$3 million house raffled to help the homeless

Services provider InnVision will draw grand-prize winner Nov. 30 -- hopes to raise $1 million

Buy a raffle ticket, help the homeless -- and possibly win a $3 million house in Los Altos Hills.

That's the pitch in a new fundraising campaign by InnVision, Silicon Valley's largest provider of services to the homeless, including Palo Alto's Food Closet and counseling services at the Opportunity Center.

The organization provides food, shelter, rental assistance or other services in 20 locations, helping 1,000 people a day, according to CEO Christine Burroughs, who said the organization hopes to raise $1 million from the raffle.

"We've been serving about 20 percent more people this past year than the prior year. We're seeing many more folks needing assistance because of this economy," Burroughs said.

"That in itself is causing us to need more funding resources." The non-profit organization operates with a budget of $11 million a year.

InnVision's last major fundraiser in June followed a more conventional model -- a $100-a-head garden party at a spectacular Atherton home, where guests listened to Joan Baez and engaged in bidding wars for the chance to have lunch with her, as well as other auction items.

This time, according to Burroughs, an anonymous owner is "making the (Los Altos Hills) home available to us through this whole period of the raffle, and obviously to the grand prize winner if we're so lucky to sell enough tickets."

Prizes will depend on how many $150 raffle tickets are sold, she said.

"If we sell 37,000, we're able to give away the house. At 40,000, it's $1.5 million in cash. Below that level there are other cash prizes.

"So there's every incentive for us to sell as many as possible," Burroughs said, indicating that rumeration for the homeowner is part of the transaction.

"At this time the government is cutting back on a lot of the funding. Even private donors, some of them, have been impacted so much or lost a job -- so even donors have to pull back. So at the time we need more funding we have less funding coming through the door.

"This is an opportunity to raise a larger amount than we would through our normal fundraising activities. We'd like to be able to raise at least $1 million."

The grand prize drawing will be held Nov. 30. Visit the Los Altos Hills raffle website ( for more information.


Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Now this is a grand gesture and I only pray whoever wins, realizes that a gift like this may have a thousand motives, including love of mankind, and IF you should be lucky enough to be the winner and you already have the money and do not need another house, do what a friend did-------accept the gift, pay the taxes, and then put it BACK for either sale, or create another raffle.
The latter happened with my friend's house, and the house had DOUBLED in value and the family who ended up winning the house was rescued from the most grim tax problems to where they owed nothing and were able to keep and live in the house. I plan to buy at least a dozen tickets and want all of you out there to help rescue anyone you might know, or, even better, fight this recession with generosity
No matter what, always give at least a minimal amount to UNICEF and see to it that the smallest gesture will save at least one child's life. Hooray for the benificent person who has a caring soul.

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