“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington
The inspiration for the Friends of Oakley was a new city ordinance, the Property Maintenance Ordinance, which requires certain standards of appearance of residential properties. Councilmembers Jim Frazier and Kevin Romick had concerns. How do we help those people who, for whatever reason, are unable to comply with the new ordinance? They kicked around a number of ideas and asked for some advice. It was mentioned that a Community Foundation would provide a great deal of flexibility in meeting the needs of Oakley. Together they created the Friends of Oakley – A Community Foundation and went about creating a Board of Directors. They quickly enlisted help from Councilmember Pat Anderson, Shirley Darling and Mike Painter.
Soon after organizing they were approached by Lillian Pierce of the Brentwood Regional Community Chest (BRCC). The BRCC had a program that provided a full holiday dinner, canned food and age-appropriate presents to children for families living in Brentwood, Oakley, Byron, Discovery Bay, Knightsen and Bethel Island. They asked the Friends of Oakley to take over this program for Oakley residents.
With seed money and organizational help from the BRCC the tradition of Friends of Oakley Christmas Basket Program began in November of 2008. They delivered holiday meal fixings, canned foods, and wrapped gifts to 125 families at their inaugural event. In 2009 the Friends of Oakley doubled the number of families to 250 and in the following years that number was increased to 300.
The Friends of Oakley – A Community Foundation commits to returning 100% of the toys and food goods donated in Oakley to our registered families in need in Oakley. At least one toy will be wrapped and given for each child in the family up to age 18.
The Friends of Oakley – A Community Foundation serves as a tool to strengthen our community through philanthropy by connecting people who care with causes that matter. It is our hope that the generosity that has been displayed by Oakley residents responding to recent events can be continued through this foundation. With an eye towards the future we are hoping to guide and promote volunteerism and provide community leadership to deal with the demands of an ever growing community.
The mission of the Friends of Oakley is to improve the quality of life in the city of Oakley now and for future generations through efforts that inspire donor philanthropy to address community needs.
A community foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3), nonprofit, autonomous, publicly supported, philanthropic institution. So, now you’re asking; what is the difference between charity and philanthropy? Charity is money given to meet the immediate need – food for hungry people, shelter for the homeless, etc. Philanthropy also provides funds but is more strategic, aiming for long-term improvements. It requires not just money, but human resources, innovative thinking and effective follow up.
- To serve as a leader, catalyst, and resource for philanthropy.
- To build and hold a permanent and growing endowment for the Oakley’s changing needs and opportunities.
- Strengthen community-based organizations that effectively address community needs, promote volunteerism, and provide community leadership.
- To strive for excellence in strategic grantmaking that benefits all citizens of Oakley in fields such as social services, education, health, recreation, the environment, and the arts.
- To provide flexible and cost-effective ways for civic-minded individuals, families, and companies to contribute to Oakley – now and for all time.
To learn more about community foundations, visit the Council on Foundations
Friends of Oakley – PO Box 210, Oakley, CA 94561 EIN: 80-0298285 ©2009