Google, YouTube donate $280K to first responder foundation

After a shooting at YouTube headquarters, Google and YouTube are donating to the San Bruno Community Foundation to fund an initiative aimed at responders


By Sophie Haigney
San Francisco Chronicle

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — In the wake of a shooting at YouTube headquarters that left three people injured last week, Google, YouTube and their employees are donating at least $280,000 to the San Bruno Community Foundation, to fund an initiative aimed at first responders.

Google and YouTube are making a $100,000 grant to the foundation, which was created to administer restitution funds after the PG&E gas pipeline explosion in 2010. YouTube and Google also invited employees to make individual donations, which Google said it would match.

Officers run toward a YouTube office in San Bruno, Calif., Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Police and federal officials have responded to reports of a shooting Tuesday at YouTube headquarters in Northern California. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Officers run toward a YouTube office in San Bruno, Calif., Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Police and federal officials have responded to reports of a shooting Tuesday at YouTube headquarters in Northern California. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

“In the first 48 hours, more than 800 Googlers from around the world donated more than $90,000,” said Leslie Hatamiya, executive director of the San Bruno Foundation in a statement. Google.org — Google’s philanthropic arm — is matching those donations, so the San Bruno Community Foundation expects to receive at least $280,000, and possibly more.

Hatamiya told the Chronicle that YouTube, which is the largest employer in San Bruno, has previously partnered with the organization three times and contributed to their community grants program.

“They contacted us recently and said they’d heard about our first responder initiative and asked if that was something they could piggyback off,” Hatamiya said.

After the shooting, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki tweeted, “There are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter @YouTube today. Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement & first responders for their rapid response.”

The foundation’s First Responder Effectiveness Strategic Initiative was launched in March.

“Thinking about what was going on in the world, with the hurricanes and the fires and school shootings and being respectful of our own past, it seemed like a great initiative for foundation to take on,” Hatamiya said. “Unfortunately our initiative was a lot more timely than we expected it to be.”

Hatamiya said discussions are ongoing about what the money from Google and YouTube will ultimately fund, but that the initiative has three main projects. One is funding for emergency shelter supplies, which will enable San Bruno to operate a stand-alone emergency shelter. Another is a series of trainings and site assessments and incident plans.

The third, according to the foundation’s website is, “Police Officer Mindfulness, Compassion, and Resiliency Training,” which aims to “equip police officers to perform through occupational trauma with greater capacity for awareness, cognitive performance and humanity.”

Hatamiya said that the donation was “bittersweet” because of its origins in the shooting, but that the foundation is grateful for the company’s support following the shooting.

“We are grateful our first responders were so effective in their response,” she said, “and we are now pleased that Google and YouTube want to partner with us, and contribute to our important initiative.”

Copyright 2018 San Francisco Chronicle

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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