In the midst of dozens of donations for $25, $100 or $500 received earlier this month to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, one jumped out: an unsolicited and completely unexpected check for $25,000 from a first-time donor.
While the Holiday Fund has other large donors, including the Hewlett, Packard, Peery and Arrillaga foundations and a Palo Alto family that has given $100,000 each of the last six years, each was preceded by proposals or conversations to reassure those contributors their money would be well-spent on important community needs.
In the case of our newest major donor, two Palo Alto residents who both came here to attend Stanford University more than 40 years ago, their expressed motivations perfectly captured our vision when establishing the Holiday Fund 25 years ago.
"We both are particularly interested in directing our resources and energy into highly local giving looking for ways to help those in our community who have been less fortunate than we to gain opportunity, education, a roof over their heads and the health care they need to survive and hopefully thrive," they wrote.
"We were paging through the Weekly a few weeks ago, saw a full page piece on this year's Holiday Fund and the kinds of recipients to which you have contributed in the past and basically just moved immediately to send the contribution your way.
"We've been Weekly readers for decades and know and trust the Weekly. We love how you have focused and structured the Holiday Fund. We also know and trust Silicon Valley Community Foundation and like how efficient you and they are at getting funds to work in the community.
"We are thrilled to be able to help and thank you for your efforts to create a meaningful force for good in our community," they concluded.
The list of organizations the Holiday Fund supported this last year can be found here.
Along with the thousands of kids and families who ultimately benefit from your gift, we are grateful for your help.