Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June


Time to kick off the summer with five ways to be a good neighbor in your community.

1) Duck!: The 5th annual Silicon Valley Duck Race is Sunday, June 10. The El Camino Hospital Foundation will launch 15,000 rubber ducks into Vasona Creek at Vasona Lake Park, 333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, as part of a fundraising race. You can adopt a duck for $5, a family of ducks for $25, a club for $50, and a flock for $100. The first five ducks that reach the finish line in Lake Vasona win prizes, and one duck may even win $1 million. The monies raised go to El Camino Hospital Los Gatos, a not-for-profit, acute-care, full service hospital that serves the communities of Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and San Jose. The race is accompanied by a festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with lots of activities, food, information booths, and more.

2) Share Your Lunch: Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is once again urging us to share our lunches with local children who are at risk to go hungry this summer. Officials estimate that one in five children need some sort of support through the summer months, when they don’t have access to free or subsidized school lunches. The nonprofit is seeking to raise $1 million and collect 100,000 pounds of food through July 31 to feed 100,000 children. Anyone can host a food drive in their neighborhood, work, or organization. Or host a virtual food drive online for your friends and family. See the Second Harvest website for more information on how to host a drive, or how to donate food or money yourself.

3) Adopt a Cat: June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, sponsored by the American Humane Society. It’s on the heels of what they call “kitten season”, when a plethora of kittens are born between spring and fall, winding up in shelters. Visit the Humane Society of Silicon Valley (HSSV) to find out more about how to adopt, and to see lots of cute kitties waiting for homes. In addition, staff members are always looking for people who will act as foster owners, taking care of the kittens until they can be adopted out. This year HSSV has a “Kittenflix” feature on its website to promote kitten adoptions. You can see adorable videos of the kittens in action, as well as a running tally of how many kittens have been adopted so far this season. Learn more about how all those kittens are lovingly fostered in preparation for adoption by reading our story about Jean Wilder, kitten foster mom expert.

4) Walk Your Dog for Charity: We’ll give the dogs and their owners a little equal time here. There are a couple of events coming up the weekend of June 23-24 where you can bring your dog for a little socializing while raising money for a good cause. On Saturday take your dog to Bark for Life in Sunnyvale, part of the Relay for Life by the American Cancer Society. Individuals and teams are walking their dogs at Sunnyvale Middle School, 1080 Mango Ave., to raise money to support cancer survivors and caregivers. The event begins at 10 a.m. See the website to find out more about how to participate, or to donate money.

On Sunday, June 24, join in the fun at One Brick Silicon Valley’s first One Bark Community Dog Walk in Palo Alto. This organization that helps connect volunteers to nonprofits is hosting the walk as a way to raise money so it can continue to make Silicon Valley a better place. A $10 donation gets you and your dog admission to the event, a bandana, and a “doggie bag” of goodies. There will be lots of games, activities, booths, food trucks, a photo booth, and more. One Bark takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Mitchell Park, 600 E. Meadow Dr., Palo Alto. Space is limited, so sign up in advance on the website.

5) Show Some Pride: June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, as declared recently by President Obama for the fourth year in a row. The month serves as a time to educate the public about LGBT issues, stand up in a positive way against violence and discrimination against LGBT people, and celebrate diversity. San Francisco is home to the largest and most well-known pride festival and parade in the world. This year’s festival takes place noon to 6 p.m., on Saturday, June 23, and from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., on Sunday, June 24. The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. See the SF Pride website for complete info. Related events are taking place all month; the website has a list of all official Pride events. Want to learn more about LGBT issues? KQED TV and Radio have programming scheduled all month. See the excellent program and resource guide on the KQED website.