Serving Seniors, a nonprofit organization which is marking its 50th anniversary year of helping low-income and homeless seniors in the San Diego area, Monday announced a $1 million donation to kickstart a campaign aimed at raising $5 million over the next five years.

San Diego philanthropist Una Davis made the gift to the nonprofit, which helps more than 5,000 seniors in need each year, according to Paul Downey, the organization’s president and CEO.

“Every person, regardless of age or occupation, should have access to basic needs,” Davis said. “This donation will go towards supporting those life-sustaining services that ultimately allow seniors get the help they need and live full, happy lives.”

According to Serving Seniors, the organization served 644,099 meals and housed 445 seniors in 2019. A total of 5,549 seniors overall benefited from its services and programs, an increase of 12% from 2018.

With more than 1 million San Diegans estimated to be over 55 years old by 2030, Serving Seniors is looking “to ensure an even brighter future for low-income and vulnerable seniors over the next 50 years,” Downey said.

The 50th anniversary campaign will include:

— a special event to recognize volunteers;

— establishing the Paul Downey Visionary Fund to support advocacy campaigns, housing and homelessness initiatives, and expansion of meal services;

— a 10th anniversary celebration of the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center on April 10; and

— the Sunshine Gala on April 18, featuring a cocktail reception, dinner and auctions with a goal of raising $400,000.

More information about Serving Seniors can be found at www.ServingSeniors.org.

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