Surviving the pandemic: How you can donate to help those in need
Face Shield donations from Chinese American families at the Harker School. The 103 members of the Harker School group have donated thousands of masks as well as gloves and disinfectant to local Kaiser hospitals. Photo courtesy of the Chinese American Harker School group

    The need for assistance – financial and otherwise – is growing in Silicon Valley, more than two months after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses, workplaces and livelihoods in Santa Clara County.

    With a multitude of different ways to help, finding the right organizations and funds to donate to can be overwhelming, even for those with the means and time.

    Here’s a list of relief resources where folks can donate money, supplies, resources, meals and more:

    Silicon Valley Community Foundation

    One of the first funds to launch in March by the Silicon Valley community Foundation is meant to help individuals and families, nonprofits and small businesses regionally. As of May 18, the three separate donation pools have collectively received more than $23 million in support.

    Silicon Valley Strong

    Similarly, Silicon Valley Strong works as a one-stop-shop of resources for residents, small businesses and community-based organizations. For those in need, the partnership between San Jose and Silicon Valley Community Foundation offers links to rent and mortgage, employment and mental health assistance.

    Financial donations are distributed through coordinated grants, while other opportunities to help range from donating blood to talking with isolated residents and seniors.

    Valley Medical Center Foundation

    The charitable arm of Valley Medical Center is working to provide personal protective equipment for health care workers, with support from Santa Clara County.

    VMCF’s website says the “best way to help” is through financial contributions, but the foundation is the official collection site for donations of PPE, including N95 makes, nitrile gloves and hand sanitizer. Supplies from their list of needs can be delivered to 2400 Clove Dr. in San Jose Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

    Santa Clara Community Coalition 

    A host of nonprofits, organizations and businesses have come together with the goal of being a single resource for solving problems, ranging from Helping Tailors, Silicon Valley Voice, Rotary Club of Santa Clara and Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce.

    The coalition is accepting financial donations to support creating cloth masks and face shields, Meal in A Bag for providers and “Be a Friend” senior calls.

    Sacred Heart Community Service

    True to its name, Sacred Heart offers a host of community service programs, from tackling homelessness to job training and food supply.

    Founded in 1964, funds donated to Sacred Heart will support a network of partners and providers across Santa Clara County, including a second round of its financial assistance program, which is now taking names on an “interest list.”

    Farmworker Relief Donation Drop

    As a way to thank the farmworkers who aren’t able to hunker down, the San Jose Woman’s Club and CasaQ have organized a donation drop of goods, such as nonperishable foods, essential supplies, prepared meals and financial contributions. Donations will be collected from noon to 6 p.m. Friday at 75 South 11th St. in San Jose.

    Needed essentials include toilet paper, toothpaste and toothbrushes, feminine hygiene, and diapers. The food list includes beans, rice, canned vegetables and bottled water. Additionally, donations of cotton masks – ones with filters preferred – would not only protect against the coronavirus, but also allergies and pesticides used in the fields.

    Those who can’t make the drop can donate here, with the ability to require funds be directed to farmworkers.

    Always Dream Foundation

    Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation works to support vulnerable families with students across three states, by supporting basic and immediate needs, in addition to its usual mission of providing books, technology and engagement.

    One hundred percent of funds donated will go to families through school partnerships, including three in San Jose: McKinley Elementary, Washington Elementary and the San Jose Bachrodt Charter Academy.

    South Bay Community Food Pantry

    An offshoot of the Santa Clara Community Coalition, a group of Sikh and community-based organizations have come together to collect donations to fund groceries for basic supplies for those who are unable to do so.

    San Jose Unified School District free meals

    Partnering with the city of San Jose, SJUSD is providing breakfast and lunch at 33 schools from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Donations are being collected to continue supporting this access to nutrition.

    Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

    Distributing meals is nothing new for Second Harvest, but the demand is higher amid the pandemic.

    Collecting both donated and purchased food, the organization said they’ve served more than 370,000 people in both Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in April alone – 100,000 more than at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

    United Way Bay Area

    Dollars donated to the United Way will support direct assistance funds, worker support and its multilingual 211 phone and text information line, which now coordinates appointments for free COVID-19 testing.

    Theatre Bay Area

    Compiling relief for performing arts workers, Theatre Bay Area has raised around $220,000 as of May 12, with 80 percent already distributed to workers. The extent of losses from closed theaters, arts venues and entertainments events are massive, as those industries will likely remain shuttered for a while.

    According to its website, nearly 400 applicants remained on a waitlist, while 100 new applications are submitted weekly.

    Pandemic of Love

    A partnership between a local San Jose residents and national grassroots movement, this relief fund works to match individual donors with people in need, creating a commitment of assistance that is discreet and direct.

    Contact Katie Lauer at [email protected] or follow @_katielauer on Twitter.

    Editor’s Note: In a new series focused on bringing you “news you can use” during the crisis, we provide tips and explanatory stories to help you survive the COVID-19 pandemic. What do you want to know? Let us know: [email protected].

    Catch up on our other stories:

    How to apply for unemployment benefits in California

    Make your own CDC-approved mask (plus how to store it)

    Can’t pay rent? Here’s what you should do

    How to get into a homeless shelter in Silicon Valley

    Resources for seniors in the South Bay

    How can South Bay small businesses get help?

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