• Statewide Volunteer Opportunities Statewide Volunteer Opportunities

    New website connects Californians to volunteer opportunities during pandemic

    During a Tuesday, April 21st press conference, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the new website that connects the public to volunteer opportunities such as delivering donations to food banks, providing tutoring services, answering calls at 211 help centers and lending a hand at shelters, among other areas. Residents also can volunteer for skill-specific services such as accounting and translation.

    Californians who want to volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic can apply at californiansforall.ca.gov.

  • Help Our Nonprofit Partners Meet Their Critical Needs


    We ALL are Palo Alto! We are in this together!

    Following is a partial list of organizations that are serving the urgent needs of the vulnerable and highly at-risk during the COVID-19 health crisis. Click on each organization's name to be directed to their site for further details and contact information.

    We will update this list as new needs are known to us. Please contact the Chamber at carrie@paloaltochamber.com with additional information or resources.

    Thank you for your compassion and generosity!

    The service: Providing emergency food and household essentials to individuals and families in need

    The need: The demand for these resources has been unprecedented and for the first time in EHP's history, they find themselves running critically low. They seek donations from this wishlist. They also are in desperate need of bottled water and gift cards for their special needs families, and cash donations are always put to good use. EHP is not accepting non-food donations until further notice, and furniture pickup and the Community Closet are temporarily closed.

    Volunteer opportunities: None at present. The Wednesday and Friday hot lunch program is temporarily suspended. The Wednesday night hot meal program is being offered at St. Francis of Assisi Church in East Palo Alto will continue to operate on a take-out basis only. 


    The service: Immediate financial support for nonprofits serving vulnerable people in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. The Palo Alto Community Fund (PACF) has launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund to raise and deploy immediate financial resources to help the most vulnerable in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. An initial allocation of $100,000 has been granted on March 25th and has been applied to:

    • Direct financial relief for struggling families in our local community.
    • Local nonprofit organizations providing food, healthcare, housing and support services to vulnerable people.

    The need: Financial gifts to the PACF COVID-19 Relief Fund will continue supporting the nonprofits listed above, as well as additional nonprofits, as new funding comes in. PACF will work with trusted partners in the local community, including nonprofits, school boards, faith leaders, elected officials, school districts and foundations to adapt giving according to shifting needs over time. Click here for details.


    The service: As the local community contends with the COVID-19 virus, Hope's Corner continues to provide free hot breakfasts and sack lunches on Saturday mornings to homeless, low income, and vulnerable individuals from Mountain View and surrounding communities.

    The need: Monetary donations in any amount to purchase food; hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes, to-go food cartons. Details here.



    The service: Multiple ONLINE programs for Seniors including lectures, discussion groups, video galleries, entertainment, meditation and wellness, and more. Referrals to available shopping locations and foodservice providers. Public alerts and other resources for Seniors.

    The need: Refer your Senior family and friends to Avenidas to keep them engaged and connected during this time.


    The service: Stanford Blood Center is a community blood center that connects local donors to local patients. As a critical health service, it is open during the Shelter in Place order. Donation centers are located in Menlo Park, Mountain View and Campbell and all are accepting appointments. 

    The need: Stanford Blood Center has an urgent need for blood donations of all types. As a thank you, SBC offers incentives each month to reward donors for giving the gift of life. From April 1-30 if you donate at any of the donor centers or mobile drives you’ll get a coupon for a free regular-size sub sandwich, courtesy of Jersey Mike’s Subs. Coupon expires June 30, 2020, and is valid at all Bay Area Jersey Mike’s locations.

    4/1/20  A message from Stanford Blood Center: A huge thank-you to those who have already donated and those who have made appointments for the coming weeks! Though the need for blood can spike at any time, due to your tremendous support, it appears that our blood supply is steady for the time being. In the meantime, we ask that you kindly keep your scheduled appointments, and we will be in touch should a more critical, immediate need arise. If you haven’t made an appointment already, please consider making one for the second half of April and into May, since local patients’ need for blood is constant.

    The service:  Kara provides compassionate grief support for children, teens, families and adults through a variety of services. Although all direct services are suspended during the COVID-19 crisis, Kara's Resources Page provides books, articles and links that may be helpful in navigating the challenges of grief and loss, understanding the grieving process, and supporting grieving family members, friends and colleagues. Many are available in Spanish. In addition, follow their blog and social media sites to find relevant posts, articles and resources to support the grief journey.


    The service: Momentum is one of 30 behavioral health providers in Santa Clara County who provide more than 75% of mental health and substance use servies in the county. The need for services has increased during this crisis, leaving people socially isolated and more vulnerable to stress, depression, substance abuse and other destructive behaviors. To meet the demand, Momentum relies on community support to keep its programs operating at full capacity.

    The need: To continue serving clients safely, staff needs more protective equipment and supplies. Residential programs are especially in need of basic household products to ensure a safe and clean environment. Momentum is gratefully accepting donations of the following supplies: N95 masks or surgical masks, surgical gloves, disinfecting wipes, clear visors, medical gowns, show covers, thermometers, hand sanitizer, toilet paper. Please drop off donations at Momentum's site located at 1940 The Alameda, San Jose from Monday-Friday,  8:30 am - 4:00 p.m.


    The service:   Emergency Service Volunteers (ESV) provide supplemental resources to the professional first responders of Palo Alto and surrounding communities, facilitate means for neighbors to help neighbors (including businesses), and promote preparedness efforts before a disaster to make neighborhoods more resilient.

    The need: The City's Office of Emergency Services is recruiting actively during this crisis for interested community members to join our Emergency Services Volunteer (ESV) program. Volunteers must be age 18 or older, have no felony convictions, and be willing to comply with the Standard Operation Procedures for the ESV program.
    Please visit: www.cityofpaloalto.org/emergencyvolunteers
    or e-mail esv@cityofpaloalto.org

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  • New Law for Employers New Law for Employers


    The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.

    The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.

    The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.

    If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.

    Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.

    Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.

    1. Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
    2. Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
    3. Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
    4. Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
    5. Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster

    courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP

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