Drive Less, Silicon Valley!


Just in time for Earth Day comes a great two-week challenge to drive less miles around the valley. The Drive Less Challenge initiative launched two years ago in Menlo Park, and has now expanded to 13 cities on the Peninsula and around the South Bay.

Check out the Patch story for more information, and be sure to visit the Drive Less Challenge website. The site features handy trip planners for walking, biking or taking transit. Registered participants can win prizes from local merchants for their efforts to cut down the amount of driving they do from today through May 5.

Earth Day Commentary: Be a Good Neighbor to the Planet by Slowing Down


On this 41st Earth Day I have two words for how to be a good neighbor to the planet: SLOW DOWN.

Here are some ways slowing down will make each of us a better neighbor to the Earth. I start with the more obvious ways, and end with a way that may be a surprise. [Read more…]

Honoring Our Volunteers: A Commitment to Rebuilding


We’re finishing our time of highlighting volunteers for National Volunteer Week with a recent story about some people from a Pacifica, CA., church who have made the commitment to travel to New Orleans every winter to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Many of the people in this group have been traveling to New Orleans for several years now. They give up their vacations to volunteer their time getting dusty and dirty to help raise up another family. They are another example of the millions of volunteers who make a huge difference in communities all over the world. Thank you Volunteers! MORE

Honoring Our Volunteers: Holiday Parties for the Homeless


Today for National Volunteer Week we’re featuring a story about volunteers who make holiday parties possible for homeless people every year in San Jose, CA. This story is about  the Christmas party that they held last December, but I know they are gearing up for an Easter party soon. The volunteers from The River Church prepare the meal, shuttle people to and from the homeless shelter, share the meal with the men and women, and sing songs together. MORE


Honoring Our Volunteers: EPA Homeless Connect


As we continue with celebrating National Volunteer Week, today we feature a story about how one community comes together to help give hope to homeless people. Although the Homeless Connect event in East Palo Alto is organized through a partnership of nonprofit and governmental agencies, the annual event could never happen without the hard work from dozens of volunteers. Thanks to them, homeless men and women during these events get showers, haircuts, foot care, bicycle repair, legal advice, housing leads, and a hot meal. MORE

Honoring Our Volunteers: Day Camp for Refugee Students


Continuing our theme of thanking volunteers during National Volunteer Week, today we feature a story about a summer day camp for refugee children and teens. The idea for the day camp was conceived of and brought to life by a volunteer. Dozens of volunteers made the week-long camp a reality. The week was a resounding success, and the good news I just learned today is that the camp is being repeated this summer. MORE

Paper Cranes for Japan Hits Goal of 100,000!


Amazing! Students Rebuild and hit the 100,000 mark today for collecting origami cranes! Young people from around the world have been mailing in boxes and boxes of the paper creations with well wishes for people of Japan."Peace Cranes"

A foundation will now be donating $200,000 for Japan relief, thanks to the campaign. The groups said they will continue accepting cranes postmarked by April 15 for the large art installation they are planning in Seattle, WA.

Check out the Facebook page, Paper Cranes for Japan, for more of the story and the inspirational posts and photos coming from people all over the world.

Honoring Our Volunteers: The Produce Mobile


In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 10-16), Good Neighbor Stories is saluting some of the volunteers we’ve told you about since last year. We’ll be highlighting just a few of the people who make the Silicon Valley community – and the world – a better place with their donations of time and talents.

Today I’m featuring Good Neighbor Stories very first story about the people who made fresh produce a reality in a poor San Jose neighborhood where supermarkets and healthy eating choices are hard to come by. Thanks to a partnership between public and private agencies, and the efforts of a lot of volunteers, The Produce Mobile now visits the neighborhood once a month bringing farm fresh fruits and vegetables to families who desperately need them. MORE

Five Ways to Be A Good Neighbor in April


1)   Be Kind to the Earth: Earth Day is April 22. Here in the Silicon Valley numerous cities and organizations are doing fairs and other events to promote greener living. Check your city’s website for details. The Earth Day Network is encouraging individuals, corporations and organizations to commit to acts of earth care through its “Billion Acts of Green” Campaign. Make your own commitment to take one new green action this month.  [Read more…]

SF Bay Area: Cash Award for ‘Citizen of Tomorrow’


Are you someone who is making your community a better place in the San Francisco Bay Area? Are you part of a small nonprofit that is making a difference? If so, you could win $5,000 from The Bay Citizen as the “Citizen of Tomorrow.”

The year-old independent nonprofit news website is looking for citizens who are tackling problems and creating solutions in the Bay Area. The winner receives the cash award and a professionally-produced video about the project. The deadline to apply is April 21, 2011. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply at the site’s Citizen of Tomorrow page.