Two mainstays in the local nonprofit scene are celebrating big anniversaries this year. United Way of San Diego County is toasting to its centennial and Serving Seniors will blow out 50 candles on its birthday cake.
Originally called the Community Welfare Council, United Way of San Diego County works to elevate the underserved and transform lives through practical means like promoting education and academic attendance, rallying volunteers for community improvement projects, and helping lower-income families get the most out of their tax refunds.
Serving Seniors, well, serves seniors. The nonprofit helps more than 5,000 San Diegans each year, dishing out or delivering over 640,000 nutritious meals, providing transitional and permanent housing, managing clients’ healthcare and wellness needs, and hosting a variety of social activities to keep clients’ engaged.
Throughout 2020, Serving Seniors will mark its milestone anniversary with events to honor its clients, volunteers, staff, and donors, and kick off a $5 million fundraising campaign in anticipation of the impending silver tsunami—it’s estimated that by 2050, roughly one in five Americans will be 65 or older.
Serving Seniors is also celebrating one year of serving meals at the Oceanside Senior Community Center. The organization will host a special lunch service there this Thursday where Oceanside Mayor Paul Weiss and Serving Seniors CEO Paul Downey will discuss the program’s impacts and their goals for the next year.
Here’s to many, many more for both organizations!
Sophomores at the Academy of Our Lady Peace packaged an astonishing 24,000 meals for local families in just two hours as part of the school’s third annual Retreat Week. This year’s theme was Serving the Dear Neighbor. Friends and Family Community was on hand to give OLP students a lesson in food insecurity and provided the food for the event. Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego will distribute the meals at food resource centers around the county.
Feeding San Diego brought in $1.4 million during its seventh annual Month of a Million Meals campaign—enough to provide more than 5 million meals. The campaign kicked off with a four-hour Giving Tuesday telethon broadcasted live by event partner ABC 10News. Guests included Top Chef alum Angelo Sosa, Switchfoot guitarist Drew Shirley, and former Padre Mark Loretta. Philanthropists Bob and Marion Wilson matched all telethon donations.
Local leaders and nonprofits joined forces recently to create San Diego for Every Child: The Coalition to End Child Poverty. Among its lofty goals is to cut childhood poverty in the region by half over the next decade. According to the organization, more than 190,000 San Diego children experienced unequal access to healthy food, stable housing, reliable healthcare, quality childcare, and early education, and San Diego for Every Child is calling on the community to get involved and help turn around the troubling trend.
"In a county as wealthy as San Diego, it is simply unacceptable that so many of our kids are experiencing poverty," said organization chair Sara Jacobs. "It is going to take all of us coming together to tackle this problem."