$10,000

Peninsula Healthcare Connection$10,000

Peninsula Volunteers$15,000

Peninsula Youth Theatre$5,000

Pursuit of Excellence Scholarship Foundation$20,000

Ravenswood Classroom Partners$20,000

Ravenswood Education Foundation$10,000

Reading Partners
Silicon Valley
$10,000

ReadySetExcel$5,000

Rebuilding Together Peninsula$7,500

Resource Area for
Teaching (RAFT)
$5,000

Rich May Foundation$5,000

Rise Together Education$10,000

Ronald McDonald House$5,000

Rosalie Rendu Center$5,000

Sager Family Farm$5,000

Silicon Valley
Urban Debate League
$7,500

St. Elizabeth Seton School$10,000

TheatreWorks$5,000

UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival)$10,000

WeHOPE$15,000

WomenSV$7,500

Youth Community Service$25,000

Child Care Grants

All Five$10,000

Covenant Children's Center$10,000

Creative Montessori
Learning Center
$10,000

Grace Lutheran Preschool$10,000

Palo Alto Friends Nursery School$10,000

Parents Nursery School$10,000


As of November 29th, 77 donors have contributed $65,407 to the Holiday Fund.
* indicates amount withheld at donor's request

8 Anonymous2,960
Elaine Hah1,500
Susan & Doug Woodman150
Freddy & Jan Gabus250
Kingston Duffie & Elizabeth Schwerer500
Margaret Forsyth and Glenn Rennels*
Richard & Pat Douglas50
Jerry & Bobbie Wagger*
Mahlon & Carol Hubenthal*
Paul & Jane Millman250
Bruce Campbell*
Fran Codispoti250
Judy Kramer*
Elizabeth Salzer & Richard Baumbartner*
Penny & Greg Gallo500
Donald Price*
Judy Ousterhout*
Roy & Carol Blitzer*
Marian Adams100
Kroymann Family250
Carolyn Caddes*
Sally & Craig Nordlund500
Barbara Riper*
Katherine Bryant100
Eileen & Rick Brooks1,000
Roger & Joan Warnke300
Charlotte Johansen200
Leo & Marlys Keoshian250
Donna Silverberg100
John Keller100
Ed & Linda DeMeo500
The Dong Family200
Jack and Susan Thomas*
Julie and Jon Jerome*
Marcia & Michael Katz200
Andrea B. Smith100
Scottie Zimmerman100
Leif and Sharon Erickson500
Ted & Ginny Chu*
The Havern Family5,000
Scott and Jan Kilner500
Dorothy Saxe100
Kieschnick family1,000
Bill Reller*
Harry E & Susan B Hartzell100
Art and Peggy Stauffer500
Dorothy Deringer200
Barbara Klein*
Ann Burrell & Charles Smith*
Janis Ulevich*
Theradep Technologies500
Gwen Luce and Family*
In Memory Of

David W. Mitchell*
Robert Spinrad100
Er-Ying and Y.C. Yen250
Ray Bacchetti300
Lily & Philip Gottheiner150
Jim and Dottie Mellberg*
Gerald Berner300
Steven T. Ross100
Phil Zschokke200
Ruth & Chet Johnson*
In Honor Of

Joe Simitian*
Darla Tupper3,922
Businesses & Organizations

Alta Mesa Cemetery & Funeral Home2,500
Palo Alto Business Park*
Arrillaga Foundation10,000
Angelo Family Foundation 5,000
Peery Foundation10,000

Past Holiday Fund Grant Recipients

2018-2019 | 2017-2018 | 2016-2017 | 2015-2016 | 2014-2015 | 2013-2014 | 2012-2013 | 2011-2012 | 2010-2011 | 2009-2010 | 2008-2009 | 2007-2008 | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005 | 2003-2004 | 2002-2003 | 2001-2002 | 2000-2001 | 1999-2000