The annual Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund drive kicks off this week, with the goal of raising and giving away $250,000 to local nonprofits serving children and families.
"As we begin the fourth Holiday Fund since the start of the Great Recession, it is heartening that our readers continue to step up and support this grass roots community fundraising effort," said Bill Johnson, Palo Alto Weekly publisher and president of Embarcadero Media, the Weekly's parent company.
"The needs of the less fortunate in our community continue to grow, and we should all be grateful for the work our nonprofit organizations do to provide a safety net in difficult times," he said. "The Holiday Fund is a great way for those who can afford it to express their appreciation for this important work."
In 2010-2011, the fund raised and distributed $230,000 from more than 400 donors and made 44 grants, mostly to groups in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. Grants ranged in size from $500 up to $25,000.
The Weekly Holiday Fund is a partnership with Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The Packard and Hewlett foundations are supporting the campaign with matching grants totaling more than $50,000.
People may donate to this year's Holiday Fund online through www.PaloAltoOnline.com/holidayfund. One hundred percent of all donations raised go to the selected organizations, which will be chosen in April.
The campaign runs through early January 2012.