SHARKS EMBRACE DECEMBER HOLIDAY SPIRIT AND DEDICATE $36,370 TO LOCAL NON-PROFITS
Every December the Sharks Foundation provides much needed assistance though its Season of Giving campaign where efforts are focused on basic human services and of course, a little holiday cheer.
The mission of Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen is to provide nutritious meals to disadvantaged individuals with a special concern for families, children, seniors, veterans and the homeless. To aid in their efforts, the Sharks Foundation, in partnership with team partner Diversified., provided a $10,000 Community Assist Grant to the non-profit and on December 5, volunteers from both organizations came together to serve a hearty meal to 185 Loaves & Fishes clientele alongside players Evander Kane and Dylan Gambrell. The donation also supplied a $25 grocery gift card for every person in attendance, 500 bag lunches and festive décor for the evening. In addition to the grant and meal service, the non-profit also served as the Sharks Foundation's 50/50 Raffle presented by Black Oak Casino Resort beneficiary at the December 28 Sharks game which raised $8,170 for Loaves & Fishes.
That following Saturday, the Sharks Foundation's Young Professionals Board spent their morning helping the American Association of University Women (AAUW) San Jose Chapter pack more than 1,000 bags with presents, school supplies and toiletries for AAUW's Gifts for Teens program. Bags were later distributed to East San Jose young adults who are primarily low-income, in the foster system or homeless. More importantly, the bags drove teens to local centers and shelters where they were encouraged to partake in life altering programs or provided medical, mental and other health-related services. AAUW also served as the Sharks Foundation's 50/50 Raffle beneficiary on December 14 which raised $8,035 to support the Gifts for Teens holiday giving efforts.
On both the 12th and 14th, the Foundation hosted pre-game collections to assist Ronald McDonald House Charities Bay Area with their Comfort & Joy Drive. Volunteers from the non-profit collected more than 600 items including household products, clothing and toys. Additionally, $2,005 was accumulated through individual Sharks fan donations and gifted to Ronald McDonald House through the Sharks Foundation.
On December 19, the Foundation executed its 20th annual Holiday Assist Party at which the Sharks full roster, coaching and broadcast groups, and many front office departments assisted families from non-profits School Health Clinics of Santa Clara County and Alum Rock Counseling Center (ARCC).
This season 31 families were hosted at Solar4AmericaIce San Jose for an evening of skating, cookie decorating, face painting, a hot meal and a surprise ending when they were showered with gifts from their assister. San Jose Sharks team partner CEFCU provided a generous donation which sponsored the dinner and a $100 gift card for every family to their preferred retail store. On December 21, ARCC also served as the 50/50 Raffle beneficiary and received a $5,060 donation from those proceeds.
The Sharks Foundation also took December as an opportunity to highlight Goals for Kids beneficiary Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. Child Advocates' mission is to provide stability and hope to children who have experienced abuse and neglect by providing them with a mentor throughout their time in the system.
The Sharks Foundation looks forward to the remainder of the 19-20 season and giving back to the Bay Area with a focus on honoring heroes in the community in January, supporting education initiatives in February, embracing the NHL Hockey Is For Everyone principle in March, and aiding in environmental sustainability in April.