The Lend A Hand Foundation (LAHF) began its mission in 1997 by selling raffle tickets, holding fish frys, and the group’s members going deep into their own pockets to make sure 100 children who resided in the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center in Oakland would have Easter Baskets.
Twenty years later, the foundation has vastly expanded its service to the local community.
The public is invited to join Lend A Hand to celebrate its anniversary.
Since 1997, LAHF saw a greater community need, and its members rolled up their sleeves and reached out to community leaders to help at the center.
Alphonso Galloway introduced the foundation to Fredrick E. Jordan, who provided the first grant. With that, LAHF launched its first annual Backpack Giving Program in Oakland right in front of the center.
Community leader Saundra Andrews was very instrumental in leading the way for LAHF to meet leaders such as Congresswoman Barbara Lee and City Councilmember Desley Brooks who attended the event where 200 students received backpacks and supplies.
LAHF was the first area provider of school backpacks and school supplies – a service now replicated by many community groups.
Many saw the needs of the community, and LAHF was very passionate about helping others, including Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson, who the organization met with initially to make sure it was heading in the right direction and has been a staunch supporter since its inception;
Saundra Andrews also introduced the organization to Roddrick Lee, then community relations director of UPS, which provided school supplies for the backpacks and UPS continues its support;
City Councilmember Larry Reid, located a vendor that provided the initial 200 backpacks and continues to support LAHF;
County Supervisor Nate Miley, who provided the first meeting space and then found office space that LAHF still occupies as well as supports the Stay In School Program; and
Retired Judge David Krashna became a LAHF Advisory Board Member early on and has helped the organization in many ways throughout its journey.
LAHF will also never forget Cora “Mom” Green, mentor to LAHF brought the Oakland Fire Department to the inaugural event with clothing for the families.
This is basically how it all began.
Fast forwarding over the next 20 years, LAHF has provided over 66,000 backpacks, developed a Stay In School Program that helps eliminate barriers students face to functioning well in school, an annual holiday celebration that supports hundreds of families residing in transitional housing facilities during the fall holiday season, and supports those in need during critical times of need – such as during the recent disastrous West Oakland fire.
On Friday, Sept. 15, Lend A Hand will honor many of its past and present supporters.
Dee Johnson, Founder/Executive Director, says, “We would love to honor everyone,” but we are limited. However, we want everyone to know just how grateful we are.”
For more information about the event, please visit their website or call (510) 553-1262.