Giving Tuesday Now in Sonoma County

Sonoma County Expert
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Giving Tuesday has become as much a part of the holidays in recent years as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday started in 2012 with the idea of encouraging people to do good amidst the holiday season. In the 8 years since, it's turned into a global movement that's inspired millions of people to give. While Giving Tuesday has taken place every year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year sees a special event, called Giving Tuesday Now, on Tuesday, May 5th.

According to the organization, #GivingTuesdayNow was launched as a global day of unity because of the current unprecedented need worldwide. So in the spirit of Giving Tuesday Now, we want to highlight that sense of unity and giving back here in Sonoma County.

Food Relief

Recently, we shared a few of those local Sonoma County businesses and organizations that have been giving back, which you can read about here. Many of the organizations we highlighted included those that are providing food and meals for those in need. Costeaux French Bakery, for example, created the Costeaux Knead Program, in which they are matching $5 contributions for loaves of bread that they’re baking and donating to local organizations like the Sonoma Family Meal and Redwood Empire Food Bank. Sonoma Family Meal is additionally providing chef-prepared meals for those in need, thanks to the John Jordan Foundation. You can donate to help them reach their goal of $300K here.

One of the largest Northern California hunger-relief organizations, the Redwood Empire Food Bank is hosting drive-thru food drives in cities and towns across Sonoma County. However, they also accept donations. According to the REFB, for every $1 donated, they are able to distribute $4 of healthy food.

Other food organizations include Food for Thought, which provides healthy food for hundreds of locals affected by serious illness. On the farming side, Farm to Pantry, headed up by Chef Duskie Estes, rescues locally grown food and delivers it to those in need. Both Food for Thought and Farm to Pantry accept donations.

Restaurants Giving Back

Restaurants, too, have been giving back, especially in the way of feeding those on the frontlines. The Hero’s Plate, for example, is a community of Petaluma businesses that feed different organizations, including healthcare organizations, fire departments, and police departments. You can order “donation meals” via their homepage, which features meals, drinks, and other items from a number of local Petaluma businesses.

Elsewhere, Castaneda's Marketplace in Windsor is donating meals to Sutter Health, and Amy's Drive Thru in Rohnert Park has been donating meals to local hospitals.

Picture outside of Amy's Drive Thru Restaurant of blooming flowers
Amy's Drive Thru

With Giving Tuesday Now on Cinco de Mayo, we’d be remiss not to talk about those organizations supporting the Hispanic community that is so integral to Sonoma County’s food and drink scene. La Luz, for example, is a community center supporting the needs of the Sonoma Valley, and has set up a Giving Tuesday Now donation page on their website. According to La Luz, "As one of the first places our most vulnerable community members come to find jobs, support their children’s education, and protect their families, La Luz Center is a trusted, vibrant family of neighbors providing sanctuary, opportunity, and hope for the entire community."

In the wine industry, the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation supports 80 local nonprofit organizations through their community grants funding. For Giving Tuesday Now, they are highlighting the work on their social media channels that community grant funding allows them to do. Meanwhile, the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation purchased 5,000 KN95 masks, which they are offering for free to vineyard workers.

Picture of a woman holding up a sign in a kitchen

Buy Wine, Give Back

Finally, wineries across Sonoma County are giving back in a variety of different ways. Flowers Vineyards & Winery, for example, is donating 15% of every bottle sold through the month of May to Every Mom Counts, a non-profit dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. The Donum Estate, located in Sonoma, is donating $10 for each wine order to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

Other wineries have gotten creative, like Donelan Family Wines, which is throwing in restaurant gift cards for wine orders. Elsewhere, Bricoleur Vineyards partnered with Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area for a special Quarantine Kitchen virtual event. On May 15th, join them for an interactive online wine tasting and cooking class, with portions of each purchase going back to Make-A-Wish. Purchase tickets here.

For other ways to give for Giving Tuesday Now, visit their website.