After fundraising for just a few weeks, Youth United for Community Action (YUCA) was able to raise $1.2 million to purchase the nonprofit's site and secure its future in East Palo Alto.
The nonprofit faced a tight deadline — until the end of March — to get together the funds to buy the yellow house at 2135 Clarke Ave., where local youth of color have been immersed in community activism, leadership and social justice for 11 years. YUCA reached its goal through private and community donations, and the building's landlord accepted the nonprofit's purchase offer, said Program Director Kenia Najar.
YUCA received $250,000 from EPA Can Do, which works to maintain affordable housing in East Palo Alto; $250,000 from Menlo Park resident Karen Grove of the Grove Foundation; and $150,000 from a private donor whose identity has not been disclosed.
Magnify Community, a philanthropic group that works to spur donations for community nonprofits in Silicon Valley, also helped Grove host a Zoom fundraising event in March that brought in over $500,000 from individuals, family foundations and community foundations.
A GoFundMe campaign also raised over $57,000, as of Friday, April 2.
YUCA has worked since 1994 to empower young people of color in East Palo Alto, many of whom have gone on to serve on local boards, commissions and other decision-making bodies. The nonprofit advocates for restorative justice in schools, immigration policy and tenant rights. Its physical location — a cozy home in the community it serves — also doubles as a hub and safe space for local teens.