Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June

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Child-Advocates-Silicon-ValleyIt’s warm in the Bay Area this weekend, a preview of the summer ahead. After school is out, and graduations are over, think about helping out  to make our communities just a little nicer and friendlier during this season. Here are five suggestions for the month of June.

1. Speak Up for Children: The nonprofit group  Child Advocates of Silicon Valley is looking for volunteers who are willing to stand up and aid children in the foster care system. More than 100 children are currently on the waiting list for advocate services. Orientations for interested or new volunteers are taking place throughout the month at locations in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Milpitas, and San Jose. See the group’s orientation page for more information.

2. Enjoy Some Music, Dance, and Food in SF: Kick off your summer with some great music and maybe some dancing in The City. Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, tap your feet to the beat of the Golden Gate Band Festival, at the Spreckels Temple of Music in Golden Gate Park. If you get hungry on Saturday you can mosey on over to the Cultivate Festival, a free day all about food sponsored by Chipotle, and featuring well-known chefs, like local chef Michael Chiarello. Also on that Sunday is the 37th Annual San Francisco Free Folk Festival, happening noon to 10 p.m., at Presidio Middle School. If watching dancing is more your thing, that same weekend is the launch of the 35th Anniversary San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. There are dance performances at venues around the city on various dates starting Friday, June 7, and happening throughout the month until June 30. Just a few days later the San Francisco Jazz Festival gets underway, running June 12-23.

3. Cheer on Kid Triathletes: More than 1,000 children from ages 4 to 15 are expected to compete for fun and charity in The Silicon Valley Kids’ Triathlon on Sunday, June 9, at De Anza College, in Cupertino. This is the 14th year of what is the country’s largest triathlon event for youth. It’s organized by the Silicon Valley Triathlon Club, partly to introduce young people to the sport, and partly to raise money for the Silicon Valley Children’s Fund, which helps foster children and teens.

4. Clean Up Tsunami Waste From Beaches: Debris from the earthquake and tsunami that happened two years ago in Japan on March 11, 2011, is finally washing up on our shores. It’s estimated 5 million tons of debris was washed out to sea during the massive and tragic event that killed 16,000 people, and at least a portion of that waste is landing on West Coast beaches. The California Coastal Commission is sponsoring Tsunami Debris Cleanup events and is asking for volunteers to come out and help. There are three events taking place locally this month. On June 15 there’s an event at Linda Mar State Beach in Pacifica, on June 22 clean up is taking place at Mussel Rock in Daly City, and on June 23 an event is taking place at the Albany Bulb in Alameda. For hours and information on how to sign up, see the commission’s events web page. And don’t worry, the debris is thought to have entered the ocean before the nuclear plant melt down, so no radiation threat, and in general it’s not expected to be dangerous to come in contact with the materials. The biggest danger is to wildlife; if an animal ingests the items it could be harmed or killed. If you can’t help this month, more events are taking place on Coastal Cleanup Day, Saturday, Sept. 21.

5. Run/Walk for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital: Sunday, June 23, is the 3rd Annual Packard Summer Scamper event at Stanford University. Families and individuals will be running and walking to raise funds for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. You can join in by running or walking a 5K route, racing in the 10K event, or participating in the Kids’ Fun Run, for ages 3-10. Or, go on the website and support someone running or walking in the event. Jacob Goeders, a.k.a The Leukemia Slayer, is walking that day; see his video below.