A city has been celebrating after a kind-hearted donor handed-over $34m (£21.8m) to local authorities to help underprivileged schools and non-profit organisations – anonymously.
The mystery giver told The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) – which focuses on expanding opportunity and ensuring an equitable future for Bay Area residents – that the City of Oakland in California was to use the transformative money ‘in the streets’ with a big focus on education, healthcare and housing.
Divided-up across 17 organisations, TSFF said the money would be used to close the achievement gap, towards affordable housing, creating cradle-to-career pathways of opportunity, growing middle-wage jobs, and removing barriers to health access for parents and children from across the city.
At a press conference, announcing the sizeable donation was TSFF’S CEO, Fred Blackwell, who said the call he received was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, adding: “We have never gotten a phone call like that in the past.”
God bless that anonymous donor who gave $34 million to help the city of Oakland & community based organizations. Great news!; Reesa (@QueenReesa) July 15, 2015
Mr Blackwell, who acknowledged opportunity was not equal among certain racial and ethnic groups, said he would work closely with the donor to make sure everyone – regardless of race, class, or where they live in Oakland – had a fair shot at a good life and opportunities to live to their full potential.
Eager for African-American students to thrive under the donation, one recipient organisation, #YesWeCode – an initiative which targets low-opportunity youth and provides them with training to become world-class computer programmers – believes that, with as little as nine to 12 months of training in computer coding, needy young adults are able to successfully compete for entry-level jobs earning between $55,000 to $75,000 (£35,300 to £48,150).
The largest sum of $6 million (£3.8) will go towards the Oakland Public Education Fund to be invested in 12 branches of the organisation’s support, including early childhood education, restorative justice, African-American student achievement, and community school co-ordinators.
City council member, Larry Reid, said those who can’t find what the care they need at home will get it through the donation at TSFF.
He added: “This could be the difference between young people dying on the streets or doing something constructive with their life.”