Educating children. Empowering families. Enriching community.

2014 Letters from Home

A word from our Executive Director, Donna Cahill


Dear friends,

As we embark upon our 114th school year, we are always incredibly grateful for your partnership and shared vision where more Bay Area children and their families have the opportunity and skills to maintain stable healthy lives, realize their potential and better contribute to our community. This type of social change is not done in isolation; therefore, we truly depend on your partnership to power our mission every day.

We are not only concerned about what happens within our Day Home community, but also how our larger city, state, and national communities affect our children and families. One of the many unique aspects of Holy Family Day Home is the different sources of funding, including government subsidies, tuition, and donations, which make the work of our teachers and staff possible.

Much of my time lately has been spent serving as a voice in the political community on behalf of our children and families. One area of great importance has been government reimbursement rates, which are the amount per child that an early childhood education center receives for providing services. These rates vary depending on the contract of government branch providing the funding, and usually include conditions families must meet to keep their funding. Finally, after eight years of no cost-of-living increases in our state contract, the California Department of Education has budgeted to raise our reimbursement rate by 5%, which will still be nearly 12% short of simply being even with 2007 standards. While this in and of itself is not a sufficient increase for the care our children deserve, funding is also distributed evenly throughout the state, meaning schools in the Central Valley are reimbursed at the same rate as San Francisco programs despite the drastic difference in the cost of living in each area.

Concurrently, the reauthorization of the San Francisco Children’s Fund (aka Children and Families First Initiative), was established in 1991 in a cutting edge decision to dedicate a portion of the annual budget to children’s services (see more info below). The proposal is a charter amendment that extends this Fund for another 25 years and has just been unanimously supported on the November ballot by the Board of Supervisors and Mayor Ed Lee. I’m calling on all of our San Francisco voting friends to use your voice and vote Yes on C to partner with the early childhood education community this Fall to pass this critical Fund. Our children directly benefit from it as we work to prevent or heal the long term effects of homelessness, violence, poverty, substance abuse and any other deterrents to their hopeful and self-sufficient future.

As always, my door is open and I would love to talk with you in more detail on these and other initiatives if you are interested.

Once again, thank you for your life-giving partnership,

Donna signature

Donna M. Cahill
Executive Director

What is the San Francisco Children’s Fund?

In 1991, San Francisco made history by making the City the first city in the nation to guarantee funding for children in the city budget through the creation of a dedicated Children’s Fund. The Fund is composed of 3% of the annual local property tax revenues, and can only be used to provide children’s services, including affordable childcare and early childhood education, health services, youth violence prevention, tutoring, and educational enrichment. Annually, this equals approximately $50 million, given to 250 organizations, serving 47,000 children.


Donna Cahill with Marilyn Mathers (center), who is featured in our Planned Giving article below, and Marie Hurabiell at the 2014 Coming Home Gala.

Virginia FairVirginia Fair Legacy Society

“When thinking about the legacy I wanted to leave behind, I kept coming back to the Day Home and home…the Day Home and home. That is how I made the decision to leave my home to my childhood home away from home.”

Marilyn Mathers, who attended the Day Home from age three to twelve, recently secured the future of her estate by creating her will, which so generously included the bequest of her home to HFDH. The Day Home played an important role in her life by providing her with love, education, and a safe place after school while giving her hard-working, single mother peace of mind day in and day out for nine critical years in Marilyn’s life.

By solidifying her wishes and including the Day Home in her will, Marilyn is one of the charter members of the Virginia Fair Legacy Society (VFLS), which has been created to honor those individuals who have taken steps to benefit Holy Family Day Home with a bequest or other planned gift. Unless otherwise specified, the funds collected through the VFLS will be used to build our Endowment Fund, a safeguard for the future of the Day Home that will also contribute to our annual fundraising goals.

The Society is named after Virginia “Birdie” Fair, the first Day Home benefactor. She was the daughter of James Graham Fair, who amassed a fortune in gold and silver mining in Virginia City, Nevada and had significant real estate holdings in San Francisco. Miss Fair, who remembered visiting the Sisters of the Holy Family at their Day Homes as a young girl, paid the full costs for the design and construction of the original Day Home at 16th and Dolores, which replaced facilities lost in the earthquake and fire of 1906.

We are so grateful for the individuals and families who will not only continue their own legacy of care for the Day Home, but also perpetuate our 114 year old mission far into the future.

If you would like to find out more about estate planning or how you can make a lasting impact on the Day Home by joining our Virginia Fair Legacy Society, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at 415‑565‑0504, ext. 221.

2014 Donor Appreciation

Sunday, October 26, 2014 – 12 pm to 3 pm

We want to thank you for being a part of our family! To show our appreciation to everyone that has been a part of our school over the past year, we are inviting our family of friends and donors to a Sunday Family BBQ. We hope you will join us for this fun filled event complete with delicious food and fun family activities. To attend, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Friday, October 17, 2014.

Party on the Playground

November 2014

Our Young Professionals Auxiliary will be hosting a day of 21+ fun, food, and fundraising in early November. Check out our Facebook page for more details to come.

Santa's Workshop

Santa’s Workshop

December 2014

Our annual Santa’s Workshop returns this December with new toys and clothes for our children, as well as gift cards for our parents. To contribute to our Santa’s Workshop or find out other ways you can help, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Committee Members Needed!

We are excited to announce the April 2015 Coming Home Gala and we are currently building our Event Committee! If you are interested in helping us with our biggest, most impactful fundraising event of the year, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.