Share the Spirit donations hit three-year high

East Bay residents were generous during the holiday season, contributing $194,000 to the annual Share the Spirit campaign, which warms the winter days for the less fortunate.

It was nearly 27 percent more than the drive collected in 2014.

People seemed more in a giving spirit and the charitable groups that benefit from the donations tried harder to tell their stories, said a leader of The Volunteer Center of the East Bay. The organization helps administer Share the Spirit, the annual holiday fundraising program of the East Bay newspapers of the Bay Area News Group, led by the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune.

“It was a very good year. We’re really pleased,” Jo Loss, the center’s executive director, said. “The agencies really stepped up.”

Loss said the nonprofit organizations benefited from some instruction on finding good stories.

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