Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in July

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Celebrate America’s independence by being a good neighbor this month! Here are five ways to give back to the community during July.

1) Party With Your Neighbors: If you’re home this Fourth of July plan an impromptu block party by inviting neighbors over for a barbecue or simple potluck. Or, find out what your city is doing to celebrate, and make a point of joining in the fun and getting to know more people from your community. For example, in Cupertino there’s a pancake breakfast, children’s parade, and concert in the park from 7 a.m. to noon at the Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Rd. Then in the evening there’s fireworks, with music and games from 6:45 until the big show starts at 9:30. Catch all the fun at either Creekside Park, 10455 Miller Ave., Hyde Middle School, 19325 Bollinger Rd., or Sedgwick Elementary, 19200 Phil Lane.

2) Sort Food for the Hungry: Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties has a brand new warehouse in San Jose to facilitate getting more food out to those who need it most as quickly as possible. The 75,000 square foot facility at 4001 N. First St., is called the Cypress Center, named after the company Cypress Semiconductor that donated the space. On Saturday, July 7, you can help sort food in the new warehouse from 9 a.m. to noon. Sign up through the One Brick Silicon Valley website.

3) Celebrate Woody Guthrie’s 100th Birthday with a Sing-a-long: America’s most influential folk singer and song writer, Woody Guthrie, would have turned 100 on July 14. Remember learning “This Land is Your Land” in school? Celebrate Woody’s enormous contribution to our country by joining in on a sing-a-long of his most popular and important songs at 2 p.m. on his actual birthday, Saturday, July 14, at The Dove and Olive Works, 178 South Blvd., San Mateo. It’s a free, family-friendly event featuring the group Folk This. The peace and social justice educational supply company and store, Reach and Teach, is hosting the event, and it’s co-sponsored by the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, and other local peace and music organizations. The sing-a-long is free, but donations for the musicians and the peace and justice center are welcome.

4) Deck the Halls with Christmas in July: San Jose’s Christmas in the Park has its annual fundraiser on Saturday, July 21, to raise the money needed to keep the popular 33-year-old downtown holiday tradition alive. You can either attend the dinner dance as a donating guest under the Circle of Palms at 170 S. Market St., or work as a volunteer from 4:45 to 9 p.m., with the folks at One Brick, serving food and performing other helpful tasks.

5) Care for Trees: Our City Forest of San Jose needs around 30 people to work in its nursery at 1000 Spring St., from 9 a.m. to noon, on Saturday, July 30. This important organization provides trees to San Jose residents, with the goal of creating a vibrant urban forest. Come out and help with the maintenance of trees and surrounding nursery grounds. Advanced registration is required.