Now in its fourth year, Dining Out For Life Silicon Valley is the only major public fundraising event supporting The Health Trust AIDS Services, which, according to a release, provides food, housing, case management and job counseling to more than 800 low-income clients with HIV/AIDS.
"When we brought and our East Coast style pizza to Silicon Valley, we made this community our home," said Amici's President Peter Cooperstein in a release. "Dining Out For Life is a great way to give back, and to bring Valley residents together to help those among us who need our support the most.”
This year, on April 26, 44 Silicon Valley restaurants will donate a percentage of their sales to the organization.
Many of these restaurants have been participating in the event for several years but this year, there are quite a few newcomers, says Jon Breen, fund development coordinator. The event is part of a much larger one, which includes 60 cities in the US and Canada and more than 3,500 participating restaurants. The event was born in 1991 in Philadelphia.
Patty Fisher, director of policy and communications at the Health Trust says that there are many reasons to come out and dine at a participating restaurant but the main reason is to help serve others within the community.
"We are facing funding cuts as all nonprofits are and we really need the community to support our AIDS services," Fisher says. "It's getting harder and harder to depend on government funds."
In 2010, the event raised $48,000 for the organization and in 2011 raised $40,000. The organization hopes to raise $65,000 this year in order to make up for lost funds, Fisher says.
The money raised by the event will go back into the Health Trust's AIDS services, the largest HIV/AIDS program in Silicon Valley, with nearly 1,000 individuals and their families benefiting from it.
In 2011, the Health Trust AIDS Services did the following:
- Provided case management services to 755 people;
- Provided food baskets to 506 people;
- Provided housing assistance to 187 people;
- Provided transportation assistance for 300 people;
- Provided emergency funds to 259 people;
- Received 5,127 visits to its wellness and prevention community center.
Fisher says that there are two ways to support the program:
- Go out and eat at the restaurants.
- Donate. There will be envelopes at each of the participating restaurants that visitors can leave a donation. Donations can also be made here.