Welcome to Share the Spirit

On November 23, 2023, Thanksgiving Day, the East Bay Times launched its annual edition of Share the Spirit, one of the most meaningful endeavors we undertake each year. This holiday campaign is our way of giving back to the community by shining a light on its most vulnerable residents — and showing how we all can help. 

Since 1989, Share the Spirit has raised more than $5 million and made an estimated 700 grants to help as  provide relief to over 800,000 people living in the East Bay. With your help, we work in a unique partnership with nonprofit organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, with 40 receiving assistance in 2022. The organizations contribute their expertise to individuals mired in the toughest of situations, whether it’s offering a hot meal, warm winter clothing, or the support needed to escape being unsheltered.  Our stories about their efforts illustrate your donations at work, so you can feel confident you are helping the families and communities we serve. 

Next year will be the 35th year of Share the Spirit reaching our neighbors in need.

We invite you to read 2023 Share the Spirit stories that will be published in print and digital editions of the East Bay Times throughout the holidays. You can also stay updated on the 2023 Share the Spirit initiative by visiting eastbaytimes.com or sharethespiriteastbay.org.

To make a secure and tax deductible donation, please click here. Additionally, checks can be made out to Share the Spirit Fund and mailed to Share the Spirit, P.O. Box 2127, Dublin, CA 94568If you need additional information, or assistance with gifts from an IRA, DAF, or stock, please feel free to contact the program at (408) 920-5009.

Your generous support will help make the East Bay community an even better place to live. By working closely together, we can make the holidays brighter for thousands of our neighbors, one gift at a time.



Share the Spirit Board of Directors

Sharon Ryan – President

Sharon Ryan is Publisher for the Bay Area News Group and Board President for Wish Book and Share the Spirit. Rising to the publisher’s office in 2014, she is the first woman to lead the news group. Ryan also serves ...

Robert Gallagher

Treasurer Bob Gallagher is the Director of Finance for the Bay Area News Group overseeing financials for the company. Bob Started his career with Safeway where he filled many roles from Pricing to Data Analytics to Finance Manager, he then ...

Robert Martinez

Robert Martinez is the Retail Advertising Sales Director for the Bay Area News Group, overseeing local retail print and digital sales, targeted delivery, and special sections.  He joined the Mercury News as a sales manager in 2005. Prior to that ...

Leigh Poitinger

Leigh Poitinger is a director of marketing operations for MediaNews Group, which operates more than 50 daily publications including The Mercury News and East Bay Times. Previously she was News Research Director for The Mercury News, providing editorial research on ...

Melvina Ponzio

Melvina Ponzio is Vice President of Circulation Operations for the Bay Area News Group, overseeing home delivery, retail sales and transportation.  She joined The Mercury News as Home Delivery manager in 2001. Melvina came to The Mercury News from the ...

Nicki Valdez

Nicki Valdez is the Marketing Director for the Bay Area News Group, overseeing the promotion and awareness of the company’s news brands which include 3 daily newspapers, 22 community weeklies and a host of accompanying websites. She has spent over ...




Congratulations to the 2023 Share the Spirit grantees!

Bay Area Rescue Mission
BORP Adaptive Sports and Recreation
Brighter Beginnings
Child Abuse Prevention Council
First Place for Youth
Front Porch Communities Foundation
Girls on the Run Bay Area
Goodness Village
Horizon Services, Inc.
La Familia
Lincoln Families
Lions Center for the Visually Impaired
LITA of Contra Costa
Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa
Opportunity Junction
Paws In Need
Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Rubicon Programs Inc
The Berkeley Baby Book Project (BBBP)
The Network of Care