Send Us Your Good News!


There’s a lot of good news out there in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it’s hard to cover all of it. That’s why we’re asking you to help us by sending us stories and photos that show something good happening. Maybe you or your family volunteered to help someone or an organization, or your neighborhood had a block party, or your nonprofit or church did something to help others, raise money, or just have fun. If you did good, we want to see it!

Use our Contact form or Share Your Story to send us the info about what took place. If we can use your submission, we’ll contact you about receiving photos.

Spread the word!


Commentary: Why I’m Not Buying Girl Scout Cookies This Year


I realize what I am about to say is pure heresy in the United States of America: I am not going to buy Girl Scout Cookies this year. Maybe forever.

As a fan of the tasty cookies, I do not relish my decision. However, over the last decade I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the practice of youth sales of unhealthy products in the face on an increasingly disturbing childhood obesity epidemic.

I am not saying I will stop supporting Girl Scouts and other youth organizations. I will continue to contribute monetary donations to the organizations I’ve supported in the past through their sales. Just this past weekend I gave money to a troop selling cookies outside my local supermarket.

Why I Won’t Buy The Cookies and Why Cookie Sales Need to Stop

With near epidemic proportions of childhood obesity, Type 2 Diabetes and other dangerous diseases in the U.S., youth organizations need to take a leadership role in advocating for healthy eating and lifestyles. That means taking sugar and fat-laden products out of kids’ hands, [Read more…]

Award Honors High School Seniors Doing Good for Others


CUPERTINO — The old truism that “you get what you measure” holds in this high-pressure academic community, where high school students are often measured most often by their grades. Yet one local group of people is seeking to measure something different: kindness.

Since 2009 the family and friends of Albert Perkins have recognized high school seniors from Cupertino making a difference in the world with the Justin Perkins Sandlot Award. It’s named for Albert Perkins’ son Justin, a Monta Vista student and football player who died of cancer in 2008.

“The award is in honor of Justin Perkins and what he stood for in terms of helping others,” said Cathy Gatley, chairperson of the 2012 awards committee. The honor comes with a scholarship and a unique trophy created by a sculptor.

Justin Perkins was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2003 during his junior year at Monta Vista, just after the last football game of the season. [Read more…]

Got a Story to Share? Passionate About an Issue? Guest Blog With Us


Are you passionate about an issue of social importance to the Silicon Valley? Do you care deeply about your neighborhood? Belong to a group that’s making a difference? We want to hear from you.

Good Neighbor Stories is looking for guest bloggers to post on our site. Our goal is to feature voices from around the valley, and from a wide array of communities of interest. Our site is here to highlight stories about Silicon Valley people making a difference in the world. But we can’t do it alone.

Blog posts need not be long or eloquent. They will be proofread and approved before being posted for public view. They just have to be about people or organizations helping others. It’s a fantastic way to get the word out about your community or organization.

If you are interested, or have any questions, contact editor Pam Marino. Or submit a brief story to our Share Your Story page for consideration.


Peace Cranes for Japan Update


One of our more popular posts last year told the story of people folding thousands of paper origami cranes to raise money in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011.

More than 700,000 cranes were received from all over the U.S. and other parts of the world in just six weeks. In honor of those efforts, a foundation donated $400,000 toward rebuilding efforts.

We’re happy to report that money is going to good use today through the organization Students Rebuild. Read all about what they are doing in Japan on the organization’s website.

Random Acts of Kindness Day: What Kindness Will You Show Someone?



“Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.” Fred Rogers

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day, the culmination of Random Acts of Kindness Week. My hope is that our world was a little nicer this week, as people reached out to one another in kindness. I think of it as that well known ripple effect, when you toss a pebble into a pool of water, and the circles reach out far and wide. Hopefully the random acts performed here and there are rippling all over our neighborhoods and world.

Did you perform an act of kindness? Did someone do something nice for you? Share with us in the comments.

If you haven’t tried showing kindness to someone this week, there’s still today (and tomorrow, and the next day….). Below are several suggestions. Check out our entries on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for more.

  • If someone you know lost a loved one in the past year, send then a note or some flowers to let them know you are thinking about him or her as they mourn the loss
  • Take a container of homemade soup to a sick friend (see my easy recipe below)
  • Plant a few flowers where others can enjoy them
  • Shop at a locally-owned business and find something encouraging to say to the owner
  • Write a few inspirational sayings on cards and leave them in public places for others to find [Read more…]

Random Acts of Kindness Week: Day 4


Each day during Random Acts of Kindness Week we’re listing several kindness suggestions. We hope this week has felt just a little nicer to you, either because someone showed you some kindness, or because you spread a little kindness to others. Got a story of kindness from this week? Please tell us!

In the meantime, here are today’s ideas:

  • Offer to do some yard work for a neighbor
  • Look someone straight in the eye, ask them how they are, and then really listen
  • Organize a mini-food drive for the local food bank on your block or in your building
  • Set a goal to compliment at least five people today

Random Acts of Kindness: Day 3


It’s Day 3 of Random Acts of Kindness Week. Have you performed an act of kindness? It need not be something big, it could be even as small as sharing a smile with someone. We’d love to hear about something you’ve done for someone else, or something someone did for you!

Here are today’s suggestions:

  • Tell someone who works for the public—a teacher, police officer, nurse, mail carrier, etc.—how much you appreciate his or her service.
  • Find out what item your nearest animal shelter needs, and donate it.
  • Offer to babysit for free for a family you know.
  • Write a letter to someone who made an impact on you.
  • Leave your waiter/waitress/barista a generous tip.

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindess Week in 2013 With Your Very Own Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook!

Order Your Copy Today!


Random Acts of Kindness Week: Day 2



We are celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week all this week by offering several suggestions each day of ways to be kind to others. Yesterday Michael shared with us that he helped a woman whose car had broken down in traffic. We’d love to hear more stories about your acts of kindness!

Here are today’s suggestions:

  • Go through your closet and find several items to donate to charity.
  • Pay for someone behind you in the drive-thru.
  • Share your umbrella with someone who doesn’t have one.
  • Refrain from making negative comments this week.
  • Bring unexpected snacks for coworkers or deliver treats to neighbors.

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindess Week in 2013 With Your Very Own Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook!

Order Your Copy Today!


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Will you perform an act of kindness during Random Acts of Kindness Week?

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