This article was contributed by Youth Alliance.
In response to the intensified crisis COVID-19 brought unto the community, Youth Alliance launched the Solidarity Fund to provide solidarity assistance to support youth and families who have been especially affected by these compounding crises.
Through the generosity of foundations like Destination Home, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Sunlight Giving, and through staff and board led fundraising campaigns, Youth Alliance has been able to distribute over $110,000 in direct financial support since April 2020. The Solidarity Fund has also been responsible for distributing essential care items such as Chromebooks, WiFi hotspots, holiday turkeys, and sanitizers. Additionally, Youth Alliance distributed over 20,000 cloth masks at food distribution sites, migrant housing, schools, and affordable housing centers throughout San Benito and South Santa Clara counties. This has only been possible because of the quick actions and generosity of local partners and donors.
About a week before Christmas, Youth Alliance received a call from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, who has been a key Youth Alliance funder for many years. The foundation 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 Diane Ortiz, executive director. “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, Youth Alliance found out that the foundation Board of Directors had matched the gift and now the nonprofit would be able to support 200 families and youth in need with a very special gift.
Margie Allen, Youth Alliance 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.”
Ortiz, ecstatic to share the resources with local families, went on to say, “To be able to provide $50,000 in financial support to local families and youth right before the holidays was amazing. 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.”
Youth Alliance’s commitment to support the community will continue in 2021. For more information on the Solidarity Fund, contact Crystal Zamora or Diane Ortiz at (831) 636-2853. For more information on Youth Alliance, visit www.youthall.org or Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.