Stamp Out Hunger: Send More Than Mail on Saturday

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Mail carriers will be picking up and delivering more than mail this Saturday, May 12, as part of the  Stamp Out Hunger food drive, the largest single-day effort to combat hunger in America.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the 20-year-old program is also the largest single-day food drive for local food banks, according to officials at Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The drive comes just as food banks are gearing up to feed area children through the summer who will lose access to subsidized school lunches.

Anyone can participate by leaving a sturdy bag of non-perishable food by their mailbox before the mail is delivered on Saturday. Food bank officials say items like peanut butter, pasta, rice, low-sugar cereal, and canned foods such as tuna, meat, stew, soup, and vegetables are needed the most. Mail carriers will deliver the food to local food banks. [Read more…]

Help Us End Hunger; Our Virtual Food Drive Ends New Year’s Eve

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There is still time to donate to Good Neighbor Stories’ first virtual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The deadline to contribute is tomorrow, Dec. 31.Put On Your Game Face To Beat Hunger

I am very happy to announce that we reached our goal of raising at least $1,000! Thanks to many generous folks, we’ve raised $1,390.90 since earlier this month.

But the need is still great. Second Harvest officials say demand for food is up 50 percent this year, and holiday fundraising is falling below what’s needed going into 2012. If you are contemplating making a tax deductible contribution before year’s end, please consider donating to our drive. Thank you!

How To Combat Donor Fatigue

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We are four days to Dec. 31, and if you’re like me, the requests for year-end donations are pouring in via Internet and other media, snail mail, and phone. During the holidays even shopping trips Overflowing mailboxare accompanied by ringing bells, giving trees, small donations at the register and donation jars. Admittedly, Good Neighbor Stories is part of the onslaught, with our own virtual food drive.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in the face of so many requests for help. “Donor fatigue” is a real condition that charities are well aware of. The Mercury News posted a story on Christmas that describes just how worn out people feel this holiday season after hearing so many pleas.

There are ways to cope and not feel so burned out. Here are are few suggestions. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

  • Decide what causes you are most passionate about. What stirs your heart the most? Children? Hunger? Animals? The environment? A particular part of the world like Africa or Asia? A religious institution? Figure our what you care about and then narrow your giving focus to those specific causes. [Read more…]

Virtual Food Drive: Your Donation Doubled Thanks To Generous Matching

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Every dollar that you donate to our virtual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is doubled, thanks to the Koret Foundation and a generous individual Food Donation Barreldonor. But don’t wait, our drive, and the matching donation program, ends Dec. 31.

Second Harvest officials say that every dollar donated means two meals for hungry families. With the matching program, that means for every dollar you donate by the end of the month, four meals are made possible!

Our goal is to raise $1,000 by Dec. 31, and it’s exciting to think that could mean $2,000 to combat hunger in our community. Help us meet that goal by donating today. Thank you!

Neighbor Carries On Holiday Tradition Of Lights For Good

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The Christmas lights on Tangerine Way went dark when Dave Severns passed away recently, but a neighbor is carrying on Severns’ tradition of using a dazzling light show to help hungry peopleSeverns-Pease Christmas Display in the Silicon Valley.

According to today’s San Jose Mercury News, neighbor Anthony Bernal, of 716 Peach Avenue, Sunnyvale, is sponsoring his own light show, “Lights on Peach Avenue”, in memory of Severns. He’s hosting a special event tomorrow night, Sunday, Dec. 11, to collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Severns’ favorite charity. Collection bins will be available for the drop off of non-perishable food. There will also be treats for visitors.

Bernal told the Mercury that his show features 18,000 lights, which is about 70,000 less than Severns had as of last year, but it sounds like Bernal is just getting started. Even Severns told Good Neighbor Stories last year that he started small more than 15 years ago and worked his way up.

If you can’t make it to the Peach Avenue show tomorrow night, you can donate to Second Harvest through our own virtual food drive for the charity through Dec. 31.


Virtual Holiday Food Drive – We’re On Our Way!

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Second Harvest Food Bank Green Banner

Good Neighbor Stories launched its first virtual holiday food drive two days ago, and we’ve already collected 23 percent of our goal! As of Thursday night, we have $230.50 raised. Our goal is to raise $1,000 by Dec. 31, and we hope to move well beyond that amount.

Help us collect money to feed thousands of people in the Silicon Valley who are going hungry during these holidays, and throughout the year. Check out our complete instructions on how to donate. 

The money that goes to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties helps people from all walks of life and backgrounds. One example of how the agency helps people with the most basic of necessities, is found in this story from the group’s Fall 2011 newsletter:

My name is Carl. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and grew up on a ranch, where I worked until graduating from high school. After moving to the Midwest to pursue a degree in electronics and serving in the Air Force as a mechanic, I moved back to the Bay Area to work at a high-tech company during its early years. I went on to work there for 31 years before being laid off in 2003.

I was unable to find stable work afterwards, so I was forced into early retirement and found myself needing food assistance for the first time in my life. I’m a proud man who has worked hard my entire life, so it was hard for me to ask for help, but I was hungry. [Read more…]

Helping the Japanese People in the Wake of Deadly Earthquake, Tsunami

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I feel as if I’ve been holding my breath for the last few days since the largest earthquake in Japan’s history hit that country a few days ago. Mostly because the disaster continues to unfold, from quake, to tsunami, to possible nuclear plant meltdowns, with an end somewhere off in the distance.

As we continue to watch and wait to see what happens with our Japanese brothers and sisters, we can help with even the smallest of donations. Here are some sources I trust:

In today’s world of texting, it’s popular – and easy – to suggest texting to an organization like the Red Cross. But I was surprised to learn that the money doesn’t necessarily get to the organization right away. According to a great blog post on the PC World site, it can sometimes take as long as 30 to 60 days for the funds to reach their destinations. If you want to make sure your donation gets to the organization right away, online donating may be your best bet.

The PC World post has some good advice about how not to get scammed when donating to help after a major disaster. It also suggests checking out charitywatch.org; that site has an excellent overview of charities that they trust for helping after disasters.

Here is a video from the Red Cross taken in Japan.