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Schools embrace donations

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Our thoughts turn to school as we approach Labor Day weekend. Parents are school shopping with both eager, and reluctant children. Teachers and administrators are preparing classrooms and schools for the start of the year. Unfortunately, many families around the Bay are feeling the pangs of the suffering economy and schools are in dire need of donations, short on funds.

Here in the Bay Area, there are lots of opportunities for giving. One of the largest and well-known organizations, Project Ready to Learn, generously donates supply-filled backpacks to students in need. This project has been sponsored by the Contra Costa Times for the past 11 years and is available in both Contra Costa County, and Alameda County.

VESTIA is the nonprofit organization that facilitates these donations in Contra Costa County. To donate, go to the VestiaInc website, or pay by check, payable to VESTIA. Include the words 'Project Ready to Learn' in the memo line. Mail to VESTIA, 400 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, California 94523. For details, or to donate backpacks prior to August 31st, call #925-521-5060.

In Alameda County, send checks to the Alameda County Social Services Agency. Include the words 'Tools 4 School' or 'Project Ready to Learn' in the memo line. Mail to Karen Benjamin-Dozier, 24100 Amador Street, Hayward, California 94541. For further details or other donations, please call #510-470-9764.

Donorschoose is bursting with invitations for donations to Bay Area classrooms vying for worthwhile projects to be funded. The start of the school year is a perfect time to extend resources to help make it happen. Donors can designate which project is chosen for their donation, in the amount of their preference. Over 148,000 students benefit from projects that have been funded from this website alone!

The professionally produced film, 'Chasing Rodriguez' recently completed production in Concord, with local residents and businesses donating services to make it happen. Jeff Mosley, stuntman, and producer/director, is donating 25% of the profit from the sale of the DVD’s directly to Mt. Diablo Unified School District. DVD's will be available soon on Amazon. This is a great way to enjoy some wonderful entertainment and donate to a good cause at the same time! View this website before August 31st, for details about others ways to make donations.

If you want to donate but don’t have the funds to do so, contact your local school to see how you can share your time! Let’s work together to create an awesome year of learning for our students!

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