Hacienda Helping Hands Illustrates the Power of Collective Giving

As Hacienda Helping Hands (HHH) approaches the launch of its second annual fund-raising campaign, David Rice becomes thoughtful about the community services organizations helped by the business park's corporate giving program. President of the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, which administers HHH, Rice has an insider's view of the full extent of our local needs.

Some of the most compelling stories come from Axis Community Health, a clinic with facilities in Pleasanton and Livermore that serves approximately 14,000 medically indigent Tri-Valley residents each year. "The Tri-Valley's population is about 300,000, so this is a pretty significant portion of the total," Rice notes.

While Axis has services for the entire community, it is a key resource for people without health insurance, a contingent that, unfortunately, continues to grow, he continues. "We see this so often in the nonprofit environment. Many people have lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet." Insurance and medications often fall by the wayside as spending on food and shelter takes priority. What happens when a child falls and breaks an arm, or a parent comes down with a severe case of flu, and there is no money to cover these expenses?

"This is why Axis is so vitally important - it fills that gap for those who can't afford to have their healthcare needs met anywhere else," Rice emphasizes.

The Senior Support Program of the Tri-Valley is another group providing critical services. In our mobile society, children often live far from their parents, who, as they age, can become isolated and withdrawn. Senior Support provides more than a dozen different services to approximately 1,800 seniors every year. A meals-delivery program ensures that they have a daily nutritious meal. Friendly Visitors volunteer to go into the home for socialization and well-being checks, becoming the eyes and ears of absent family members and tending to routine and unusual chores. Often they uncover problems that need escalating attention from visiting nurses, who are skilled at dealing with ailments like foot problems that are common among the elderly.

"The idea behind the program is to keep people living in their own homes, intact and healthy, for as long as possible," Rice comments.

These organizations are just two of the 25 worthy local nonprofits Hacienda companies helped to support last year. "The advantage of Hacienda Helping Hands is that there's power in numbers," observes Rice, adding that the collective giving creates two kinds of power. The first is the strength of numbers: "450 companies can make a big impact when they all give something." The second is, essentially, a return on investment. "City officials are impressed with the good heart and character of companies that help their citizens in ways the City cannot," he remarks. "We live in a community of relationships, and especially for businesses that are doing well right now, this is the time to consider stepping up last year's gifts."

For more information, visit helpinghands.hacienda.org .

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