Blog | November 17, 2017

Giving Thanks to Our Neighbors

by Chad Lott in Webdam Updates Supporting a good cause in Silicon Valley

We have an enormous amount to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Our company is doing well. We get to build products people value. And there’s a lot of camaraderie at work due to our strong culture.

Making space for what your team is passionate about is key to developing a vibrant workplace. From our Hackathons to our Halloween parties, we aim to get people engaged with each other. We also try to get involved in the community. One of the most satisfying things we do together is help support our neighbors at Samaritan House.

Samaritan House has been serving San Mateo’s most vulnerable communities since 1974. This leading non-profit is the largest food distribution agency in the county. Annually, they provide hundreds of thousands of meals for people in need. Its other free services include shelter and housing assistance, medical and dental clinics, clothes for children, personalized case management and much more.

How to help a good cause

This is important work, but it can’t be done without the involvement of the community. There are a lot of ways to get involved, including several holiday-specific programs running right now.

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and have an office food drive

Run an Office Food Drive. Set up a donation barrel in the office and have your employees fill it with the items families need most. It’s already past the date for Thanksgiving barrel donations, but there’s a similar Toy Drive for the holidays and you can give food at any time.

Samaritan House in San Mateo is a tremendous charity

Family and Senior Sharing Program. In this program, you select the size of the family or senior household you wish to donate to, find out what their holiday wish list is, then shop for and deliver the gifts and food to their home. We did this last year and it was a powerful experience.

Make donation to help a food drive in San Mateo

Cash Donation. Direct financial support is one of the best ways to offer your assistance. Samaritan House uses these funds to purchase what they need to fill in any gaps not covered by other donations.

Support a toy drive by donating money or unopened toys

Run a Children’s New Toy or New Coat Drive. You can give new coats and toys directly to children who need them. You can also make a monetary donation for this specific cause. The deadline for their toy barrel drive is 12/15, but they will take toys and coats all year.

You can also contribute to a good cause by using Amazon Smile

Shop with AmazonSmile. If your employees are anything like ours, they’ll be shopping for their loved ones with Amazon. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to Samaritan House whenever you shop on AmazonSmile. It’s one-click-easy and doesn’t cost you a thing.

Helping others feels good

The above programs are holiday-specific, but your organization can assist Samaritan House in a number of ways all year. They accept donations at all times and are always looking for volunteers. Volunteering puts you in touch with the people you’re helping and requires no prior experience. If you’ve ever worked a shift at a food bank, you know how rewarding this is.

If you need another reason to get involved with charitable work, it turns out to be great for morale. The 2017 Deloitte Volunteerism Survey found that 89% of respondents “believe that companies who sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those who do not.”

We’re thankful for Samaritan House and all they do in our community. They’re an easy charity to love and they make it even easier to get involved. You can make a real difference in people’s lives and show your team their work matters. That’s about as win-win as it gets.


If you aren’t in the Bay Area, but you’d like to get involved in a food charity local to you, Feeding America has a good guide to finding groups in your area.

Charity Navigator, an independent charity watchdog organization, has given Samaritan House seven consecutive 4-star ratings.

The Author

Chad Lott

Chad Lott

Chad is the Senior Copywriter at Webdam. He spends all of his free time reading old books and watching cult films.

View all posts by Chad