Photo of Dee Johnson.

Dee Johnson was inducted into the Community Service Category in 2024.

My Story

Dee Johnson founded Lend A Hand Foundation in 1997 to address the urgent need to assist homeless, economically disadvantaged, and at-risk youth, primarily residing in homeless shelters throughout Alameda County. She was motivated by her experience as a foster parent for Alameda County for 9 years. Dee saw the nexus between poverty and poor school performance. She created one of the first "backpack giveaways" in the region with an event in her own backyard. She provided backpacks filled with school supplies, sold chicken dinners, and personally funded much of this initial effort. Today, key corporations and donors support Lend A Hand Foundation, and have supplied needy youth with over 150,000 backpacks with school supplies to date. Services have expanded to include holding seminars, clothing donations, help during emergencies and food insecurities, scholarships, youth activities, supporting families with warm clothing items and more during the winter holiday season.