The Pleasanton Weekly's 2018 Holiday Fund has launched with 15 nonprofits slated to benefit from this year's campaign.
With new federal income tax rules in place for this calendar year, there's concern and uncertainty by nonprofit organizations over large-scale donations they've traditionally received.
That means that community campaigns such as the Holiday Fund are expected to play a major role in the contributions that these nonprofits need in the year ahead.
This year, the contributions will be split between two tiers among 15 recipients.
In Tier 1, the recipients that will share equally in 50% of total 2018 Holiday Fund are:
* Axis Community Health
* Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation
* Sunflower Hill
* Valley Humane Society
* ValleyCare Charitable Foundation
Tier 2 recipients that will share equally in 50% of total 2018 Holiday Fund receipts are:
* Agape Villages Foster Family Agency
* CityServe of the Tri-Valley
* Hope Hospice
* Museum on Main
* Open Heart Kitchen
* Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council
* Pleasanton Military Families
* Tri-Valley REACH
* Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation
* Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley
Again this year, the Weekly is partnering with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which will handle all finances related to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund. This will allow donors to take advantage of a tax deduction for the dollars they contribute through the foundation's 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to the fullest extent of the new tax code.
Also, the Pleasanton Weekly and Silicon Valley Community Foundation will handle all costs of the campaign. That means that every dollar will go directly to the 15 nonprofits with no administrative expenses.
"The 2018 Holiday Fund is especially targeted at meeting the unfunded and under-funded needs of Tri-Valley agencies," said Gina Channell, president and publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com.
"One of these is the Museum on Main," she said. "It tells the fascinating stories of those who came before, illustrating characters, places and events that have shaped our community."
"These tales capture the hearts of people in our community today, enabling them to connect with our rich heritage," she added. "The Museum on Main is the steward of our community's historical treasures."
Another beneficiary of the 2018 Holiday Fund is Axis Community Health, a community health center that serves more than 14,000 Tri-Valley residents from five sites in Pleasanton and Livermore. Services include primary medical care for all ages, mental health and behavioral health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and a supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC).
"Support from the Holiday Fund is vital to our ability to meet the ongoing need for affordable health care here in the Tri-Valley," said Sue Compton, Axis CEO. "Holiday Fund contributions help us make medical care available to our community's most vulnerable residents."
With the need for affordable, quality medical and mental health services in the Tri-Valley growing rapidly, Axis opened a new clinic two years ago which doubled its service capacity. Today, Axis provides 50,000 medical visits and 12,000 mental health visits annually.
Other beneficiaries of this year's Holiday Fund are:
Agape Villages Foster Family Agency recruits, trains, supervises and supports foster parents who are willing to take in abused and neglected children in the Tri-Valley. Since its inception in 1958, it has provided foster care services to about 6,000 children, with more than 60,000 children currently in foster care in California.
"Being placed in foster care significantly impacts every aspect of a child's life: emotional, physical, social, moral, spiritual development and well-being," said Jennifer Oxe, the organization's community engagement director.
Oxe said funds from last year's Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund helped Agape finance its transitional youth program and masters' level social workers who work with teenagers when they leave foster care.
"We provide these social workers to each foster child once a week in their home, with the social worker forming a bond with the child and the parents," Oxe explained.
The mission of CityServe of the Tri-Valley is to serve the community by caring for people in crisis, coordinating resources between the faith-based community, nonprofits, schools, businesses, and government agencies and connecting volunteers in the community to the nonprofits throughout the Tri-Valley.
"We are the only Tri-Valley agency that addresses helping families and others in need with a comprehensive approach, rather than one kind of issue or just one need," said Gloria Gregory, executive director.
More than half of CityServe's clients are homeless individuals or single mothers, with senior citizens, veterans, youth and disabled individuals making up the rest.
Hope Hospice is a Dublin-based organization that serves patients and families in the Tri-Valley and surrounding communities in the East Bay.
Donations from the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund provide funds needed for the organization to work with hundreds of families as they chart their path while dealing with a loved one's final journey.
Open Heart Kitchen
Open Heart Kitchen has provided free, nutritious meals to the hungry in the Tri-Valley area since 1995, a service made possible through steadfast contributions annually from the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund and others.
It is the largest hot meal program in the area, serving more than 300,000 meals a year at nine meal sites and 25 schools in the Tri-Valley. Its hot meal program serves anyone in need, and a bag lunch program serves children on free/reduced school lunch programs on weekends and during the summer.
"The Holiday Fund helps us continue to provide nutritious meals to the hungry in the Tri-Valley area," said Heather Greaux, Open Heart Kitchen's executive director.
Founded in 1987, PPIE provides valuable funding and program support for over 15,000 students at all 15 Pleasanton schools.
The organization hosts community fundraising events during the year, and also raises funds through donations and grants from regional companies and organizations.
In addition to financial help from the Holiday Fund, PPIE raises funds from its annual Fall Gala and Pleasanton Run for Education, with another run scheduled for April 14, 2019.
"With this combined support, PPIE was able to donate over $644,000 to support Pleasanton schools this year," said Steve McCoy-Thompson, executive director.
Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council
The Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council supports a wide variety of artistic programs in the schools and the community at large, including the Arts in the Schools program, art in public places, the Youth Excellence in Arts (YEA) awards program and other cultural events.
The PCAC also has provided grants to Foothill and Amador Valley high schools for their spring musicals, a new potter's wheel for Village High School and a multidimensional art garden project at Mohr Elementary School.
"Most recently, PCAC financially supported and helped dedicate the Jon Seeman sculpture in front of the newly renovated Cultural Arts Center," said Kelly Cousins, co-president of the council.
Pleasanton Military Families
Contributions to the 2018 Holiday Fund also will go to Pleasanton Military Families, a grassroots, all-volunteer organization that supports families in the Tri-Valley with sons, daughters, husbands and wives serving in America's armed forces. PMF also provides support and mentoring for younger veterans as they transition from military to civilian life.
"Since 2003, we have honored our local military by displaying yellow streamers on Main Street, holding pack-outs to fill care packages with food, comfort items and letters from home for our military men and women deployed all over the world and holding homecoming celebrations when our soldiers return," said Pat Frizzell, executive director/CEO of the organization.
Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies
The Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies Foundation supports cancer patients and the cancer community by providing acupuncture, acupressure, therapeutic massage and other healing therapies that make a difference in the quality of their lives.
Through its more than 10 years of active involvement in the Tri-Valley cancer community, the organization serves as a resource to connect beneficiaries to additional resources that help with day-to-day support to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.
"Our organization relies on the support of generous donor organizations such as the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund," said Sandra Wing, the organization's leader.
Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley
Since 1981, this program has delivered free, comprehensive services to more than 5,600 seniors aged 60 and older in the Tri-Valley annually. Its staff, volunteers and community partners work to foster independence among the seniors they serve, promoting well-being, preserving dignity and improving quality of life.
"More than ever before, the demand for senior services is growing," said Robert Taylor, executive director. "The Holiday Fund will not only help connect seniors to essential health resources, but funding also helps provide in-home counseling to seniors."
Sunflower Hill is a registered nonprofit based in Pleasanton and Livermore that seeks to create sustainable residential communities and programs for individuals with developmental disabilities.
"We were very grateful to all of the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund donors for their generous support last year and appreciate that we have been chosen as a recipient of this year's campaign," said Edie Nehls, executive director.
She said funds received last year were used to support its special needs ranchers. This funding also helps Sunflower Hill with two vocational programs: the Sunflower Hill Gardens and Sunflower Hill at the Stable Cafe in the Alameda County Fairgrounds, she added.
Also slated to receive funds in this year's Holiday Fund campaign is REACH, an acronym for Resources Education Activities Community and Housing for special adults of the Tri-Valley.
REACH provides affordable, quality and safe homes for adults with developmental disabilities so they may live as independently as possible.
"Since REACH receives no government funding and relies solely on grants, donations and fund raising, being selected as a recipient of this year's Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund is most appreciated and extremely helpful in meeting our escalating maintenance and repair expenses for the homes we provide," said Kay King, chair of Tri-Valley REACH.
Valley Humane Society
Another beneficiary of this year's Holiday Fund is the Valley Humane Society, which for more than 30 years has been working in the Tri-Valley and beyond to save and improve the lives of dogs and cats, and the people whose lives are enriched through animal interaction.
Based in Pleasanton, Valley Humane Society operates a variety of programs designed to connect people and pets.
ValleyCare Charitable Foundation
The foundation raises funds to support a wide variety of initiatives that enhance patient care and help at Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare. Holiday Fund contributions help the medical center in meeting the growing needs of the Tri-Valley communities.
"Donations and grants to ValleyCare Charitable Foundation provide us the flexibility to meet the ever-changing medical needs of our community by funding the equipment, programs, and services that enhance patient care," said ShakĂ© Sulikyan, the foundation's executive director.
"Your donations will help ensure that Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare will continue to deliver the highest-quality care, close to home, to all who seek our help, now and for generations to come," she added.
How to Give
Donations should be made payable to Silicon Valley Community Foundation and sent to:
05 -- Pleasanton Weekly
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
PO Box 45389
San Francisco, CA 94145-0389
There is also an opportunity to donate online. Visit www.pleasantonweekly.com/holiday_fund/.
All donations will be acknowledged shortly after being received.