Progress at Healing Haiti’s Grace Academy

Grace LibraryBooks for Haiti is happy to report that Grace Academy has decided to house their new library in half of the Boy’s Dormitory rather than in a used shipping container (not as bad as it sounds, but still…).  The library will initially consist of 5,000 physical books, in French, which will be delivered to them in June as part of BFH’s efforts in Haiti.  This has been a long and complicated project as previously reported, with many hands making for a great outcome.

To augment the library, and allow these students access to a virtually unlimited world of literature, BFH is seeking funding for 30 Kindles for this school.  The staff at Grace Academy, in conjunction with the organization Healing Haiti, have determined that this number of devices will allow them to supply one full classroom with Kindles at a time.  Plans have been discussed with the teaching staff as well, as to how best use this resource in their curriculum, and they are very excited at the possibility of using Kindle technology.

Our commitment to this school alone means a fundraising goal of $3,000.  While we are looking into various funding approaches, BFH is chiefly reliant on individual donors for its success.  Please consider making a real difference in the lives of these children for small donation -$100 will put a Kindle in the hands of several students each day.  Details of BFH’s complete business plan for 2014 can be found on our webpage, along with easy instructions on how to make your tax-exempt donation.   Ongoing activity can be followed on our Facebook page.  We hope to see you there!


Immigrant House on the move

Immigrant House Photo
Immigrant House Crossing Train tracks on Castro St.  Jan. 22nd, 2013 Photo by Michelle Le

Immigrant House was moved from its original location on Bryant Street to a temporary city-owned site before it moves eventually to Mountain View’s newest park at 771 North Rengstorff Avenue.  Immigrant House has lots of events coming up!  More friends and funds are needed to restore the historic house.

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Immigrant House Events in Downtown Mountain View

• Plaza Palooza – Friday, May 2nd6:00-7:30 pm.  Free entertainment!  The Friends of the Immigrant House will be on the plaza.  Come say “Hi” and show your support.

• ‘A La Carte and Art’, May 3rd & 4th. Come see the Friends of the Immigrant House on the Plaza, 500 Castro Street.  We’ll be showing youth art projects featuring Immigrant House themes.
• Night at Morocco’s – Tuesday June 3rd6:00-10:00 pm.  Morocco’s restaurant, in downtown Mountain View, will donate 10% of all proceeds to Immigrant House.  Free entertainment, featuring music by Guided Tour.

• Plaza Palooza – Friday, June 6th6:00-7:30pm.  Free entertainment!  The Friends of the Immigrant House will be on the plaza, so come say “Hi” and show your support.


• Art display at City Hall – June 4th through June 20th .  View artwork including youth art projects featuring Immigrant House themes.


Support Los Altos Community Foundation through SV Gives on May 6 and have your donation doubled, tripled or quadrupled!

To DOUBLE, TRIPLE, or QUADRUPLE your LACF donation, contribute on May 6th by following the below instructions.

Silicon Valley Gives is a 24-hour online fundraising event for nonprofits in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and San Benito counties. It celebrates the 100th anniversary of community foundations. How it works: On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, donors can contribute to local nonprofits through a single online donation platform. A local anonymous donor has provided a $10,000 match specifically for all LACF donations contributed on May 6th as part of SVGives. In addition, other local companies and foundations are providing matches that are available to any participating nonprofit during certain hours of the day.

Want your donation doubled?

Click on the above “Donate Now” button . You can donate anytime between now and midnight of May 6th for the LACF match to apply (assuming it is not used up). How to Triple your Donation: Click on the above “Donate Now” button during the following hours on May 6th. Please do so early in the hour before the match runs out.

  •  7-8am
  •  8-9am
  •  Noon-1pm
  •  6-7pm
  •  7-8pm

How to Quadruple your Donation:

For you night owls, click on the above “Donate Now” button in the one hour period between midnight, Monday, May 5th and 1:00 am, Tuesday, May 6th. Please do so early in the hour before the match runs out. IMPORTANT – Remember that LACF is competing with many other organizations for the above SV Gives matching grants, so donate EARLY in your chosen hour to be sure you can take advantage of these matching dollars. LACF thanks you!  

Gear up for BAT training

LOSALTOSBATPURPLETitlecaseBlock Action Teams (BATs), a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation, help Los Altos residents organize their neighborhoods to be more resilient in the event of a disaster, work together for crime prevention, assist neighborhood seniors, involve neighborhood youth and organize neighborhood social events.  BATs held its first training session in January 2014. Today there are 50 registered BAT Leaders, covering 30 neighborhoods, which is approximately 9% of the households in Los Altos.  We hope that every neighborhood in Los Altos takes advantage of the benefits of this program.

BAT leaders define their neighborhood (typically 15-50 households), communicate with the residents within it and organize helpers and events. For example, a BAT leader may get the neighborhood organized to be prepared for a major disaster and learn how to respond and care for their families and neighbors. The BAT program will provide materials and training to neighborhood leaders so that these activities are easy and fun.
You or your neighborhood may already be doing one or more of these activities – but by joining the BAT program you will receive training and tools to assist with your efforts. You will also meet other neighborhood leaders doing the same thing.

Sign up today to be a BAT leader!  There is no cost to participate and attend one of the training sessions.  Co-leaders are encouraged, so you are welcome to bring a neighbor, spouse or willing assistant.

BAT leaders are required to attend one training session. The next scheduled training dates are:  April 29May 27 or July 29. Training is from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in the El Camino Hospital conference rooms.
For more information about the BAT program, click on the links below:
Los Altos Block Action Team Information


Sherie Dodsworth
Volunteer Program Director for
BAT and Los Altos PREPARE programs

LACF Board Co-chair receives “Excellence In Preparedness” award

photoSherie Dodsworth, LACF’s Board Co-chair receives the “Excellence In Preparedness” award from the Collaborative Agencies Disaster Relief Effort (CADRE). Sherie was recognized for her passion for preparedness that has motivated the residents of Los Altos to strengthen their emergency preparedness efforts, through the Los Altos Community Foundation’s PREPARE and Block Action Team (BAT) programs.

Link to blog: Sherie Dodsworth, LACF’s Board Co-chair, was honored at the ninth annual Santa Clara County disaster preparedness conference on April 9th, sponsored by the Collaborative Agencies Disaster Relief Effort (CADRE). CADRE is a program that unites community-based, non-profit organizations in disaster preparedness, response and recovery activities within the County of Santa Clara. Sherie was recognized for her passion for preparedness that has motivated the residents of Los Altos to strengthen their preparedness efforts, through the Los Altos Community Foundation’s PREPARE and Block Action Team (BAT) programs. These programs are focused on connecting neighbors and providing training to neighborhood leaders (BAT leaders) about what they can do to improve neighborhood emergency preparedness and how they can better respond to and recover from a major disaster, such as an earthquake. The BAT program hosts a monthly training session for residents who want to help their neighbors. The next session is scheduled for April 29th, 6-9 pm at El Camino Hospital Conference room. To learn more, or to sign up to attend, visit

2014 Gardner Award Honorees Announced

claudiaandsemitian1Los Altos Community Foundation Announces 2014 Honorees for John W. Gardner Awards

Los Altos Community Foundation has announced the volunteers who will be honored at its 10th annual John W. Gardner awards dinner on April 3rd. Twenty-six non-profits serving Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and/or Mountain View have nominated exceptional volunteers who have made a significant difference for their organization.

The Gardner Awards are unique in our communities because any non-profit can nominate an exceptional volunteer, instead of an independent panel”, said Joe Eyre, Executive Director of LACF. This enables all non-profits, including small ones, to recognize honorees with the broader local philanthropic community.”

The Gardner Award volunteer nominees include:

• Kit Gordon, Acterra

• Rose Rambo and Jim Clark, Assistance League of Los Altos

• Aila Malik, Challenge Team of Mountain View/Los Altos

• Ineke Ligtenberg, Child Advocates of Silicon Valley

• Paul Kraus, Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC)

• Richard Strock, Day Worker Center of Mountain View

• Claudia Coleman, El Camino Hospital Foundation

• Alice Nuzzo, Family & Children Services

• Lee Winchell, Friends of Deer Hollow Farm

• Gary Hedden, GreenTown Los Altos

• Kevin Thompson, Hope’s Corner

• Alison Kibrick, Just Read

• Julie Cates, Krause Center for Innovation

• Tom Smith, Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service

• Nancy Manning, Los Altos Community Foundation

• Mardell Blaufarb, Los Altos Sister Cities

• Jim Thurber, Los Altos Stage Company

• Glenn Goldberg, dual nominee of Los Altos Educational Foundation and the MVLA High School Foundation

• Joanna Read, Music for Minors

• Ann Hepenstahl, Oak School PTA

• James Otieno, Palo Alto University

• Bonnie Burdett, Partners for New Generations

• Alan Bien, Peninsula Symphony Orchestra

• JoAnn Buchanan, Peninsula Youth Theatre

• Alice Lee, Santa Rita School PTA

• Carol Worthington-Levy, Schola Cantorum, Inc.


This event, named for John W. Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and honorary founder of the Los Altos Community Foundation, exemplifies his life’s devotion to bettering our society. It honors Dr. Gardner’s legacy by highlighting volunteers who exhibit his civic entrepreneurship and community service in any of the five areas of his career – public service, education, government, science and technology, and arts and letters.