Holiday Donation Information

toy-webSome information for those interested in donating food or toys this month:

Beginning the week of December 9th, our donation center located in the parking lot of our main office will be open from 9am-6pm on Mon/Tues/Fri & 9am-8pm on Wed & Thur. A donation attendant will be available to accept donation items and issue a receipt.


In addition, we are in urgent need of toy to help us start out the holiday season. We are still in need of new, unwrapped toys for children from 0-13 years old along with gift cards for teens.

More of a cyber-shopper? Check out our Holiday Wishlist on Amazon and have your donations shipped directly:

With your help, we will be making the holiday a little brighter for over 2,000 of clients’ children!


San Mateo High Food Drive Kickoff Event – Saturday Nov. 23rd

SMHS-Food-DriveTo kick off San Mateo High School’s annual holiday food drive to benefit Samaritan House and Second Harvest Food Bank (taking place from 11/15-12/2 this year), students from SMHS and Burlingame High will be holding a kick-off event this Saturday, Nov. 23rd. Join us at Hillsdale Shopping Center – Nordstrom Court from 1:00-3:00 pm for a performance from the schools’ choir students to help get you in a festive shopping mood!

(Students won’t be collecting food at the Hillsdale event but Samaritan House donation barrels will be available at customer service to collect toiletries for Safe Harbor and Warm Coats)

SMHS-2We appreciate San Mateo High’s continued support through their annual food drive. For more information about how you can donate to the students’ drive and ways you can help, see the school’s website for the drive:



Remember Samaritan House on Giving Tuesday



We couldn’t have accomplished so much this year without supporters like you! As we begin to plan our holiday distributions for families in need, we’ve joined the #GivingTuesday movement, an annual campaign created to promote a national day of giving at the start of the holiday season to celebrate organizations like Samaritan House that make our community a better place.


From food to shelter to financial empowerment and more, Samaritan House invites you to help support the work we do.


Remember us on Giving Tuesday and visit our donation page to make your contribution.

Notice to clients & volunteers of new space for dining room

Dining Room Manager, Mario Cousenes, November 12th during dinner service from the King Center.


Please Note: Beginning November 12, 2013, Samaritan House’s Dining Room will relocate from Westside Church of Christ in San Mateo to a new, temporary location at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, located at 725 Monte Diablo Avenue.




• Last day of dinner services at Westside Church will be Friday, November 8th

• Dinners will be served from the King Center through January 2014

• Meals served from the new location will be wrapped, to-go meals rather than sit-down dinners

• Volunteers will be asked to come to our Samaritan House kitchen between 3-3:30pm each day to help with meal preparation as well as help distribute at the King Center between 5 and 6pm

We will continue to keep clients and volunteers informed about our location for the dining room after January. Questions or concerns: please contact Samaritan House at 650-341-4081. Thank you for your understanding and support!


Capital Campaign Celebration – Oct 23, 2013



Samaritan House’s Capital Campaign for a New Home – an initiative launched in 2006 to raise money for a permanent headquarters from which to anchor our county-wide operations – closed this month. We celebrated and commemorated this milestone by unveiling a donor wall which recognizes those individuals who contributed $1,000 or more to the campaign at an event on Oct. 23rd.


At the event, attendees were invited to share memories of our previous locations and celebrate what a difference our new space has made to our clients, staff, and to the community. A video was made to show the change from our two previous locations, to our office space here on Pacific Boulevard.



Thank you to all those who attended and to staff for organizing the event!


Volunteer Recognition Event 2013 – Neighbor Helping Neighbor

Every year, we honor volunteers who have shown exemplary effort in support of Samaritan House’s programs at our annual Volunteer Recognition Event. This year, the Sammy Award winners were treated to a special gift from Ruby Kaho, Kitchen Manager for Samaritan House. Before the event, Ruby created handmade Hawaiian leis for each Sammy recipient. The leis were then handed out at the event by a local Boy Scout troop.

Sammy Awards in 18 program categories honored volunteers who have shown exemplary effort in support of Samaritan House’s programs and services:

• Administration – Louise Delafield

• Bread Basket – Trader Joe’s team

• Client Services – Mary Lynn Ruiz

• Dining Room – Chris O’Leary

• Finance/Development – City Auction Crew

• Food Pantry – Ana Maria Jackson & Paula Corona (Kelly Award)

• Holiday Program – Saia (George) Bourke

• Kids’ Closet – Susan Campo

Every year at our volunteer event, we present our highest honor, the Kelly Award, to an individual who has shown exemplary volunteer service to our agency. This year, the award was given to 2 volunteers – sisters Ana Maria Jackson and Paula Corona.


Ana Maria and Paula have been volunteering with us for over 10 years, and can be seen 3 days a week handing out groceries to families in our Pantry. We recently interviewed the 2 about their experience (

Congratulations to our 2013 Sammy Award winners, and thank you for all you do!

Beyond Compassion Weekend at Redwood City Clinic

We had an amazing day on Saturday, July 27th at the Beyond Compassion Weekend at our free clinic in Redwood City. Volunteers from the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church joined us to help provide medical & dental services to members of the community in need.

We are proud to report that we served 57 medical and dental patients during this one event! A big thank you to all of the volunteer physicians who saw patients that day, and to those volunteers who helped support the doctors by interpreting, assisting patients, finding charts and doing the important stuff behind the scenes that keeps our clinic running.

Samaritan House bids farewell to Kitty

Novelist Paul Auster wrote that the best one can do in life is to “leave the world a little better than you found it.” On May 24th, after 12 years at Samaritan House – 11 of those serving as our Executive Director – Kitty Lopez will leave our organization in many ways a better, more established agency than when she arrived here over a decade ago.

During Kitty’s tenure, Samaritan House has expanded its range and depth of services to provide much needed resources to over 12,000 low-income individuals every year. Kitty oversaw several key organizational projects and achievements during her time as our leader, these include:

• The completion of a $6 million Capital Campaign for Samaritan House’s main offices, kitchen, and Kids’ Closet at Pacific Blvd, and the remodel of our Free Medical and Dental Clinic in San Mateo

• The opening of our second free Medical and Dental Clinic in Redwood City in collaboration with the Sequoia Healthcare District

• The remodel and improvements made to Safe Harbor Shelter

• A growth of agency revenue from $2.5M in 2002 to $8.5M in 2013

• Funding for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) offered by our client service department. This was accomplished in 2008 as the recession peaked and funding for homelessness prevention and housing assistance programs was crucial for families struggling through financial hardships.

These are impressive achievements in an organization that provides a diversity of much needed services. For almost four decades, Samaritan House has been a strong presence in San Mateo County, providing a safety-net for our low-income neighbors so that they can build a happier and brighter future.

Kitty leaves the organization to reunite with her passion for working with children and focusing on education. Before coming to Samaritan House, Kitty taught kindergarten, 2nd grade, and high school in regular and special education in the Bay Area and in Santa Barbara, California. Her passion for Samaritan House’s mission, positive attitude, and strong leadership will be missed. As our Board President Patty Hsiu explained, “Samaritan House is an organization that helps and engages so many in our community… This will absolutely continue as we go through the bittersweet transition of seeing Kitty off to opportunity to do even more good for our neighborhood.”

We will miss Kitty but we appreciate the time and wisdom she shared with us during her time here. As an organization, we look upon this transition as a time of opportunity for the agency. We look forward to building upon our successes and furthering our mission in the community – helping our neighbors in need.

Click here to watch our video from the Main Event – Kitty bids Farewell to the Agency


Join us for Main Event 2013!


We're looking forward to hosting our 21st Annual Main Event Fundraiser Dinner Set on May 11, 2013!

Theme: Feeding the Hungry In Our Community
San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront in Burlingame

Master of Ceremonies: Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Auctioneer: State Senator Jerry Hill

On May 11th, Samaritan House will welcome members of the community, civic leaders, corporate sponsors, donors, and guests at The Main Event, a special evening celebrating the agency’s robust food program. The night will include fine dining, dancing, a live auction, raffle, and surprises along the way.

Over 400 guests are expected to attend the evening’s event, which begins at 6:00 p.m with a reception, followed by an elegant dinner and a welcome by Samaritan House Executive Director Kitty Lopez and Master of Ceremonies, Congresswoman Jackie Speier. Auctioneer and State Senator Jerry Hill will champion the cause – the Samaritan House food program – and auction off a variety of exciting items, from fine wines to gourmet dinners and travel getaways.

A new video about Samaritan House’s food program and hunger here at home will be premiered, followed by a “Fund-A-Need” auction, which will raise funds for the Samaritan House dining and food pantry services. The Raffle Grand Prize is a Hawaiian vacation at the Alii Kai Resort in Kauai, Hawaii. Guests will finish off the evening in style, dancing the night away to Motown and classic favorites from The Reed Fromer Band, one of the Bay Area's most dynamic and energetic musical groups.

Tickets are $150 if purchased before April 30, 2013 and $175 after this date, and can be ordered online at










Samaritan House Thanks Its Generous Sponsors for The Main Event

Distributor Sponsors:
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Peninsula Health Care District
Denise Mulle
Wells Fargo
Sheila and Mark Wolfson

Harvester Sponsors:
Alaska Airlines
Boston Private Bank & Trust Company
Nisha and Amir Chaudry
Civil Justice Association of California
Cytokinetics, Inc.
Richard and Anita Davis
Diawara & Associates, CPAs
William and Beth Freeman
Hillsdale Shopping Center
Patty Hsiu and William Stein
Margaret and Michael McCaffery
Mills-Peninsula Health Services
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
The Raiser Family
Florette and William L. Schwartz, M.D.

Cultivator Sponsors:Tim & Tish Bussell
Christensen & Rafferty Fine Jewelry
First National Bank of Northern California
MotorSport Division
Sequoia Hospital
Union Bank
Vocker Kristofferson and Co., CPAs

Samaritan House Receives Bank of America’s 2013 Neighborhood Builders Award!

BAC Stacked

We are very pleased to announce that Samaritan House was one of sixty nonprofits from across the country to be named as a recipient of the 2013 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Award!

Every year Bank of America selects exceptional and high- performing nonprofit organizations from across the county to benefit from the Neighborhood Builders Program, a part of its Neighborhood Excellence Initiative. As a Neighborhood Builder, Samaritan House will receive $200,000 in unrestricted funding over the next two years and leadership training for emerging leaders (including our wonderful and talented Grant Manager, Amy Hsieh) in the agency. Support from the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Program will be used to improve the agency’s data systems and evaluation processes to better determine our service impacts over time.

“Nonprofits provide much needed services in Silicon Valley, but too often lack the opportunity to invest in their own long-term growth and development,” said Raquel Gonzalez, Bank of America’s Silicon Valley Market President. “By recognizing Samaritan House as a Neighborhood Builder, we know that they are poised to make an even greater impact in our community.”

We thank Bank of America for being a strong partner in helping provide effective and impactful social services in San Mateo County!