AEF thanks Equipped 4 Success supporters

Editor:

When a community comes together to support those who are the most in need, it is a wonderful thing indeed. This year The Alameda Education Foundation (AEF) was able to support approximately 1,000 low-income students with new backpacks and grade-level-appropriate school supplies through the Equipped 4 Success community wide school supply drive. AEF would like to thank the community members who made the program a success this year.

Sponsors help underwrite the costs of running a program, either through donations or in-kind support. Thank you to this year’s Equipped 4 Success underwriters: Alameda South Shore Center, Alameda Rotary Club and Michaan’s Auctions.

Alyssa Tomfohrde and Alameda South Shore Center went above and beyond by not only providing space for storing, sorting and packing the backpacks, but by donating 100 percent of concession and raffle sales from their Summer Beats concert series to the drive.

The Equipped 4 Success program received generous grants from the Alameda Community Fund, Alameda Kiwanis, Alameda Rotary, Alameda Welfare Council and the Windermere Foundation. The Alameda Rotary Club also provided volunteers to help sort and pack.

Bank of Marin hosted a shred day and requested donations in lieu of fees, generating more than $1,500 worth of supplies and donations. Singulex and Wind River here in Alameda, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Pleasanton, held company drives that contributed much-needed backpacks and supplies to the drive. Several local faith organizations raised funds, hosted bins and/or provided volunteers to help sort and pack. These include Christ Episcopal Church, Temple Israel, Trinity Lutheran Church, Twin Towers Methodist Church and Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, among others. The Family Giving Tree donated 100 backpacks to the effort.

Alameda "Peeps" Facebook members donated thousands of dollars in funds and supplies and were joined by Alameda Firefighters who hosted donation bins and made some of their own donations along the way. Several other businesses hosted collection bins or donated funds during the drive including Alameda Chamber of Commerce, Alameda Main Library, Alameda Natural Grocery, Coffee and Tea Traders, Lilac Boutique, Financial Benefits Credit Union, Harbor Bay Club, and Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream.

Countless individuals stepped up this year to donated backpacks, supplies and money that made this year’s drive a truly grassroots effort! A special thank you to David and Melodie Graber for their generous donation and to Jim Franz for all his support.

Because of the many donors to this year’s drive, low-income students served by our Equipped 4 Success partners received new backpacks and quality, age-appropriate school supplies:

• Alameda Unified School District’s (AUSD) McKinney-Vento program that serves homeless families

• AUSD’s Woodstock Child Development Center

• The Alameda Point Collaborative (serving formerly homeless families)

• Alameda Family Services’ Head Start (serving low-income pre-schoolers) and Dream Catchers (serving homeless teens) programs

• The Alameda Boys & Girls Club

• Girls Inc. of the Island City

Alameda families who need a hand up at this time of year are grateful, and their students are ready to learn, thanks to the generosity of the community.

Vicki Sedlack, Executive Director, Alameda Education Foundation