The money will be used to help build a new central facility that will include a shelter for orphans, a medical facility, a trust and administrative space for the gathering, founder and CEO Ken Craft, he told CNN.
“I can’t say enough good things about who they are, as you know, forget about the donation, only they as people and as individuals,” Craft said. “That’s how it was, it was really a joy just to meet them on that level.”
Hope of the Valley has 15 facilities in the San Fernando Valley, including two that are under construction and serve 839,000 meals a year, Craft said.
‘Overwhelmed with gratitude’
That gift almost came out of a dream. Craft said Trebeck called in January and asked him to tour the 85-bed shelter the mission is building in North Hollywood. A few weeks later Trebek asked Craftt about the finances of the mission and invited him to his house.
“So we had this wonderful conversation, and you know, he reached for his desk and handed me an envelope,” Craft said.
Inside was a check for $ 100,000.
“I was just overjoyed and I just said,‘ Alex, you don’t know how much that means to us, ’” Craft said. “And so I hugged him. That was back in February, you know, the virus.”
A shelter in North Hollywood was due to open in July, and Craft said they named their multipurpose room after the Trebeks to show their appreciation.
Trebek agreed to tour the building again on Tuesday with Jean and their son Matthew, but Craft felt they only wanted to check it out because construction was almost complete.
At the end of the tour, Craft said Jean Trebek handed him a check.
“I never, ever, received a check for $ 500,000 and I was just on the roof. At first I was shocked,” he said. “And then I was just overwhelmed with gratitude because I know how much we can do. The only thing that limits us right now is resources.”
“Alex and Jean have contributed $ 500,000 to the charity because they believe in helping both locally and globally,” the couple said in a statement. “They have lived in the Valley for more than 30 years and want to help support their community. They also believe that the homeless are just ordinary people who happened to them in bad circumstances and deserve a helping hand, not a verdict.”
Trebek has hosted “Jeopardy!” Since the show joined the union in 1984