The Community Services Agency this week announced it has received its largest-ever donation, a $2 million gift intended to help local seniors with housing. The substantial donation was made by the estate of Elizabeth Ruth Wallace, a longtime Mountain View resident who died in 2016.
Wallace and her husband Bryan had lived in Mountain View since the 1950s and for years they operated Bryan's Drug store on El Monte Avenue. Wallace later opened her own travel business.
Wallace had set up an estate with instructions to distribute her savings to various nonprofits, including a $250,000 gift made last year to the Mountain View Public Safety Foundation, and a $500,000 gift to the booster club at her former high school in Edmonds, Washington.
The new $2 million donation marks the largest gift ever received by CSA, dwarfing any donation made by Mountain View's vaunted tech firms. In a press release, the social services agency announced it would set up a new "Aunt Bette Fund" in honor of Wallace.
Her contribution is set to be distributed in $50,000 allotments over the next 20 years to help senior clients with their housing needs, such as help paying for rent, utilities and home repairs. The remaining sum would help pay for CSA service workers.
This aid would be reserved for CSA clients who are 60 years or older and qualify for low-income assistance.
“So many older adults are getting pushed out of the communities they have lived in for many years. No one should have to go through that,” says Tom Myers, CSA's executive director. “This funding truly supports our agency’s goal of helping older clients age in place and remain in their homes for as long as possible.”