Welcome to Share the Spirit

On November 24, 2022, Thanksgiving Day, the East Bay Times will launch 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 $4 million and made an estimated 680 grants to help as many as 785,000 local people. We work in a unique partnership with nonprofit organizations in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, more than 30 of whom join our effort this year. 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. 

Last year was the 28th year of Share the Spirit, and your contributions made it THE most successful year ever. While the pandemic continues to require adjustments from everyone, we hope you will continue to show this generosity and kindness if your circumstances allow.

We invite you to read 2022 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 2022 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, please feel free to contact the program at 925.655.8355 or email Dee Dee Robillard at [email protected].

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 ...
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Bert Robinson – Secretary

Bert Robinson is Senior Editor for the Bay Area News Group, overseeing the newsrooms of The Mercury News and East Bay Times. He joined The Mercury News as a summer intern in 1983. Robinson reported in San Jose City Hall, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Meet our staff

Editor: Cecily Burt

Reporters: Harry Harris, George Avalos, Peter Hegarty, Shomik Mukherjee, Rick Hurd, Joseph Geha, Jon Becker, Jesse Bedayn, Rowena Gondon, Nate Gartrell, Shayna Rubin, Annie Sciacca, George Kelly, Gabriel Greschler, Sharon Martin, Jakob Rodgers, Jim Harrington

‍Photographers: Ray Chavez, Anda Chu, Dylan Bouscher, Aric Crabb, Jane Tyska

Photo editors: Doug Duran, Laura A. Oda

Director: Dee Dee Robillard




Congratulations to the 2022 Share the Spirit grantees!

Battle Tested Kids, Inc.

Bay Area Crisis Nursery

Berkeley Food & Housing Project

Berkeley Food Pantry

Beyond Emancipation

Centro Legal de la Raza

Child Abuse Prevention Council


Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance

Contra Costa Co. Society of St. Vincent De Paul

Down Syndrome Connection – Bay Area

Early Alert Canines

East Bay Innovations

East Bay Children’s Law Offices

Empowered Aging

First Place for Youth

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

Futures Explored

Goodness Village

Grace Baptist

Grateful Gatherings

Immigration Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA)

Las Trampas, Inc.

Legal Assistance for Seniors (LAS)

Lions Center for the Visually Impaired

LITA of Contra Costa

Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa

Meals on Wheels Diablo Region

Monument Impact

Opportunity Junction

Rising Sun Center for Opportunity

Saint Vincent’s Day Home

SOS Meals on Wheels

Shelter Inc.

ShowerHouse Ministries

Sunflower Hill

Swords to Plowshares Veterans Rights Org

Trinity Center Walnut Creek

Tri-Valley Haven

Winter Nights Family Shelter