The holiday season is finally upon us and, in San Francisco, that means festive holiday parties, decorations on busy streets and, of course, thousands of Santas flocking to the bars. But with so much going on, we sometimes forget what the holiday spirit is really all about. Three local tech companies -- ZeroCater, Twice, and Getaround -- are helping us remember just that.
On Nov. 5, these three startups launched their second annual Tech Gives Back charity drive, which aims to raise over $75,000 in donations to benefit a group of Bay Area non-profit partners. The holiday fundraiser will run from Nov. 18-29.
"Tech Gives Back is a way for us and other startups to get out and improve the communities where we live and work,” said Noah Ready-Campbell, Twice’s co-founder and CEO. “It's easy to forget there are people in need in your own neighborhood, especially when you're super focused on your work. The campaign gives local tech companies an easy way to contribute."
The holiday fundraiser had a successful debut last year, raising $45,000 in food, clothing and cash donations to benefit a few local nonprofit partners. This year, it has already partnered with 30 other local startups (including, GitHub, Groupon, Foursquare and Task Rabbit) to help reach its target goal. But they could always use some extra help. That's where you come in.
First, tell your company that they should help support Tech Gives Back by volunteering their food, clothes and time. One of the things they can do is host a food drive to help support the San Francisco and Marin County Food Banks to help ensure that families in need will not go hungry this holiday season.
“The Food Bank is so grateful for the support of Tech Gives Back,” said Paul Ash, Executive Director of San Francisco and Marin Food Banks. “Tech companies are often considered the leaders of innovation and ingenuity, so it follows that they would apply those talents to giving back to the community. The need in San Francisco is as great as ever, with one in four people at risk of hunger, so we’re really counting on every donation generated by the campaign to help support our programs.”
Secondly, startups can organize a clothing drive to help support their local community. All items will be given to the Goodwill of San Francisco to fund job training and placement programs for local residents who need it.
Tech Gives Back will also accept cash donations to help such organizations as the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco, Dress for Success San Francisco and Food Runners. You can get started by pledging your donation here.
If you don’t have the money but have the time, Tech Gives Back is also looking for volunteers to help delivery holiday gifts to a shelter, visit a senior center and cook a meal at a community kitchen. For those who do, Getaround will provide you a free vehicle for your volunteer transport.
Tech Gives Back will also host a catered event (by ZeroCater) for all Bay Area residents at SF Public Works on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 6-9 p.m in hopes of bringing everyone together for some delicious food, drinks and chatter with other fundraising participants. All proceeds for this event will help support San Francisco and Marin Food Banks.
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