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That’s Amazing!

As those of us at the Sonora Area Foundation came down the homestretch of 2012 and turned the corner on 2013, we became the willing participants in several occurrences that just had to make us smile. With a nod to the passing of Huell Howser and his signature line from the many shows he hosted on PBS, let’s take a closer look at a couple of stories of impact and why they left us saying “That’s amazing!”

– Shortly before Christmas, an anonymous donor came to the Foundation and asked Finance and Administration Manager Cathi Nies to deposit a gold coin, with a value of around $1,700, into a Salvation Army bell ringer’s bucket. I asked Cathi why the donor came to the Foundation with this task, and she said “Because the donor trusted the Foundation to meet the request and maintain their anonymity.” If I am asked who the donor was, I always say “You really don’t want to know, because it will ruin the story for you.” And what an amazing story it has been.

– We closed the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund at the end of December, and are preparing to award a final grant. One of our previous Sandy Fund grant recipients was Island Harvest, a food bank for Long Island in New York, who wrote to us about their experiences with the hurricane. As the hurricane hit, “we deployed our staff and began working directly with government officials, first responders and local relief agencies to distribute water, supplies and nonperishable food. Since then, we have distributed well over 2 million pounds of product to people who were hard hit by the Hurricane and storm that followed,” writes Randi Shubin Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest. “Thanks to your support, we will be able to continue to help the many residents whose lives have been uprooted indefinitely. We can’t thank you enough for your considerate gift.”

– For the month of December, donors contributed over $500,000 to donor funds held by the Foundation, which is amazing all by itself. One hundred percent of the money received will be used to award grants to support and benefit a variety of activities and needs. We do not charge administration fees on donor funds held by the Foundation, part of the legacy provided for by Irving J. Symons when the Foundation was established 23 years ago.

I hope that these stories leave you with the same smile as they have for us. Please know that every gift to the Sonora Area Foundation makes an impact in a positive way. And sometimes, they just leave you amazed.