Season 13 Nonprofit Partners

White Pony Express (Billie Jean King & Christine Brennan)

Girl Scouts of Nor Cal (Ann Compton)

Bay Legal (Eric Holder)

Contra Costa County Sheriff Search & Rescue (Ted Koppel)

Students Rising Above (Michael Beschloss)

Lindsay Wildlife Experience (Susan Eisenhower)

White Pony ExpressYES

White Pony Express (WPE) was founded by Dr. Carol Weyland Conner, on September 22, 2013. She was troubled by the fact that although we lived in a county of tremendous abundance, thousands of people were going hungry and even more had inadequate and unhealthy diets resulting from their poverty. She also knew that food retailers threw out huge quantities of high-quality food everyday, because of artificial “Sell By” dates, excess inventory, or because the food was not presentable for retail. So her idea was to create a food rescue program where this good surplus food could be picked up and delivered directly from food retailers to local service organizations serving those in need. She began the initiative as a program of the local faith-based group Sufism Reoriented, where she serves as the spiritual director, with the goal of expanding it to become adopted by the larger community. Dr. Conner’s much-needed program expanded rapidly, and in March 2014, WPE incorporated as an independent nonprofit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation to realize its goal of becoming a broad-based community program. Dr. Conner’s primary goals were to uplift lives and provide opportunities for selfless service.

WPE started without any assets or bank accounts. We had an $800 formation budget. When we needed space a faith group provided it—and paid the utilities; volunteers contributed a computer and printer and other office equipment. A nearby neighbor allowed us to access his wi-fi. When we needed a refrigerated truck and van, someone stepped forward to provide the funds to acquire them. And so it has gone. When we opened our hands in generosity, generosity flowed to us, making our explosive growth possible.

As the food rescue program grew, we began to learn more about the needs of people living in poverty and how to serve them. Part of that important learning is that you cannot ask those in need to come to you, they simply don’t have the resources to travel. We must have systems that take the needed items to where the people in need live. In 2014, WPE’s outreach expanded to include two new programs: the White Pony Express Free General Store, where we freely distribute adult and children’s clothing, toys, and children’s books, and the White Pony Inn where we help prevent homelessness by connecting people with the resources they need to move from the margins to the mainstream of society.

Please visit our website at

Girl Scouts of Northern California

Who We Are

We’re 2.7 million strong—1.9 million girls and 800,000 adult volunteers who believe girls can change the world. It began over 100 years ago with one woman, Girl Scouts’ founder Juliette Gordon “Daisy” Low, who believed in the power of every girl. She organized the first Girl Scout troop on March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, and every year since, we've made her vision a reality, helping girls discover their strengths, passions, and talents.

Today, as yesterday, we continue the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We’re the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs for girls from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to do something amazing. 

Our Mission
Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

For more information visit us at

Bay Legal

Access to legal advocacy is critical to ensuring that Bay Area residents living in poverty understand and assert their rights, in order to create stability for themselves and their families. Each year BayLegal’s services benefit 70,000 Bay Area residents.

In 2000, three Bay Area legal services programs, each with its own identity, history, and resources, came together to form Bay Area Legal Aid.

The vision that brought these programs together is simple. We believe the scope and quality of the legal assistance you receive should depend solely on the merits of your case, not on where you live. Thus, we set out to build a program with a regional vision grounded in local communities. We learned what many of us already believed – despite differences among various counties, the legal problems of poor people are substantially similar.

We also believe that the civil justice community in the Bay Area has the resources to build an integrated, comprehensive delivery system capable of addressing our clients’ most pressing needs. We have more legal services programs and spend more dollars per poor person than any other region in California. We operate in a tremendously supportive environment, including some of the best law schools, the largest and most effective pro bono programs, and the most progressive private bar and law firms in the country.

We are mindful, of course, that as rich as we may be, our resources fall far short of what we need to provide legal assistance to all the people who need it. Yet, we must recognize the responsibility to rationally allocate the resources we do have throughout the region. Bay Area Legal Aid serves clients through regional offices in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.

We hope that some day, working with our sister legal services programs and other members of the civil justice community, regional boundaries will no longer determine the availability of legal services, nor influence our vision of what we can accomplish together.

Visit our website

Contra Costa County Sheriff Search & Rescue

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team (CoCoSAR) consists of about 200 professionally trained searchers under the direction of Contra Costa County Sheriff Emergency Services Division. We are all unpaid volunteers with extensive, specialized search and rescue training provided by the team.

Our mission is to provide highly trained search and rescue resources to the citizens of Contra Costa County and other counties, according to the State of California Office of Emergency Services Mutual Aid Plan. As such, we operate primarily in Contra Costa County but can be called to assist with searches throughout the State of California. Additionally, we provide medical and educational support and evidence search assistance in county, as needed, at the request of the Sheriff.  The team is trained to provide disaster support for the Office of Emergency Services in the event of an earthquake, fire, flood or other widespread emergency.

CoCoSAR is on call and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in almost any conditions. (It is common for callouts to come late at night or in inclement weather and they rarely come when it is convenient.) During any given week, we respond to callouts that may involve:

  • An urban area search for a dementia or Alzheimer’s walk-away or missing/runaway child
  • A wilderness search for a missing hiker, climber or hunter
  • A technical rope rescue to extricate an injured subject
  • A downed aircraft search, rescue and recovery
  • An evidence search in support of law enforcement
  • Medical support for various foot and bicycle races or special events
  • Medical support for a mass-casualty incident
  • Emergency support for natural disasters, such as earthquakes or wildfires (such as the 2013
    Morgan Fire on Mt. Diablo.)

Please visit our website

Students Rising Above

Our Mission: The Students Rising Above community is dedicated to impacting the future through the cultivation of extraordinary youth. SRA invests in low-income, first generation college students who have demonstrated a deep commitment to education and strength of character while overcoming tremendous odds of poverty, homelessness, and neglect.

We help each student to realize his or her potential by guiding and supporting them through college graduation, and into the workforce. Our graduates are breaking the cycle of poverty within their own families, serving their communities, providing a new generation of employees and leaders from diverse backgrounds, and accelerating positive change.

History: Founded in 1998 by news anchor, Wendy Tokuda, and Community Relations Manager, Javier Valencia, SRA initially began as a scholarship supporting outstanding Bay Area students who were “beating the odds.”

Recognizing that access to college was not enough to ensure college completion, Students Rising Above was a pioneer in providing comprehensive services to help students successfully navigate the academic, emotional, and social challenges of college. Summer internships and career guidance programs were later added to provide students with the skills and experience to successfully transition into the workforce and break the cycle of poverty.

For the past eleven years, SRA has been led and managed by Lynne Martin, Executive Director, and Barb Hendricks, Director of Student Programs, who have increased the number of students selected into the program ten-fold. Today, this award winning program has grown into an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization with broad community, foundation, and corporate support and history.

Lindsay Wildlife Experiencecatholic

Lindsay Wildlife Experience saves animals lives, teaches and inspires children and adults through up-close-and personal encounters with live wild animals, and strengthens the connection between people and the natural world.

Lindsay Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital is one of the oldest and largest rehabilitation centers in the United States. Our team of veterinarians, staff, and volunteers treats more than 5,500 injured and orphaned wild animals each year. The hospital is a pioneer in wildlife rehabilitation. Because wildlife does not have medical insurance, the hospital relies on donations to provide this life-saving work.

Our education programs and interactive exhibit hall create meaningful opportunities to learn about the natural world and live in harmony with wildlife. Listen to the cry of a red tailed hawk, go eye-to-eye with a opossum and watch a great horned owl eat lunch. More than 50 species of live, non-releasable, native California animals are on exhibit. Only when we understand these wild creatures can we prevent more patients from being admitted to our wildlife rehabilitation hospital.

More than 600 volunteers help feed and care for wild animals, teach children and adults about nature, and support Lindsay’s mission in many other ways.