Each December the Sharks Foundation enjoys it Season of Giving Campaign when efforts are focused on assisting those in need with the basic human necessities of food, shelter, clothing and of course, a little holiday cheer. The month kicked off early when the Sharks Foundation's Young Professionals Board (YPB) members held a day of service on November 19 at Goals for Kids partner Second Harvest Food Bank's San Jose warehouse. The group packed 5,520 pounds of canned food, supporting 336 families.
When December arrived, the Foundation and the YPB executed a pre-game drive at the December 5 vs Carolina game, collecting ten barrels of new toys. All donations were contributed to the Good Tidings Foundation's Winter Wonderland Event which invited local low-income families to come to their Santa's Workshop-themed warehouse to select Christmas gifts for their children. Toys provided by the Sharks Foundation helped an estimated 200 individuals.
On December 11 at Solar4America Ice, the Sharks Foundation worked alongside Healthy Stat Family Resource Center to host its annual Holiday Assist Party. The entire Sharks roster, the coaching and management staff, broadcasters, members of the front office, and ownership collectively assisted 26 families who were treated to an evening of ice skating, cookie decorating, face painting, a hot chocolate bar and photos with Sharkie Claus. From the support of Sharks team partner ANA-All Nippon Airways, each family was given a $100 gift card to a store of their choosing and all guests in attendance were treated to a hot, hearty meal. At the end of the evening the assisters were able to surprise their family with presents, which for many of these families would be the only opportunity to receive gifts this holiday season.
All month long in response to the unfortunate catastrophic Camp Fire that destroyed several communities in Northern California, the Foundation accepted cash, check and credit card donations at its booth on the Concourse to aid in emergency relief efforts. On December 5 vs Carolina and on December 10 vs New Jersey, proceeds from the Foundation's 50/50 Raffle presented by Black Oak Casino Resort were dedicated to the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross to support community members affected by the fires. After two nights of the raffle and a donation match from Sharks ownership, the Foundation was able to dedicate $25,400 to the American Red Cross. Then on December 20 vs Winnipeg, the Foundation partnered with the Lady Sharks (players' significant others) to host a pre-game monetary collection drive to ultimately support the December 28 Chico distribution event, Holidays for Paradise. Funds collected at the game were turned into Amazon gift cards which were given to the 1,400 students of Paradise High School so they could replace favorite items or school supplies lost in the fire. Thanks to the support of Sharks Territory and another generous donation match from Sharks ownership, the Sharks Foundation purchased a total of $28,000 in gift cards for the students.
The Foundation was not the only entity of the organization participating in fire relief efforts as all three public ice facilities, Solar4America Ice - San Jose, Solar4America Ice - Fremont and the Oakland Ice Center, operated by the Sharks donated a portion from each admission of their public skating sessions between November 15-21 to the California Fire Foundation (CFF). At the conclusion of the fundraiser, $7,618 went to the CFF's SAVE program which provides direct assistance to victims of natural disaster, including firefighters, year-round.
The Sharks Foundation took December as an opportunity to highlight Goals for Kids beneficiary Loved Twice which is a non-profit charity focused on clothing newborns with quality reused baby clothing for the first year of life. The organization distributes exclusively through social workers in hospitals, shelters and clinics, ensuring all donations truly go to those in need. Their simple solution supports disadvantaged babies while reusing thousands of onesies, swaddling blankets, and babywear that would otherwise end up in landfills. Funds provided to Loved Twice at the end of the season will support hundreds of local newborns and their parents.
As we embark upon the new year, the Sharks Foundation looks forward to continuing its support of first responders and local non-profits through its January Heroes Appreciation Month.
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