Yes Virginia Grants Bring Holiday Joy to 1,500 Families

A broadly smiling woman behind a table hands a festive red gift bag to a smiling Black woman on the other side of the table in a room filled with gifts and other people. Elizabeth House’s Annual Holiday Party featured the opportunity for parents to “shop” for their children.

For nearly 30 years, Pasadena Community Foundation has ended the year with some very special grants. The Yes Virginia Grant Program helps local nonprofits host holiday experiences for children and their families. Many of them feature Santa Claus and gift giving, some involve real snow, and all help young people feel special and loved. This year, PCF awarded $15,000 to twelve Pasadena-area nonprofits, funding that ultimately helped more than 1,500 families celebrate the season.

The Yes Virginia Fund was created at PCF in 1994, and after 25 years of dedicated fundraising and community support, the fund reached its endowment goal of $500k, ensuring that it will continue to support holiday grants to local nonprofit agencies every year for decades to come.

A collage with four photos shows children and adults enjoying several holiday events. In the upper left corner, a white woman crouches down to embrace a young child, who is clutching a small white gift. In the upper right hand corner, a Santa Clause approaches a group of four children - the youngest, in the front, looks a little wary of him. In the bottom right hand corner, a Black mother stands with her four children around Santa Claus. And in the lower left hand corner, a smiling mother crouches down with her two children - one is holding an ice cream cone and has his face painted, the other is making the peace sign with his two fingers and holding bright blue ice cream.

2023 Festivities

PCF’s $15,000 in grant funding supported 12 nonprofits this year with their holiday events, including:

Door of Hope – The Winter Family Fun Festival featured real snow and a sledding hill, crafting, caroling, a hot chocolate booth, a story time with Mrs. Claus, and the opportunity for children to pick several toys from the toy area.

Elizabeth House – Its largest-ever in-person Holiday Party included several multi-generational families, including alumnae grandmothers and their children and grandchildren. Guests enjoyed craft projects, holiday-themed activities and games, a visit with Santa, and a Family Gift Bag with toys, books, and gift cards for holiday meals.

Harambee Ministries – Families were able to go “shopping” for Christmas, picking up gifts for their children ages newborn-18 and obtain supplies for gift wrapping.

Learning Works – 50 high school-age students were treated to a day of ice skating, receiving a set of mittens, a hat, and s’more kits as they arrived.

2023 Yes Virginia Grantee Organizations

Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena
Door of Hope
Elizabeth House
Families Forward Learning Center
Flintridge Center
Friends Outside in LA County
Harambee Ministries
Impact House
Learning Works
Pasadena Altadena Community Endowment Fund (PACEF) – The LINKS
Pasadena Altadena Coalition of Transformative Leaders (PACTL)
Treasure Little Children Foundation

Three people are shown smiling and laughing as they sled down a hill of snow, which is flanked by hay bales. On the left side is a young teenage boy with glasses, riding his own bright red sled. Next to him is a father with one arm extended upward in fun, while he holds his daughter securely with his other arm. She has both arms extended outward in joy.
Door of Hope’s Winter Family Festival on December 2 featured real snow and sledding.