Local Organizations that need our Support
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Local Organizations that need our Support
We would like to learn about art organizations in Berkeley
or Oakland that people recommend for giving a donation.
Preferably something set-up to supplement arts education in
public schools, but we're open to anything. anonymous
You might consider donating to the Child Life program at
Children's Hospital. They have an on-site school and lots of
art, music therapy and other arts programs for patients.
They are always in need of new, unused art supplies and
other support. anon
I would check out ArtsChange, www.artschange.org. This
organization is based in Richmond and does a lot of projects
with Richmond youth and are currently based out of the RYSE
youth center. They produced an amazing puppet theater piece
directed at pre-schoolers about healthy eating and food
justice issues, called Carlitos and the Magic Garden. Alice
try googling MOCHA - museum of children's art in oakland.
i'm an oakland public school teacher that works with
teaching artists from mocha and their programs and work are
Depending on what you're donating (art supplies, clothing,
money), how about considering Cal Performances' Schooltime
program? The program provides access to top performances in
dance, music, and theater for K-12 students. Classes from
my son's public school attend regularly (he's gone to
performances with his class for the last 4 years)--it's a
popular field trip that even parents vie for participation
in! I've learned that Cal Performances is very minimally
funded by the University, and receives most of it's income
through ticket sales and contributions, so please consider
giving to this very unique and valuable program. We do.
Another Art Lover
My family would like to start a tradition of making a contribution to a charity
during the holiday season. I know, i know...why just the holiday season? I used
to work in nonprofit development and got a little jaded by all the end of the
year appeal business. However, now that I have small children who get lots of
presents from their relatives at this time of year, I think this is an excellent
time to reinforce the lesson that in the midst of all this receiving, it is
important to give too. Also, we are well aware that others are less fortunate
than we are. We don't have a lot to give, but we want to do something.
Money, time, in-kind. Whatever it is that it seems like is most needed by
whatever charity we choose to support. The trouble is that we are a little
overwhelmed by the options. We are hoping some BPN readers can pitch their
charities to us. It'd be nice to hear from others who you support and why. We are
interested in groups that support kids - especially groups that give kids
opportunities to get involved in the arts, sports, leadership, science -
activities that they may not be getting in school due to funding cuts. We live in
El Cerrito and would like to give locally. We wondered about giving to the local
schools, like Fairmont? We would prefer that the organization be secular. I was
also considering giving to Brighter Beginnings in Oakland.
Also, if anyone wants to chime in on international/national charities, that would
be appreciated too. We're interested in healthcare for underserved communities,
opportunities/safety for women, improving the lives of children. We're not too
interested in giving to policy and/or lobbying organizations. Thanks in advance
for your assistance and ideas!
Hi,I saw your post and thought I'd let you know about an organization that I
have been involved with for a few years.
I am now in charge of fundraising for the Sonoma County chapter near where I
work, however there is also an Alameda County branch if you would like to be
more involved close to home.
The group is important national program
interest in science and math courses and encourage them to consider science
and math based career options. Conferences are held annually all over the
EYH Sonoma County (and there is one also in Alameda County), hosts a
conference that will accommodate up to 400 seventh and eighth grade students
from Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake counties. The conference location
alternates between Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Junior College.
This year the 18th Annual EYH Conference was held at Sonoma State University
on March 20th, 2010.
Young women today do not always receive enough encouragement to seek out and
excel in math and science classes in high school. Without adequate
preparation, they do not have as many career options available, particularly
in an increasingly technological workplace. The young women who attend our
conferences may one day become Sonoma County's engineers, doctors,
dentists, enologists, architects,
forensic scientists or pursue many other exciting careers.
To that end the objectives of the conference are to:
- Increase the interest of young women in mathematics
and science education through positive, hands-on workshops presented by
women who work in math- or science-related fields.
- Foster awareness of career opportunities in math,
science, engineering and technology-based fields.
- Provide young women with opportunities to meet and
interact with positive role models who are active in math- or
Donations go toward providing essential items such as:
scholarships for girls who need financial assistance, conference supplies
and equipment as well as transportation for attendees coming from outlying
areas. Contributions not only support young women's interests in math
and science today, but also support the gradual rise of women in the
math/science fields for the future.
You may donate on-line at
If you would like to learn more about the Sonoma County conference or
organization, please visit our website at
http://www.eyh-soco.org/. To learn more about the national
organization, please go to their website at
If you have any further questions. Please feel free to email me.
I have been very impressed with Bananas, Inc. in Oakland.
I first went there 5.5 years ago when I was about to have my first child.
They offer a ton of services from parenting classes, childcare referrals
(and what to look for), items for people who need them (diapers, clothes,
cribs, etc.). When I went to a parenting class the diversity astounded me
(late 30 year old professionals, 18 year old unmarried kid in foster care,
etc.) and yet we all had the same ''stupid'' questions...we were all about
to have babies for the first time. What an amazing experience! We have been
donating to them ever since...gently ''things,'' money and whatever we can.
We also make a run for Toys for Tots (somewhere there is a good sale so that
we can get several items) and drop those off. We are currently looking for
somewhere to donate gently used toys.
I know it is now too late for end of year giving, but as a
BPN member and mom, I wanted to share more about the
organization that I donate to and work for. The Oakland
Small Schools Foundation has served Oakland public schools
since 2003. In February, we will be expanding our reach and
becoming the Oakland Schools Foundation (OSF). OSF is the
only organization that develops resources for Oakland
schools and provides expert support services, in order to
foster school success and promote excellence for all Oakland
students. OSF has 11 staff members who have worked hard to
help schools raise $10 million in public and private funds.
OSF is a registered non-profit and accepts donations for
individual schools as well as donations that support the
I'd be happy to give you more information. Please let me
know if you're interested in learning more about our work
and the schools we serve. You can also visit our website at
www.smallschoolsfoundation.org or contact Sarah Oppenheim at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 534-7613.
Alameda County Community Food Bank
I always feel strongly about the Alameda County Community Food Bank. With
all the welfare
hits this year, they're serving more families and individuals than
ever--especially children. We've been giving food and money as we can
(sometimes only $10/mo, with me as a stay-at-home mom, but I think it
helps)for the last 5 years or so. When I get some time (!), I plan to
volunteer time with them too. They also collect food in front of the
on Solano, and maybe others. Since they are local, I always feel good
the "think globally, act locally" slogan. (When I had an office job, I'd
always collect from my co-workers for them, too. People seem to really
the idea of helping out a food bank).
Bay Area Adoption Services
This international adoption agency
collects items that are of use to orphanages in the Third World,
package up useful combinations of these things, and then give them to
families who are on their way to other countries to adopt their
children to deliver to orphanages in the children's home
countries. Some of the items they collect are new, but some, like
cloth diapers, pants and pins, are OK used. Here's the complete list:
Vaseline Jelly, Cotton Diapers, Diaper Pins, Plastic Pants, Hydrogen
Peroxide, Soap, Hibiclens or Betadine Disinfectant, PolyViSol Liquid
Vitamins for Children, Children's Chewable Vitamins, Brushes & Combs,
Tylenol for Children, Neosporin, Baby Lotion, Cotton Swabs, Cotton,
Gauze, Diaper Rash Ointment, Adhesive Tape, Children's Cough Syrup,
Baby Wipes (not drop-in refill paks), Toothpaste, Band-Aid Strips and
Bay Area Adoption Services has assisted in the adoption of over 1,000
children from over 30 different countries. The office is in Mountain
View (650-964-3800), but a Berkeley mother, Jane Wolff, goes there
every month and can collect donations at her home in Berkeley. Call
BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency)
For several years I've been making monthly donations to BOSS, Building Opportunities for
Self-Sufficiency, an East Bay group which helps homeless people get off the street. In general,
their work has a good reputation, but I've heard/read complaints about their administrative
efficiency, or lack thereof, and in the past their donations department has failed to bill my
credit card. In fact, last year, only half of my intended donation was billed! I don't question
their good intentions, but this sort of ineffiency doesn't inspire confidence.
I'm going to check a few other sources, but in the meantime, have any BPN families had
experience donating to/working with BOSS and, if so, what are their opinions?
My friend, Sonja Fitz, has worked at BOSS for 15+ years. She is as
efficient as they
come. Although I have never had any problem having my donations received
by BOSS, if you want to be absolutely sure that your contribution reaches
destination, add ''Attention Sonja Fitz'' to the envelope.
In response to the question about BOSS’s administrative efficiency, budget
the past few years meant that BOSS has lost administrative capacity (going
fundraising staff to 1 – me, Sonja) so handling all grant, event, and
is challenging, but I do my best and to the best of my knowledge
donation is the only task I dropped the ball on. I have changed my system
so that it
will not happen again, and regret the poor showing it made of us. Our
donors give through our website, where donations are handled by an outside
organization, although they charge 3% so I do appreciate Melanie’s desire
to give to us
We have hundreds of active donors a year, and I send each a prompt
while keeping track of who wishes not to receive phone calls or extraneous
BOSS does very good work with homeless families and individuals who have
special needs (mental illness, drug/alcohol addiction, illiteracy,
violence), providing housing and shelter, education and employment
services, access to
health care, and more. We need every penny we can raise to keep our
If anyone else has had a less than satisfactory experience with their
giving to BOSS, I
hope you will contact me personally so I can resolve the problem and share
appreciation for your support.
BOSS Development Director
Sorry to hear of your less than satisfactory experience. I would urge you
BOSS directly, if you have not done so, to let them know of these
incidents and to give
them an opportunity to respond. Perhaps there's a glitch with their e-
Diabetic Youth Foundation
I'd like to put in a plug for the Diabetic Youth Foundation. They run
Bearskin Meadow Camp for children with diabetes. Every summer DYF puts
on family camp sessions as well as a more traditional kid's summer camp
program (ages approx. 6-18, including the counselors in training). They
always need funds for "camperships," medical supplies, and general
operations. If you work for a pharmecutical company, donations of
insulin, blood testing equipment, etc., are very welcome too! I worked
as a counselor at Bearskin Meadow for over 10 years and can
whole-heartedly endorse this organization. It is a wonderful place
where kids with diabetes can learn how to stay healthy, meet others who
live with insulin on a daily basis, and have life-changing experiences
in the outdoors. Their phone number is 925-680-4994.
(last updated May 2001)
Dorothy Day House
From: Cathy (11/98)
Regarding community service opportunities, this is not in Contra Costa
but in Berkeley, so I'm not sure you'll be interested.... There's an
organization called the Dorothy Day House that does regular meal
preparation and servings for the homeless at the Veteran's Building
(1931 Center). They are almost entirely run by volunteers and are very
well-organized. Hence, it's a very gratifying experience. They can be
reached at 549-2336.
Please call the Elizabeth House in Oakland to donate your furniture, etc. They are a shelter for
women and their children and do terrific work. Omaloor (8/01)
Emergency Shelter Program
is the largest domestic shelter in Alameda County. They can be reached at
22634 Second St., Suite 205, Hayward, CA 94541. The telephone number is
510-581-5626. Donations are gladly accepted.
From: Susanna (12/98)
I'd like to include Kids' Turn (where I happen to work!)
on the list of nonprofits which would appreciate holiday
donations. Kids' Turn does workshops for children whose parents have
divorced or separated, and serves primarily children ages 4-14. We're
in the process of developing a program for parents of children aged 3
and under. We offer services in four Bay Area counties, including
Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Marin. The East Bay phone
number is 510-835-8445.
La Leche League
La Leche League of Oakland/Berkeley is accepting donations for its yard sale on September 15
which is being held to raise money to produce breastfeeding information packets for new
mothers, support the education and training of leaders and leaders-in-training, and enhance
our lending library. La Leche League is a nonprofit organization so all donations are
tax-deductible. Items may be dropped off in advance at private homes in N. Berkeley
(jenharnish AT aol.com or 548-4804) or Richmond (Dana at mcmahan73 AT home.com or 234-3437) or
pickup of items can also be arranged (contact Dana or Jen). Thank you! La Leche League is an
international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education,
information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed. Jen (8/01)
Legal Services for Children
From: Liz (12/98)
Even a small contribution can go a long
way to helping children at risk. Legal Services for Children provides
legal and social services to abused and neglected children in Alameda
County and San Francisco. LSC also works on delinquency prevention,
kids and families affected by HIV and establishing legal
guardianships. An attorney and social worker team together to
represent the children. Contact Claudia Jackson, Director, 1254 Market
Street, 3rd floor, San Francisco, 94102. (415) 863-3762.
Piedmont Gardens Retirement Home
Jay, Jordan and I have been volunteers at Piedmont Gardens, a retirement
home off of Piedmont Ave. in Oakland for several years. We serve as
"shoppers" every other Saturday, but many other volunteer opportunities
are availavle there as well. They have different "sections" for people
of different abilities, e.g. independent living, assisted living and
nursing home, so people can work with the area they feel most
comfortable. They also have a moms and babies program, where you visit
the residents with your babies. They're located at 110 41st St. in
Oakland. The volunteer coordinator is Elizabeth Chamish and she can be
reached at 654-7172 ext. 113. Interested volunteers: please let
Elizabeth know that Lee Eisman of East Bay Moms referred you. Thank you.
A Safe Place
is a shelter in Oakland for battered women and their children.
They do good work, but need money and volunteers!
The phone number for donations is 636-4747. PO Box 1075 Oakland 94604
St. Anthony Foundation
I recently received an email from a friend that said that the Marion Women's Shelter in San
Francisco (www.stanthonysf.org) is in serious need of women's and children's clothing. Looks
like it's part of the St. Anthony Foundation. I don't know if they pick up or not. Jana
Women's Cancer Resource Center
I'd like to put in a plug for the Women's Cancer
Resource Center. It's local---on Shattuck past the Berkeley
Bowl---and a mostly volunteer organization that provides
information and support (in the form of support groups and
volunteers who will come to the home regularly if needed) for
women with cancer. They have a wonderful library and a paid
librarian who is indredibly knowledgeable, and are really
committed to empowering women with cancer. I took the volunteer
training there a couple of years ago and worked as a volunteer
for about a year, but had to stop when the demands of two kids
overwhelmed me. It is really a great place, and I hope to return
to volunteering there again soon.
They are not supported by any big corporations or the government,
and are always in need of donations and volunteers.
The Women's Daytime Drop-In Center
The Women's Daytime Drop-In Center in Berkeley serves homeless women and their children.
Although they are not a collection facility, they can refer you to women who are making a
transition to housing of their own and need furniture and items for children and the household.
The main number is (510) 548-2884. J
The Women's Daytime Drop-In Center is
a nonprofit program addressing the needs of homeless women and
children to ensure that they have a safe, daytime refuge where they
receive support, nourishing meals, and access to community resources
to overcome homelessness and regain their self-sufficiency. It is the
only daytime program for women in Berkeley, and one of two in the East
Bay. They serve an average of 150 women and children a month in a
nurturing, homelike environment. Services are available at no fee to
any homeless woman or child. They can be reached Monday through
Friday, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM at 2218 Acton Street, Berkeley, CA 94702 or
call 548-2884. (Natasha 12/98)
The Women's Refuge, Inc
P.O. Box 3298
Berkeley, CA 94703
Executive Director - Charlene Stamps-Bolling
This is an emergency shelter and transitional
housing program for women, many with children. The majority of the
families are victims of domestic violence. They are provided with
counseling, legal assistance, housing search, parenting education and
skills to secure employment. Graduates act as mentors to new
families. Donations are tax-deductible. Besides cash, the program can
use donations of women and children's clothing in good condition,
chests of drawers, twin beds and bedding and new toys (wrapped, at
holiday time.) Send checks to the Women's Refuge, P.O. Box 3298,
Berkeley, CA 94703. For other donations, call 547-4663. (Natasha 12/98)
this page was last updated: Aug 2, 2010
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