Sheryl Sandberg & Tom Bernthal Contribute $1.5 Million Dollars to YWCA USA and YWCA Silicon Valley to Provide Assistance for Survivors of Violence

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Sheryl Sandberg & Tom Bernthal Contribute $1.5 Million Dollars to YWCA USA and YWCA Silicon Valley to Provide Assistance for Survivors of Violence

Contact: Courtney Holsworth,, (989) 572-8162

Sheryl Sandberg & Tom Bernthal have given a $1 million dollar gift to YWCA USA and a $500,000 gift to YWCA Silicon Valley to support their domestic violence programs. These contributions from the Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Fund will provide immediate, direct support and services for those fleeing or attempting to flee gender-based violence and experiencing housing insecurity.

The ongoing public health crisis disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our community—survivors of domestic violence and their children—who face the difficult decision to continue suffering abuse in order to stay safe from the coronavirus, or risk homelessness. Within just the first few weeks of the Bay Area’s shelter-in-place order, YWCA had to turn away 49 women and families fleeing domestic violence because YWCA’s emergency shelter was at capacity. YWCA’s across the country, from the Bay Area to Detroit, are facing an increase in demand for domestic violence and housing services and are being forced to turn away women and children seeking emergency shelter.

“The impact is devastating for women, and in particular women of color. We must ensure the critical needs of housing and safety are in place for survivors of violence, and we must seize this moment to fix the structural problems that women face,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer. “YWCA is a leader in addressing the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness in our community. Tom and I are proud to give to YWCA to help them provide life-saving resources for survivors who now, more than ever, need a reliable place to turn for help.”

“This contribution has come at a critical time, and we are so grateful for the generosity of Sheryl Sandberg & Tom Bernthal,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO,YWCA USA. “ Between the financial strain and isolation caused by COVID-19, families are under great stress, domestic violence situations can quickly escalate. As a result, we’re seeing greater demand for the domestic violence and housing services we provide, unfortunately, many of our 200+ YWCAs face an immediate funding and staffing crisis that threatens our ability to meet the growing needs of the women and children we serve. This contribution will help us continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children, women and their families in the communities we serve.”

“This is a game changer,” said YWCA Silicon Valley CEO Tanis Crosby. “This amazing gift from Sheryl and Tom comes at such a critical time, as we are rapidly responding to meet the needs of survivors. We are beyond grateful for this unprecedented generosity. This gift is going to change lives and save lives.”

YWCA USA is the nation’s largest network provider of domestic violence and sexual assault services. Across the country, we serve more than 500,000 women and children every year with programs ranging from emergency shelters, counseling, support groups and crisis hotlines.

For interviews, please contact Courtney Holsworth at or (989) 572-8162.



YWCA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for over 160 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more at

About YWCA Silicon Valley
YWCA’s mission is to eliminate racism and empower women.  Founded in 1905, YWCA Silicon Valley (YWCA) is a comprehensive multi-service agency focused on serving women. At YWCA, a woman is empowered to leave an abusive relationship, and find a safe haven from sexual assault. Students of color capitalize on their brilliance. Women and families have safe housing. Communities are empowered to be upstanders to violence. Here, we witness their dignity, and celebrate their victories. They keep our commitment to justice strong; because we know first-hand how much more work we must get up and do.