Holiday Fund Donations Set Record: $1.1 Million | News
For the first time in the 29-year history of the Holiday Fund – the annual charitable giving campaign launched by the Palo Alto Weekly to support local nonprofits – donors on the peninsula contributed a record amount: more than $1 .1 million dollars.
“We are blown away by the generosity of this community, especially since this has been a year of continued hardship for many due to the pandemic,” said Palo Alto Weekly publisher Bill Johnson. “While we have provided the vehicle to support those in need, the power of the fund rests entirely with community members.”
The $1.17 million represents combined donations to holiday funds from the Palo Alto Weekly ($773,000), Almanac ($310,000), and Mountain View Voice ($84,000), three sister news organizations. within Embarcadero Media, of which Johnson is chairman and CEO.
With these funds, the society hopes to be able to make grants to more than 80 non-profit organizations serving children, families and others in need on the peninsula. Embarcadero Media and its philanthropic partner, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, cover all campaign expenses so that every dollar raised is distributed to these agencies.
The services of these nonprofits include everything from sending deserving teenagers to college, bridging learning gaps, environmental education, putting hot food in hungry stomachs, helping people with disabilities, helping when times get tough and more. Grants will be disbursed to selected organizations by the end of April.
This year’s fund was aided by major donations from two individuals or families, in addition to local foundations. For the 11th year, a Palo Alto family donated $100,000 to the fund, bringing their lifetime donation to $1.1 million.
And for the first time this year, a Silicon Valley philanthropist made the largest donation ever to the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund and the Almanac Holiday Fund: $350,000, shared by the two charitable programs. Both donors wish to remain anonymous.
The Holiday Fund program has also benefited from the continued support of the Packard and Hewlett foundations, the Peery and Arrillaga foundations and several other family foundations. Proceeds from the annual Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run, held in the fall and has become one of Palo Alto’s largest community events, benefit the Holiday Fund.
“As part of our mission to keep our communities informed and consistent, each year our employees undertake the work of the Holiday Fund,” Johnson said. “This is just another example of how local journalism helps build and sustain the heart and soul of a local community.”
Last year’s Holiday Fund campaign raised and awarded a record $680,000 to 74 nonprofits, bringing the total donated over the fund’s 28-year history to more than $8 million.
To learn more about the impact of nonprofits supported by the Holiday Fund, visit PaloAltoOnline.com/holiday_fund.