Educating children. Empowering families. Enriching community.

2013 Letters from Home

A word from our Executive Director, Donna Cahill


Dear friends of Holy Family Day Home,

YOUR love and generosity radiate throughout our eight classrooms especially as we transition from summer to the beginning of a new school year. Without YOU, we would not be able to educate, empower, and enrich the lives of our 161 children and their families. Without YOU, we would not be able to ensure our children start kindergarten not only prepared, but poised to be leaders of their classrooms. Thank you for the hope made possible for our children.

What’s new with our children, families, and programs? A lot! Here are some highlights:

  • Thanks to the 2012 opening of our Infant and Toddler Wing, the Continuity of Care model has begun. Pre-k Teacher Deborah has already shared an example of its positive effects. She said that our generally shy Ben, age 4, can easily go an entire day without saying more than five words. Since this year he doesn’t need to emotionally manage a major transition to a new classroom because he is staying in the same room with his friends and teachers for one more year, he has slowly started to socially blossom. He even raised his hand to speak in front of the whole class during circle time recently!
  • Our Young Professionals Auxiliary is going strong with 16 active members hosting events every other month. In March, they threw a Coming Home Cocktail Party at Matrix Fillmore, which raised over $28,000 for our children and families. Please check out our Facebook page to stay up to date on all our events, or call me!
  • The Fullerton Evening Program is beginning its second year after a short break for the summer. Three times a week, 20 of our recent alum children and families return to the Day Home for dinner, tutoring, and parent classes, including nutrition, further education, life skills, stress management, and even Zumba. Along with new learnings and continued individual work with our Case Managers, the program serves as a source of community for our families, especially our single mothers.

Our children and families are contributing members of our community, thanks to the hope and opportunity you make possible. We pray for YOUR continuity of care in that you will continue to partner with us to achieve a vision where more Bay Area children and families have the opportunity and skills to maintain stable, healthy lives, realize their potential and become contributing members of our community. Thank you again for the inspiration that you provide for all of us who work at the Day Home and for your unwavering support.

Please visit!

Donna signature

Donna M. Cahill
Executive Director

Jerome-SolariBequest to seed the long-term work of HFDH

Recently Holy Family Day Home (HFDH) received a generous bequest from the estate of Jerome Solari, a former member of the Day Home board of directors and a long-time supporter of the Home.

“We were very moved to be blessed with this bequest thanks to Jerome’s foresight prior to leaving this earth,” said Donna Cahill, the Day Home’s Executive Director. “Jerome and his wife Nancy have been generous supporters for many, many years. This legacy will live on, since in accordance with Jerome’s and the family’s wishes, these funds will seed a new Virginia Fair Legacy Society that will be used for long-term support of our work.”

The Society is named for Virginia “Birdie” Fair, the generous benefactor who helped the Sisters of the Holy Family rebuild a facility for vulnerable children that was destroyed in the earthquake of 1906.

Jerome Solari joined the HFDH Board in1980. He led multiple fundraising efforts to build an annex on the Day Home site at 299 Dolores Street to house four new classrooms. He “was very pivotal…in the planning, funding and construction of the new building annex,” said Sr. Michaela of the Sisters of the Holy Family. At the dedication in July 1985, it was announced that the building had been paid in full prior to cutting the ribbon!

Nancy Solari explained the origin of the family’s support for the Day Home. “My mother-in-law sent Jerry’s two oldest brothers to the Day Home when they were quite small. Though Jerry never attended, his mother’s absolute gratitude and commitment to the work of the Day Home was instilled in him from an early age.”

In addition, Nancy herself was a regular volunteer at the Day Home before the demands of her growing family claimed more of her time. With an advanced degree in Education, she has a real appreciation for the value of the Day Home’s mission.

From time to time we receive calls from Day Home supporters asking if we accept bequests like the one from Mr. Solari. Of course we do! It’s easy to name the Day Home as a beneficiary of your will, trust or other estate planning vehicle. Just be sure to use our full legal name which is Holy Family Day Homes of San Francisco. For more information, please contact Susan Fox, Major Gifts and Planned Giving Officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 415-565-0504 ext. 223.

Santa's Workshop

Santa’s Workshop
December 16-20

The holiday spirit fills our second floor multipurpose room as it is transformed into Santa’s Workshop every December. Our parents and guardians are welcomed into the workshop to gather gifts for their children. In years past, we have had a wonderful range of gift options from books and toys to warm winter coats and comfy pajamas. This year, we’re looking to provide the same options to our parents and guardians to make the holiday a rich season of giving and sharing amongst everyone.

This year our children won’t be the only ones to receive gifts from Santa’s Workshop. In an effort to continue our support of the entire family, we are also accepting donations of adult winter coats for our parents and guardians, as well as monetary donations to contribute to our Direct Assistance Fund. This fund provides MUNI vouchers, Goodwill vouchers and access to other local stores to purchase emergency family necessities.

To contribute to our Santa’s Workshop or find out how you can help, keep an eye on our Facebook page or contact Ryan Hazelton, Development Associate, at 415-565-0504 ext. 203.

2014 Coming Home Gala:
A Night at Casino Royale

It may seem far off, but planning is in full swing for our 2014 Coming Home Gala: A Night at Casino Royale on May 16, 2014. Casino tables will fill the halls of the Julia Morgan Ballroom in an evening of gambling fun as patrons double down on helping the children and families of Holy Family Day Home. 007 may not be there in person, but the action at blackjack tables, roulette and craps will be explosive. We are excited to throw our 6th biennial event with the support of our Coming Home Gala chair, Elizabeth Pang Fullerton, and look forward to seeing our community of partners playing their hand in the name of breaking the cycle of poverty. This blockbuster evening will celebrate over a 100 years of helping families of San Francisco with silent and live auctions, special programming and so much more.

We need corporate sponsors! If you or your company would like to be a sponsor of our 2014 Coming Home Gala, please contact our Manager of Annual Giving, Carmen Cheevers, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 415‑565‑0504 ext. 201.

Ways to support our programs

  • Annual and monthly donations are our primary resource for support. These gifts are generally a direct gift of cash or a pledge contribution and can be mailed to the Development Department or made here via PayPal.
  • Special events include the Coming Home Gala, the Young Professionals Coming Home Cocktail Party and other fundraising events.
  • Honorarium gifts are made on special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other milestones.
  • Memorial gifts are a meaningful way to honor your loved ones while giving a child the foundation for a brighter future. A bequest specifying HFDH as a recipient in your will assures that your legacy will endure beyond your lifetime.

For more information about how you can help, please contact Carmen Cheevers, Manager of Annual Giving, at 415‑565‑0504 ext. 201 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Photos from Home