http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/01/04/holiday-fund-donations-open-through-jan-15


Pleasanton Weekly

News - January 4, 2013

Holiday Fund donations open through Jan. 15

Give now to help others in our community

by Jeb Bing

It's not too late to contribute to the Pleasanton Weekly's 2012 Holiday Fund with donations given by Jan. 15 still going to the 10 nonprofits in need of financial aid this year.

With more than $60,000 received so far, these contributions will be divided equitably, with 75% of all dollars raised going to Axis Community Health, Open Heart Kitchen, Pleasanton Partnerships in Education (PPIE) Foundation, Valley Humane Society and ValleyCare Health System. Another 25% of the contributions will go to Hope Hospice, Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council, REACH, Sandra J Wing Therapies and Senior Support Services of the Tri-Valley.

This year we are partnering with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), which will handle all finances related to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund. That will allow donors to take advantage of a tax deduction for the dollars they contribute through the Foundation's 501(c)(3) status. The SVCF and the Pleasanton Weekly will handle all costs of the campaign. That means that every dollar will go directly to the 10 nonprofits with no administrative expenses.

"It's our most ambitious campaign ever," said Gina Channell-Allen, president and publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly. "Despite a modest economic recovery in the Tri-Valley, these are still-troubling times with unemployment in Alameda County, alone, still hovering at more than 8%."

"The agencies we have targeted for assistance have found that they now have many more to serve and often fewer dollars from their regular donors who have found themselves at times facing financial, employment and health care challenges and uncertainties," she explained.

Melanie C. LaGrande, corporate philanthropy manager of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, said giving to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund this year is more important than ever.

"Although Pleasanton is ranked as one of the wealthiest cities of its size in the nation, there are thousands who rely on many of these 10 organizations we are helping this year for individual and family assistance, emergency aid when they're suddenly without jobs and health care," she said. "Not everyone is wealthy here, not everyone has a job, not everyone has health insurance. These are the people who need our help."

"We see these needs vividly through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's programs and the good work the Pleasanton Weekly's Holiday Fund accomplishes," LaGrande added.

The Foundation, headquartered in Mountain View, is no stranger to Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley. In recent years, it has awarded grants to Amador Valley and Horizon high schools, Axis Community Health, PPIE, Sandra J. Wing Healing Therapies, Tri-Valley Animal Rescue and the Valley Humane Society.

The Foundation is a catalyst and a leader for innovative solutions to the region's most challenging problems with more than $2 billion in assets under management and 1,600 philanthropic funds.

"We welcome the opportunity to join with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation as part of our 2012 Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund," Channell-Allen said.

She added, "What's important about giving to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund is that, in partnership with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, we can identify these programs and activities that need our help and serve our entire community."

"We know what the needs are locally because of our expertise in covering these nonprofits in the Weekly's news columns and through the Foundation's programs to help serve their financial needs," she explained.

"We can put money to work very quickly where as it might take quite a long time for these organizations to partner up with donors themselves," she added. "So this is a much more effective and direct way to get money to work in the community by giving to the Holiday Fund."

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