By Jeff Clemetson
Generous donations are a sure way to brighten up a charity and the work it does. And for one lucky, local organization, a recent donation made it literally brighter.
On Nov. 17, San Diego Center for Children (SDCC) received the gift of the sun from Sullivan Solar Power in the form of a 10-kilowatt solar system installed on the roof of its Linda Vista headquarters at 3002 Armstrong St.
“This was a very transformational contribution that Sullivan Solar has made because it allows us to really become a more sustainable organization; it provides us with very significant savings that then we can use our money to better serve the community; and it also provides us an opportunity to provide education to the youth we serve about the benefits of solar power and sustainability,” SDCC president Moisés Barón said.
SDCC is the oldest nonprofit in San Diego and provides a comprehensive range of therapeutic activities and services for children and youth who experience mental, emotional and behavioral disorders, Barón said.
It is the SDCC’s commitment to children that attracted Sullivan Solar Power to donate to the organization.
“At the core of what we do is we’re trying to make the world a better place for our children and our grandchildren and San Diego Center for Children has a 130-year history of doing the exact same thing,” said Daniel Sullivan, president and founder of Sullivan Solar Power.
In addition to the solar system, Sullivan is also giving SDCC $500 from every system he has sold since July 2016 to SDCC — a cash donation of over $116,000. The solar system is expected to save SDCC over $170,000 in electrical costs over the next 25 years.
“That’s money better used helping the children rather than lining the pockets of SDG&E,” he said.
Most of the charities that Sullivan partners with only receive the cash donations, but because SDCC had a large facility, it made sense to also donate a solar system.
“San Diego Center for Children is unique in that it has a facility that they have for the children to utilize,” Sullivan said. “Other organizations have an office and they go out and do their good work out in the community, so it wouldn’t make sense to put a solar system of ours on some small office. It would be better to focus contributions or any sort of effort toward the broader mission outside of the facility.”
Sullivan said every year his company partners with charities to advance their mission, as long as that mission aligns with the mission of Sullivan Solar Power.
“Anyone that’s promoting the use of renewable energy, and particularly the use of renewable energy that benefits the broader community as opposed to a select few, is an organization that makes sense for us to partner with,” he said.
And now that it has solar panels, Barón sees SDCC’s mission aligning with that of Sullivan’s.
“Our hope is in the future, given this very significant initial step, we will continue moving in the direction of making the rest of the facility efficient from an energy point of view,” he said.
More holiday cheer for SDCC
On Dec. 8, SDCC received another generous gift — 12 Christmas trees delivered to the Linda Vista headquarters and two additional trees delivered to locations in La Mesa and South Bay.
The trees were a gift from Mission Federal Credit Union, and volunteers from the bank joined children and SDCC staff in decorating them.
“Mission Fed is excited to be part of the San Diego Center for Children team this holiday season,” Angie Lasagna, Mission Fed vice president of community relations, said in a press statement. “Our employees truly find fulfillment in going into the community to help bring cheer to those in need, and with a special event like this, we can help the children share in the joy of the holiday season.”
The decorated trees were put up just in time for SDCC’s Wacky Wonky holiday event on Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
SDCC will turn the Linda Vista campus into a wonderland for the children and families it serves. The event is a holiday donation drive and will feature special activities, festive food and drinks, live holiday music, Vespa Motorsport’s Scooter Toy Run, pictures with Santa and a special appearance by Willy Wonka.
Admission is an unwrapped toy or gift card of $25 or more or a monetary donation to SDCC. To RSVP, view the Center’s wish list or donate, visit: centerforchildren.org/wacky-wonky-wonderland.
—Reach Jeff Clemetson at firstname.lastname@example.org.