Thousands of Volunteers Converging in Silicon Valley This Weekend

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Roll up your sleeves, Silicon Valley. This weekend, April 27-29,  is possibly the biggest weekend for volunteer service projects, with an estimated 7,000 people expected to donate their time talents for local nonprofit organizations.

Volunteers are refurbishing, renewing and refreshing dozens of homes, neighborhoods, schools, and parks, as well as packaging food for the hungry and more, for groups like Beautiful Day, Rebuilding Together, 4Others , and Youth Community Service.

Add to those events the National MS Walk in San Jose on Saturday, as well as numerous other smaller events, and this is turning out to be a huge weekend for volunteerism in the valley. Continue reading for more information on how to get involved.

Beautiful Day

The biggest service event this weekend is Beautiful Day, with more than 4,000 volunteers expected to work at 26 job sites around Santa Clara County. The projects range from fixing homes, to cleaning up graffiti, picking up litter along area freeways, and making over schools. Good Neighbor Stories has written several articles about the various projects; see our Beautiful Day page.

Volunteer sign ups continue on the Beautiful Day website. While some of the projects required more skilled volunteers, most of the projects can be worked on by anyone. Some of the projects allow children with adult supervision.

Rebuilding Together

Close to 1,000 volunteers are helping Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley on Saturday to renew and refurbish 33 homes. Each year the organization sponsors a spring and fall Rebuilding Day. Leaders spend months finding donated materials, collecting monetary donations, and signing up volunteers to tackle projects on the two work days.

This spring the group is focusing on making homes safe and accessible for clients. Projects include things like wheelchair ramps and other accessibility improvements, interior and exterior painting, yard cleanup, plumbing repairs, appliance replacement, heating installation and repair, safety rails, ramps, steps, repair of windows, locks, smoke alarms installation, weatherization, and earthquake proofing water heaters, according to the Rebuilding Together website.

General sign-ups are closed at this time, however the website indicated that people can join a wait list for possible openings under specific projects. Or, volunteers can register early for the October Rebuilding Day.

4Others

This faith-based group set a goal to package 225,000 meals for malnourished children around the world on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28.

4Others is working with the international group, Feed My Starving Children, to put together the meals of rice, soy, vitamins, and dehydrated vegetables. Each package costs around 24 cents. The meals will be shipped around the world to children in countries with populations facing starvation.

The group is looking for 1,100 volunteers to work two-hour shifts at the San Jose Elks Lodge No. 522, 444 w. Alma Ave., starting Friday, at 2 p.m. According to the website, this shift is the greatest need. There are three total shifts on Friday, and four on Saturday. Organizers expect each volunteer to package about 216 meals each shift.

Free childcare is available during the 2 p.m., Friday shift. Organizers say that children as young as five may participate in the packaging activities, with adult supervision.

Monetary donations to cover the cost of the food are also welcome.

Youth Community Service

The group Youth Community Service is sponsoring its 9th Annual Family Community Service Day in East Palo Alto from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, in two three-hour shifts.

The group is working at two schools, Ronald McNair Middle School, and the Brentwood Academy. Volunteers will landscape, paint, clean and beautify the two campuses.

If interested, e-mail Monica@youthcommunityservice.org.

For even more events, see the HandsOn Bay Area site, or One Brick Silicon Valley.