Covenant House California, an Oakland program that offers services to youth living on the streets, has received a $10,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, part of $19 million that the Foundation distributed during the holiday season.
“The nonprofits we are honoring (are ones that) help those who may not have a permanent home to have a warm place to stay through the holidays,” stated Julie Gehrki, senior director at the Foundation. The grant received by Covenant House is part of Walmarts’ “12 Days of Giving” Facebook campaign.
The Oakland branch of Covenant House California, which opened in 1998, is located in Jack London Square and is comprised of a cafeteria, 30 beds, and a wide-range of employment and educational services.The focus of this nonprofit’s efforts is to provide medical care, case management services, life skill workshops, and spiritual ministry programs.
Sheri Shuster, Associate Director of Development at Covenant House, said she was surprised since “donations have been down for a lot of nonprofits.”
“We rely on the generosity of corporations and community partners and individual donors to help us,” Shuster said, adding that she “felt honored” to have received the support.
The winter season is the time when “the most critical need is for housing and shelter. It really is a challenge for kids to be out on the streets and hungry,” she said.
Walmart’s appeal for nominations for its “12 Days of Giving” Facebook campaign produced nearly 5,400 nominations from Facebook users who provided photos and short pieces about a nonprofit’s influence on a local community. The Walmart Foundation assessed proposals and chose nonprofits that concentrated on serving the basic needs of the underprivileged in the community.
Organizations that received contributions were those that supply affordable housing, safe shelters, food, and other resources for homeless women, children, and families.
Covenant House of California is located at 200 Harrison St. in Oakland. For information go to www.covenanthouse.org.