Help the Needy This Holiday Season

Silicon Valley and downtown San Jose food banks and social service agencies are collecting donations to help the needy this Thanksgiving and holiday season. Here is a list of downtown San Jose and Silicon Valley charities that need assistance. The Unity Care Group is seeking cash contributions, as well as Christmas trees, holiday decorations, blankets, toys and $25 gift cards to brighten the holiday season for hundreds of foster youth and families in need. Suggested retailers for gift cards include, but are not limited to: Target, Walmart, JCPenny, Old Navy, Macy’s, Red Robin, Westfield Shopping Center and movie theaters. (408) 510-3480, A Cup of Cold Water is collecting gift cards for grocers for the homeless in any amount. Donations can be mailed to A Cup of Cold Water, c/o AACSA, 304 N. Sixth Street, San Jose, CA, 95112. Contact Yvette Scott at [email protected] or call (408) 839-3648. The Portuguese Community Center is seeking donations of food, clothing, toiletries, toothbrushes and toys for the needy. The center is located at 1115 E. Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose. (408) 293-0877, The Bill Wilson Center, which serves more than 10,000 children, teens and adults, including homeless and runaway youth, every year, needs jackets, blankets, sleeping bags, new socks and underwear, toiletries, cash and gift cards. The center is at 3490 The Alameda in Santa Clara. Call to schedule a drop-off. (408) 243-0222, The Family Giving Tree grants the holiday wishes of more than 60,000 very low-income children in Silicon Valley and throughout the Bay Area. Pick up a child’s wish card in the South Bay at participating Wells Fargo Banks and Peet’s Coffee locations or sponsor a child’s wish online. (408) 946-3111, www.familygivingtree.orgSecond Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara County is seeking nonperishable canned food items in the form of tuna, powdered milk, peanut butter, canned meats and stews (pop-top lids appreciated), low-sodium canned vegetables, canned fruit packed in juice, hot and cold low-sugar cereals, 100% fruit juices, dry beans, rice and pastas. The agency serves nearly 250,000 people each month. Volunteers are also needed. Donations can be dropped off at 750 Curtner Avenue, San Jose. Call (408) 266-8866 for a drop-off schedule, or go to www.shfb.orgMartha’s Kitchen, a private non-profit, community-based agency, needs frozen turkeys and five-pound canned hams. Donations may be dropped off 311 Willow Street in downtown San Jose, from 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays; 5:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays, through Dec. 22. (408) 293-6111, www.marthas-kitchen.orgEHC LifeBuilders needs financial support to purchase food to serve more than 1,000 meals a day this winter at San Jose’s largest shelter. The shelter is also asking for ham, turkey, coffee, sugar, vegetable oil, socks, T-shirts, rain ponchos, hats, gloves, hooded sweatshirts, sweatpants, gift cards and laundry soap. Please donate items at 2011 Little Orchard Street. Volunteers are needed to prepare and serve meals. (408) 539-2133, www.ehclifebuilders.orgInnVision serves 29,000 people a year at 25 locations, providing emergency shelter, transitional and supportive housing, and multi-service centers throughout Silicon Valley. The agency needs monetary donations and retail gift cards to support the homeless and at-risk clients during the wet winter months and to keep programs open year round. Other needs include fleece blankets, sleeping bags, warm winter coats, new socks and toys. Drop off food at the Julian Street Inn, 546 W. Julian Street in downtown San Jose, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Clothing donations, linens and toiletries can be dropped off Monday through Thursday from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm at the Georgia Travis Center, 297 Commercial Street, San Jose. (408) 292-4286. Checks can be sent to InnVision Administrative Offices, 1900 The Alameda, Suite 400, San Jose, CA 95126, or donations may be made online at

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