7:33 pm

  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
New volunteer group aims to help low-income seniors: San Mateo-raised Sema Tosun began Fund A Need to support underserved
July 07, 2014, 05:00 AM By Angela Swartz Daily Journal

Sema Tosun works to help low-income seniors in San Mateo County.

A consummate volunteer, the obvious next step for Sema Tosun was to start her own volunteer organization.

Tosun, who works at First Bank on Fourth Street in San Mateo and owns Trapeze restaurant in Burlingame, started Fund A Need just this February to help low-income seniors by providing them with the basic needs to make them happier, more comfortable and more fulfilled for the remaining years of their lives.

“Through the bank and restaurant, I’ve been exposed to local nonprofits and schools,” she said. “I’ve always been very active and involved. I woke up one day and said ‘I’m going to do it.’ My motto is helping low-income seniors one hand at a time.”

Low-income seniors are some of the most underserved right now despite the amount of wealth in this region, she noted.

“There’s so many people that need help,” she said. “Working at a bank, I see a lot of my customers struggle and it made me realize this was an area that needed giving and funding.”

Tosun has supported and volunteered at the Samaritan House, Police Athletics League, HIP Housing, CORA, Boys & Girls Club, CASA & Second Harvest Food Bank.

Having immigrated to the Bay Area at age 7 from Turkey, Tosun had struggles of her own growing up.

“It was scary to learn the language, but I acclimated really quickly because I was young,” she said. “Growing up in another country was scary. Being from Turkey, kids would always say, ‘gobble, gobble’ to me and it was challenging trying to fit in as a kid.”

Her time as a child in Turkey did have effects on her that have affected her views on the elderly today.

“Growing up in Turkey, elders are very much respected for and cared for,” she said. “Here, there are a lot more in homes and it’s something we should bring more awareness to — giving them the dignity, pride and honor they deserve.”

Her single mother, who helped raise Tosun and her two brothers, was also one of her biggest motivations.

“She worked so hard,” she said. “She truly believes in giving back.”

Tosun plans on doing an event at Trapeze soon to celebrate the start of the charity. She notes sometimes nonprofits are intimidated by other nonprofits, but she is happy to work with other ones in the area. To start, she is working with HIP Housing to help the Edgewater Isle Senior Apartments.

To learn more or to become a volunteer for the group, go to funda-need.org.


(650) 344-5200 ext. 105



Tags: tosun, turkey, income, seniors, growing, nonprofits,

Other stories from today:

Police search for suspect in Burlingame bank robbery
DUI arrests during holiday weekend down from last year
Alert Safeway clerk helps foil IRS phone scam

Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
Do you agree with Gov. Brown signing The End of Life Option Act, which allows terminally ill patients to end their lives with the help of a doctor?

Yes, it will allow those with terminal conditions to die with dignity
No, doctors are sometimes too hasty in determining someone is terminally ill
Not sure


Redwood City officials report hospital wing lost water due to broken main
A water main break in Redwood City is affecting part of a nearby hospital, a city spokeswoman said ..
California governor OKs expansive new equal pay protections
SACRAMENTO — Female workers in California are getting new tools to challenge gender-based wage gap..
Phone scam making the rounds in San Mateo County
The San Mateo County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to beware of a telephone scam involving a..
IMF downgrades forecast for world, emerging market economies
LIMA, Peru — China's slowdown and tumbling commodity prices will push global economic growth this ..
Top general in Afghanistan: US strike on hospital a mistake
WASHINGTON — The deadly American attack on a hospital in northern Afghanistan occurred despite "ri..
More >>  

©2015 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County legal notices