Holiday donations give boost to families

Youth Alliance receives support from Monterey Peninsula Foundation

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Submitted photo

Youth Alliance’s Solidarity Fund, which provides assistance to youth and families affected by Covid-19, has distributed $110,000 in financial support since April. 

Through contributions from Destination Home, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Sunlight Giving, and staff- and board-led fundraising campaigns, YA has been able to distribute the funds as well as Chromebooks, wi-fi hotspots, holiday turkeys and sanitizers. Additionally, YA distributed more than 20,000 cloth masks at food distribution sites, migrant housing, schools and affordable housing centers throughout San Benito and south Santa Clara counties.

About a week before Christmas, the Youth Alliance received a call from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, who has been a key YA funder for many years. MPF shared that an anonymous donor wanted to give financial assistance to 100 families before the holidays.

“They asked if we had a need and the ability to distribute gift cards in the area before the holidays,” said Executive Director Diane Ortiz. “YA’s Solidarity Fund was the perfect vehicle to distribute these gifts because we had much more need than we had capacity to support.”

A couple of days later YA found out that the Foundation Board of Directors had matched the gift and now YA would be able to support 200 families and youth in need.

Margie Allen, YA therapist, shared the responses from families that she works with.

“They were so very happy and surprised at the amount,” she said. “This will go a long way. One family, a single parent with three children—who were struggling with food and what tomorrow may bring—felt the gift cards were a blessing for their family. It warmed their hearts to see the generosity of the community.”

“To be able to provide $50,000 in financial support to local families and youth right before the holidays was amazing,” Ortiz said. “We are grateful and in awe at the generosity of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, the Foundation Board of Directors, and the anonymous donor who gave something so meaningful to families and young people. It is inspiring and brings hope during such a difficult time.”

For information on how to support the Solidarity Fund, contact Crystal Zamora or Diane Ortiz at 831.636.2853. For information on Youth Alliance, visit www.youthall.org.