Five Ways To Be A Good Neighbor In February


February is the month most famously known for a day of love. Why not spread the love throughout all 29 (Leap Year!) days? Here are five ways to be a good neighbor this month. If you think of more ways, tell us in the comments.

1. Get to Know Muslim Neighbors: Silicon Valley Reads recently kicked off its new campaign, “Muslim and American — Two Perspectives.” Every year Silicon Valley Reads chooses books for all of Silicon Valley to read together. This year organizers chose The Muslim Next Door; The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing by Sumbul Ali-Karamali, and The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson.  A whole host of events are happening in February, all the way to the end of the campaign in April, including lectures, film showings, art exhibits, and small group discussions. Author Ali-Karamali will speak at two special events, 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Saratoga Library, and 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12, at the India Community Center in Milpitas. She’ll also be speaking at other events around the valley through April. In all there are more than 100 events happening in conjunction with the reading program. For more information see the Silicon Valley Reads website.

2. Celebrate Black History Month at a Local Community College: Both Foothill and De Anza colleges are celebrating Black History Month in a big way with an array of events throughout February. While many of the events are aimed at students during weekday hours, there are opportunities for the general public to enjoy, such as performances by the Dallas Black Dance Theater at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 5, at Foothill’s Smithwick Theater, or the “Make a Joyful Noise” Gospel concert at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 25, Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Ave., Los Altos.

3. Make New Friends On Make A Friend Day: Feb. 11 is National Make A Friend Day. We challenge you to make a new friend IN PERSON (online doesn’t count!) on this day. Need help? Visit for “50 Tips on How to Make Friends”.

4. Perform Random Acts of Kindness: Random Acts of Kindness Week is Feb. 13-19, and Random Acts of Kindness Day is Feb. 17. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation offers plentiful kindness ideas, as well as links to resources, book and video suggestions, and downloadable cards and posters.

5. Counting For The Birds: Friday, Feb. 17 through Monday, Feb. 20 is the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society are looking for “citizen scientists” all across the country to count the birds they see in their backyards that weekend, and report their findings online. The count gives professional scientists a data snapshot of where birds are this winter, how certain species are doing, migration patterns, etc. The website makes it very easy to learn just how to count the birds (participants can count for a single 15-minute period during the weekend, or for longer periods each day), and how to report findings. There’s also an opportunity to follow results real-time online. There’s even a photo contest for amateur photographers who take photos during the weekend.