2014-12-16

City Year Sacramento/Capital Region has a lot to be thankful for during this season of gratitude and good tidings. Recently we have welcomed two new funders to our ever-growing list of community supporters; The Joseph and Vera Long Foundation and the Golden 1 Credit Union.

Joseph & Vera Long

Joseph M. Long, an entrepreneur and co-founder of Longs Drug Stores, created his foundation, The JM Long Foundation, in 1966 as a way of giving back to others after receiving so much in his lifetime.

One of seven children, Joe Long was born in 1912 in Covelo, a small agricultural town in Northern California. He picked hops, worked for his father in a small general store, and listened to his mother, who preached a work ethic. After high school, he and his brother, Tom, hitched a ride on a milk truck to attend the University of California at Berkeley, where they worked their way through college. In 1932 he graduated in political science and went on to serve as the Assistant City Manager of Berkeley, where he was responsible for the establishment of the East Bay Regional Parks. Later, he became the founding Chairman of the California State Parks Foundation.

Over the years Joe Long embarked on business ventures in the hospitality, natural resources and most notably, drugstore retail industries. While he achieved much success in business, he found personal enjoyment in activities such as hunting, fishing and music. Due to his many achievements he is listed by Harvard Business School as one of the Great American Business Leaders of the 20th Century.

Vera M. Long, a philanthropist and board activist, established The Vera M. Long Foundation in 1988 so that she could fund the growing number of projects that interested her.

She was born in 1913 in Anadarko, Oklahoma. The middle child of three, she went with her family to Idaho, where they lived on a homestead for several years. Clothing was made from flour sacks, food was scarce, and winters were harsh. Her father, M.B. Skaggs, dug wells in the region until he accumulated enough money to move the family into town and start his first grocery store. Success followed, and he brought the family to the West Coast, where he established Safeway Stores.

As a young woman, Vera Long was adventuresome and independent. She loved riding horses, and she won many ribbons in shows. After high school, she went to Mills College in Oakland, CA, where she graduated with a B.A. in home economics. While enrolled in a course to become a secretary the next year, she met Joe Long, whom she married in 1936. The couple had four children, and she spent many years as an at-home mother.

In her later life, Vera Long became active in the community. She joined the boards of Mills College and Oakland Children's Hospital, where she served for many years. She especially was concerned about issues of health and education, and her primary interest groups were women and children. Her generosity, common sense, and dedication were much appreciated by those who worked with her.

In 2011, both of these foundations merged to continue the legacy of both predecessors by supporting non-profits focusing on conservation, healthcare and education in the Northern California and Hawaii regions.

Golden 1 Credit Union

Golden 1 Credit Union believes in the philosophy of people helping people. One way they embody this principle is by making employee volunteerism and charitable giving a priority. Already major supporters of the Children’s Miracle Network and the United Way, their efforts have helped various organizations and causes in our communities.

Golden 1’s community outreach efforts are staggering. Last year alone, 100% of their employees provided more than 4,400 hours of service to over 110 organizations throughout California. As a strong community-supported organization they have provided numerous bi-lingual financial literacy workshops to help families establish their finances and prepare for the future. Their recently introduced scholarship program has awarded over 30 scholarships valued at $372,000 to students attending two- or four-year colleges or universities in California. Finally, as conscientious corporate citizens Golden 1 donated $193,398 and was named by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the “Top 10 in Corporate Giving.”

City Year Sacramento/Capital Region is excited to join the long list of organizations supported by these two amazing foundations. Without their philanthropic mission our 60 AmeriCorps members would not be able to serve the 3,300 students in six schools across the Capital Region. We look forward to a long future of partnerships aimed at transforming our communities together.

For opportunities to support our work in schools please contact Michelle Silva, Business Development & Marketing Director at 916.403.3712 or msilva@cityyear.org

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