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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

AIDS Assistance Program aka AAP Food Samaritans

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: AIDS, Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Health, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: The AIDS Assistance Program, founded in 1991, supplements its client's nutritional needs by distributing to them monthly food vouchers that are redeemable at local Stater Brothers Markets for food and hygiene products. A volunteer Board of Directors manages the organization along with 2 paid staff members and is housed modest offices in downtown Palm Springs. Our support personnel are drawn from a pool of dedicated and committed volunteers that are available on an on call basis. The Board of Directors primary purpose is to raise the funds needed to oversee the administrative cost and our ongoing monthly food voucher expense of approximately $50,000.00 every month with no government assistance. Currently individuals each receive $150.00 a month in the form of a food voucher card. We have a waiting list in need members of the community which we would also love to serve.

Results: AIDS Assistance Program has returned over $10.5 Million dollars back into the community to those in need.

Target demographics: Low income men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or other life threatening illness.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Hundreds of clients by supplementing their monthly nutrition needs.

Geographic areas served: Greater Palm Springs

Programs: Food Voucher services to low-income men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or other life threatenting illness. Any resident of The Greater Palm Springs with an annual income of less than $18,090.00 and living with an HIV/AIDS or other life threatening diagnosis qualifies to receive this paramount nutritional support. The organization does this at a cost of approximately $50,000.00 a month.

Community Stories

127 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They have helped my nephew now for about 9 years. He is a disabled vet living with AIDS and the food cards they give to him every month helps him stay alive and with dignity. I applause these people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked as a volunteer for AAP Food Samaritans for the last two years and I cannot say enough good things about the important work they do for their low-income chronically ill clients. AAP goes above and beyond. Not only do they provide their clients with much needed monthly meal vouchers for nutritional support, but their staff also takes the time to listen to their client's needs and helps to resolve and care for many issues they are facing. They approach every situation with kindness, empathy, and dignity, working towards a solution. AAP is an organization that truly cares about their client's needs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just volunteered with this group by shopping for groceries for this charity for people who have medical conditions and can't be in public because of COVID. The client, an elderly woman living with something terrible had no family and so the group asked if I would retrieve groceries for her. The staff even sent me a letter the next day thanking me. Nice group of people. If I can ever afford to donate cash I will but also will keep volunteering for them now.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The organization is a vital resource providing nutritional access for clients living with chronic illnesses in the Coachella Valley. As a donor and volunteer, I am constantly impressed year after year how the small but mighty team and volunteers at AAP Food Samaritans works relentlessly to ensure the majority of all funding raised goes directly into the client program. My partner and I have been proud to help drive and support their creative digital fundraising experiences, Giving Tuesday campaigns, The Jeannette Rockefeller Angel Program, and strategic operational initiatives like increasing the monthly client voucher amount. Even in the face of the current pandemic and economic pressures, the organization remains committed to those in need here in the Valley. This is one organization in the Coachella Valley with a mission that remains relevant, an aim that remains true, and results that are meaningful and well-deserving of our support.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife and I hail from Portland and come to Palm Springs every season to attends this organization's annual gala. We were very disappointed that the organization could not hold it's event because of COVID but know the important work they do and hopefully we will be back next year. The organizers of the gala and the staff that run the organization are down to earth folks who truly have the needs of thier clients first and foremost. A pleasure to deal with their Director Mark and the guy that heads up the client services, Greg.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Even during a pandemic, this "little engine that could" continues to provide a needed and valuable service to those is need in the Palm Springs area. I have been a donor, volunteer an advisor for many years and will continue to do so.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An efficient and lovely group of people trying to help those not as lucky as the rest of us. I've held fundraisers for them and not only are they appreciative, but my home always looks like there was never an event. Total respect for their E.D.

Donor

Rating: 5

AIDS Assistance Program is my favorite non-profit organization in Palm Springs!
I have been a donor for years, and I'm so proud of they way they have maintained a strong level of support to the underserved AIDS and homeless community.

Their success is driven by so many aspects, I will just list a few.

Ability to pivot and be resourceful when the needs of their community evolve.
Ability to regenerate community interest and develop effective resources through various events, strategic planning and outreach.
Ability to engage and stimulate community vitality through "Evening Under The Stars", a premier fund raiser that has become an icon of Palm Springs' philanthropic culture.

AIDS Assistance Program is a solid example of how a local organization can make a difference in not only the individuals and families to which it serves, but also it's many community partners and contributors.

They are a key asset to the larger picture of community health and wellness in the Coachella Valley.

Mike Dobson




1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a supporter of an organization whose focus is entirely on their clients.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

AAP Food Samaritans is a tightly run organization where the majority of the funds raised go directly to benefit their clients. They provide food vouchers to the most in need members of our community,

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

Even during the COVID-19 panic this group of caring people continues to help those who need it most. After being involved with this charity for about 7-8 years I am still happy to be associated with it and offer help when I can.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Hi Mark--I received your email asking to give feedback--only happy to do so--! You and your team are amazing. I can't thank you enough for the countless hours and time you spend. I see and hear you everywhere promoting the good work you, your staff of 1 and all your volunteers perform. Amazing. Thank you.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a donor and volunteer, I am continually impressed with this small but mighty organization. Its impressive that with a staff of only two and a cadre of volunteers what this organization is able to accomplish and the fact they have been doing what they do for 30 years uninterrupted is impressive as well.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing charity that still operates after 26 years of service to our Palm Springs community!

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Donor

Rating: 5

AMAZING Charity that helps those in most need in the Palm Springs area. A to the point mission statement that helps low income men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS and other life threatening illnesses.

Donor

Rating: 5

Have been donating to AAP for 16 years now. Although I am not a huge donor, I give what I can to this organization as they make the most of donated dollars. I also volunteer here and think their expanded outreach of helping anyone with a life threatening illness is very commendable.

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Donor

Rating: 5

One of the finest charities I regularly (now about 15 year) contribute too. I have also been present at their distributions and see 1st hand how amazing and caring they are.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This non-profit really cares about the clients that they serve. The people that they help are vetted to ensure the donor's donations go to those who really need it. The also show real compassion for them too. I am impressed with them.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Uncles Partner is in charge of this organization and I think it is terrific. Please support them in anyway you can with donations or time. They really work hard.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Incredible organization with kind and caring people behind the helm. It amazes me what a paid staff of 1.5 people accomplish.

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Donor

Rating: 5

A bare-bones and caring organization that gives the clients dignity to help themselves. Staff of 1.5 and lots of volunteers speaks volumes.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love what you folks at AAP do. Looking forward to your Evening Under the Stars with Gladys Knight. Happy to support you again and happy to write this review for you.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is "Lean and nice" --play on words..they help so many do so much good. I have watched the kindness and thoughtfulness for many years. Top Notch!

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the few "down home" charities that has small staff but with its large cadre of volunteers does a great job in serving the needs of the under-privledged and sick in the Desert. I donate my time and money to these folks and have done so now for over 8 years.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization. Does great things for our small town and appreciates donors. Will continue to volunteer for them and donate.

Client Served

Rating: 5

THANK You staff an volunteers for helping me stay healthy. God bless you all for all you do for me and the others in the area.

Client Served

Rating: 5

GREAT People all in it for a great cause. The staff goes out of their way to help improve the lives of others. I was a past client and now have gotten on my feet. I could not have done it without the help of these really nice people and volunteers.

Donor

Rating: 5

My partner and I are very pleased to contribute both financial resources and volunteer time to this more than worthy cause. Efficient and concise mission that helps many folks in the Palm Springs community both HIV and those struggling with other diseases.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board Member with this organization now for 4 years and am in charge of vetting potential clients. I am proud to say that use a process that ensures all of our clients are truly in need of our services. It is important to us that donations are properly utilized at all times.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for this information and enjoy the camaraderie this organization shows to its volunteers and appreciate how the clients are put 1st and foremost. I will continue to do what I can for this special group of charitable people.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Awesome organization that helps so many people who have so little. I have watched and volunteered all the things these great people in marvel...

Donor

Rating: 5

An incredibly small organization that serves the community in a large way.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of only three local groups I give my time and $ to. Small staff, basic no-frills offices and well thought of in the local community. Winners in my book.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group puts on fun events such as their signature "Evening Under the Stars" which raises awareness of the organization. Great cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Well run with a distinct mission. These folks make $$$ go as far as possible. A treat to do biz with them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've watched my dear friend Mark run this organization like a tight ship, but yet he beams with compassion for those who are not so lucky

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a client of A.A.P. an would not eat if it was not for them. I hold them up on a pedestal for all the kind ways they are to me

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've watched my son run this organization and he makes me so proud. As a kid he was more concerned with others 1st putting himself at the bottom. I have had the hoy of meeting some of the clients he helps and it makes me happy to see all the do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I take care of my older brother who had had full blown AIDS since 01989. At this point his liver and kidneys are shot, he can not fee himself etc. Because I can't work and take care of him, we depend on his voucher each month. A nice group of sincere people.

fedfrey

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best programs we have ever worked with. A grass roots organization dedicated to feeding those with HIV that are not able to afford to entirely feed themselves. The organization runs with two paid employees and the remainder are volunteers which means a very large percent of donations go to feeding the clients. A great program with a great goal.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

We became involved as donors in AAP about 5 years ago. As the years have passed, we have seen what a huge contribution this charity makes to the community. It is amazing that AAP operates with only two paid staffers and that the rest are volunteers. Because of this, almost all of the contributions are used for client services opposed to other charities that are burdened with high overhead which results in a low percentage of monies raised trickling down to those in need. We are proud to be involved with AAP and of the staffers and volunteers that make this organization work. We have pledged our full support to them so that these needed services may continue in the community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a long time donor I want to spread the word that this organization is well run, well organized and we are pleased that because of an arrangement they have with a local grocer, our yearly $10,000.00 donation is actually stretched to $10,600.00. The charity has continually supplied supporting documentation that 106% of our funds actually reach those served directly. We could not be more pleased.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Like my uncle Zach spoke in his reviewing about this group they have been helping me with food for a long time now and I would not be alive without there help. I am glad to tell any peoples who ask me about this group and the god things they help with.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Although tough times have fallen across the country, this small non-profit impresses me. With only two salaried people on staff they continue to carry on their mission. Many of the organizations I counsel throughout the US with a similar budget have 10-15 staff. I will continue to support this organization and pass on encouraging words.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Very proud to serve on this small but mighty board as Vice-President. Our organization makes a difference in the lives we serve. We wish we could do more, but with limited funding we do the best we can. Consider making a donation today if you can, small or large, we are thankful for all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have been volunteering for AAP and other organizations since retirement. AAP is one of my favorites. They run a tight ship but care about the clientele at the same time. Wish more charities would do random drug testing to make sure the beneficiaries are truly the ones getting the help.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have heard great things about this organization from one my renters who along with her 2 children have been helped by these folks. I am impressed with the fact they only have 2 staff members. I recently sent them a small donation and the Executive Director took the time to write me a personal note. Very impressed he would do this for $25.00.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

The organization is small but serves many in need of food. It is extremely well run by a paid staff of just two, enabling your donation to go that much farther.

They put on one of the major charity benefits of the year in the Coachella Valley.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

We support a number of AIDS related charities here in the Palm Springs area. Each serves a very important purpose in the community.

What particularly impresses us, year after year, with AAP is the efficiency of their operation and the fact that so much of the donated funds to go the clients. Many charities have such high administrative costs that only a small portion of donated funds end up going to to those in need.

With a paid staff of two, AAP is able to use the majority of our donation where it is most needed...helping distribute vouchers to clients. It is miraclulous how two administrative staff people and a team of volunteers can serve so many in need. This is why we whole-heartedy support and salute AAP for their great work.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have worked with this organization and its leader Mark Anton for more than 5 years and each and every opportunity has been better than the last. He works tirelessly and his organization is dedicated to providing assistance to those afflicted with a dreaded disease. The Aids Assistance Program also provides hope on a daily basis while continuing to offer help on a long term basis.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization from it's inception has been dedicated to providing meals and assistance to those afflicted with the HIV/Aids virus. No matter what the status of the person, this group has always been a source of hope and inspiration. The founders and the leadership they provided in the beginning is only surpassed by their present leader, Mark Anton. I have worked many of their fund raising events as an outside contractor and have seen first had the genuine care and concern given to each and every person associated with this organization. As a result of their great accomplishments, their enthusiastic leadership and their desire to help and provide for as many as possible I continue to be honored and graced to associated with the Aids Assistance Program.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

they do what others dont usually do give to many with just a few being paid to do the job Bravo

2

Donor

Rating: 5

The AIDS Assistance program is an important and valued organization in the greater Palm Springs area, and it is led by an outstanding Executive Director, Mark Anton. We are proud to support this organization.

Glenn Johnson

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the fortuitous opportunity to meet Mark Anton and ultimately work as the Entertainment Producer/Coordinator for AAP's 2013 Evening Under The Stars.

My experience was most remarkable and our Headliner Cyndi Lauper and her Management, Performers, and Crew can't stop calling and thanking us to for the positive experience we brought to them!

I look forward to my next experience with Mr. Anton and the AIDS Assistance Program!

Donor

Rating: 5

The AAP does great job assisting the Palm Springs area.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I served on this Board for three years some years ago.

This organization does a world of good for so many.

Donor

Rating: 5

I support a lot of charities but none are as well managed and caring as AAP

Donor

Rating: 5

AAP works at the most basic needs of its clients -- nutrition. With very little overhead and many great volunteers, I feel my money really makes a difference.

Donor

Rating: 5

We feel strongly about supporting many charities in our area and while each organization has its hard working staff none stand out as Mark and Chris of AAP. These gentlemen are so committed to their beloved organization and are able to accomplish what takes other groups 3-4 times the number of people. The success of AAP is totally due to their efforts and the love for those they help.

BDBPS

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am so thrilled and happy and excited to be a part of this wonderful organization. The caring managers and board of directors. Such a very small staff for a great organization.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AIDS Assistance Program is a much-needed and valuable organization in the Palm Springs area. AAP is headed by a talented and dedicated individual with a great group of volunteers who give time, energy and funds to the various events and functions.

Donor

Rating: 5

No director of any non-profit could be more dedicated than Mark Anton. (His partner, in turn, supports Mark's efforts wonderfully.) That is where the dedication begins. That is what makes those of us who give anxious to support this worthy and worthwhile cause.

Clark3

Donor

Rating: 5

I've had the experience of attending Evening Under the Stars as a donor for several years now. It's a wonderful event but more importantly, I am impressed with how much of my donation goes to invaluable services provided by AAP. The event serves as a reminder that the AIDS crisis is not over and that many of those fighting this devastating disease still need our help -- that's something they get from the hard working staff and volunteers of the AIDS Assistance Program.

Casey Z.

Donor

Rating: 5

As an owner of an advertising agency I have had the pleasure of working with numerous charitable organizations and none have been run as efficiently and effectively as the AAP. I’m very impressed with the high percentage of funds that reaches those in need. I believe this is mostly due to the organizations streamlined operations…a small group of people that work tirelessly to not only raise money, but also to distribute those funds via dietary assistance to their clients. AAP’s imaginative fundraising events are elegant, polished yet fanciful…a perfect fit for the well healed and often extravagant Palm Springs community. Hats off to this very important organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

My personal experience is to witness the joy and hope that is given to those in need from the volunteers within the Aids Assistance Program.

The hard work and consistent follow through on every level within this organization is truly a comfort to not only those individuals in need, but to the donors.
These amazing results must start with the leadership and indeed it does.

The CEO Mark Anton and the AAP Board of Directors set an example of integrity, of doing when it may not be convenient, kindness, and simply put, hard work to ensure those in need are always put first.

Tim O.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure and honor of working with AIDS Assistance Program as their publicist and graphic designer for more than five years, and it is very rewarding. The organization's board is dedicated, the staff works so hard, and the volunteers are simply amazing. It makes for a perfect combination that efficiently serves those in need. The public responds to AAP with love, and they support AAPs events and donor campaigns generously. The truth is in what the clients say about AAP, and they have said over and over again that it's a life-changing organization.

Previous Stories

Advisor

Rating: 5

I handle public & media relations for AIDS Assistance Program, and I am continually impressed by what the organization accomplishes with a staff of only two and a dedicated cadre of volunteers. The local media really responds to news of AAPs programs and fundraising efforts because of their great reputation. I'm proud to be associated with AAP.

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gingerscloset

Donor

Rating: 5

i have never seen a more committed group of people devote so much of their personal time, effort and money to such a worthy cause on such a limited budget. Aides Assistance provides for so many to those that are so much in need. Even when we are not in town to attend the wonderful and entertaining productions and events (we wouldn't miss Dance for Life or Evening Under the Stars) we still participate with contributions. A much needed and appreciated charity.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

A cause such as Aids Assistance could easily slip under the radar if it were not for the hard work that this specific group does. Clearly, the fund raising is constant, and probably exhausting, but the events are always well thought out and entertaining. We will always donate to this charity, even when we are unable to attend a specific function, because we know that Aids Assistance is essential for so many.

Donor

Rating: 5

We support many causes in the California valley communities and are in a position to compare them. The Aids Assistance Program offers support to those in need with a totally volunteer staff and only two paid office staff. Obviously, this permits them to make maximum use of contributed funds for their client base. The paid staff, unpaid board, and volunteers are always friendly, helpful and willing to listen to feedback from donors and clients. This is a first class organization worthy of support.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have worked with AAP for several years and appreciate the organization's detailed reporting on use of funds as well as the friendliness of the staff. They're one of the most effective organizations--out of the hundred we contribute to--we've ever encountered. Silva Watson Moonwalk Fund

Donor

Rating: 5

Those involved with Aid Asso. are the most giving and hard working people I know...By providing food to the needy, they keep whole families alive.....The volunteers are always on the move.The Revival stroes are always busy and stocked with great buys....Can't tell you how important Aids Aissistance is ti this communitty!!!!!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a radio talk show host here in the Coachella Valley for the last 5 years I have worked with many many charities here. Many charities here do excellent work--but the Aids Assistance Program has always stood out to me. The charity not only saves lives---it changes lives. Clients are treated with great respect and the volunteers do exceptional work. Many charities are top heavy in salaries and overhead--this is not the case here at all. Mark Anton the CEO makes sure that the money that fundraises bring in goes to client services. Currently there is a waiting list of people in need here--would be a wonderful blessing if this wonderful organization got the recognition they so deserve.

In closing and this comes from the heart I can't say enough about the work the Aids Assistance Program does---it is a most deserving organization for your recognition.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Terrific group that does so much to help people with AIDS here in the Palm Springs area. Very low overhead and efficient management. They're highly respected in the community and they do so much good.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with many organizations and never have I experienced the incredible ability of an executive director as we have in Mark Anton. Through his efforts and his assistant they have managed to raise an average of over $50,000 per month in order to supply food vouchers to to 500 HIV/Aids clients per month. The expenditures needed to run this organization are at an absolute minimum which allows us to use nearly all monies raised for our clients

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization bends over backward to provide services to their "clients" by giving nearly 83% of the money raised to the " clients". There are only 2 employees and yet must raise $50,000 a month in order to provide food and food vouchers for those with HIV/Aids

A happy donor

Donor

Rating: 5

We have the privilege and the honor of contributing to AAP's efforts to help and serve its clients throughout the Coachella Valley. The dedication of the agency is overwhelming, thanks to its two employees and many volunteers. The impact of the food vouchers has touched many lives and the program is truly a humanitarian one. In these difficult economic times, the work of AAP has become even more crucial and the number of clients increases constantly. Without the excellent work of the agency, many clients would be forced to choose between paying rent or eating. Thank you AAP for all you do!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been involved with this organization for many years. Its cloth is woven with love, care and dedication on the part of its board, donors and volunteers. It functions with a minimal amount of money and provides excellent services to its clients. Their goal of providing food vouchers to the needy is only restricted by the amount of money they receive from the donors. It is a pleasure and an honor to support the efforts of this team of angels.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a privilege to be both a volunteer and a donor for the AIDS Assistance Program (AAP) who provides much needed services for the Coachella Valley HIV Community. Thank you AIDS Assistance Program for all your efforts & contributions. JeffB

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank You AIDS Assistance Program (Palm Springs, CA) for your enormous dedication and support for the HIV community – you’re the Best !

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer and worked with the organization quite often. Beiing involved has shown me how fortunate I am and their volunteer coordinator, Jay Horwitz is truly amazing. I would volunteer anytime. I am at their offices for the food card distribution and can tell it makes a difference to the lives of many.

Review from Guidestar

Thomas15

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am involved with AAP because of the impact it has on the lives of those individuals and famlies who receive services. AAP is a catalyst in the community--bringing together diverse groups of people to respond to the nutitional needs of at risk people struggling with HIV/AIDS. With two full time employees, a large voluteer base and incredibly generous donors, AAP assists up to 500 people per month. I am proud to be a part of this organization.