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A generous donation to Playworks of Oakland is one of many charitable contributions sponsored by Neill Sullivan, to improve West Oakland neighborhoods.


Neill Sullivan is the president of Sullivan Management Company (SMC East Bay), and the founder of REO Homes of Oakland.


True to his roots, Neill Sullivan remains committed to community improvements throughout the Bay Area, with a special focus on West Oakland. He frequently extends charitable gifts to various organizations, with the idea of improving the quality of life for local residents.


One of these gifts was a donation to Playworks, a national non profit organization based in Oakland. The Playworks organization offers structured adult supervision during school recess hours, as well as during lunch and after school.


Playworks, founded in 1996 to promote school safety, is part of an anti bullying campaign, as well as an incentive for kids to get some exercise.


The key idea behind Playworks (other than sports and games) is to reduce bullying, and to make all children feel included. Playworks provides trained coaches to encourage healthy sporting activities whenever possible, while also teaching crucial life skills such as leadership, teamwork, group management, stress reduction, and conflict resolution, to name a few.


This involves, among other things, having a trained coach organizing schoolyard activities. Each coach holds a Playworks playbook, which includes more than 250 different sports and games. These games can be divided roughly into the following types:


Autonomous Games (Self-Access)

Ball Games

Cooperative Games

Flexible Games

Icebreaker Games

Indoor Games

Readiness Games

Recess Games

Rotational Games

Tag Games


Playworks coaches can be trained either in person or online. Many of Playworks’ coaches come from Americorps, a volunteer organization designed to provide community services where and when they are needed.


These days, Playworks runs its programs at hundreds of elementary schools across America.


In fact, the Playworks organization serves low income children in urban public schools in the following 18 cities (in 14 states, along with Washington DC):


1.       Albuquerque, New Mexico

2.       Baltimore, Maryland

3.       Boston, Massachusetts

4.       Denver, Colorado

5.       Detroit, Michigan

6.       Houston, Texas

7.       Los Angeles, California

8.       Milwaukee, Wisconsin

9.       New Orleans, Louisiana

10.   Newark, New Jersey

11.   Oakland, California

12.   Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

13.   Portland, Oregon

14.   Salt Lake City, Utah

15.   San Francisco, California

16.   Silicon Valley, California

17.   Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul), Minnesota

18.   Washington DC

The Playworks organization school program has, so far, been implemented at more than three dozen public elementary schools in Oakland alone.


One of these implementations was made possible by a generous gift from Neill Sullivan, as Playworks promotes the values he holds dear.


A $10,000 gift from Neill Sullivan (in conjunction with the SMC) recently helped start a Playworks chapter at Prescott Elementary School in West Oakland.

Other charitable donations from Neill Sullivan include contributions to DASH (Diabetes and Sports Health), the West Oakland Mural Project, the Sullivan Community Space, cost-free martial arts classes, and San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church, among others.


Neill Sullivan’s donation to Playworks (and most other gifts) are given with an eye on Oakland’s long awaited and much appreciated community and neighborhood improvements, coupled with a desire to provide community services to lower income Bay Area residents.



Real estate developer Neill Sullivan recently made a generous donation to West Oakland’s DASH camp. DASH stands for Diabetes And Sports Health. The DASH program features physical fitness activities and diabetes awareness events, among other things. This gift is one of many charitable contributions for community enhancements sponsored by the Sullivan Management Company (SMC), in an effort to improve the general quality of life for residents of the neighborhood of West Oakland.


Neill Sullivan is the president and CEO of SMC East Bay, and also the founder of REO Homes of Oakland.


SMC offers renovated apartment rentals. These apartments are located mainly in West Oakland, with also a few in Berkeley and Emeryville.


REO Homes of Oakland is dedicated to restoring damaged residential buildings in the area.


As the owner of a number of West Oakland rental properties, Neill Sullivan frequently extends charitable donations to West Oakland neighborhood organizations, with an aim to improve the quality of life for residents of West Oakland. One of these contributions was a gift to the DASH camp.

DASH is a sports-centric, West Oakland-based program that is open to anyone, but is especially suited to people who suffer from diabetes, as well as the families and friends of diabetics. DASH features sports camps for children and adults, as well as storytelling challenges, group discussions, dietary education, and diabetes awareness programs. DASH sports include baseball, basketball, dance, football, and soccer, among others.


There are two main types of diabetes, although many other types also exist. Adult Onset (Type 2) Diabetes is a serious illness that affects more than 8 percent of the world’s adult population. Juvenile (Type 1) diabetes is an even more serious condition that affects roughly 1.5 million children in the United States alone.


Parents and family members are also eligible to attend DASH camps. In fact, family members of people with diabetes are known to the DASH volunteers as “Type 3.” At DASH camps, friends and/or family members are educated regarding dietary concerns, normal weight ranges, blood sugar levels, proper medications, proper foot care, and other health issues of importance to someone who is diabetic.

Diabetes occurs with about equal frequency in males and females. Acute complications of diabetes can include eye damage, heart disease, strokes, and even death. In fact, diabetes is believed to be the cause of at least a million deaths each year. The good news is that diabetes is a manageable condition.


Physical exercise is one important way of combating the effects of diabetes, by helping a person stay within a normal weight range, among other crucial benefits.

In addition to the DASH camp donation, other gifts from Neill Sullivan’s companies include contributions to the Playworks organization, the West Oakland Mural Project, the Sullivan Community Space, the tree planting project, and a neighborhood trash pickup service, among others.


Outside of West Oakland, Neill Sullivan has also donated generously to San Francisco’s Glide Memorial Church, which offers food, shelter, and other services to San Francisco’s homeless population.



The efforts of Neill Sullivan, in conjunction with the Sullivan Management Company and REO Homes of Oakland, have created many new jobs in West Oakland.


Neill Sullivan is known for his real estate expertise, especially regarding the West Oakland real estate investments he made over the past decade. Neill Sullivan initially purchased a number of bank owned real estate properties, most of them in the West Oakland area.


At the time, banks were refusing to extend loans for most homes in West Oakland, as many of them had been damaged and neglected to the point of being uninsurable. Since homeowners insurance is required by banks for home loan approval, nobody was getting loans on West Oakland homes. Many of these crumbling structures would require north of a hundred thousand dollars in repairs just to become livable.


The transformation of West Oakland has created many new jobs in the area, as only local laborers and only Oakland contractors were hired to renovate homes owned by Neill Sullivan. Also hired were building managers, landscape designers, and maintenance crews, among others.


Additionally, the West Oakland neighborhood improvements implemented by Neill Sullivan have led to the appearance of more commercial businesses in the area, another indication of new jobs in West Oakland. Many expect more retail and management positions to crop up, as well as more jobs for cleaning crews and maintenance workers, among others.


Neill Sullivan also funds projects that involve tree planting, painting, repair work, road work, sanitation, administrative duties, and more. Many types of employment have recently cropped up in West Oakland, thanks in part to the work of Neill Sullivan.


As an added bonus, the Sullivan Management Company annually hosts work programs for West Oakland youth at the SMC offices. Qualified young local residents are offered paid internships every summer.


Even indirectly, the improvement of West Oakland communities should bring more tourists to the area, as West Oakland is very near San Francisco. Tourism is another prime job creator, involving drivers, tour guides, travel agents, and other tourist industry professionals.


If you take a look at craigslist (for instance) today, you may notice that in any given month, there are no less than 200 job listings in the area of West Oakland, for drivers, welders, handymen, caterers, restaurant workers, cleaners, project managers, and many assorted other occupations. This did not used to be the case, but now the local economy is improving, much to the benefit of everyone who lives here.


Thank you! We really needed all those new jobs in West Oakland.

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