‘Tis the Season of Giving! Bay Area Brands Show Why Giving Back is the New Black

“West Coast philanthropy is marked by innovation, it’s about disruption, it’s about change.” – Emmett D. Carson, founding CEO, Silicon Valley Community Foundation  The San Francisco Bay Area is home to some of the nation’s largest brands – Google, Oracle, Vir

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gin America, Facebook, Tesla, Visa, Netflix and Gap, to name just a few. With this year’s holiday season officially underway, Bay Area brands are bringing their philanthropic efforts to a new level. From educating underserved children to nurturing Hawaiian culture, check out how some of the Bay Area’s biggest brands are embracing this year’s “season of giving”:

Google Has Big Impact on Bay Area Nonprofits: As part of Google’s Impact Challenge: Bay Area, the tech giant recently awarded $5.5 million to a group of 10 Bay Area nonprofit organizations. Outside of the 10, Google also awarded $100,000 grants to an additional 15 Bay Area nonprofit organizations. Funded projects include 826 Valencia, a creative writing center for kids in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. Other funded initiatives included mentoring elementary school students in East San Jose and providing legal assistance to low-income families in the Bay View and Hunter’s Point neighborhoods of San Francisco.

Mahalo, Virgin America: Earlier this month, the San Francisco-based airline celebrated the launch of its new daily nonstop flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Honolulu International Airport (HNL). To accompany the launch, Virgin America teamed up with San Francisco-based online hospitality company Airbnb, and as part of the partnership, pledged $100,000 to Make-A-Wish Hawaii to help fulfill the wishes of children battling life-threatening illnesses.

Additionally, as part of its efforts to plant new roots in the Hawaii community, Virgin America also partnered with Punana Leo, a nonprofit that provides for and nurtures various Hawaiian language environments. Established by a group of Hawaiian language educators in 1982, the organization's advocacy has resulted in an education system in which students in Hawaii may study from pre-school all the way through doctoral-level studies in Hawaiian indigenous language. Virgin America is pledging $25,000 to support the organization's education programs.

Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan “Like” Education: The first-time expecting couple have their eyes set on two goals – unlocking human potential and promoting equality – which they hope to achieve through a series of philanthropic efforts centered around education. Executing on their goals, the couple recently announced plans to open a new K-12 school, called “The Primary School,” in August 2016 in East Palo Alto. The new school will be geared toward low-income students, where they will receive free attendance and healthcare services.

We love seeing our San Francisco Bay Area brands give back to the community, but we also want to encourage our readers to give back this holiday season too. What are some of your favorite ways to give back? Share with us!





Shasta Smith