Silicon Valley Shelters Want to Send a Dog or Cat Home With You This Holiday Season

Share

Home for the Holidays Shelters FirstThere are some adorable pooches and kitties waiting for their forever homes right now, so six Silicon Valley shelters have dropped their adoption fees for adult dogs and cats to $12 in December, as part of a “Home for the Holidays” campaign.

“Our shelters are beautiful, but they’re not homes,” said Beth Ward, VP of Shelter Operations at Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV). “Our volunteers and staff are warm and wonderful, but they’re not the same as a permanent, loving family. We hope families will consider opening their homes and hearts this holiday season.” [Read more…]

Sacred Heart Needs 9,000 Toys; Holiday Donation Drives in Final Stretch

Share

holiday_facebook-process-s450x174Last week I reported that Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose was short by 17,000 toys, and that number has shrunk to 9,000. But Christmas is just a week away, and if those gifts are going to get under San Jose Christmas trees in time, they need to show up by this Friday, Dec. 20.

Sacred Heart has 6,000 children signed up to receive gifts this year, according to the organization. It needs to collect about three times the amount, so that each child receives around two gifts and a book. A late Thanksgiving resulting in a shorter period between the holidays is said to be partly to blame for the shortfall, since groups and volunteers that normally collect the toys for Sacred Heart had a shorter period to conduct drives.

You can make Christmas bright for a child by donating a new, unwrapped toy or book to the agency, located at 1381 S. First St., San Jose. Drop off hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., today and Thursday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday. Or make a donation online.

To see other agencies still collecting toys (some right up until Christmas Day), click on “Read More” below.

In addition to toys, Bay Area food banks say they are in serious need of food and monetary donations this holiday season. According to a KQED blog post on Dec. 17, donations are way down, plus the recent cold snap resulted in more people showing up at food banks in need of assistance. Agency officials are theorizing that the improved economy is giving people the impression that the need for food banks is lower, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Rising housing, food and heat costs are squeezing many low income families quite hard.

To find out how you can make a donation to a local food bank, visit bayareahunger.org to find the agency nearest you. Consider making a generous year-end monetary donation. [Read more…]

Bay Area Events to Remember Sandy Hook Victims This Weekend

Share

Newtown-ribbon-sandy-hook-12/14/12-speak-up-show-up-for-change-good-neigbor-storiesBay Area leaders, gun violence prevention activists and volunteers are set this weekend to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the 26 shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Ceremonies, marches, rallies, and gun buy-back events are planned for locations all over the region starting today, Friday, Dec. 13, and through Saturday, Dec. 14, the actual anniversary.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, there have been 30,000 gun-related deaths since Dec. 14, 2012. The group’s leaders are calling on the public to attend the events and commit to, or recommit to, efforts to prevent gun deaths. All the events listed below are free. [Read more…]

Sacred Heart Needs 17,000 Toys by Dec. 20

Share
Sacred-Heart-Community-Service-San-Jose-holiday-food-and-toy-program-2013-toy-drive

Courtesy Sacred Heart Community Service.

Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose needs to collect 2,000 new, unwrapped toys a day by Dec. 20 for more than 5,000 children already registered to receive Christmas gifts, according to agency officials.

As of Wednesday, Dec. 11, the agency had only collected 950 toys as a part of its annual Holiday Food and Toy Program, a deficit of 17,150 toys, officials told supporters in an email.

UPDATE 12/18/13: Sacred Heart still needs 9,000 toys by Dec. 20. Please check out the latest story for more info.

“We are especially in need of teen gifts, action figures, sports equipment, and books,” the email states.

Donation station hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, with special holiday hours 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15. The agency is located at 1381 S. First St., San Jose. Monetary donations are also accepted online.

[Read more…]

Holiday Toy Drive Donation Deadlines Almost Here

Share
mom squad holiday toy drive poster

The Campbell Mom Squad is hosting a drive for EMQ FamiliesFirst, ending Dec. 15.

With Christmas just about two weeks away, a number of Bay Area toy drives have deadlines coming up in the next several days leading up to, and during, this weekend. Another wave of deadlines will come the following weekend.

Deadlines coming up this week include those for West Valley Community Services today, Dec. 10, the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) drive and the City of Saratoga toy drive on Thursday, Dec. 12, and the Gift of Reading and Sunnyvale Community Services on Friday, Dec. 13. More are taking place Saturday and Sunday. For a complete list with links, see our story, “Bay Area Holiday Toy Drives Need Some Elves (Like You).” [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in December

Share

gift-of-reading-san-jose-mercury-resource-area-for-teachers-RAFT-five-ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-in-DecemberThis year December and the season of sharing kicks off big time with #GivingTuesday on Dec. 3. While a lot of emphasis is on making online donations to deserving charities that day, giving includes sharing yourself through volunteering, making responsible shopping choices, donating to collection drives, and other similar ways. Here are five ways you can make an impact on your world this month.

1. Give the Gift of Reading: The annual Gift of Reading book drive is struggling this year and could really use help in collecting new and like-new books for kids in need. As of the day before Thanksgiving, the drive had only collected 3,200 books, far short of the 50,000 goal, according to San Jose Mercury columnist Sal Pizarro. The drive is co-sponsored by the Mercury and the Resource Area For Teachers (RAFT). Consider dropping off a children’s book at one of many South Bay locations, or donate money online so the folks at RAFT can purchase books for kids, some of whom have never owned their own book before. The drive ends Friday, Dec. 13. Or give books, toys, gift cards, and other goods in one of the many donation drives taking place throughout the holidays.

2. Help a Neighbor with Decorations: This idea comes from our original list of “30 Ways to be a Good Neighbor at the Holidays.” Maybe an older or disabled neighbor would like a few strings of [Read more…]

Bay Area Holiday Toy Drives Need Some Elves (Like You)

Share

Adobe Photoshop PDFThis is a 2013 list. See the 2014 list.

You can be a Santa’s helper and make the holidays brighter for Bay Area children by donating to a local toy drive in the coming weeks. If you’re already out shopping, consider picking up a new toy, or grabbing an extra gift card (much easier for donations to teens), to donate to one of the many drives in need of donations.

Below is our extensive list of local holiday toy drives, their drop-off locations, needs, and deadlines, organized by region.

Can’t drop off a donation? Click on the name of the organization to go to its website (if available); many are taking online donations, or will provide an address for checks.

Know of a toy drive we missed? Tell us in the comments. We’ll update the list with new information as it comes in.

UPDATE:  See the latest deadline info, plus a link to more Bay Area holiday donations drives here. Scroll down for our complete list.

All Over the Bay Area

CHiPs For Kids

What it is: Annual toy drive for kids in need conducted by the California Highway Patrol.

Needs: New, unwrapped toys; also accepting canned goods.

Deadline: Dec. 14

Drop-off Locations: Any Golden Gate Division CHP office, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. [Read more…]

Turkeys and Cash In High Demand by Food Banks, Agencies Helping the Poor

Share

second-harvest-food-bank-turkey-donations-thanksgiving-holiday-givingThanksgiving is one week away and sadly local food banks and other agencies helping those in need are short of turkeys and money. Nonprofit officials are putting out the call to the public to donate generously as soon as possible.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday that the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks were short 800 turkeys, and The Alameda County Food Bank was still in need of 4,000 turkeys, hams and chickens. Also on Wednesday, Sacred Heart Community Services sent an email to supporters asking for 3,500 turkeys.

A “Turkey Tally” on the front page of the website for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties showed the agency only about half way to its goal of collecting 12,000 turkeys, as of late Wednesday afternoon.

[Read more…]

Leukemia Slayer Playing Santa to Kids With Cancer Third Year in a Row

Share

Santa Slayer at the Four SeasonsLong before there was a Batkid, there was The Leukemia Slayer, the alter ego of 12-year-old Jacob Goeders from Mountain View, who has been fighting the disease since December 2010. Besides using his super powers to give nasty cancer cells the one-two punch, the Slayer leads the way each holiday season to raise money to buy presents for other kids on the oncology ward at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital.

“I wanted to make other kids feel good, and I wanted to do something,” Jacob told me during last year’s fundraiser he dubbed The Santa Slayer Project. “I felt good because I was helping other kids who were stuck in the hospital like I was.”

In 2010, Jacob nearly spent Christmas in the hospital undergoing treatment, and it was that memory one year later that spurred him to start the annual project. His family had started The Leukemia Slayer Facebook Page earlier in 2011 (Jacob picked out the alter ego name for himself), and by the fall he had already had amassed about 2,000 followers. He asked them to each send in $1 so he could by presents, and amazingly he did raise about $2,000. [Read more…]

#GivingTuesday Asks Us to Open Wallets for More Than Shopping

Share

GT-Web-Banner250x250-redJust as “Black Friday” branded itself into the collective consciousness, #GivingTuesday is on a pace to do the same for single-day charitable giving. Already the event has doubled in size over last year, with more than 5,000 nonprofits, corporations, and community groups signed up as #GivingTuesday partners.

In just two weeks, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, millions of dollars are expected to flow into the coffers of nonprofits, mostly through online donations. Some of the Bay Area nonprofits participating this year include the Bill Wilson Center, Samaritan House, both the Habitat for Humanity San Francisco and East Bay/Silicon Valley chapters, the Oakland Youth Chorus, and Loaves and Fishes, among others. [Read more…]