Nonprofit organizations

Sheri Sobrato of Digging Deep/Resonance House

After many years living abroad and on the East Coast, Sheri Sobrato has, as she says, “come home to my roots,” living in the home once owned by her grandparents. It was here almost three decades ago that she was treated at UCSF for a brain tumor, and the long-time philanthropist’s current focus of attention — helping seriously ill young people — is, in part, an outgrowth of her long survivorship.

“Even before I got sick, I was interested in health issues and children,” the Atherton resident says. “I was a Candy Striper at Stanford and after graduating from college, I volunteered at Ronald McDonald House when I was working on Wall Street.”

She says she first started thinking about doing something in the area of childhood illness when she marked the 25th anniversary of her survivorship.

“It just became apparent I needed to do something and do it now,” she says. “What was missing in helping sick kids was a simple, easy, affordable way for kids to talk directly about what was happening with them. There needed to be a tool that helped them with their journey.”

Digging Deep: A Journal for Young People Facing Health Challenges is the result. Written with Rose Offner, it provides an engaging, fun, and affordable resource to build a child’s emotional strength through journalling. The book – available free to any family who requests one – was recently awarded the Mom’s Choice Award: “The Gold Medal for Young Adult Books in the Mind, Body, Spirit category.”

“The initial journalling activities focus on the struggle with illness,” Sheri says. “But as the journal progresses, it’s really about life, not illness.

“Kids are proud of their stories. Telling them gives them inner strength and powers. They get to bring up topics that they wouldn’t otherwise.”

Sheri believes that her own life is much richer from the experience of being diagnosed and treated with a life threatening illness. “Before I got sick” she says, “I wasn’t connecting with people at the heart level. This was my big blessing after the storm.”

Life-threatening illnesses in childhood are increasingly curable, but often require treatment through adulthood. Sheri formed Resonance House, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, to distribute Digging Deep across the country and better meet the ongoing psychosocial needs of young patients.

“We partner with children’s hospitals, physician offices, medical camps, outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, children’s health associations and nonprofit organizations to get Digging Deep to any child who needs it,” Sheri says.

Information on how to donate to get Digging Deep into the hands of more children and how to order the book in volume is available on the Digging Deep website.

Photo by Irene Searles

{ 1 comment }

Menlo College community participates in Be The Match Registry® today and tomorrow

Thumbnail image for Menlo College community participates in Be The Match Registry® today and tomorrow

Menlo College students were sticking cotton swabs in their cheeks this morning, all part of a Be The Match® campaign organized by Kezia Molinsky, the college’s Head Competitive Cheer and Stunt Coach, to raise awareness about the need for marrow donors. “A friend of mine’s daughter’s life was saved thanks to a marrow transplant,” explained Kezia when […]

Click to read more →

Margaret and Jamis MacNiven honored for their many years of service to Woodside community

Thumbnail image for Margaret and Jamis MacNiven honored for their many years of service to Woodside community

An abundance of laughter and silliness filled the  Woodside High School Performing Arts Center last night. It was a fitting way to salute two people who’ve provided their community with a steady dose of both over the years, as well as many charitable good deeds Margaret and Jamis MacNiven (pictured with their family), owners of Buck’s of Woodside, […]

Click to read more →

MPAEF hosts 5th annual Gift Boutique, opening tonight with more shopping Friday

Thumbnail image for MPAEF hosts 5th annual Gift Boutique, opening tonight with more shopping Friday

The Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) Gift Boutique — a local holiday tradition — celebrates its fifth anniversary tonight and tomorrow at the Allied Arts Guild. Open to the entire community, the Boutique showcases over 20  local, unique vendors; 20% of the proceeds benefit Menlo Park schools. Searching for a fun, community-oriented way to raise funds for MPAEF and […]

Click to read more →

Open House at Rosener House Adult Day center set for Nov. 15

Thumbnail image for Open House at Rosener House Adult Day center set for Nov. 15

Peninsula Volunteers/Rosener House Adult Day Center will host an Open House on Saturday, Nov. 15, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, 500 Arbor Road, Menlo Park. At 10:30 am, there will be presentations  by physical, occupational, and speech Therapists. Rosener House offers an enriched activity program for adults with challenges, including Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, […]

Click to read more →

Lisa Deal brings long commitment to healthcare to her role at Mission Hospice

Thumbnail image for Lisa Deal brings long commitment to healthcare to her role at Mission Hospice

From a very young age, Atherton resident Lisa Deal knew she wanted to be involved in healthcare. “I’d go around in my head — nurse to doctor to nurse to physical therapy,” she recalled. “But I don’t remember wanting to do anything else.” Eventually it was the connection with people that prevailed, and Lisa got a bachelor’s […]

Click to read more →

Terri Bullock and Henry Bullock offer $200,000 matching gift to support Music & Memory

Thumbnail image for Terri Bullock and Henry Bullock offer $200,000 matching gift to support Music & Memory

Emailed Atherton resident Terri Bullock (pictured right): “My sister, diagnosed seven years ago with early onset Alzheimer’s, had become almost totally non-verbal and immobile. For her birthday, our family spent the day watching her listen to a playlist of her favorite music, singing along and even standing to dance with her husband. It was truly […]

Click to read more →

Local couple raising funds to support children’s shelter in Thailand for New Years/birthday party

Thumbnail image for Local couple raising funds to support children’s shelter in Thailand for New Years/birthday party

Menlo Park residents Nalin and Mark Decker founded the DASchild charitable organization in 2007 with an aim to protect children from trafficking in Thailand. DASchild works closely with a shelter — Baan Nana (Thai for Childlife) Shelter — in Northern Thailand, which is home to over 80 children who have been saved from such conditions. Baan Nana […]

Click to read more →

Second Harvest kicks off holiday food and fund drive

Thumbnail image for Second Harvest kicks off holiday food and fund drive

To ensure that anyone who needs a meal can get one this holiday season – and all year long – Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties has kicked off its Holiday Food and Fund Drive with the goal of raising $15 million and 2 million pounds of food. “We are […]

Click to read more →

M-A’s annual Canned Food Drive kicks off today

Thumbnail image for M-A’s annual Canned Food Drive kicks off today

The annual Menlo-Atherton High School Canned Food Drive kicks off today. In a tradition started by legendary Coach Ben Parks, M-A students collect food from the community to help feed several hundred families in our area, many of them M-A families. For four weeks, students will fan out over the local area and collect cans. Supporting […]

Click to read more →

Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation plans various holiday-related fundraisers

The 5th Annual Menlo Park Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) Gift Boutique at Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park on Thursday, November 13, and Friday, November 14. Twenty percent of the proceeds benefit Menlo Park City Schools. You can preview the vendors here. The community is invited to shop the boutique, and attend one of MPAEF’s signature events: Thursday, […]

Click to read more →