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Giving Youth in Need a Brighter Future

Los Altos Hills resident Donna Whitney chooses to support programs that have maximum impact on youth in need. That is the main reason the board of the Whitney Education Foundation she heads recently pledged $50,000 to the Scrivner Challenge to fully endow ASPIRE, El Camino Hospital’s outpatient adolescent mental health program. “I try to support groups that have strong leadership that touch other people, particularly children,” she says. “Youth are our most vulnerable population and our future. If you sponsor the people that are helping youth, your gift will go a lot further.”

Whitney became involved with El Camino Hospital Foundation in 2006, when she joined Hope to Health, the women’s giving circle that was just being formed. She learned of ASPIRE in 2010, when the group’s teen a liate granted the seed money that launched the program. Since then, Whitney and other Hope to Health members have regularly voted to provide additional funding for the teen mental health service, and she has stayed informed about its growth and impact.

“Mental health is underfunded, and this is a great need,” she says. “My son and daughter, who are Whitney Education Foundation board members, are both raising teenage children. We are all aware of the extreme stresses placed on our youth today.”

The Whitney Education Foundation donates to various causes, among them Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT), to support the individual teachers who nurture many students. It established and helps sustain an Adopt-a-College program at a low-income San Jose elementary school and, over 30 years, has provided small college scholarships to more than 680 of its graduates. The decision to contribute to the ASPIRE endowment fits into this philanthropic model of supporting educational programs for children that have broad reach and cascading benefits.

Whitney hopes more people will be inspired by Mary and Doug Scrivner’s generous challenge, designed to give our community’s children the chance for a better future. “If you have more than enough for yourself,” she urges, “please share with others.”


Make a Gift to the Scrivner Challenge

Los Altos Hills residents Mary and Doug Scrivner will match your gift, dollar for dollar, up to $1 million, to ensure el Camino Hospital can continue to meet the mental health needs of our community’s children, now and in the future. To make a donation to the Scrivner Challenge call 650-940-7154.

This article first appeared in the Fall 2015 edition of the El Camino Hospital Health Beat magazine.