Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of Share the Spirit?
The Share the Spirit program is sponsored by the Bay Area News Group through the East Bay Times. The mission of the Share the Spirit program is to enhance the November through January holiday season for the area’s most needy residents of Alameda County and Contra Costa County. Founded by Dean and Margaret Lesher, and sustained by generous East Bay readers, the Share the Spirit fund has been providing help and hope to East Bay residents for over 25 years.
How does Share the Spirit work?
Through a competitive application process, grants are awarded to local nonprofit groups to support holiday programs, critical services and outreach. During the Share the Spirit season, East Bay Times will feature stories each week beginning in late November through New Year’s Day. The stories will highlight the purpose of the nonprofit programs, individuals and families assisted by the help and hope provided. All stories will also be published on the Share the Spirit website and East Bay Times website. For nonprofits wishing to participate in the grant program, please visit the nonprofit information page.
How can I help?
With each story of help and hope in the East Bay Times, there will also be donation information in the article. Donations can be made by mail to Share the Spirit, P O Box 3485, Walnut Creek, CA 94598 or securely online using the “donate now” button on this site.
What is the method of assistance?
Share the Spirit does not distribute cash directly to individuals, although it can provide assistance by buying equipment, furniture, gift cards and more. The local nonprofit organizations awarded grant funds and featured in the stories use the funds to provide direct services and goods to help the featured clients and other clients like them.
Is donor information provided or sold to anyone else?
No. Every contribution is confidential and we do not provide donor names or email addresses to any outside organizations, including the organizations featured in the stories. The only time information is shared is if a donor wishes his or her name to be acknowledged in the paper.
Are contributions tax-deductible?
Yes. Donations to the Share the Spirit Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, are tax deductible. The tax ID number is 77-0229665.
Are contributions accepted all year?
Yes. The account is open year-round. Contributions can be made online here or sent to: Share the Spirit, PO Box 3485, Walnut Creek, CA 94598.
Can I donate goods to Share the Spirit?
We are unable to manage donations of any type of goods, including toys, holiday food baskets, clothing, furniture, automobiles, etc. Please email [email protected] and we may be able to suggest organizations that accept such donations.
How does East Bay Times support the Share the Spirit program?
During the annual fundraising effort, East Bay Times’ reporters and photographers document the challenges and celebrate the successes facing individuals, families and nonprofit organizations in our community. These stories are published in the East Bay Times and on its website. The paper publishes lists of contributors and coupons advising readers how to contribute, as well as ads throughout the paper and online to further encourage readers to help their neighbors in need. The Share the Spirit Fund also manages the grant-making application process, distribution of donated funds to the grant qualified nonprofit organizations, processes readers’ donations, maintains the nonprofit accounting and reporting, and provides all donors with tax receipts in a timely manner.
Is a part of my donation allocated to cover administrative expenses?
Share the Spirit maintains transparency on all costs that are essential to advance the mission to help as many as possible in the East Bay. The Bay Area News Group covers all printing and costs for producing the stories, and staff time. There are some costs to offer secure online donation option, issue tax receipts to all donors, postage, and to select and fully vet all fund recipients in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, and those costs remain around 5%.
Who are the recipients for 2020 grant funding:
The Bay Area News Group and the Contra Costa Crisis Center are pleased to announce the recipients for 2020 Share the Spirit grants. These organizations are doing great work in the community and making the holidays brighter for many East Bay residents. 2020 Grant Recipients
Act of Grace Bay Area Foundation Las Trampas
Alternative Family Services Legal Assistance for Seniors (LAS)
Assistance League® of Diablo Valley LITA (Love Is The Answer) of Contra Costa
Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP) Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa
Berkeley Food & Housing Project (BFHP) Love Never Fails
Berkeley Food Network Loved Twice
Berkeley Food Pantry Meals on Wheels Diablo Region
Beyond Emancipation (B:E) Open Heart Kitchen
Brighter Beginnings Opportunity Junction
Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa (Rainbow)
Civicorps Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance RCF DBA SparkPoint Contra Costa
Downs Memorial United Methodist Church Rubicon Programs Inc.
East Bay Childrens Law Offices Service Opportunity for Seniors (SOS) Meals on Wheels
East Bay Innovations SHELTER, Inc.
Eden I&R ShowerHouse Ministries
First Baptist Head Start St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Swords to Plowshares Veterans Rights Organization
Fred Finch Youth & Family Services The Davis Street Community Center, Inc.
Grateful Gatherings Trinity Center Walnut Creek
Hope 4 the Heart Tri-Valley Haven


Additional questions?

Please contact Share the Spirit at [email protected] or 925.472.5760.