Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in November

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There are many, many ways to be a good neighbor in your neighborhood, larger community, and the world, in the month of November, but I’m focusing on just five here. Two have a military theme, another two encourage supporting local crafters and artisans, as well as small businesses, and the fifth shines a light on World Kindness Week.

Before I do, this November is a big presidential election month; check out earlier posts on how to be a good neighbor at election time. Number one is voting, and next is getting along with others both online and off while discussing political viewpoints.

I also shared a short list of where to donate to help victims of Superstorm Sandy, another good thing to do in November. Later this month, look for a post on “Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor at Thanksgiving.”

In the meantime, here are the five general ways I’m suggesting this month.

  1. Honor Our Veterans: Sunday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day; show you care by attending a local Veterans Day parade or event. The largest Veterans Day parade in Northern California is in downtown San Jose. A special ceremony takes place “at the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month” at Plaza de Cesar Chavez on Market Street, in honor of the 1918 Armistice of the “War to End All Wars.” The Parade begins at noon, traveling [Read more…]

How to Help Superstorm Sandy Victims; Money and Blood Donations Needed Now

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As the Northeast continues to feel the severe impacts of Superstorm Sandy, the rest of the country is already jumping in to help. Not only is money needed to help fund relief efforts already underway, the American Red Cross is also putting out a national call for blood donations to make up for nearly 300 cancelled drives in 11 affected states. Use the links below to donate, or find out more information.

To donate to relief efforts:

  • American Red Cross – Visit www.redcross.org to make a direct donation, or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to donate $10. Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is offering a matching opportunity. He will match any donations to the Red Cross through his Crowdrise fundraising page, up to $25,000. Crowdrise takes 4.95 percent of donations to help fund its operating costs; 100 percent of the donation is tax deductible.
  • Salvation Army – The organization is accepting donations to fund its disaster relief efforts. Volunteers are feeding thousands and operating shelters throughout the region. Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate.
  • Feeding America – The group is distributing thousands of pounds of food and fresh water through a network of food banks throughout the Northeast. Find out more at feedingamerica.org.
  • UPDATE – Presbyterian Disaster Assistance – Since this story was first posted, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance set up a way to donate $10 via texting: text “PDA” to 20222. Or donate online at the PDA website.

American Red Cross blood drives in the San Francisco Bay Area over the next week: [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in August

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Every month I highlight five ways to be a good neighbor either right where you live or in the community at large. Have any more suggestions to add? Share them in the comments section!

I’m also interested in hearing suggestions for future months. Feel free to contact me, or use our free community calendar listing.

1. Say “Aloha”: Enjoy the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands with both old and new friends at the 17th Annual San Francisco Bay Area Aloha Festival, August 4 and 5. The event is organized by the Pacific Islanders’ Cultural Association, bringing together entertaining dancers, arts and crafts displays, island cuisine, kids’ activities, and much more. The festival is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the San Mateo County Event Center, 1346 Saratoga Dr., San Mateo. Admission is free.

2. Spend a Night Out With Neighbors: Tuesday, Aug. 7, is the 29th Annual National Night Out, a community awareness campaign that stresses crime prevention, anti-crime activities, and the overall strengthening of neighborhood ties. Neighborhoods and cities all over the Bay Area are hosting activities from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The City of Cupertino is even hosting some pre-evening activities, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Target parking lot, 20745 Stevens Creek Blvd. Check the National Night Out map to see if your neighborhood is participating. At the very least you can leave your porch light on from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., or get a little more ambitious and invite your neighbors over for an impromptu gathering. [Read more…]