Featured, our team’s tomatoes, on their way to the local food pantry, Call Primrose. We also fill a barrel for Second Harvest Food Bank each year. Below, a few of the other wonderful organizations we’ve supported over the years (in random order):

Helping At-Risk Youth to Thrive

We’re investing in a more hope-filled tomorrow every day, through our various projects, and also with grants to others such as:

  • Backpackpalooza  – For many years we’ve provided an annual matching grant for this annual community event where 600+ backpacks are given to local school-age children living below the poverty line. Originally in San Mateo’s Central Park, the event is now held at the Burlingame United Methodist church parking lot, with live music, games, raffle, face painting, and celebration — have fun and ‘be the change!’
  • Boys & Girls Clubs – Our CEO was a Bay Area judge, and we have also supported the Clubs by purchasing a table at two separate events.
  • deMarillac Academy – Motivated by child safety, we worked in partnership with Boma Systems to provide all parties with cell-phone security Push5 accounts, free of charge. The school is located in the Tenderloin and serves underserved, low-income families from at-risk communities, and this effort was part of a larger ‘win back the neighborhood’ campaign to improve neighborhood safety in association with CrimeStoppers. While the program was running, participants could use their cell phones to immediately dial for help quickly and quietly in a panic situation. Boma is a name derived from the African barriers built from branches built to protect people from predators. 
  • Shelter Network – We sponsored a number of tables at Shelter Network’s annual breakfast over the years, because when families go homeless, kids suffer long-term consequences. 
  • Vida Jovem (Boys Hope Girls Hope Brazil) – grant to establish a computer learning center in São Paulo.  We have also supported BHGH with a donation of stereo equipment for their giveaway contest, and, in partnership with Elfenworks Productions, LLC, provided the entertainment for the inaugural fundraiser gala for their San Francisco office. Support runs both ways; feedback from BHGH President Paul Minorini was incorporated into our ECNISC project (IT Security for Nonprofits) during the development cycle.

Supporting Local Officials

We appreciate the men and women who have dedicated themselves to keeping our community safe and strong:

  • San Mateo Firehouse – We supported firefighters, purchasing a paver during their fundraiser in 2016.
  • Local Police – We provided matching funds so that there would be sufficient money for a new police K9 (canine) for the Burlingame Police Department, an invaluable tool in the prevention of crime and criminal activity in the city.  We suggested they consider naming their new dog “donut,” but perhaps that’s a little too playful for a working police dog.   

Supporting International Humanitarian Work

It’s an interconnected world, and we say “how can I be truly well, when my brother is ill?” When the whole world is well, our home fires will burn more brightly. We have supported a number of international nonprofits such as:

  • The Carter Center – Our CEO is a Life Member of the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center, which is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. Our support has included: underwriting of booklet on Women & Trachoma; lead gift to initiate an effort to combat malaria(Ethiopia); support for interns, mental health, guinea worm eradication and the library redesign. The Carter Center invites you to join them in creating a world in which every man, woman, and child has the opportunity to enjoy good health and live in peace: www.cartercenter.org.
  • One Million Lights (OML) – In May 2009 Elfenworks welcomed OML to share our office space with us, briefly. We felt this  experiment was is in direct alignment with our mission to foster positive, measurable, sustainable change. In this case, it was by seeing whether we might be the wind beneath the wings of one small nonprofit as it began to take flight, enable it to perhaps avoid overhead for a time, until momentum was gained, and they were of the size they could sustain it.

Fostering Research 

We supported the Institute for Policy Studies’ Economic Hardship Reporting Project, for a  “lay of the land” research report on the intersection of poverty and law. The result is their landmark report, The Poor Get Prison: The Alarming Spread of the Criminalization of Poverty” with a Foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich, released in 2015 and still compelling.  Here’s an excerpt:

Poor people, especially people of color, face a far greater risk of being fined, arrested, and even incarcerated for minor offenses than other Americans. A broken taillight, an unpaid parking ticket, a minor drug offense, sitting on a sidewalk, or sleeping in a park can all result in jail time. In this report, we seek to understand the multi-faceted, growing phenomenon of the “criminalization of poverty.”  In many ways, this phenomenon is not new.. [ full report is here ]  

If you would be interested to help disseminate this important research, here ae some sample tweets:

  • Poverty is becoming a crime – read how & why in breakthrough @IPS_DC report: “The Poor Get Prison”  http://bit.ly/1FJzUGB #talkpoverty  #elfenworks. 
  • IPS report a must read: The Poor Get Prison” http://bit.ly/1FJzUGB #BlackLivesMatter #elfenworks
  • Report:”The Poor Get Prison” has foreword by Ehrenreich. Is it a crime to be poor? http://bit.ly/1FJzUGB  #elfenworks

See the “University” page for information on grants to universities that have also sparked or fostered ongoing research.” 

Providing Tech / Web Help

Since our inception we have provided web support through our partnership with Elfenworks Productions, LLC.  This includes:

  • cvp.ucsf.edu – the initial website, including look-and-feel. The Center for Vulnerable Populations at ZSFG celebrated ten years in 2017.
  • inequality.com (Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality) – the initial website (inequality.com) including logo.
  • local church websites – we designed the website for abundantgracecw.org (formerly Kelly Avenue Catholic Worker), helping Half Moon Bay locals, and then provided input towards their redesign. We also assisted three local United Church of Christ websites, including San Mateo, Ladera (Woodside), and Skyline (Oakland) with websites, all featuring their national Still Speaking campaign. The denomination has strong social justice roots: in the ’50s when Southern television stations imposed a news blackout on the growing civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. asked the UCC to intervene. Everett Parker of UCC Office of Communication organized, and won a Federal court ruling that airwaves are public, not private property.  
  • uhcan.org (Universal Health Care Action Network)  – in 2006 (well before Obamacare, actually two years before Barack Obama even became President) we partnered with this Cleveland, Ohio based group to completely overhaul their website, migrate hosts, and implement a new content management system. Under a tight deadline, we assisted UHCAN with their campaign, developing the video embedded here and submitting it to YouTube on their behalf. It was used in their newsletter and on their website, hosted for a time on our own server.  

Myrtle Carey of Ladera UCC attended our very first Ribbon Cutting event, bringing flowers and the following gracious note: “This token of appreciation comes with the profound gratitude of the entire congregation of Ladera Community Church for choosing our project of designing a welcoming and vital new website. You blew wind into our sails and we’re soaring from its resounding success. We appreciate your talent and creativeness and we know you’ll be successful in your future endeavors. God bless.” — Myrtle Carey, Website Liaison, Ladera Community Church, September 7, 2007

University Grants (Local) 

  • Stanford University – Center on Poverty & Inequality – we provided a financial gift to establish scholars, research, and Pathways Magazine. 
  • Mills College of California – we provided the lead gift to establish the Center for Socially Responsible Business at the Graduate School of Business.
  • Golden Gate University – we endowed the Elfenworks Center for Employment Justice.
  • UCSF Springer Lab – we supported their research with grant and gave fundraising input. Springer Lab is researching the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, including marijuana smoke, e-cigs and cigarillos.  We also created a public service announcement to help people quit smoking.
  • Saint Mary’s College of California – we endowed the Elfenworks Center for Responsible Business, and sparked the President’s Emergency Fund for students. 
  • See our scholarships page for more ways we’re helping college students at CSUMB, CUEB Beijing and beyond!

Enhancing Well-Being

  • Greater Bay Area Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – We worked in partnership with the local branch of the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education, and patient services to distribute a soothing music CD – Rejuve – to those it might comfort or help in healing. The Society’s mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.
  • Package of Prevention – We also worked with this group in a similar fashion as with the LLS, above.  
  • Is your organization involved with uplifting others from suffering? Why not get in touch using our contact page?