The Almanac sets $200K goal for Holiday Fund charitable giving drive | November 12, 2021 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


News - November 12, 2021

The Almanac sets $200K goal for Holiday Fund charitable giving drive

Campaign will benefit local nonprofits that serve youth, families and others in need

by By Almanac staff

The Almanac Holiday Fund campaign to support local nonprofits that provide critical help to those in need is kicking off this week, with the aim of raising $200,000 — every cent of which will be distributed to community agencies.

Through the generosity of local residents and the Holiday Fund's partners, Peninsula service organizations will be able to provide primary medical and preventive health care, bridge educational gaps, put hot food in hungry stomachs, step in with services when times are tough and more.

Recent grants from the Holiday Fund have ensured nonprofits were able to continue their important work of helping others during the pandemic. Second Harvest Food Bank, the largest collector and distributor of food on the Peninsula, met the tremendous increase in needs by serving hundreds of thousands of residents through its network of than 770 agencies and distribution sites in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

The Boys & Girls Clubs provided much-needed after-school academic support, enrichment and mentoring to 1,800 low-income K-12 youth at nine locations across Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and the North Fair Oaks neighborhood of Redwood City.

Contributions to the Holiday Fund will be matched this year, to the extent possible, by generous community organizations, foundations and individuals, including the Rotary Club of Menlo Park Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. And because The Almanac and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation are absorbing all administrative costs to run the fund, 100% of every donation will go directly to an agency for services.

Last year, Almanac readers and foundations contributed $260,000, which was distributed equally among 10 agencies, listed below.

"Each of these organizations have done a tremendous job in fulfilling their missions to serve Peninsula residents during the pandemic," said Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Embarcadero Media, The Almanac's parent company. "We expect that this year's grants will aid them in the coming year as they determine their paths forward post-COVID."

Donors to the fund may make contributions in honor of someone special. All donors and their gift amounts will be published in The Almanac unless anonymity is requested. Donations can be made online at Or go to page 10 of this edition to complete a coupon and donate by check.

The Almanac Holiday Fund is a donor-advised fund of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. A contribution to this fund allows donations to be tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

"Every year, donors to the Holiday Fund demonstrate their compassion and open hearts through their giving," Johnson said. "We hope they'll do the same this year."

The Holiday Fund campaign will run through early January.

Boys & Girls Clubs

Provides after-school academic support, enrichment, and mentoring for 1,800 low-income K-12 youth at nine locations across Menlo Park, East Palo Alto, and the North Fair Oaks neighborhood of Redwood City.

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.

Fair Oaks Community Center

This multi-service facility, serving the broader Redwood City community, provides assistance with child care, senior programs, citizenship and immigration, housing and employment, and crisis intervention. Programs are available in Spanish and English.


Provides shelter/housing and supportive services across 18 sites in Silicon Valley and the Peninsula. Serves thousands of homeless families and individuals annually on their path back to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

Literacy Partners - Menlo Park

Supports literacy programs and projects through fundraising and community awareness. Helps community members enhance their reading, writing and related skills and education to improve their economic, professional and personal well-being.

Ravenswood Family Health Center

Provides primary medical and preventive health care for all ages at its clinic in East Palo Alto. 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.

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.

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 by voluntary contributions and community grants, St. Anthony's is the largest dining room for the needy between San Francisco and San Jose. It also offers take-home bags of food, as well as emergency food and clothing assistance.


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.

Upward Scholars

Empowers low-income adults by providing them with financial support, tutoring, and other assistance so they can continue their education, get higher-paying jobs, and serve as role models and advocates for their children.


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