As you’re well aware, my firm’s mission is to keep as many people in their homes as possible. This is doubly true during the Holiday season when the phrase “home for the holidays” can be truly heartbreaking for those battling foreclosure. This year, my team has helped dozens of families keep their homes despite the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. But ensuring that our neighbors have roofs over their heads isn’t the only goal of our firm. When we can, and particularly during the holidays, we also want to bring joy into their lives and make sure they can sit down to a full table.
This time last year, I crossed San Francisco in an Uber to deliver a load of Christmas presents to our local branch of The Salvation Army. Those donations were for their “Adopt a Family” program, which we try to participate in every year. “Adopt a Family” and donating food to local food banks are just two of the ways my family and firm give back during the holiday season.
We believe that if it’s in our power, we should do everything we can to help people have the best holiday possible. This year that goal is more important than ever. Because of COVID-19, our food banks here in the Bay Area have been asking for donations since the spring. Families across California are going hungry because they’ve lost their jobs and government help has run out.
Of course, the pandemic has put new parameters on giving back. When my family donated to our church food drive, for example, we had to leave our donations of canned and packaged food outside the door to maintain social distancing. Then later on, someone from the church came out and bought them in. This is just a small example of how there are more steps to giving right now than in a normal year — and why it’s so important to plan ahead if your family or company wants to support a cause.
I know my team, my family, and I can’t solve huge problems like hunger and homelessness on our own, but we’re doing what we can to help. In addition to the daily battles we take on to help our clients avoid foreclosure and win real estate disputes, we’re planning to donate to these three causes this year (and hopefully more!).
The Salvation Army San Francisco — The Salvation Army has been helping people cope with homelessness, natural disasters, addiction, the heartbreak of human trafficking, and more since 1865. We’re proud that our donations help our local branch make such a big impact on the community. To learn more about their mission and find out how you can join us in giving back, visit SanFrancisco. SalvationArmy.org.
Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB) — Every $1 donated to ACCFB provides $7 worth of food to our neighbors in need. Not only does this food bank distribute food from its warehouse in Oakland, but it also offers a supplemental nutrition program and fights child hunger with mobile pantries, school food programs, and backpacks of groceries for kids. Visit ACCFB.org to learn more about how to donate, volunteer, or get help if your family needs it.
Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County — This foodbank works to provide meals to food-insecure families, connect low-income seniors with free groceries, and ensure everyone has access to fresh produce as well as shelf-stable goods. They serve more than 175,000 people every month. To find out more about their mission and how you can help, visit FoodBankCCS.org.
If you have the means, I hope you’ll join us in giving back to the community this Holiday season. We’re doing all we can as a firm, but in order to reach everyone, we need to come together and support each other. 2020 was a difficult year, but its challenges weren’t insurmountable. Together, we can create a brighter future.
Wishing you happy holidays,
Jason W. Estavillo