Don't let the booming Silicon Valley technology-driven 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 or in need of social services.
The Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund, now in its 26th year, provides a grassroots opportunity for the community to make a donation and know that it will be combined with hundreds of others and disbursed to approximately 50 carefully vetted local agencies, mostly in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. Earlier this year, we gave away more than $400,000 thanks to you.
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 for funding) because the Weekly and Silicon Valley Community Foundation underwrite all the expenses. So none of your money is spent on overhead or other administrative costs.
And second, thanks to the support of the Packard, Hewlett, Peery and Arrillaga foundations and two Palo Alto families who wish 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.
Over the next few weeks, we'll continue to ask for your donations and publish the names of those who contribute to help inspire others to give and be publicly thanked (if they wish).
The list of organizations the Holiday Fund supported this last year can be found online; they 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 curricula and much more.
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 help others in the community.
Many donors make a Holiday Fund gift in memory of a loved one or to honor a friend. To donate, either go online to PaloAltoOnline.com/holiday_fund.
Along with the thousands of kids and families who ultimately benefit from your gift, we are grateful for your help.