26 Acts of Kindness Posts Address for Letters to Boston

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From the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page.

Just hours after two bomb explosions rocked the Boston Marathon finish line today, killing at least two and injuring dozens of others, the 26 Acts of Kindness Facebook page posted an address where people can send notes of support and encouragement to victims and the Boston community.

The page was launched within days of the Newtown shooting massacre in December 2012, to honor the 26 children and adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The movement—to perform 26 acts of kindness in honor of each victim—grew organically through social media after NBC News anchor Ann Curry tweeted the initial idea.

Within a short period of time after the news of today’s Boston blasts broke, the 26 Acts of Kindness page posted a photo of candles and asked for a moment of silence for the victims. About an hour later it posted this:

“The Boston community is in need of signs of love and support, and that’s what we are all about. Please consider sending a card or hand written letter showing you care. These letters will be reviewed to make sure they are appropriate and then forwarded to the Boston community to pass out to whomever wants them. Do not send any donations at this time, this page is not authorized to collect on their behalf. We only want to show support and love through words and kind acts.

26 Acts of Kindness
PO Box 185083
Hamden, CT 06518

Together we can stand up for one another and spread love, not hate.”

Anyone looking for information about a Boston Marathon runner is encouraged to visit  Google Person Finder. Another  source for information is the official Boston Marathon website. There is also a hotline for inquiries about individuals: 1-617-635-4500.

Are you going to send a letter? Tell us about it.

 

GOOD Declares Last Saturday in April as ‘Neighborday’

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Neighborday 2013The website GOOD.is recently declared the last Saturday in April as “Neighborday”, a day to come together with your neighbors, get to know them better, and in turn, build a stronger community.

“We’re running a little social experiment called Neighborday,” said Hillary Newman, Senior Social Media and Community Manager at GOOD, during a Google+ Hangout recently.

The original goal was to sign up 1,000 people to do some sort of action in their neighborhoods, from something as simple as knocking on doors for making introductions, to actual parties or other events, she said.

More than 1,600 people in over 30 states, and even some foreign countries, pledged to take part in Neighborday. The new goal, according to Community Manager Hannah Wasserman, is to have people from all 50 states represented. [Read more…]

South Bay Blue Star Moms Hosting Casino Night to Raise Funds for Troops

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south-bay-blue-star-moms-casino-night-san-joseSouth Bay Blue Star Moms (SBBSM) is holding its 6th Annual Casino Night Fundraiser, on April 20, 2013, to support local veterans and military families, and to raise funds to send care packages to the troops overseas.

Casino Night is from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., at  The Lodge, 444 W. Alma Ave., in San Jose. Tickets are $25 per person and are available at sbbsmtickets@yahoo.com or at the door.

There will also be a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament, at a cost of $20.00 per person. Advanced registration required; contact Carolyn at cwsilberman@yahoo.com.  All participants must be 21 years old or older, ID required; there are no refunds.

To attend the event, please call Cathy Crowder with the SBBSM at (408) 235-9835 or (408) 799-5151. [Read more…]

‘There is Nothing to be Afraid of,’ Pastor Says in New Book About Islam

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ben-daniel-search-for-truth-about-islam-book-reach-and-teach-by-pam-marino-good-neighbor-storiesYou wouldn’t think the bastion of American TV motherhood, Donna Reed, would play into an impassioned argument in favor of people being less afraid of their Muslim neighbors. And yet, she does, as the role model and aunt of San Jose Presbyterian pastor Ben Daniel.

Daniel is the author of the recently released book, The Search for Truth About Islam; A Christian Pastor Separates Fact From Fiction. He told an audience in San Mateo on Saturday, May 4, that his Aunt Donna hired writers for her 1958-1966 show who were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era.

It was a bold move, since in the era of heightened fears about Communism, Reed exposed herself to being labeled a Community sympathizer, and possibly shut out of a career in Hollywood.

Just as his Aunt Donna’s brave actions helped allay America’s fears of Communists, either real or suspected, Daniel wants to allay the fears of today’s Americans.

“I want to be someone who is able to calm our fears. And that’s one of the most important things I hope comes out this book,” he said. “I hope I’m able to calm Americans’ fear of about Islam. Because, we are afraid of Muslims, and there is actually a lot of correlation between our fear of communism in the 1950s and our fear of Islam today.” [Read more…]

Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter for Homeless Men Celebrates First Year With Benefit Concert

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faith-in-action-silicon-valley-rotating-shelter-choral-project-benefit-concertVolunteer leaders of the Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter (“SV Rotating Shelter”) announced recently that as of their one year anniversary on March 3, they have provided shelter and other life-enhancing services to 68 homeless men throughout Santa Clara County; 33 have become employed and moved into permanent housing.

To mark the one year anniversary and encourage community involvement, SV Rotating Shelter is hosting a Celebration and Benefit Concert Saturday, May 4, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Congregational Community Church, 1112 S. Bernardo Avenue (at Remington) in Sunnyvale, CA.

The featured choral group for the evening is The Choral Project, headquartered in San Jose. The concert is a ‘thank you gift’ to the community from the Choral Project, and proceeds will benefit the future operations of the Shelter.Tickets are $20 each and may be ordered through Eventbrite: http://thechoralproject-faithinaction-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

“We are excited to celebrate a successful first year,” said Cathey Edwards, who serves as the non-paid executive director. “Faith groups and [Read more…]

Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Celebrates Supporters, Urges End to Childhood Hunger

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Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, and co-chair of the Second Harvest Food Bank 2012-13 holiday drive.

‘Good work! Keep going to end hunger!’, was the general message at Second Harvest Food Bank’s 22nd annual recognition event, this year called the “Make Hunger History Awards”, held Thursday, April 4, at the Computer Museum in Mountain View.

“We may not be able to end poverty, but let me tell you what we can do, we can ensure that every single person in Silicon Valley that needs a meal can get one,” said Second Harvest CEO Kathy Jackson. “We can make hunger history tonight.”

She asked the few hundred of the food bank’s faithful present to “double down” on fundraising this year to end childhood hunger, by doubling cash donations, holding food drives during both the holidays and the summer, or involving more friends and colleagues in drives.

Earlier the crowd was celebrated for raising $12.1 million worth of food and cash from October 2012, to January 2013, during the annual Holiday Food and Fund Drive for the nonprofit that covers Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The men of the hour on April 4 were co-chairs Dan Campbell, a COO at EMC Corporation, B.J. Jenkins, CEO of Barracuda Networks, and the crowd favorite Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, last season’s National Football Conference West champions.

The holiday food drive actually fell $300,000 short of it’s original goal of raising $12.4 million, the equivalent of 600,000 meals, but it was announced at the event that after a March 14 public announcement of the shortfall, locals responded by chipping in an additional $431,000.

In her remarks, Jackson put the size of the local hunger problem in a way people could relate to. [Read more…]

Faith Leaders Wash the Feet of Undocumented Workers in Show of Support for Immigration Reform

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Sabuhi Siddique washes the feet of a woman on Maundy Thursday. Photo by Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice.

The Interfaith Council on Economics and Justice (ICEJ) in Santa Clara County held a foot washing ceremony in support of immigration reform, on Thursday, March 28, in downtown San Jose.

Foot washing is a Christian tradition, based on the belief that Jesus Christ washed his followers’ feet on Thursday, before being crucified on Friday. The practice is to show love, humility, and respect to fellow human beings, without prejudice to where they came from.

Many immigrants in this country currently endure harsh working conditions for the sake of supporting their families. The council, a program of the group Working Partnerships USA, asked the community to join them for a day of respect for those who have faced hardships because of being undocumented in the U.S. The ICEJ’s leaders wanted to keep the tradition alive by foot washing the most vulnerable workers of Santa Clara County. [Read more…]

Louder Than Words: Beautiful Day Looking for 6K+ Volunteers to Take Action in April

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Credit: Beautiful Day Instagram

This year’s Beautiful Day logo is a megaphone blaring the words, “Louder Than Words”, and there’s maybe nothing louder than the action of more than 6,000 volunteers engaged in making a positive impact on Santa Clara County, the week of April 22-28.

The nonprofit group collaborates annually with dozens of churches, agencies, nonprofits, companies, and individuals, for one week in April to fix up schools, homes, centers, parks, neighborhoods, and other public spaces. Last year an estimated 3,500 people volunteered during Beautiful Day week; 2,400 volunteered the year before.

“I think this year, more than ever, we’re seeing the volume—and by volume I mean the loudness—of a collective expression of service and compassion that’s amplified for the world to see,” said Beautiful Day Director Jon Talbert.  He said this year’s event will demonstrate that, “when you unify and serve together, you make a significant impact in your neighborhood, and that’s what we hope to see happen.”

Talbert estimates there are between 6,000 and 7,000 volunteer slots available for almost 50 projects happening all over Santa Clara County. “And they’re filling them,” he said. [Read more…]

Good Karma Bikes Spins Forward With Grand Opening

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Good-Karma-Bikes-grand-opening-san-jose-councilman-sam-liccardo-jim-gardner-ribbon-cutting-photo-by-pam-marino-good-neighbor-storiesGood Karma Bikes and its founder and CEO Jim Gardner got a little of that good karma back for all his efforts to help the community, during the grand opening party at the group’s headquarters in downtown San Jose on Thursday, March 28.

With about 100 supporters looking on, San Jose District 3 City Councilmember Sam Liccardo hailed Gardner for being an innovator in his quest to lift people up from homelessness and joblessness through offering bike repairs and job training.

“In this valley we honor  innovation, and we honor innovation in the world of things, things that help us tweet and post and connect in various ways until we’re completely distracted out of our minds, and those innovators certainly deserve their rightful due and undoubtedly they’re well compensated for their innovations,” Liccardo said. “But so much more rare are those innovators who remind us that when we’re done tweeting and posting and connecting, ultimately we’re human beings…I want to thank you for creating something that inspires, lifts up and that empowers, and I think we are all indebted to you and your innovation.” [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in April

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Earth-Day-ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-April-2013As the weather warms up, so does the calendar: there are an increasing number of activities going on in the Bay Area in April. Lots of opportunities for cleaning up the environment, charity walking, service projects, community events, and more, are available.

Every month I list five ideas of how you can get involved in the community and make a difference to those around you and the rest of the world. Consider incorporating at least one of these suggestions into your calendar.

Speaking of calendars, check out my new Kindness Calendar, which lists special service and awareness days/weeks/months that happen annually. There are eight listed for April alone! And for even more community events, keep an eye on the GNS Community Calendar (or list your own events there!).

1. Love Your Mother (Earth): April 22 is Earth Day, but the entire month of April is in essence, Earth Month, with all the events happening around the Bay Area designed to beautify, build awareness of, and celebrate, the care and protection of our planet (it is, in fact, Keep America Beautiful Month, and Arbor Day is April 27). The first weekend in April kicks off Earth activities. Saturday, April 6, the City of Cupertino is [Read more…]