‘Tis the season of giving and the people at the Santa Clara Valley Water District aren’t holding back. With six donation drives, many people are being generous with their time and resources to benefit various community groups in Santa Clara County.
This year, water district staff and the board of directors have been busy extending their support to several community efforts. They include:
- Toys for Children in need – Dozens of new toys and children’s clothing items have been gathered at the district to donate for the families served by Asian Americans for Community Involvement. AACI strives to improve the physical and mental health and well-being of individuals and families in Santa Clara County.
- Scholarship donations – Every year, the water district helps fundraise for the Santa Visits Alviso Foundation scholarship program. The foundation awards scholarships to students of the Alviso community and provides books and gifts for children and underserved families of Alviso. Water district board Chair Richard Santos also serves as chairman of the foundation.
- Toothpaste and toothbrush drive – Also for the Santa Visits Alviso foundation, more than 1,000 toothbrushes and toothpaste donations from employees, family dentists, and friends and family. These were distributed at the annual holiday event at the Alviso Youth Center, which serves as a resource fair and provides families with helpful information from community agencies.
- Canned goods and fruit juices – Since Oct. 31, water district folks have been gathering canned goods and non-perishable food and drink items to donate to Second Harvest Food Bank. Based in Silicon Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank is one of the largest food banks in the country and benefits community members in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Water district staff also donated their time in volunteering to sort cans and food at the food bank’s center in San José.
- Bake sales – In addition to collecting food items for Second Harvest Food Bank, a fundraising campaign is also in full motion. To raise funds for the food bank, a series of baked goods silent auctions were organized. Folks donated home-made or store-bought treats which are then auctioned off to the highest bidder. One hundred percent of proceeds go to Second Harvest Food Bank.
- Service staff donation fund – Every year as a way of saying “thank you,” the water district collects donations for the cafeteria and custodial staff who work hard year-round. A total collection of more than $5,000 was divided evenly among the dozen service staff members.
- Nonprofit organizations that serve the local community – The water district board of directors supports many nonprofit organizations and among the ones of note: Casa de Clara Catholic Worker, the Compassion Center of Gilroy, the Edward Boss Prado Foundation of Morgan Hill, and Sacred Heart Community Services.
Each holiday season employees participate in donation campaigns organized through employee resource groups under the district’s Diversity and Inclusion Program. These groups and the program foster support, educational opportunities and career development as well as promote cultural awareness and volunteerism in community activities.