Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June


Being a good neighbor is rewarding, but it does take some time and effort. Sometimes it’s spontaneous, like when you see someone who donut_grlneeds help carrying something, or someone who just needs a smile and kind word. But often it requires some planning, making space on the calendar, and digging into your pockets. Every month I give you five suggestions for community events, volunteer service events, and more. Put one of these on your June calendar, and then enjoy the rewards of helping others!

1. Share Some Fried Dough Goodness: Friday, June 6, is National Donut Day, originally started to commemorate the Salvation Army “Lassies,” young volunteer women who made and delivered fresh doughnuts to American soldiers in Europe during World War I and II. When the soldiers returned home they craved the sweet treats, and the rest of America was introduced to the doughnut. Krispy Kreme gives away a free doughnut to each customer (no purchase required), and many other doughnut shops are running their own specials. Make your friends and co-workers smile that day with a fresh, hot batch. Or make the day a little more meaningful than just calories by making a donation to the Salvation Army, to support the organization’s extensive community programs and disaster relief efforts. Entenmann’s, which makes 780 million doughnuts annually, is teaming up with the Salvation Army this year, by offering to donate $1 for every new “like” on its Facebook page during June, up to $30,000.

2. Build Some Happy Trails: Work off those Donut Day calories on Saturday, June 7, National Trails Day. Organizations and parks all over the Bay Area are sponsoring trail building and maintenance events. The Golden Gate National Parks (GGNP), along with other organizations, is sponsoring several trail events in Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. It includes building an all new trail—The Veterans Trail—which will connect the Veterans Medical Center A with the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. See the GGNP’s website for more information. Or go on one of many organized hikes all over the Bay Area. Check your county park system or nearest open space district for listings.

3. Donate Blood: The World Health Organization (WHO) is promoting World Blood Donor Day on June 14. The purpose of the day is to “raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.” This year’s theme is “Safe Blood For Saving Mothers,” bringing awareness to the fact that 800 women a day die around the world due to complications from childbirth, where access to blood and blood products could have made a difference. Consider donating blood this month to one of the local blood banks, like the Stanford Blood Center. You’ll feel better knowing you helped someone who needs the life-giving fluid (and there’s juice and cookies at the end!).

4. Let Sparks Fly With Dad: There are lots of ways to celebrate Dad on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 15, including learning how to build a safe fire—without matches(!)—at the Father’s Day Adventure Fire Making event at Garin/Dry Creek Regional Park in Hayward. It runs from 10 a.m. to noon, and is open to ages 8 and up.

5. Scamper Up Support for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital: Sunday, June 22, is the 4rth 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. Registrations for the event are sold out, but you can still participate by donating to the walk, or showing up to cheer on walkers and runners. Our friend The Leukemia Slayer, Jacob Goeders, is running once again, leading Team Leukemia Slayer. All the money Jacob is raising goes to research into finding cures for childhood cancers. See his fundraising page for more details.