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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

West Valley Community Services

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Our mission is to unite the community to fight hunger and homelessness. Our vision is a community where every person has food on the table and every person has a roof over their head. Our work is fueled by five core values: compassion, dignity, integrity, service, and diversity.

Results: West Valley Community Services, Inc. (WVCS) is a private non-profit, community-based agency that has been providing direct assistance and referral services to the west valley communities of Santa Clara County for over 40 years. Founded in 1973, WVCS provides a continuum of basic needs, family support services and housing services including: information and referrals, food pantry, clothing, transitional housing, affordable housing, financial assistance, family support and case management services. WVCS serves the west valley communities of Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, West San Jose and the surrounding mountain regions.

Target demographics: low-income, under-served individuals, children and families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: More than 7,900 individuals and families

Geographic areas served: Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, West San Jose and the surrounding mountain regions

Programs: basic needs, family support services and housing services including: information and referrals, food pantry, clothing, transitional housing, affordable housing, financial assistance, family support and case management services.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sandra S.6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of serving on the West Valley board for the past 3 and 1/2 years. I have also enjoyed interacting with West Valley as a Girls Scout Leader during holiday events and other activities and as a member of the community. West Valley is a wonderful organization that provides a wide variety of services to people of all ages. West Valley's mobile food pantry provides food to the Moreland School District area, Saratoga, Cupertino, and Los Gatos areas. Just another great service to our neighbors!

Board Member

Rating: 5

For the past two and a half I have had the pleasure of working as a volunteer and Board Member for West Valley Community Services. While, Silicon Valley is a very affluent area there are still many people who struggle to make ends meet. WVCS is there to lend a helping hand. They assist by providing nutritious fresh food from their pantry, by providing low income housing alternatives, by providing very low cost rides for seniors to health and other appointments. There are also additional programs in which we reach out to the community through our Back to school shopping drive and Gift of Hope during the holidays. Our mobile food pantry and case workers go to the more remote areas of our service area when folks can not come to our main location.
The Executive Director Josh Selo and his dedicated team of professionals make sure that all of the clients are treated with respect, dignity and compassion. They have really raised the general awareness of West Valley Community Services in our service area. While working with this wonderful WVCS team and volunteers I can certainly say I have been blessed to be a part in making our community and world a better place. For that I am very grateful.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

For the past year and a half I have had the pleasure of working as a volunteer and Board Member for West Valley Community Services. While, Silicon Valley is a very affluent area there are still many people who struggle to make ends meet. WVCS is there to lend a helping hand. They assist by providing nutritious food from their pantry, by providing low income housing alternatives, by providing very low cost rides for seniors to health and other appointments. All of the clients are treated with respect, dignity and compassion. While working with the wonderful WVCS team and volunteers I can certainly say I have been blessed to be a part in making our community and world a better place. For that I am very grateful.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of joining the West Valley Community Services Board of Directors this year, and I cannot praise this organization enough.
The staff work extremely hard day in and day out to ensure that all of the clients that come through the door are helped as much as possible and have access to every service that they need.
My fellow board members are some of the most thoughtful, kind, and giving people I have ever met. We are extremely lucky to deal with such great staff and share the vision of enhancing our organization to best help our clients.
And our volunteers and donors - wow. As with any nonprofit, we could not keep our doors open without all of the people that support us in their own time. They come into each shift ready to help our community with a kind heart.
As well as having an incredibly giving workforce, the strategy behind every service we provide to our clients is the reason we are able to help so many who come through our doors. This organization works hard to ensure that clients do not need to rely on us forever. The clients are treated with respect, dignity, and compassion, and through services like financial coaching, we are able help many clients become self sufficient and successful. I can go on and on; in short, I am beyond proud to be a part of this organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a 10+ year donor to West Valley Community Services (WVCS) and an occasional volunteer for special events. The reason I choose to support WVCS is their respect for their clients, the variety and quality of the services they offer, and the strong leadership team and board.

One example of how they respect their clients is the onsite food pantry, where clients get to shop and select the fresh produce, protein and other staples they prefer to eat. They also have a mobile food pantry using an RV that goes closer to their clients. Not everyone can come to the regular pantry and carry their groceries back home via public transit. They have great partnerships with local grocery stores and farmers markets so the pantry offers a wide variety of healthy, quality fruits and vegetables.

In addition to housing assistance and financial counseling, WVCS has an annual Back To School program that allows the school age children shop for items for back to school. This is another example of their respect for their clients, giving them choice and allowing them to feel as "normal" as possible. They also have a holiday gift program that helps provide needed household items and other useful items, plus fun items for children, so the family can have a nice holiday like other families.

The annual Chefs of Compassion fundraiser is creative. Three chefs create the three course meal from items found in the food pantry. Each chef draws a course and then shops in the food pantry for ingredients. Their course is then copied by the caterer and served to the attendees. It is a great way to demonstrate that quality meals can be made from the items offered to the clients on a regular basis.

It is for these reasons, and many more, that I am a proud donor to West Valley Community Services!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with WVCS for over 4 years, first as a front-desk volunteer, then a financial coach, before joining the board. As a financial coach, I saw first hand how the wide variety of services provided by WVCS supports clients in times of crisis. WVCS helped stabilize not just their housing situations but many other aspects of their lives from financial assistance to credit management to food security. 
I saw clients in the financial coaching program improve their credit scores from 400s to high 600s. This made huge impacts on their housing situations, jobs, and family stability. As a board member, I have seen how effectively this organization manages funds to expand programs and clientele served. I am blessed to serve alongside the amazing WCVS staff, volunteers and board.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to serve on the Board and volunteer at West Valley Community Services. WVCS has been supporting low income and homeless in West San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Cupertino for the past 45 years. Josh Selo, the Executive Director, his leadership team, staff, Board, and volunteers provide essential food, housing, and support services to the most vulnerable in our community. Volunteer opportunities abound with positions in the food pantry, gleaning fresh food from groceries, office work, interpreters for clients, driving seniors, and financial coaching. Volunteers also participate in special events such as Back to School Clothing and Holiday Shopping. When volunteering at WVCS I feel that I am part of a well organized team, all dedicated to treating everyone with compassion and dignity. WVCS has given me a greater purpose beyond raising my children and pursuing my career. I am grateful to have the opportunity to make our community a more caring place.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to serve on the Board and volunteer at West Valley Community Services. WVCS has been supporting the most vulnerable in West San Jose, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, and Cupertino for the past 45 years. Josh Selo, the Executive Director, his leadership team, staff, Board, and countless volunteers provide essential food, housing, and support services to our community. Volunteer opportunities abound with positions in the food pantry, gleaning fresh food from groceries, office work, interpreters for clients, driving seniors, and financial coaching. Volunteers also participate in special events such as Back to School Clothing and Holiday Shopping. When volunteering at WVCS I feel that I am part of a well organized team, all dedicated to treating everyone with compassion and dignity. WVCS has given me a greater purpose beyond raising my children and pursuing my career. I am grateful to have the opportunity to make our community a more caring place.

1 Jeanne B.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am so proud as a community member, volunteer and board member to be a part of West Valley Community Services! This agency is changing lives for the better every day - whether ensuring regular access to healthful foods in the pantry, providing financial coaching or supporting emergent needs, WVCS is uniting the community to fight hunger and homelessness!

2 Jeannine J.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Helping the homeless and hungry in our West Valley Community is often overlooked but not by this group of fine volunteers. They are passionate about this effort and strive to make a difference! I'm proud to be associated with this incredible organization, the team who runs it and the clients we serve.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WVCS provides a wide range of services primarily for low income individuals and families in need of housing and food support. One of the most vulnerable and and least supported people in our communities. These services are extremely valuable in their own right. As important as the services, WVCS treats their clients with dignity and respect. The services and manner in which the services are provided comprise a powerful package greatly magnifying the positive impact of the recipients and the community as a whole.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer in the Food Pantry at West Valley Community Services for over 4 years. Our mission is to unite the community in the fight against hunger and homelessness. I see this mission in action each time I am at WVCS. During my shift, I work one-on-one with approximately 30 clients who come to us for food. Our pantry model is based on dignity, respect and compassion. Each client "shops" in the pantry and chooses from the donated food that works best for them and their families. The local food vendors, farmers' markets, food distribution agencies and other generous donors are helping make a difference in the lives of families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet and barely stay afloat. It is inspiring to be part of a community that cares. This is only one of many life-changing services that WVCS provides year round.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife has been a volunteer in the Food Pantry at West Valley Community Services since 2008, and I help out occasionally with special tasks, or when I have extra time on my hands..

I have watched the Food Pantry grow into an efficient center for those needing a helping hand in our community. WVCS offers so much more than just food.

The current executive director and director of development are an amazing team that has increased the viability of this organization. Together they have promoted the organization throughout the local communities that WVCS serves and the changes have been dramatic.

The big fund raiser of the year - Chefs of Compassion - is a real winner. Our friends are always asking when the next one is scheduled. The silent auction is fantastic, and the Executive Director's pitch at the end is nothing less than phenomenal.

I'm very proud to be associated with this organization.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked as a volunteer in the food pantry at West Valley Community Services since 2008. I work two four hour morning shifts per week. I am also a financial supporter of this organization because I sincerely believe in this cause.

The work of WVCS is a full service one. I have watched many clients come through the doors at the desperation point and actually leave the agency 1-2 years later because they no longer need the services.

The food pantry has expanded ten fold in the amount of food donated and while I wish for the demand to be less, sadly it has only increased.

The current executive director and director of development are an amazing team that has increased the viability of this organization. The current board of directors is actively involved and responsible for the organization. Instead of asking clients to come to us, we have gone out into the community to the clients in actual need.

It is difficult when you live in a wealthy area to convince your neighbors that not everyone has the same standard of living. Our name is finally getting out there in the community.

I'm very proud to be part of this organization, and not "just a volunteer".

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the years throughout Silicon Valley, I have felt the positive effects of the work of WVCS. Whether it be the food bank, providing shopping sprees for students, or other community outreach activities, WVCS is visible and contributes greatly to the humankind in my community! I am proud to volunteer in a variety of events and will continue to do so!
Audrey

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the Board of West Valley Community Services for two years. I was searching for a way to support my local community, and WVCS was the perfect fit. I am passionate about their work; specifically all they do to assist families in the area and their partnerships with local schools. They work tirelessly to partner with schools and Districts to provide outreach and support when needed. The staff is knowledgeable, accessible and compassionate about those they have the privilege to serve. WVCS treats their clients with kindness, love, dignity, and respect. We are so lucky to have them in the community as a partner! The staff and Board are amazingly talented individuals who live the mission of the organization on a daily basis.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved in West Valley Community Services for two years. The work they do in the community is fantastic. Their dedicated and patient staff as well as their amazing volunteers, make this a place where individuals and families go to receive support. Clients are treated with dignity and respect. WVCS continually looks for ways to reach more individuals in need. The addition of their mobile food pantry allows access to those who do not live in the City of Cupertino. The Back to School shopping event is always a big hit, not only for clients but the volunteers supporting the children during their shopping experience!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

my overall experienced has been wonderful. The staff is as friendly as they are helpful. I never felt small in the eyes of the staff. My case manager Alba was kind and extreamly knowledgable

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Their staff and board members are really great! I am humbled to see so many people who are willing to go out of their way to help those who are in need.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

WVCS serves the needs of the community that needs support for housing, food pantry, financial assistance and training. Without the support of a dedicated staff and a corps of volunteers and great many members of our community would not be served.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Kudos to West Valley Community Services, formerly Cupertino Community Services, for its commitment and work in running a homeless men's shelter in the Cupertino, Sunnyvale, and Saratoga area for over 17 years! Faith in Action Rotating Shelter for Homeless Men is a great program which is managed by caring and competent staff at WVCS that has assisted hundreds of homeless men get jobs, housing, and reestablish their independence. I've been working as a volunteer meal coordinator for the shelter for many years, and have loved working with great people from the many community and faith-based organizations that participate. I have loved getting to know the men who have come to the shelter, and am always humbled and inspired by the frank and honest sharing of their personal stories, and their determination to get back on their feet. What has impressed me the most is how the men in the shelter, after having hit rock bottom, seem to see life so clearly, and are able to get truly important priorities straight - better than I can, by far!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I grew up in the West Valley region since childhood and only discovered WVCS 5 years ago when I started working here. I never knew the agency existed or about it's services and in the last 5 years have learned more about my community that I did growing up in it. Families in need in the West Valley region are lucky to have an agency nearby that serves them and is able to provide services that are hard to find elsewhere. WVCS strives to provide help in a caring and respectful manner. I have watched the agency grow by leaps and bounds in the past few years and am proud of the number of services we are able to offer.