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Sweet charity!

Submitted by on 1, December 28, 2009 – 6:01 am5 Comments

It’s just four days to the start of the new year – which means you’ve got four more days to make your charitable donations in order to count them on this year’s tax return. But don’t worry, The Island is going to make it easy for you, by providing you a list of local charities and all the information you need to make a donation.

Incidentally, The Island is making its own donation plans: Subscribe before the end of the year, and we’ll donate half your subscription payment to local charity. (The subscription button is to your right.)

Here’s the short list. If I forgot anyone, feel free to add ’em in the comments section. And on a quick side note, you should always check out a charity before you donate. You can view most nonprofit organizations’ tax forms at Guidestar.org (registration required, but it’s free).

Alameda Education Foundation provides educational support services including the Adopt-a-Classroom donation program for teacher supplies, after-school enrichment courses and most recently, a successful middle school sports program. Depending on how the school district’s master plan shakes out, they could play an even more prominent role in the future of education in Alameda. Donate by clicking the “donations page” link on their web page, or send a check to The Alameda Education Foundation 501(c)(3), P.O. Box 1363, Alameda, CA 94501. Their EIN # is 94-2867769.

Alameda Family Services provides a wealth of programs that support families, including a new parent support program, homeless teen shelter, Head Start, school-based health centers, counseling and drug and alcohol treatment. They’ll take cash and also take donations of items. To donate cash or an item, call them at 629-6300.

Alameda Food Bank provides food to needy local families, including regular grocery bags and holiday meals. You can donate to them online or by sending a check to Alameda Food Bank, P.O. Box 2167, Alameda, CA 94501.

Alameda Meals on Wheels/Alameda Friendly Visitors provides daily, hot meals and weekly visits to seniors, disabled people and other homebound Island residents. (Subscribers pay a fee based on their ability to pay.) You can contribute by mailing a check to Alameda Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 2534, Alameda, CA 94501. (They need volunteers too, and you can check in about that by calling 865-6131 for Meals on Wheels or 748-0342 for Friendly Visitors.)

Alameda Point Collaborative provides housing, job training, health services and employment to hundreds of formerly homeless families in a 34-acre community out at Alameda Point. In addition to operating 200 housing units, they run the Ploughshares Nursery and Cycles of Change bike shop. You can help them by volunteering your time, donating an item from their wish list online, or by making a cash donation, either online (there’s a button for making a secure one-time or recurring donation on the left side of their page) or by sending a check to Alameda Point Collaborative, 677 West Ranger Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501.

Boys & Girls Club of Alameda provides after-school programs to the Island’s youth, especially at-risk youth. In recent years they’ve operated on a smaller-than-usual scale out of Chipman Middle School and the Esperanza Community Center, but they’re breaking ground on a new, 25,000-square-foot facility next to the former Woodstock school. Depending on how things shake out with the East Bay Regional Park District, which is set to decide next year whether the club is eligible for $2 million in regional park bond money, they could really, really need your help to make the new club a reality. To donate directly to the club, click the club’s banner ad to your right, which will take you to the website for their club fundraising drive.

Building Futures with Women & Children operates Midway Shelter – Alameda ‘s only homeless shelter – and Bessie Coleman Court, which provides transitional housing for women and children fleeing domestic violence. They take donations online, or you can call their donations hotline, at 357-0205, ext. 107 and leave a detailed message (they check the voicemail twice a week). They need volunteers as well, so if you’re interested in volunteering, click the “volunteer information” box at the top of their site and print and fill out their volunteer form.

Girls Inc. of the Island City has been providing educational after-school and summer programs for the Island’s girls since 1964. They also operate Alameda Island Kids, which provides aftercare for hundreds of kids attending Alameda’s elementary schools. They take donations online or by mail (send checks to Girls Inc. of the Island City, 1724 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, CA 94501). They also have a donations wish list, which is online, and volunteer opportunities (fax their online form to 521-4417 or contact Volunteer Coordinator Toniesha Webb at 521-1743 ext. 207 or twebb@girlsincislandcity.org).

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