Twelve days. Five local nonprofit organizations. One common goal: Help improve lives of residents most in need through community donations that are matched by generous sponsors.
The 12 Days of Giving campaign is underway through the Community Foundation for San Benito County, and it will benefit five essential-needs organizations this year: CASA of San Benito County, Chamberlain’s Children Center, Community FoodBank of San Benito, Emmaus House and Sun Street Centers.
This is the seventh year for the campaign, in which donations are matched by 12 Days of Giving sponsors. Those sponsors include the United Way and an array of local businesses that help raise what has been a six-figure sum for the participating nonprofits.
“For us during the holidays, that’s making sure foster kids have essential items,” said Lori Arnold, administrative assistant for CASA of San Benito County.
Those essential items could include clothes or gifts to open during the holidays, she noted.
But Arnold, like others with the five nonprofits, sees the effort from a collaborative perspective. She talked about community benefits from all the participating nonprofits such as Chamberlain’s services for foster children, the food bank providing meals to 5,000 people each month, Emmaus House offering shelter for women and children, and Sun Street Centers and its sober-living environment.
Arnold mentioned how donors can give through the Community Foundation’s website or through individual nonprofits that are taking part. She stressed the local benefit of the campaign running through Dec. 12 and detailed how it was originally conceived by Bob Tiffany, who wanted to keep such local donations from exiting the area.
“The thing is, all those funds, they stay in San Benito County and benefit San Benito County residents,” Arnold said.
Mark Paxton, the community engagement and fund development director at the food bank, had a similar take about the participating nonprofits working together for 12 Days of Giving.
“The unanticipated or ancillary benefit is that these nonprofits that are involved in the effort have become collaborative partners,” Paxton said. “We meet all year long. It’s not just about this campaign.”
He said locals have shown they are “extremely generous” toward such organizations with their donations, and it pays off for the community as a whole.
“If it wasn’t for Emmaus House giving comfort and shelter to battered families, or Chamberlain’s housing and educating kids in crisis, or CASA giving a voice to the voiceless, or Sunset putting women on the road to recover, really, I think local government would be on the hook for this stuff,” he said.
For the food bank in particular, the 12 Days campaign comes at a good time.
“We rely very heavily on local growers for the food we’re able to distribute each week, but the growing season slows down now,” he said. “This bridges that really critical gap.”
Donate for the 12 Days of Giving campaign by going to these respective websites:
CASA of San Benito County: http://casasanbenito.org/event-items/casa-holiday-project-12-days-of-giving/
Chamberlain’s Children Center: http://www.chamberlaincc.org/
Community FoodBank: https://communityfoodbankofsbc.org/
Emmaus House: http://www.emmaushouse.net/
Sun Street Centers: http://sunstreetcenters.org/news-events/12-days-of-giving-in-san-benito-county/
12 Days of Giving c/o Community Foundation: https://givesanbenito.org/12-days-of-giving