Published October 20, 2009
Volume 17, Number 10

Hacienda Helping Hands Grants Help Meet Basic Human Needs           

The inaugural year is coming to a close for Hacienda Helping Hands (HHH), the business park’s corporate giving program that funds grants to community service organizations. The support this park-wide campaign offers to local children, family, and senior organizations has never been more timely.

“This is not a campaign to provide luxury programs, but to meet basic human needs, for people who live right here, near the business park,” says David Rice, President of the Hacienda-based Tri-Valley Community Foundation, which administers HHH. “Many people, even those with good jobs, are just one lay-off away from being in the same position,” Rice continues. “They might have to choose between paying COBRA health insurance and feeding the family. They take a shot, letting insurance lapse so they can eat--hoping no one gets sick. But if that happens, where do they turn? To programs like these, which is why we all should support them.”

There is a special incentive offered to companies that make their contribution by an early December cut-off: acknowledgment on stage at the December 9th awards ceremony during which HHH grant recipients are announced. “HHH has just launched a new campaign with the new theme, Changing Lives for Good, and we are making one last push for the Supervisor’s Challenge,” Rice remarks, referring to Scott Haggerty, President of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, who challenged Hacienda companies to match his pledge of $10,000 to HHH at the “Taste of Summer” barbecue fundraiser in May. Contributors who make their donations before the ceremony will be recognized publicly at the December event.

The HHH campaign is striving for 100 percent participation from the approximately 475 companies in Hacienda, “from the small dry cleaner to the very large global employers.” Acknowledging the difficult economy, Rice explains, “we are asking companies to step forward with some sort of contribution. It is not so much a question of how much to give. Even a small amount is better than zero.”

Whether participating or not, all Hacienda companies are invited to the awards event. “Campaign donors will literally have the opportunity to put checks into the hands of the receiving nonprofits,” Rice notes. Local city and county officials will be on hand to acknowledge the good works the Hacienda Helping Hands grants make possible. 

Although HHH has no specific financial target for 2009 donations, “we believe that even with this difficult economy we anticipate giving away between $50,000 and $100,000 this year,” says Rice. He points out that the vast number of donated goods and services—from the Agriculture Department and grocery stores, to refrigerated transport and volunteer packing— enables nonprofits to feed a family of four for about $25 per week. “Eliminating so much of the overhead enables the nonprofit world to stretch a dollar a very long way,” he comments. “Potential donors should understand that even a few hundred dollars can do a tremendous amount of good when funneled through the nonprofit network. This is a very efficient way to provide those services to people.”  

For more information visit HelpingHands.Hacienda.org or contact Rice at (925) 734-9965. 


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