The Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund campaign exceeded expectations this year by raising $411,000 for local nonprofits, the largest amount in its 26-year history.
Checks in amounts ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 were given out to organization representatives at the end of the reception held April 22, 2019, at the Palo Alto Weekly’s headquarters.
Peter Olson, CEO of Peninsula Volunteers, Inc. and Rebecca Matteson Nelson, Director of Development were delighted to receive a $5,000 grant to enable their Meals on Wheels program to bridge the hunger gap in serving East Palo Alto and Menlo Park senior residents in need of daily, nutritious meals.
Palo Alto Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson discussed the diverse recipients of the 2019 Holiday Fund with attendees of the Palo Alto Weekly’s Holiday Fund reception.
Nicole Taylor, new CEO and president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, spoke to the group. Taylor said the reception was a great place to see all the dedicated people doing important community work and their supporters coming together. “It gives me hope,” she said, “in a time when it’s hard to find hope sometimes.” SVCF is a longtime partner in the Holiday Fund.
The donations from community members were distributed to 57 non-profit organizations serving families and children in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and the surrounding area. The fund has now distributed a total of $7.2 million since launching in 1993.
“We are just passing along funds that our community members want to give to support the good work that you (organizations) all do,” Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson told representatives at the nonprofits, who gathered with donors at the recent reception.
This year’s major donors included the Hewlett and Packard foundations, which gave $25,000 each; the Peery and Arrillaga foundations, which contributed $10,000 each; and an anonymous family that donated $25,000. Another family has donated $100,000 a year for the last eight years, according to Johnson.
More than 300 individual donors contributed to the campaign, which ran from mid-November to the beginning of January.
Johnson said the donations he loves the most, however, are the $25 to $100 dollar donations.