Cupertino Rotary debuts grant program

Cupertino is helping raise money to support victims of the Camp Fire. Photo courtesy of the Cupertino Rotary Facebook page.

Community groups across the region are stepping up to help as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

The Rotary Club of Cupertino announced a major grant program this week to help allay some of the economic hardship. Six local non-profit groups will receive the funds, aimed at serving homeless individuals and struggling families.

The initial awardees are HomeFirst Services, West Valley Community Services, Our Daily Bread, YWCA Women’s Shelter, Uplift Services and JW House.

“We are thrilled to provide over $12,000 in grant funding to help these six local non-profits continue serving our local community, families and children, especially now during this vulnerable time,” said Padma Chari, president of Cupertino Rotary.

Local non-profit organizations are seeing record-breaking demand for their assistance. Unfortunately, that comes as their standard funding streams, from donors and government grants, face headwinds

“HomeFirst is deeply grateful for the support from local Rotary Clubs and thrilled to see Rotary out in the community being part of the solution during these challenging times,” said Andrea Urton, chief executive director of HomeFirst Services. HomeFirst serves more than 5,000 people per year at nine locations.

One of the grantees, West Valley Community Services, has seen increased funding from the City of Cupertino in recent weeks. West Valley provides critical support through its food bank and housing support services.

“As more and more low- income households are struggling as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially meaningful to have compassionate partners like Cupertino Rotary to help meet the growing need for help among our community’s most vulnerable residents,” Josh Selo, West Valley’s executive director said.