Fundraising in the 2nd year of the pandemic: Challenges, Surprises and Hopes

Mar 21, 2022

StandUp for Kids – Silicon Valley 

As the second year of the pandemic is ended, we want to look back at 2021, and reflect on the challenges, surprises and hopes of fundraising for those in need. Did you know that StandUp For Kids – Silicon Valley (#SUFKSV) is getting 100% of our funding from people like you? Yes, our nonprofit organization relies on donations from

  • Businesses, like local restaurants donating food
  • Schools, doing drives of needed goods, hygiene kits and small gift cards
  • Individuals, who get items from our wishlist (like underwear) or simply donate gently used clothes and money that is used to pay rent and utilities 

Even through the many challenges that we faced, including the burden of moving our outreach center during these difficult times, StandUp for Kids – Silicon Valley is proud that our doors for those in need remained open throughout the year. Our dedicated volunteers spent endless hours at our Outreach Center “The Village”, always offering a delicious hot meal, providing clean clothes, a hot shower and much more to one of the most vulnerable and often overlooked groups: Unaccompanied Homeless Youth. 

Never discouraged and always looking for creative ways of fundraising, we managed to bring in needed money to help HUNDREDS of youth, giving them a sense of safety, hope, and belonging through our Outreach Center. 

We had countless supporters who joined us in the 2nd Annual Virtual Walk/Run/Bike/Move 5K – because we know that together we can make a difference! A special shout out also to our sponsors wonder:feel and West Coast Artworks, and last but not least to our continued supporter, year after year, Enhikenment. Thank you to all for being part of the movement to #endyouthhomelessness and giving back where you live! Because of our Sponsors and participants we were able to raise over $18k.

Water Tower Kitchen in Campbell is another example of how a small business can make a huge difference in supporting homeless youth in the Bay Area. From donating food for special events to providing our youth with Holiday Gifts year after year, with their annual Holiday Wish List. With much love and kindness they wrap countless presents, fill stockings, write thoughtful cards, and spread the joy of holiday spirit. It is one word with just six letters, but its substance could fill a stadium: THANKS! 

The nationwide organization Building Impact also provide Holiday Wishes for our youth by providing bulk items for the year such as chargers, headphones, hoodies, t-shirts, and more.  Our youth felt much love and special with so many going out of their way to bring gifts to them.  Building Impact’s community members says it bet “You are stronger than you think. Keep smiling and keep moving forward. You got this! Happy Holidays. -Vashti”

High School students from Independence and Lynbrook in San Jose delivered boxes full of Halloween goodie bags filled with candies and uplifting, kind messages to homeless youth, which were not just a delicious treat but also warmed their hearts.

An unsuspected surprise came from 11th graders from the German School ALTO International in Menlo Park, in the early summer. They stumbled over our website and raised about 2k in snacks and gift cards for teenagers they share nothing but their age with. But their life circumstances couldn’t be any more different. 

As long as people care, there is hope that needed funds will be raised to keep our doors open and provide support for homeless youth who need to get back on their feet. 

Like last year, we have adapted to the pandemic situation and spread the word of what we do via many ZOOM calls. We are especially grateful to our new donors, St. Clare in Santa Clara. The leadership team of the Elementary school had many questions of Why are youth homeless? How do they keep clean and feed themselves? Where do they sleep? 

To our surprise, these groups of kids went far and beyond, reaching out to their community to open their hearts and put on a very successful hygiene drive for us. Furthermore, they donated a huge pile of small gift cards which our volunteers passed out to homeless youth during the holidays and for accomplishments. Yes, there’s always hope, and we are grateful for their support and endless generosity. 

We ended the year with monetary donations from BAMM’s holiday party silent auction, and a very generous donation from BOMA of Silicon Valley Holiday Event.  With these donations we will be able to provide additional programs to the services we provide at our Outreach Center, the Village. What a treat!

A warm THANK YOU to all our 2021 supporters of StandUp for Kids – Silicon Valley! Your passion touched the hearts of many homeless youth and your gifts have an enormous impact.