The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation donated $41,618 in 2019 to different non-profit organizations that help homeless and low-income individuals and families in Silicon Valley. Funds this year also went to scholarships for graduating seniors from 18 public high schools in the REALTOR® association’s service area.

The Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation is a trust that makes grants available to organizations from donations by REALTORS® and affiliate members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR). In addition to voluntary contributions from members, grants are funded by proceeds from the local trade association’s district fundraisers. In 2019, SILVAR’s Los Altos-Mountain View District annual pumpkin auction in October raised $5,005, which the district donated to the foundation. Net proceeds of $1,786 from the Los Gatos-Saratoga District’s annual bocce ball tournament were also donated to the foundation.

“Rising home prices and rents have taken a toll on many residents. We are very concerned that more people are being displaced and are homeless in Silicon Valley,” said Eileen Giorgi, president of the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. “We thank our members for their continued support and contributions to the communities where they work and live. With their help we are thankful that we are able to continue our commitment to the welfare and prosperity of these communities.”

The 2019 grant recipients include Adolescent Counseling Services, which provides a network of skilled family therapists and support groups for teens and young adults in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties; East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, which promotes educational opportunities for students in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park; Westwind 4-H Riding for the Handicapped, which provides children with disabilities the opportunity to have fun while improving their coordination and strengthening their muscles; Youth Community Service, which provides service learning and leadership activities to underserved students in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Palo Alto; and Jasper Ridge Farm, which helps children and adults facing physical and emotional challenges through therapeutic interaction with gentle farm animals.

SILVAR districts, through the Charitable Foundation, likewise made donations to local organizations in 2019. The Los Gatos-Saratoga District donated $5,335 raised at the district’s annual pumpkin auction to the Family Giving Tree’s Operation Reindeer program for holiday gifts, including clothing essentials and food certificates, to needy families and seniors in the community. The Cupertino-Sunnyvale District presented $750 each to West Valley Community Services and Sunnyvale Community Services for their respective Back to School programs for low-income students. The Los Altos-Mountain View District spring and fall legal updates raised $1,783, which the district donated to Community Services Agency, which provides a variety of social services like emergency one-time rent and utility financial support, vouchers for clothing, eyeglasses, school supplies, food and more for residents of Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

In 2019, the Charitable Foundation Scholars Program presented a $1,000 grant to each of 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley. The foundation has been assisting students with the scholarship grants for the past 20 years, awarding a total of $360,000 in scholarships to date. In 2020, the scholarship grant will increase to $1,500.

The Charitable Foundation also supports further education for U.S. veterans. The John Tripp Silicon Valley Scholarship grants $500 awards to veterans enrolled at Foothill and De Anza colleges. In 2016, the foundation presented $25,000 to Foothill-De Anza Foundation, an auxiliary organization of the Foothill-De Anza Community Colleges District for the creation of the endowment. The late John Tripp was a veteran of the Korean War and past president of SILVAR and the Silicon Valley REALTORS® Charitable Foundation. The foundation will be establishing another veterans scholarship at West Valley College.