Stroke Awareness Foundation
After making a full recovery from an ischemic stroke in 2011, Pat Dando became passionate about health and educating others about the treatment of strokes. She learned that neglecting to seek specific treatment in the early hours following a stroke can make a huge difference in recovery; affecting speech, movement and other functions. Dando also learned that there were no certified stroke centers in Santa Clara County, and that many people do not understand the importance of seeking treatment immediately.
Dando decided to make a difference in this community, becoming co-founder of the Stroke Awareness Foundation the following year. Now, Santa Clara has more stroke centers than any other county in the country, and Pat’s philanthropic actions continue to save lives today.
Almaden Valley Counseling Service
Seeing the need for access to mental health services, Pat Dando decided to become an advocate for well being in the San Jose area. Dando focused on providing counseling for local children in need of mental healthcare in her neighborhood, knowing families in the community could use a reliable service to help them. Dando took action, co-founding a youth counseling service center in Almaden, which would later become the Almaden Valley Counseling Service.
This community-based, nonprofit counseling agency works to address mental health concerns in the San Jose area. With an emphasis on youth, the center provides counseling, parenting classes, geriatric advising and more to those who are in need. The service aims to ensure that everyone has access to affordable mental health counseling. They offer a graduated fee structure for their services, adjusted to each client’s ability to pay. This enables them to provide counseling services to the entire community.
Pat Dando’s work in co-founding this organization has made a lasting impact on the community and will continue to positively affect those seeking treatment for a variety of mental health concerns.
Almaden Valley Women’s Club
As an active community member in Almaden Valley, Dando joined the Almaden Valley Women’s Club in 1976. This nonprofit group works to stimulate interest in the social, civic, and cultural improvement of the community, through holding fundraisers and events throughout the year.
Pat became more involved in the organization, becoming President in 1979. During her service, she put much effort into helping establish the Almaden Valley Art & Wine Festival, which has grown throughout the years. Now, the festival features an array of local artisans, bands, food trucks, wine tastings and more, bringing a fun and valuable event to the community every year.
Involvement in San Jose Unified School District
After working as a substitute teacher throughout Almaden Valley, Dando gained an appreciation for teachers and the learning environment of schools. She wanted to become more involved in helping the important individuals who were educating her children and looked for a way to make an impact on campus.
In 1974. Dando joined the Parent Teacher Association at Henderson Elementary. This national organization aims to help make every child’s dream a reality, by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children. She quickly became more involved, becoming president of Henderson’s Chapter in 1978. Pat continued her involvement with PTA at Bret Harte Middle School and served on the board of the Leland High School Home and School Club. She championed many projects at each of these schools.
Pat was also involved at the District level, working with San Jose Unified to reinstate the 6th period day and removing the smoking section at Leland High School.
San Jose Women’s Shelter for Domestic Violence
As a strong advocate for women and children, Pat Dando spent much time volunteering at the San Jose Women’s Shelter for Domestic Violence. Dando felt personally connected to this cause, as her mother was a victim of abuse. Thankfully, she escaped the violence early, leaving her husband with an unborn Pat in tow.
Pat helped to fund and organize the successful women’s shelter. She felt it was important for her own children to volunteer at the shelter to learn about those facing similar difficult situations as their grandmother.