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Sharks Foundation Raises $684,573 for Community in 2020-21 Season

by Sharks Foundation @sharksfoundation / sharksfoundation.org

Every hockey season the Sharks Foundation supports local non-profits through its annual Giving Campaign. Focused on different causes each month, the initiative is a way for the Sharks Foundation to provide Community Assist Grants to non-profits that support youth and families in need in the Bay Area, and for members of Team Teal, including Sharks VIP's, corporate partners and mascot S.J. Sharkie, to get involved with community volunteering.

The 2020-21 season began in November with the Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) presented by Kaiser Permanente campaign. Throughout the month, the Sharks recognized Community Captains, cancer warriors who had been honored at previous Sharks Hockey Fights Cancer Nights as far back as 2014. The Foundation raised funds to benefit Camp Okizu through HFC t-shirt sales and a SAP Center Marquee fundraiser, and hosted an auction which benefited There With Care of the Bay Area. With the help of Kids & Art Foundation clients, the Foundation sold a set of HFC Mystery Pucks presented by SAP designed by the youth that benefit from the non-profit's art therapy services; pucks were sold later in the year with proceeds benefiting Kids & Art Foundation.

In partnership with Kaiser Permanente, the Sharks Foundation provided a $10,000 Community Assist Grant to Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services. The donation supported their Full Hearts Grocery program which delivers meals, produce, grocery gift cards, cookbooks, and bi-cultural nutrition education to the homes or hospital rooms of youth receiving treatment. The grant funded approximately 2,100 grocery bags and on November 5, members of Team Teal gathered at Jacob's Heart's Watsonville Family Center to pack bags that were scheduled for delivery that day. The Foundation also provided a grant to Dec My Room and the Sharks Foundation's Young Professionals Board spent a day shopping for items the non-profit would later use to transform pediatric hospital rooms into magical and welcoming spaces. In total, the Sharks Foundation dedicated $38,000 to the community and impacted 1,847 lives in November.

During Holiday Assist Month, the Foundation participated in a #BayAreaUnite Giving Tuesday social media campaign alongside other Bay Area sports teams which resulted in a $1,000 donation to Bay Area Outreach & Recreational Program. From the overwhelming food insecurity issue brought on by COVID-19, the Sharks Foundation partnered with SAP to provide a $34,000 Community Assist Grant to CityTeam to sponsor its bi-weekly Mobile Food Pantry at Esperanza Middle School in the Santee Neighborhood for an entire year. In line with this give, the Foundation and SAP hosted a virtual toy drive that collected more than 600 gifts which were distributed by both organization's employees along with grocery items at the sponsored location on December 15. In partnership with CEFCU, the Sharks Foundation extended a $10,000 Community Assist Grant to Alum Rock Counseling Center in support of their Toy Giveaway Program and spent a day shopping for gifts for 26 local families. Funds raised through a Marquee Holiday Card fundraiser and auction were donated to Bill Wilson Center's Adopt-A-Family program. In total, the Foundation dedicated $49,800 to the community and impacted 3,896 lives in December.

 

The Heroes Appreciation campaign was celebrated in January by highlighting heroes throughout the month in a social media campaign. Nominations for local heroes came from Canine Companions for Independence, Make-A-Wish, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley, United Heroes League, San Jose Firefighters, Kaiser Permanente and Sharks fans. The Foundation's fundraising efforts included a San Jose Barracuda used stick auction benefiting NPower, and a Military Appreciation Auction benefiting United Heroes League. The Sharks collaborated with San Jose Firefighters on a custom t-shirt with net proceeds from sales benefiting the San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation. The Foundation dedicated $20,500 to the community and impacted 263 lives in January.

 

February's Education campaign was presented by SAP and began with the Sharks Foundation announcing a $40,000 commitment to Oakland-based non-profit Techbridge Girls and their Bridging the Gender Gap in STEM Education Program. The Sharks celebrated Black History Night presented by the Teal for Change Council on February 15 and auctioned off special warm-up jerseys designed by Sharks employee and artist Mohamed Fofana. A Black History Month Auction benefited Good Tidings Foundation's GT Ventures, a scholarship program for young Black entrepreneurs looking to start a business or non-profit. Later that month, 140 sixth grade students from Ardenwood Elementary School active in the Future Goals Hockey Scholar program participated in a virtual STEM Week presented by SAP. To bring the concepts learned in the Future Goals program to life, students came together via Zoom for activities centered around the science, technology, engineering and math concepts of hockey. Students heard from technology and engineering professionals during a career panel, played STEM trivia, and finished the week with a street hockey challenge. The Foundation dedicated $53,600 to the community and impacted 1,791 lives in January. 

During the March Hockey is for Everyone (HIFE) presented by Kaiser Permanente campaign, the Foundation sold Sharks HIFE t-shirts with net proceeds benefiting Silicon Valley Pride and executed a HIFE auction that provided funds to Caminar's LGBTQ Youth Space. On March 19, employees from the Sharks and SAP volunteered at the African American Community Service Agency (AACSA) in line with a $50,000 co-donation the two organizations provided in support of the agency's CARES COVID-19 Relief program. Women of Teal Night featured a panel of female leaders who lead discussions on topics like mental health and positive change in the workplace. The Foundation hosted a Women of Teal auction which benefited the Girl Scouts of Northern California. Hockey is for Everyone Night presented by Kaiser Permanente capped off the month on March 31; Sharks players wore special warm-up jerseys and team partners added messages of inclusion and unity to their logos on the dasher boards at SAP Center. Eight non-profits focused on diversity, inclusion and belonging were selected to be the beneficiaries of the Goals for Kids program, which awards funding to the selected non-profits for each Sharks goal scored throughout the year. SheIS, You Can Play, One Step Beyond, Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, 10,000 Degrees, YWCA Silicon Valley and Bay Scholars each received an $18,875 donation at the conclusion of the season. The following month, the Sharks hosted a watch party and panel discussion for the award-winning documentary Willie, centered around Willie O'Ree's legacy as the NHL's first Black hockey player, and the current efforts being made to make the sport more accessible and diverse. The Foundation dedicated $241,100 to the community and impacted 37,985 lives in March.

 

The Sharks Foundation kicked off its Environmental Awareness campaign by hosting an auction to celebrate Patrick Marleau becoming the NHL's all-time leader in games played with net proceeds benefiting the Marine Science Institute. In line with the month's focus on environmental conservation, the Foundation called attention to efforts being made by the Sharks organization at SAP Center, Sharks Ice at San Jose, and the Oakland Ice Center with environmental highlights on social media. An Artist Series themed auction raised funds for Jasper Ridge Farm and proceeds from sales of Shark Uprising shirseys, designed by artist Tristan Eaton, benefited the PangeaSeed Foundation. In total, the Foundation dedicated $22,000 to non-profits and impacted 3,650 lives in April.

The Giving Campaign concluded with the Sharks Foundation's Healthy Living Month presented by Comerica Bank, which came full circle to the start of the season with a May 3 Hockey Fights Cancer (HFC) Night presented by Kaiser Permanente. HFC warmup jerseys were worn by the team pre-game and then auctioned off with net proceeds benefiting Cancer CAREpoint, while sticks wrapped with lavender tape were collected and auctioned to benefit the Austen Everett Foundation. Patients and staff from Kaiser Permanente welcomed players onto the ice through a virtual high-five experience to kick off the official HFC Sharks game. Later that month and in partnership with Comerica Bank, two grants were provided in support of mental health: $10,000 to Uplift Family Services and $10,000 to the Bay Area Pajama Program. Funding for Uplift Family Services provided essential items for youth clients of the non-profit's Crisis Stabilization Unit. The partnership with the Bay Area Pajama Program provided sets of pajamas, books and snacks to 500 local youth who also participated in a Sharks VIP virtual book reading. The Foundation dedicated $250,273 to non-profits and impacted 2,400 lives in May.

 

As part of its mission, the Sharks Foundation also provides emergency aid to organizations throughout the Bay Area when appropriate. When the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center was vandalized in June 2020, $7,000 was donated to help cover repairs and new security equipment. The Foundation supported the American Red Cross wildfire relief efforts in August 2020 with a $3,000 donation. Following a spike in hate crimes against members of the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, $10,000 was donated to Stop AAPI Hate, a non-profit committed to reporting and ultimately eliminating hate incidents. In the wake of the shooting at the VTA Younger Light Rail Station, a $15,000 donation was made to support victims and their families through the VTA Solidarity Fund.

With the support of fans, donors and team partners, the Sharks Foundation provided nearly $700,000 in financial donations to local non-profit organizations and the youth and families they serve through its 2020-21 Giving Campaign and relief efforts.

 

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