Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in September


housing-one-housing-1000-silicon-valley-homelessness-five-ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-september-2013Summer vacation is over and the rush into fall has officially begun. Before you rush ahead too far, consider carving out a little time to help others around you this month. Use one or more of our five suggestions below as a way to get started. Have more suggestions? Tell us in the comments section!

1. Help the Homeless: Cuts to Section 8 housing vouchers this month and sky high housing costs will most likely throw some Bay Area neighbors into homelessness, and will definitely keep those who are already homeless, and want to be housed, on the streets. Consider helping an organization in your community that is making significant progress in working to house people. Housing 1000 is a community campaign in the Silicon Valley that has been working the past two years to house 1,000 people by the end of 2013. As of July the campaign is still more than 50 percent away from that goal, but the efforts continue. You can help by visiting the Housing One website, where you can see stories of people Housing 1000 is helping and donate either toward specific clients, or more generally to the organization. For a sobering look at what we’re up against in the fight against homelessness in the Silicon Valley, see the Business Insider’s recent special report on the issue.

2. Volunteer in Honor of 9/11: Sept. 11 was declared a National Day of Service and Remembrance in 2009 to honor the fallen from the tragic events of 2001, and once again HandsOn Bay Area is planning an annual week of service called “9/11: From Remembrance to Change”. There are more than 25 projects to choose from, with most of the projects happening either Sunday, Sept. 8, or Saturday, Sept. 14, and several more happening during the week.  A calendar provides all the details of when and where projects are happening, as well as how to sign-up in advance.

3. Cleanup the Coast or Nearby Waterway: California Coastal Cleanup day is Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon. Join thousands of residents at the beach, along the San Francisco Bay, or along the region’s many creeks, picking up trash and making shorelines both safe for wildlife and beautiful to look at. Sign up early to secure your spot on a site cleanup team by visiting the California Coastal Commission website. Click on “Join the Cleanup” and from there find cleanup events in your county.

4. Be a Good Neighbor/Honor the Good Neighbors in Your Life: It’s National Good Neighbor Day on Saturday, Sept. 28! Consider doing something nice for a neighbor or your neighborhood that day (lots of ideas on our “More Ways to Be a Good Neighbor” page, or our     “Be Kind: Kindness Ideas” page). Or, maybe you know of someone in your neighborhood who is always doing something nice for others. Take a moment to thank him or her for making the neighborhood a nicer place.

5. Support A Great Trail: Sunday, Sept. 29, at Shoreline Park in Mountain View is the 19th Annual Trailblazer Race and Trail Walk to support the Friends of Stevens Creek Trail. The Friends have been working hard for two decades to get the scenic multi-use trail extended from San Francisco Bay up toward the Santa Cruz Mountains. So far the trail extends through Mountain View toward Sunnyvale, with a piece in Cupertino. Efforts are underway to see the trail link up through the cities of Sunnyvale and Los Altos. The race includes a 5K and 10K, or there’s a scenic 3-mile walk. There are also lots of fun activities for kids. Register in advance on Eventbrite.