Local Charities that Serve Children
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Berkeley charity that makes a real difference for children?
We would like to make a donation to a Berkeley charity that will make a real
difference in the lives of children living in Berkeley. We're sure there are good
works being done benefiting children in Berkeley that we have not heard about, so
we're asking for suggestions. Which education-related funds do the very best for the
Thank you, in advance, for your advice.
~Long-time Berkeley resident
Thank you so very much for your commitment to Berkeley Public Schools! I was raised
in the Berkeley public school system and am now a long-time teacher at Berkeley High.
Berkeley schools provide amazing opportunities for kids to learn and grow, and you can
support dynamic and hard working teachers, counselors, and staff to enrich classrooms
and support students through either the Berkeley High School Development Group
(www.bhsdg.org) or the Berkeley Public Schools Fund
The Berkeley Public Schools Fund, formerly Berkeley Public Education
Foundation.http://www.berkeleypublicschoolsfund.org/ They give grants directly to
classroom teachers and school staff that immediately benefit children in Berkeley
schools. Thank you for helping our kids!!!
What a thoughtful and meaningful way to make a difference in your own community! I
strongly recommend donating to the Berkeley Cooking and Gardening Alliance. All of our
Berkeley public schools have cooking and gardening programs, but lost funding as of
this year. Most schools have had to pare down or lose the programs until they can fund
them. As a parent of a 1st-grader in BUSD, I can tell you that these programs have
been an extremely valuable part of my child's education. Here is a link with more info
and how to donate. You can donate to the district-wide program or to one at a specific
school (in which case, I must advocate for Washington!).
Whatever you decide, I'm sure you donation will have a meaningful impact on the
schools in our community. Thank you for your generosity.
Washington Elementary Mom
The berkeley public education foundation is a long-standing good organization that
provides many grants to motivated teachers in berkeley public schools. You can see
descriptions of the grants at their website, I believe. It is the group I would pick
to donate to were I in your circumstances
Find them at:
And thank you!
Another berkeley unified school district parent
I would suggest Berkeley Public Schools Fund (changed its name from Berkeley Public
Education Foundation last spring) it has been supporting the Berkeley public schools
for 30 years. They provide grants directly to teachers or for specific school or
district-wide programs - about $300k/yr, and they also run the Berkeley Schools
Volunteers program putting over 1500 volunteers in classrooms. Altogether between
investment in programs and in-kind volunteer time, they direct $1.5 million into the
schools every year.
Check out their website www.berkeleypublicschoolsfund.org
I am posting this for my good friend Elliot who does tremendous work with kids in
My name is Elliot Gann, Psy.D., director and founder of Today's Future Sound
(todaysfuturesound.org) a fiscal project of Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation (a
registered 501c3), and a small, grassroots, start-up organization dedicated to using
music production and media arts as vehicles to empower youth as artists and community
members while fostering their well-being as individuals. I am trained as a therapist
and have been doing
therapeutic Hip Hop activity groups with at-risk youth in the Bay Area, and have been
teaching and using this modality for almost a decade. While we primarily target
under-served youth in Oakland, we just finished two week-long camps at City of El
Cerrito, have taught at King Middle School in the after-school program
San Jose, Toronto, Jackson in Mississippi, Baton Rouge in Louisiana the South Bronx
and Chinatown in NYC and at Yale University to name a few places, all of this on a
shoe-string budget in the past year.
I use my experience working in schools
and clinical training to guide our work, and also to make
interventions as needed to help support students in the various schools at which we
seeking financial support to continue this work and enable such a productive
Hi there long-time Berkeley resident,
I have a few suggestions for organizations Berkeley organizations making a difference
in the lives of children
1. Berkeley Community Fund (www.berkfund.org) -- provides 4-year scholarships and
mentoring support for academically talented and resilient Berkeley High School seniors
(disclaimer: I work there so I am particularly partial to this org).
2. Berkeley Public Schools Fund (www.berkeleypublicschoolsfund.org) -- provides
classroom grants, funds programs at Berkeley schools, and oversees the Berkeley Public
Schools Volunteers program.
3. YMCA Teen Center (http://www.ymca-cba.org/teen-center/about) -- offer a number of
programs including Y-Scholars, Youth and Government and the Youth Institute.
Hope this helps.
Regarding your desire to donate a large sum of money to a
Berkeley non-profit that helps children, may I suggest AASK
- Adopt a Special Kid (www.aask.org)? Over 3,400 children
who were in the foster care system and considered hard to
place (being older, part of a sibling set or having
emotional or behavior challenges)have been placed into
loving adopting homes over the last 40 years that they have
been working with children.
They are the 'go to' agency for people who have a heart to
adopt these children, and the parents receive on-going
extensive training on how to be a great parent and
understand all that these children have gone through.
AASK believes that family isn't what it looks like, but what
it feels like, and they are strong proponents for a variety
of different types of families to foster/adopt : families of
color, single people, older folks, and people in the LGBT
Their reputation is strong and were started by the DeBolt
family of Piedmont, CA who adopted 14 kids and had 6
biological children as well. Our own family has adopted
through AASK and we can't recommend them highly enough.
They are a 501(c)3 that does not receive Federal or State
monies and depends solely on individual contributions.
So if you'd like to make a difference in the lives of many
children and families throughout the Bay Area, Adopt a
Special Kid is your agency of choice! Anon
The best and most effective place to donate is the Berkeley
Public Schools Fund, formerly thr Berkeley Public Education
Foundation. Here is the website
http://www.berkeleypublicschoolsfund.org They provide
funding for all sorts of school related activities and
enrichment. Thanks! BUSD Parent
I highly recommend talking to the San Francisco Foundation.
They are very familiar with the nonprofits in the area and
can help you find an organization that will put your money
to good use.
If you want to donate to a non-school service I have 2
ideas. But first here's the problem: kids and drugs Here's
the second problem: not enough services/sources of
research-driven education for the kids in Berkeley either at
the level of kids doing risky experimentation or at the
level of full-blown chemical dependence. So what to do?
1)Maybe approach the YMCA(YWCA?) that has that fancy new
teen center downtown and see if they'd be interested in
creating a resource service/program? Ask up front if they'd
allow discussion of birth control/condoms( in the AIDS age,
if they won't include this, send your money elsewhere)
2)Contact Ralph Cantor( works with Berkeley High as a
consultant and is an educator) who knows a lot about the
holes in services and where kids fall thru the cracks in
Berkeley..he may have ideas on how your money would be best
spent. Those are my 2 in Berkeley ideas..now if you want to
3)Thunder Road is a residential program in
Oakland with inpatient and outpatient services( if you'd
consider Oakland). You could help fund them. They are good
with a long track record.
4) If you want to go bigger than
Berkeley, contact CSAM( California Society of Addiction
Medicine). Their offices are in SF and they do a lot of
educational programming to help doctors identify,diagnose
and treat addiction.Their affiliated MERF program gives full
scholarships for a number of medical students and medical
residents/fellows to attend their educational conferences
for free J
Kerry's Kids is an amazing organization that provides mobile
health care, including dental screening, health education,
patient advocacy and community resource referral to
underserved children in their neighborhoods. They would make
excellent use of your donation.
Hi this is a wonderful place that could use your help.
Hi! A great organization in Berkeley that helps kids is the
Berkeley Public School Fund. You can find out more about
them here! http://www.berkeleypublicschoolsfund.org/
How about Children's Hospital Oakland? It's not in
Berkeley, but just adjacent, and a lot of the patients are
from Berkeley. Many of the patients are uninsured, but no
child is turned away. They save lives daily! They could
really use your help. Grateful parent
We were heartened to read the donation offer from the
long-time Berkeley residents to benefit the children of
Berkeley. At the Kala Art Institute, a 501-(c)3 arts
organization in Berkeley, we have been running Camp Kala, a
summer arts camp for K-12 children, for the past 5 years.
For more information:
http://www.kala.org/campkala/index.html The cost of camp is
$375.00/week or $300/week for the 4-day, July 4 holiday
week. We have a scholarship program for Camp Kala students
in financial need that would be an excellent program to make
a donation towards. We could name the scholarship awards
after the donors and direct these scholarships to students
residing in Berkeley. Please contact Ellen Lake, Grants
Manager at the Kala Arts Institute, if you are interested in
this program or discussing other opportunities,
firstname.lastname@example.org, ph. 510-841-7000, 204. Thank you,
Perhaps you already know of the Ann Martin Center--a
wonderful community organization that provides psychotherapy
and educational support for hundreds of kids. They've been
around for years, are highly respected, and have recently
moved to a great new facility in Emeryville. It's an
organization with a highly skilled staff of dedicated and
sensitive professionals. Well worth considering as you look
at your options. Joseph S.
I would like to make a plug for FOBTC-- Friends of Berkeley
Tuolumne Camp, a 501(c) that is now dedicated to rebuilding
the long-lived camp. Since the camp just burned down last
Sunday, there are so many things that are up in the air, but
the city has indicated that it is committed to rebuilding
What I would like to do with the help of FOBTC is to rebuild
the camp as a three-season environmental education center
that works in tandem with BUSD to create an experience for
all the public school children that right now doesn't exist.
(My personal background is in education and science, and am
presently a professor at a local college)
If this interests you at all, I would love to discuss it
further with you to see if our interests align. Amy
Take a look at Waterside Workshops in Berkeley at Aquatic
Park. They provide vocational training through job-training
and classes for local youth, while offering services to the
community including a bicycle shop and repair facility, and
a full service wooden boat building shop. I discovered it
myself a few months ago when my son went to a birthday party
that included renting boats at the park. I don't know the
ins and outs of the organization, but I like the way they
think. For example, on their website they sell chairs as a
fundraiser that are made by youth in the program. It would
be interesting to hear what they want to accomplish if there
was an infusion of cash.
I look forward to hearing what others suggest.
I know a perfect organization for you to donate to. Our very
own Downtown Berkeley YMCA!
The past few springs, I have volunteered with the Y for
their annual fundraiser to provide financial assistance for
many families and individuals in need. For example, parents
who need help paying for their child's swim classes
(drowning remains the leading cause of accidental deaths in
children), or for a child with special needs to take
advantage of the many programs offered them, or for children
with single parents to participate in Kids Night Out events,
or for a child to participate in summer camp. I am often the
most touched by how the financial assistance programs can
help single parents. The Y is the 'tribe' that can help
those kids when their parents are struggling. I recently met
a single father there on one of the Y's Friday Family Nights
-- an evening filled with free family friendly activities
throughout the facility. A very nice man of limited means
with a sweet little boy who told me he didn't know what he
would do if it weren't for our Y. I sensed his burden, but
was so taken by his positive attitude.
While the Downtown Berkeley Y is the largest in the country
in memberships, we don't always make our financial goal each
year. Your donation could help so many children have a place
outside of school to learn, have fun, feel included, stay
fit and, one day, become the next generation of leaders in
For more information on how to donate you may go to:
Or call Mia Geogiu, Director of Financial Development at
510-486-8408. Regards, Lisette, Downtown Berkeley YMCA
member and volunteer
How about Berkeley Youth Alternatives? I don't know a lot
about it, but have heard good things and they seem to have
strong ties to Cal. anon
I think it's wonderful that you want to support programs in
our community. There are so many worthwhile causes, groups,
and agencies run by passionate and dedicated people all who
help benefit our community in so many ways.
I've been part of SNAP (Special Needs Aquatic Program) for
the past 22 years. We take kids with special needs(physical
or developmental) in the water. We used to swim at the BHS
warm pool and now swim at the Berkeley YMCA (THANK YOU
Berkeley Y!). With many kids in wheelchairs, we use
volunteers from the community (mostly CAL) to give our kids
a chance to move, play, socialize, and enjoy the fun of
childhood. We have a small budget and run mostly on
volunteer power so a donation would make a huge impact to
our scholarship program and our ability to serve more
children. Please let me know if you'd like to visit or learn
more about SNAP. www.snapkids.org Thank you! dorimaxon
Please contact the East Bay Community Foundation. They have
a special program that specifically assists in making a
large donation. They can asist and guide you. You can donate
anoymously through them and also spread your donation
across multiple programs. Anon
I'm a writer coach for Writer Coach Connection. We provide
one-on-one help to middle school and high school students,
promoting their love of writing and improving their skills.
Compared to other volunteering opportunities I find this
program to be well above average in effectiveness.
Principals, teachers, students, and coaches highly regard
the program. I hear that the organization needs ongoing
operating funds to pay for a full time program manager
because of the growing number of schools requesting to
implement their services. Karen
Hello, Long-Time Berkeley Resident,
It's wonderful to hear that. I know that LifeLong West
Berkeley Health Center provides great pediatric care
including prenatal and well-baby programs-
CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting.
According to the City of Berkeley Health Status Report
(2007), an astonishing 32% of children live in poverty. They
may lack the means to pay for it while desperately in need
of health care. LifeLong served 9,998 patients under the age
of 18 years old last year, which accounts for 23% of the
total patient population. Your support will definitely help
improve the health and livelihood of children in Berkeley.
If you want to know more about LifeLong Medical Care and
LifeLong West Berkeley clinic, please check LifeLong's new
website: http://www.lifelongmedical.org/ Hope it's helpful.
East Bay charity dedicated to children's basic needs
I am looking for a local (East Bay) charity to make a donation
to this year. If anyone has recommendations for charities
that are dedicated to children's basic needs--food, shelter,
clothes--I'd appreciate hearing about them. Thanks very
The Midway Shelter in Alameda has had a big cutback in their
funding due to ''Building Futures with Women and Children'''s cuts
(http://www.bfwc.org/). There was a 5k run last weekend to raise
money, and this weekend (12/11), there will be a concert:
An Evening with Natasha Miller & Friends
Saturday, December 11, 2004, 7:00 p.m. A benefit for Midway
Shelter. The performance will be at First Presbyterian Church;
the suggested donation is $15.
More than ever before, the Midway Shelter needs your support!
I'd like to repeat a prior recommendation: The Perinatal Council
in Richmond. They help low-income families, including teen moms,
and provide all kinds of outreach services. They run an
adopt-a-family program, but will also accept any donations of new
(and even gently-used) toys, household items, diapers, formula,
etc. http://theperinatalcouncil.org Tel: 236-6990
I would like to recommend donating to Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA). Located in southwest Berkeley, they provide after-school activities for children
and youth, and much more. They not only serve healthy snacks, but teach
children (and parents) about nutrition. They have an organic garden where
they grow produce for use and sale, and teach the older kids about the
environment, gardening, and how to run a business. They also have sports and
music programs, give help with homework, and supply mentors and
counselors. Many at-risk children have turned their lives around through BYA. The organization has been around a long time and is run with efficiency,
compassion, energy, and imagination. BUT they have been hit with big cuts
and needs all the help they can get.
Your money will be well spent. (Volunteers welcome too.)
Contact BYA at 510-845-9010, administration at byaonline.org , and see the website
Want to donate to needy children?
I have seen a lot of postings about people looking to donate to
children this Holiday Season. I work for the Project Pride
division of East Bay Community Recovery Project. We are a
treatment facility housing 40 women and their children. We need
christmas decorations and especially craft supplies and art
materials for the kids. They range in age up to seven years
old. We would greatly appreciate new craft books, art supplies,
crayons, markers, paints, glue...
or gift certificates to target, walmart, etc. where I could buy
these sorts of things. New toys, especially educational toys
also very much desired. Thanks for your consideration. I can
pick up donations or meet you at the facility.
jbash at ebcrp.org
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