Update: Super Volunteer Weekend Includes ‘Giant Sweep’ Event in SF

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Giant Sweep EventEarlier this week I told you about what I’m dubbing as the Bay Area’s “Super Volunteer Weekend”, with numerous volunteer and charity walks taking place all over the region. Beautiful Day and Compassion Weekend alone could attract more than 10,000 volunteers. Now add a “Giant Sweep” event on Saturday, April 27, sponsored by the San Francisco Giants, the City of San Francisco, and Starbucks.

I don’t normally visit Starbucks, so I”m not surprised I missed the news that the company declared April as the “Global Month of Service,” and Saturday, April 27, as the “Global Day of Service”. It’s all part of a community service initiative of Starbuck’s to rack up 1 million hours of community service amongst participating staffers and patrons by the year 2015.

On Saturday the company is partnering with the San Francisco Giants and the City of San Francisco for a Giant Sweep anti-litter event. The public is invited to meet at 8:30 a.m. at the U.N. Plaza, 1150 Market St., for a kickoff ceremony, followed by clean up events located all over the city. [Read more…]

Bay Area’s Super Volunteer Weekend Approaches; Sign Up to Make a Difference

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From Beautiful Day 2012.

A wave of kindness and compassion is about to wash over the Bay Area this weekend. Are you ready to dive in?

Numerous nonprofit and faith-based groups are sponsoring large-scale volunteer events all over the region April 27 and 28, and they’re counting on you, along with thousands of others, to swing hammers, pull weeds, paint homes, beautify schools, and take long walks all in the name of helping our communities.

The biggest events of the weekend, Beautiful Day and Compassion Weekend, could draw as many as 10,000 people to projects from San Francisco to Hollister.  National Rebuilding Day takes place on Saturday, when even more thousands of volunteers representing four local chapters of Rebuilding Together will refurbish dozens homes. There are a few more Earth Day events taking place, and several charity walks are slated.

UPDATE (4/25/13): Giant Sweep, a collaboration of Starbucks, the San Francisco Giants, and the City of San Francisco, is also taking place on Saturday, April 27, in what the coffee giant is calling a Global Day of Service. Up to 1,000 volunteers are needed to clean up litter and make improvements around the city from 8:30 a.m. to lunchtime.

Below is a rundown of all the major events happening in the region this weekend, with links to online registrations. Consider joining your neighbors in making the Bay Area a better place for all.

Did I miss an event? Please share the information in comments! [Read more…]

Louder Than Words: Beautiful Day Looking for 6K+ Volunteers to Take Action in April

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Credit: Beautiful Day Instagram

This year’s Beautiful Day logo is a megaphone blaring the words, “Louder Than Words”, and there’s maybe nothing louder than the action of more than 6,000 volunteers engaged in making a positive impact on Santa Clara County, the week of April 22-28.

The nonprofit group collaborates annually with dozens of churches, agencies, nonprofits, companies, and individuals, for one week in April to fix up schools, homes, centers, parks, neighborhoods, and other public spaces. Last year an estimated 3,500 people volunteered during Beautiful Day week; 2,400 volunteered the year before.

“I think this year, more than ever, we’re seeing the volume—and by volume I mean the loudness—of a collective expression of service and compassion that’s amplified for the world to see,” said Beautiful Day Director Jon Talbert.  He said this year’s event will demonstrate that, “when you unify and serve together, you make a significant impact in your neighborhood, and that’s what we hope to see happen.”

Talbert estimates there are between 6,000 and 7,000 volunteer slots available for almost 50 projects happening all over Santa Clara County. “And they’re filling them,” he said. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in April

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Earth-Day-ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-April-2013As the weather warms up, so does the calendar: there are an increasing number of activities going on in the Bay Area in April. Lots of opportunities for cleaning up the environment, charity walking, service projects, community events, and more, are available.

Every month I list five ideas of how you can get involved in the community and make a difference to those around you and the rest of the world. Consider incorporating at least one of these suggestions into your calendar.

Speaking of calendars, check out my new Kindness Calendar, which lists special service and awareness days/weeks/months that happen annually. There are eight listed for April alone! And for even more community events, keep an eye on the GNS Community Calendar (or list your own events there!).

1. Love Your Mother (Earth): April 22 is Earth Day, but the entire month of April is in essence, Earth Month, with all the events happening around the Bay Area designed to beautify, build awareness of, and celebrate, the care and protection of our planet (it is, in fact, Keep America Beautiful Month, and Arbor Day is April 27). The first weekend in April kicks off Earth activities. Saturday, April 6, the City of Cupertino is [Read more…]

It’s World Kindness Day! What Will You do to be Kind?

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Today around the world people are celebrating World Kindness Day, part of World Kindness Week, Nov. 12-18. What will you do to be

Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

kind to someone else today, or during this special week?

Here are five ways to show kindness today, and throughout the week:

  1. Do something simple today, like smiling at people you pass by, letting someone in on the roadway, contacting a friend going through a tough time to offer a cheery “hello”, or offering to pay the meal of the person behind you in the drive through lane. For even more kindness ideas, see the Good Neighbor Stories Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page.
  2. Donate food for a holiday food drive, or support a local hunger program. Look for donation barrels for Second Harvest Food Bank at area stores and businesses, or consider donating a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving.  The Front Door Ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of San Jose serves bag lunches to around 45 homeless people each day.  You can help by donating things like paper and plastic bags, or individual-sized lunch items like sandwich cracker kits, fruit cups, bags of nuts, etc. [Read more…]

Beautiful Day “Mini-Me” Open to Volunteers on Nov. 17

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The nonprofit group Beautiful Day is looking for volunteers on Saturday, Nov. 17, for the autumn “mini” version of its massive springtime service event in San Jose.

The group organized six volunteer projects for the upcoming weekend; two are already full to capacity with volunteers. At the two full projects volunteers are making over a local elementary school and caring for the roses at San Jose’s beloved Municipal Rose Garden.

The remaining open projects include:

  • Painting big, colorful playground maps of the United States at four area elementary schools, two in Sunnyvale and two in Santa Clara. There are two shifts available , 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The project is open to all ages.
  • Cleaning up and helping out neighbors in the immediate area of Westgate Church in San Jose; there are two shifts, 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The project is open to ages 13 and up.
  • Picking up trash on the area’s freeways on Saturday morning. This is for ages 18 and up only.
  • Adopting families for Christmas. Rather than a specific project this weekend, Beautiful Day is looking for people to help sponsor needy families in the area for the holidays.

For more information on the projects and how to sign up, see the Beautiful Day website. And check out the Good Neighbor Stories Beautiful Day Page, with links to all of our past stories about the group.

 

Mural Brings New Life to Neighborhood

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With each deliberate stroke of their color-laden paintbrushes, volunteers recently brought new life to a beloved landmark in the Gardner Neighborhood of San Jose, and in the process, brought the possibility of new life to the neighborhood itself.

Up until late April, that landmark was a faded spray paint mural of an Aztec calendar on the back of an old cement handball court in Biebrach Park. A young man from the neighborhood, Antonio Torres, created the mural in 1995 as a testament to the heritage of many of Gardner’s Hispanic residents.

The new Aztec calendar mural is now bursting with color, thanks to the work of more than 25 volunteers who worked through the annual Beautiful Day spring service event, held primarily over the weekend of April 28 and 29. An estimated 3,500 volunteers worked at 26 South Bay sites during the event for the faith-based nonprofit by the same name.

Reviving the mural was a dream of the Gardner Advisory Board for nearly three years, but leaders said a lack of funding kept the project on the back burner. When Beautiful Day organizers showed up with plans to revive the mural using donated materials and labor, it was an answer to prayer, said board president Rudy Martinez. [Read more…]

Another ‘Beautiful’ Weekend in the South Bay Thanks to Volunteers

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After a weekend of painting, sawing, hammering, raking, weeding, cleaning, and much, much more, the South Bay is shining just a little brighter this week, thanks to the work of an estimated 3,500 volunteers working through the nonprofit group, Beautiful Day.

Many volunteers worked multiple shifts from Friday to Saturday, helping to fill up to 4,600 positions at 26 sites from Milpitas to Morgan Hill, with most of the work centered in San Jose. Last year the event attracted approximately 2,400 volunteers.

Beautiful Day is a faith-based nonprofit that came out of Westgate Church in San Jose in 2004. The group partners with the City of San Jose, secular nonprofits, businesses and other churches to organize a massive regional service event each spring, as well as a smaller event in the fall, along with other projects.

This spring’s event actually got started a week earlier, when volunteers helped prepare some sites for the larger number of volunteers to come. One shift of volunteers worked Wednesday at Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale.

From work that required a lot of elbow grease, to more personal jobs working with senior citizens, disabled youth and homeless people, Beautiful Day volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs, gave of themselves all week. [Read more…]

Still Time to Volunteer For Valley’s Largest Service Event

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Sign ups are strong for this weekend’s Beautiful Day service event, but there are still openings for last minute volunteers who want to join Jim Buchanan of Beautiful Day costructs scaffolding.in on all the community beautifying action.

At 26 sites around Santa Clara County, project leaders are busy with last-minute preparations before more between 4,000 and 6,000 volunteers show up for various shifts through Sunday.

Project leaders Jim Buchanan and Bob Froese on Thursday were hard at work constructing scaffolding on the back of a handball court at Biebrach Park in the Gardner Neighborhood, where volunteers will repaint an older mural of an Aztec calendar that is much beloved by residents.

The two men are overseeing refurbishing projects all over the Gardener and Burbank neighborhoods on Saturday and Sunday. They said sign ups are strong so far, and they’re expecting last-minute sign ups, as well as people who simply show up.

Other Beautiful Day projects in need of volunteers include a school beautification event at Britton Middle School in Morgan Hill, sprucing up different elementary schools in San Jose, and many others dotted around San Jose. Complete information and registration forms are available on the Beautiful Day website. [Read more…]

Thousands of Volunteers Converging in Silicon Valley This Weekend

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Roll up your sleeves, Silicon Valley. This weekend, April 27-29,  is possibly the biggest weekend for volunteer service projects, with an estimated 7,000 people expected to donate their time talents for local nonprofit organizations.

Volunteers are refurbishing, renewing and refreshing dozens of homes, neighborhoods, schools, and parks, as well as packaging food for the hungry and more, for groups like Beautiful Day, Rebuilding Together, 4Others , and Youth Community Service.

Add to those events the National MS Walk in San Jose on Saturday, as well as numerous other smaller events, and this is turning out to be a huge weekend for volunteerism in the valley. Continue reading for more information on how to get involved. [Read more…]