For the last 20 years, Almanac readers have opened their hearts and contributed more than $3.5 million to the Holiday Fund. If giving to the Almanac's Holiday Fund is not a tradition for you, try it this year. Not only will your gift help the 10 nonprofit agencies that provide food, shelter and meet other needs of those less fortunate in this community, but it will also be matched, to the extent possible, by grants from several foundations that support the Holiday Fund.
Last year $162,000 was contributed to the Holiday Fund by more than 100 Almanac readers and the Packard, Hewlett and Rotary Club of Menlo Park foundations. That amount was divided equally among the 10 nonprofits that provide food, shelter and counseling to homeless, sick and hungry residents who are down on their luck.
This year leaders of these agencies continue to see a wide range of needs that can be eased by the popular Holiday Fund grants. The Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes it possible for every dollar contributed to the Holiday Fund to be passed directly to the nonprofit agencies. No fees or other charges are taken out by the Almanac or the foundation. See Page 11 for information on how to contribute.
If you are able, please consider a donation to the Holiday Fund as we move into our 21st year of serving local nonprofits. Your contribution will help support agencies that provide a safety net to local families and children who have no where else to turn. These are our neighbors who may have been laid off unexpectedly or had a catastrophic illness, or suffer from addiction or mental health problems. They deserve our help.
This year the Almanac's Holiday Fund will support the following nonprofit agencies:
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula
Provides after-school and academic support and activities for 1,750 at-risk K-12 youth at nine locations in Menlo Park and the North Fair Oaks neighborhood of Redwood City. Members attend at least twice a week during the academic year and receive tutoring, mentoring, and academic support.
Ecumenical Hunger Program
Provides emergency food, clothing, household essentials, and sometimes financial assistance to families in need, regardless of religious preference, including Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets for more than 2,000 households.
Provides free literacy services to adults in the Menlo Park area. Trained volunteers work one-on-one to help adults improve their basic reading, writing and English language skills so they can achieve their goals and function more effectively at home, at work and in the community. Volunteers also help students acquire basic keyboard and computer skills.
Ravenswood Family Health Center
Provides primary medical and preventive health care for all ages at its clinics in Belle Haven and East Palo Alto. It also operates a mobile clinic at school sites. Of the more than 17,000 registered patients, most are low-income and uninsured and live in the ethnically diverse East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks areas.
St. Anthony's Padua Dining Room
Serves hundreds of hot meals six days a week to people in need who walk through the doors. Funded entirely by voluntary contributions, St. Anthony's is the largest dining room for the needy between San Francisco and San Jose. It also offers emergency food and clothing assistance.
Second Harvest Food Bank
The largest collector and distributor of food on the Peninsula, Second Harvest Food Bank distributed 52 million pounds of food last year. It gathers donations from individuals and businesses and distributes food to more than 250,000 people each month through more than 770 agencies and distribution sites in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
InnVision Shelter Network
Provides shelter/housing and supportive services across 18 sites in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Peninsula. Serves thousands of homeless families and individuals annually on their path back to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.
Serves more than 32,000 people throughout San Mateo County, including children, young people and families with counseling, prevention, early intervention, education, and residential programs. StarVista also provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services including a 24-hour suicide crisis hotline, an alcohol and drug helpline, and a parent support hotline.
Fair Oaks Community Center
Provides housing and food assistance, emergency shelter referral, legal services, a childcare program, older adult nutrition, and low-cost exercise programs for youth and adults.
Teen Talk Sexuality Education
Teen Talk helps young people feel confident and supported to make informed decisions about their own sexual health through in-school programs, parent education, and training for youth program providers.