Dreams can come true!

This morning brought great news that our colleague organization, Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF), received a phenomenal stock gift of $500 million from Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook.  This gift will definitely help to transform lives and communities in the Bay Area! 

Can you imagine the strength of that gift?  Can you imagine the impact that gift can have for students who may not have any hopes of attending college or providing needed housing assistance to the family who is trying to make ends meet and things just aren’t working out? 

No stranger to philanthropy, Mark Zuckerberg signed the “Giving Pledge” in December 2010 promising to donate at least half of his wealth over his lifetime along with other notable persons Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.  He gave a significant gift to help the Newark Public Schools two years ago and certainly seems to have the faith and confidence in working with the SVCF to accomplish more of his vision for the future. 

As reported in the San Jose Mercury Times, Zuckerberg stated, “Today, in order to lay the foundation for new projects, we've made a contribution of 18 million Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation," Zuckerberg continued. "Together, we will look for areas in education and health to focus on next. I'm hopeful we'll be able to have as positive an impact in our next set of projects."

Also interesting is that in the same article the following was noted:  “While some of Silicon Valley's wealthiest executives -- such as William Hewlett and David Packard -- created their own foundations to distribute their wealth, others who channeled funds through the community foundation include former eBay President Jeff Skoll, who announced in 2005 that he had donated $150 million each to his own private foundation and to a fund affiliated with a forerunner to the community foundation.”

Emmett Carson, SVCF CEO, was gracious in his comment, "Mark's generous gift will change lives and inspire others in Silicon Valley and around the globe to give back and make the world a better place."

Obviously Mark Zuckerberg knows that the SVCF can make his aspirations come alive in his community just as the Grand Rapids Community Foundation can do the same right here in our area!  Our staff team is simply the best in identifying needs, fleshing out how organizations operate, what projects can really focus on making a positive impact.  Come and explore with us!  We do make things happen. As we say loud and clear, “Community Happens Here!” 

Congratulations to our colleagues at Silicon Valley Community Foundation!