Get holiday gifts for your children and more!

Photo by Caley Dimmock on Unsplash

I hope you’re getting excited for the holiday season. This can be a wonderful time of year, but it can also be difficult to provide our families with holiday meals, gifts and decorations. If you need some help finding gifts for your children and loved ones, here’s a collection of free gifts and toys for the holidays. I’ve included a couple of fun holiday activities, too! Some sign-ups are ending soon – don’t wait to contact these organizations!  

Check out our list of Holiday resources:
Get holiday gifts for your children in the Bay Area!

Get holiday gifts for your children in Los Angeles!

Browse the collection for opportunities near you. Click on an Opportunity to see the “WHAT TO DO NEXT” instructions for how to contact the organization. Here’s an FAQ to help you get started.

I hope these resources make the holiday season a little brighter for you. Thank you so much for being a member of our community. From all of us at One Degree, we wish you happy holidays!

Meet One Degree’s New Team Members!

We’re thrilled to be joined by amazing new team members at One Degree. Please welcome four new Onesies who are working on critical projects at help deepen our impact and keep the organization running smoothly.

Angel Alvarado, Senior Software Engineer
Angel joined to use his skills for good and to make an impact. Angel brings years of experience as a Senior Engineer at a non-profit publisher where he helped transform their websites and publishing systems. Angel implemented systems for companies and marketing agencies in both the US and Mexico. He brings a passion for “big data,” and Data Engineering.


Lauren Fogel, Senior Product Manager
Lauren joined to bring her deep leadership experience in and passion for product development and strategy to the social service sector. As Senior Product Manager, she will oversee the development of our web and mobile products, ensuring that members are able to quickly and easily find and utilize the resources they need. For over 20 years, Lauren held product development leadership positions at Pearson, a major global education technology company, where she led the development of products in higher education STEM disciplines that are in use by millions of students around the world.
Adam Rey, Executive Assistant
With a passion for social justice and a desire to help those in need, Adam joined One Degree to be part of an organization working for meaningful change. Previously Adam worked in operations with the San Francisco Democratic Party where he applied his skills to coordinate, organize, and mobilize campaigns, volunteers, and potential voters to promote local measures and candidates he believed in.
Andrea Wood, Head of Development
Andrea joined One Degree to help tip the balance of power to individuals and families that are struggling to build a path out of poverty. She is responsible for fundraising and the development of partnerships with agencies, philanthropists, and foundations that share One Degree’s vision of a world where anyone can achieve social and economic mobility. Previously, Andrea served as Director of Advocacy and Fundraising at Mozilla, founded and led the client services team at, served as a Senior Consultant at M+R Strategic Services.

Happy Holidays & Watch Rey Faustino’s TED Talk

Before we all head out for the holidays, I wanted to share a TED talk I gave about One Degree’s big plan to create a public utility for social services. Special thanks to the inaugural TEDxOakland team for inviting us to speak. Watch the TED talk here.

Make an impact for more families in need and create systemic change in our communities by making a gift today to One Degree.

Support One Degree with a year-end donation today


One Degree’s Plan to Become a Nationwide Public Utility


What would it look like if we built a public utility for social services?

Public utilities give us the pipes so that we can easily drink water. One Degree wants to build the infrastructure so that people can easily access social services. It’s not enough for people to just get information about the services, we actually want to see people access them, benefit from them, and ultimately improve their lives.

Imagine searching for a critical service, like domestic violence support, and within minutes being connected to an organization in your community that can help. That’s where One Degree’s vision started.

Now imagine a world where families can apply for food stamps just as easily as it is for us to purchase a book on Amazon. Right now, the application for food stamps is dozens of pages long and takes hours to complete. It doesn’t need to be this hard to make sure families get food.

And once you apply for food stamps, what if you could then click one button and apply for childcare subsidies, affordable housing properties, and healthcare? We want to make this onerous process as simple as finding and buying a book on Amazon, where you don’t have to keep re-entering your information every time you buy a book.

And just like you can keep track of the books you have bought on Amazon, in our future system, you can keep track of all of the services you have applied to and utilized, and you get a visual understanding of how your life has improved over time.

This is just the beginning. There are so many other problems with information and access that we have barely begun to work on. And the beauty of building infrastructure — and not just a product — is that we don’t have to duplicate that infrastructure over and over again and we can use it to create more solutions that help people access the resources they need.

Developing One Degree’s Long-Term Goal: Public Utility for Social Services

At One Degree we’re thinking big about what we can do to make advancements for our most vulnerable neighbors. We have the potential to scale to meet the size of the problem by leveraging technology. How many other nonprofit organizations have the potential and capacity to actually reach the millions of people in need throughout the country?

The rapid adoption of internet usage among low-income and at-risk populations has created an opportunity to radically transform the way we address social needs for millions of people. While One Degree has been leading the way on designing and serving products for a technology-enabled low-income population, we realized that we needed to do more than just build great products. We didn’t want to just be a product company, we wanted to create systems change throughout the country.

With that realization, we solidified our long-term goal: to be a nationwide public utility for social services. We want to create the one place to access social services for anyone, anywhere, and, as a result, impact millions of people across the country. This means that we are building the infrastructural layer that enables people to easily access services and policymakers and funders to make data-driven decisions about services in their communities.

With this long-term goal as the anchoring guide toward our mission, we developed a strategic plan for the next phase of the organization. It’s our blueprint for scaling our impact, developing a sustainable revenue stream, and creating a nationwide public utility that is borne from a deep partnership with communities.

Special thanks to Tipping Point Community and McKinsey & Co. for being our partners in thinking big about revolutionizing our social safety net and working with us on our new strategic plan.

Read and download the entire strategic plan at:

Building the Public Utility for Social Services

The holidays can be a stressful time. While the season is about family and festivities, it can be difficult for our neighbors and friends who are struggling to take care of their families’ needs.

Recently we worked with a community member from Berkeley, who I’ll call Bill, who was struggling to find counseling services. He was suffering from PTSD and couldn’t afford the high cost of his health provider’s therapists. Even though we were able to refer him to some nonprofit counseling options, his situation got me thinking about the limitations in our social service sector.

Why can’t Bill see the availability of counseling sessions at local organizations that are meant to help? On the flip side, it’s so easy for me to see exactly how many seats are available on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The technology is available, and we can see it at play throughout the rest of society – from tracking shipping for the gifts you bought on Black Friday to travel planning for holiday trips.

But our social safety net doesn’t have any common underlying infrastructure. Many of the “solutions” that exist now are just glorified online binders that require a gatekeeper, like a call center operator.

We believe that our community deserves better, and that’s why One Degree is building a public utility for social services. Our vulnerable and marginalized communities deserve a social service system that works for them, puts them at the center, and meets them where they are.

Together with Tipping Point Community and McKinsey & Co., we developed a strategic plan for One Degree’s next phase. It’s our blueprint for scaling our impact, developing a sustainable revenue stream, and creating a nationwide public utility that is borne from a deep partnership with communities. Read our blog post about our journey to this strategic plan.

With forward-thinking people like you standing with us, we will continue our important work and  build this public utility. Help us make an impact for more families in need and create systemic change in our communities by making a gift today to One Degree.

Together, we are going to build a better future for so many families. Thank you for all that you do.

Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder

Growing to New Heights: One Degree’s Annual Impact Report

I’m excited to share One Degree’s Annual Impact Report for 2016-2017. As you know, One Degree’s mission is to empower people to create a path out of poverty for themselves and for their communities, and over the last year we expanded throughout all nine counties of the Bay Area, launched our expansion to Los Angeles County in partnership with LA County Department of Health Services, and doubled our community. We are so happy to share the stories, learnings, and impact that made up an incredible year!

Download One Degree’s Annual Impact Report for 2016-2017

Community Member Profile: Gloria
One Degree is made up of thousands of people like Gloria, hard-working people, who are using One Degree to search, find, and access resources in their communities. One of our members recently shared a story about how One Degree made an impact on her life.

With bills piling up, Gloria opened her paycheck and noticed it was smaller than expected. Realizing her creditor had begun garnishing her wages, panic set in. Gloria logged onto One Degree to search for help since she had never run into this issue before. After contacting One Degree support staff, we were able to help her find and access free legal services counseling at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. Additionally, we were able to provide Gloria with a variety of other resources to support her, such as opportunities to repair her credit and a counselor to help improve her financial literacy. Because of One Degree, Gloria was able to create and work on a plan to get back on track with the creditors and avoid other financial issues in the future.

“Your organization is very important and valuable. I have already shared One Degree with friends and I will keep sharing it!”
– Gloria, One Degree Member

Hiring: We need your help
We’re still looking for talented people to join our mission-driven team! Please forward this email to your friends and networks. More info:

Thanks for making 2016-2017 another big year of milestones for our organization and our community.

Make a gift & help us make more impact this year!


Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder

Download One Degree’s Annual Impact Report for 2016-2017

One Degree in UCSF Health Policy Report + We’re Hiring!

One Degree stands with DREAMers. While the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is in peril, we believe that every young person has tremendous potential, and we are working to make sure everyone affected by the recent changes in DACA has the resources they need to thrive.  If you are or know someone who is searching for resources for DREAMers, check out this collection we created.

The One Degree team is growing so we can continue to support our communities in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and beyond. Please help us find the perfect people to join our team!

We are looking for:

  • Vice President of Program, a senior executive who will lead all of our community-facing work, from product development to outreach, so that we’re increasing our impact
  • Development Manager who will manage One Degree’s fundraising engine to make sure we have the fuel to do our work
  • Product Manager who will be responsible for building and maintaining products that help thousands of low-income families find the resources they need to overcome poverty
  • Executive Assistant who will support scheduling, administration, and operations for the organization

We are committed to diversity and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. Please forward this email to your friends and networks who may be a great addition to our mission-driven team! More info:

One Degree featured in UCSF Health Policy Brief
Last month we were highlighted in UCSF’s Health Policy Brief. One Degree was showcased as an innovative approach to working with the health care delivery system to promote health equity and address the root causes of health disparities for adolescents and young adults. Read the full report here.


Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder

One Degree Partners with Los Angeles County To Help Low-Income Residents Thrive

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 27, 2017 – One Degree today announced the culmination of its work with the Los Angeles County Health Agency to provide its customized online and mobile app platform that connects at-risk families with services and resources like affordable housing, food assistance, job training, health services and after-school programs.

One Degree digitized and aggregated thousands of social services and community resources throughout the 88 cities in Los Angeles County to make those resources accessible at no cost to any care provider and resident in the County. The user-friendly platform allows users to filter services by zip code and is accessible from any internet-enabled device in both English and Spanish.

The One Degree solution will be launched in four hospitals and clinics run by the Department of Health Services, part of the Health Agency, starting this month and will be available to all providers and L.A. County residents starting July 26, 2017.

The platform is a virtual toolbox that empowers L.A. County residents, as well as health providers and community health workers, to quickly and easily find resources they qualify for and information to access them. By providing L.A. County families with the tools to navigate thousands of community resources in one easily accessible place, they have a better chance to use the information to access the services they need.

“There are over 10,000 healthcare, nonprofit, and social service offerings in Los Angeles County to assist the community with the resources they need,” said Rey Faustino, One Degree’s Founder and CEO. “Yet, the process to access these services is convoluted, and vulnerable families still depend on outdated tools. Now, One Degree makes it clear and simple for families in Los Angeles to find and access all the services online at no-cost to them. One Degree’s platform is on track to reach one million low-income people in Los Angeles over the next 5 years.”

“Medical care is one piece of the healthcare puzzle for vulnerable persons and families,” said Clemens Hong, MD, DHS director of Whole Person Care. “Low-income patients often battle a spectrum of issues that impact their health, such as access to healthy food, adequate heating, and safe and affordable housing. By quickly linking individuals we serve with essential services using One Degree’s platform, we can improve health outcomes and have a lasting impact on their lives.”

Program managers assisting clients with service referrals will also have access to management features to track service utilization, evaluate and measure the impact of social services, and better understand service gaps in communities.

In addition to LA Department of Health Services, One Degree has been working with Dignity Health, a California-based not-for-profit public-benefit corporation that operates hospitals and ancillary care facilities in three states, and LIFT-LA, a national nonprofit that works with parents with young children (0-8) to break the cycle of poverty, as two additional anchor partners in Los Angeles.

Estela Lopez, a 15 year Los Angeles resident originally from Chiapas, Mexico, mom of three children and LIFT-LA client, has been using One Degree. She said, “I’m tired of looking up services and then getting turned down because we don’t meet a certain requirement. It takes a lot of effort and commuting just to be told “no”. So I think One Degree is really good, because you have all of the information beforehand. It’s a better way to find resources.” This summer, Estela’s 11-year-old son will be attending a free co-ed summer program at the Girls Club of Los Angeles thanks to the opportunities she found on One Degree.

One Degree’s platform, proven in the San Francisco Bay Area with over 1.3 million people in need, is accessible from any internet-enabled device and available in English and Spanish. Since January 2014, over 225,000 people have used One Degree throughout all 9 counties of the San Francisco Bay Area. Currently, 18% of One Degree’s regular users are nonprofit and healthcare professionals, while 82% are people looking for services for themselves and for their families.

About One Degree:
One Degree, founded in 2012 in San Francisco, is a nonprofit technology-driven organization that is restructuring the way striving residents, and the people who help them, access community resources. The organization’s mission is to empower people to create a path out of poverty for themselves and their community. To learn more about One Degree and the platform, visit

About the L.A. County Health Agency:
The Los Angeles County Health Agency includes the Departments of Health Services, Mental Health, and Public Health. Together, these departments are working on health initiatives that include development of housing and supportive services for the homeless, substance use disorder treatment, diversion of corrections populations, and reduction of hospital emergency department overcrowding, among other priority areas.

CONTACT: Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder, One Degree, 888-799-7273


LIFT-LA & One Degree: Partnering to Bring Modern Tech for Poverty Alleviation

Sadly, 1 in 3 Los Angeles residents lives in poverty, suffering overwhelmingly from common low-income community ailments such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Thankfully, there are 17,500 community resources addressing these issues throughout the 88 incorporated cities of Los Angeles (Spanning 4,084 miles, Los Angeles is the largest county in America). Organizations like LIFT-LA and One Degree are innovating together to offer the best case management with modern scalable solutions to end intergenerational poverty. Read how we’re designing the future of poverty alleviation.

Download the full case study case study – PDF