‘Unless’ Carnival For Those Who Care a Whole Awful Lot

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Hana Reinhardt and Cole, a Humane Society Silicon Valley foster dog.

An 11-year-old girl is inspiring her Sunnyvale church to take a page out of Dr. Seuss “The Lorax”, and host an “Unless” Carnival on Saturday, Oct. 12, to raise money and awareness for rescued pets and homeless people, and make the world a better place along the way.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” says The Lorax in the famous children’s book. That quote became the basis for the “Unless” Carnival, led by Hana Reinhardt of Congregational Community Church, who took hold of the carnival idea and drummed up support from others to make it a reality.

The carnival will feature game booths, a rummage sale, food, prizes, and animals ready for adoption. All the proceeds will go to the Humane Society Silicon Valley, and the Faith In Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the church, 1112 S. Bernardo Ave., Sunnyvale.

“We will have something for people of all ages to enjoy,” Hana said in a church press release. When asked how much a carnival can do to make a difference for the homeless people and animals, Hana responded, “When we help even just one, it makes a difference to that one.” [Read more…]

Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter for Homeless Men Celebrates First Year With Benefit Concert

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faith-in-action-silicon-valley-rotating-shelter-choral-project-benefit-concertVolunteer leaders of the Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter (“SV Rotating Shelter”) announced recently that as of their one year anniversary on March 3, they have provided shelter and other life-enhancing services to 68 homeless men throughout Santa Clara County; 33 have become employed and moved into permanent housing.

To mark the one year anniversary and encourage community involvement, SV Rotating Shelter is hosting a Celebration and Benefit Concert Saturday, May 4, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Congregational Community Church, 1112 S. Bernardo Avenue (at Remington) in Sunnyvale, CA.

The featured choral group for the evening is The Choral Project, headquartered in San Jose. The concert is a ‘thank you gift’ to the community from the Choral Project, and proceeds will benefit the future operations of the Shelter.Tickets are $20 each and may be ordered through Eventbrite: http://thechoralproject-faithinaction-efbevent.eventbrite.com/

“We are excited to celebrate a successful first year,” said Cathey Edwards, who serves as the non-paid executive director. “Faith groups and [Read more…]

Be Kind by Thinking Globally, Donating Locally

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Today’s Random Act of Kindness Week assignment is to donate either time or money to a local charity. I like this one, because it shines a light Yasmine-Davis-Make-a-Birthday-Wish-Good-Neighbor-Stories-Random-Acts-of-Kindness-Weekon those nonprofit organizations that serve our communities day in and day out, many times without the recognition or larger donations that benefit big name national and international groups.

Good Neighbor Stories often features small nonprofits making a big impact while operating on shoestring budgets here in the San Francisco Bay Area. On Wednesday two groups, The Grateful Garment Project, and Good Karma Bikes were part of my “Profiles in Kindness” post.

I’ve also written about other small nonprofits like Make a Birthday Wish in Cupertino, led by teenager Yasmine Davis and her family. Together with Yasmine’s friends as volunteers, they throw birthday parties for Silicon Valley children whose families are homeless or in deep financial need, complete with gifts, cake, decorations, favors, and fun activities.

Another great example of a small group making a big difference is Project WeHope in East Palo Alto. Pastor Paul Bains [Read more…]

Faith In Action Celebrates Six Month Anniversary With Youth Dance

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The Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter is marking its first six-month milestone with a special dance and mixer just for Bay Area high school students on Friday, Sept. 28, in Cupertino.

The shelter launched in March as a collaboration of more than 20 South Bay churches, individuals, and companies, to provide meals, shelter, and other supportive services for 15 homeless men at a time, for a period of up to 90 days.  Each month a different church or synagogue houses the shelter, with volunteers providing meals. According to shelter organizers, more than 45 men have been served so far, with 18 moving into permanent housing situations.

To celebrate its success and raise funds at the same time, the Faith in Action nonprofit is throwing the dance for up to 300 high school students from 8 to 10 p.m., at the Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Rd., Cupertino. In addition to music and dancing, the event will include refreshments and opportunities to learn more about how students can make a difference in the community.

Tickets are on sale now for $5 if students RSVP in advance, or $10 at the door. All proceeds benefit the rotating shelter. To RSVP, email program intern Kelsey Haynes at kelseyhanes@me.com.

“We want to see a lot of high school students at our benefit dance,” said Haynes, a senior at the Middle School program at De Anza Community College, and organizer of the dance. “It’s a great chance to invite your friends and meet new people while making a real difference in your local community.”

The convergence of youth and community to support the rotating shelter was an original vision of founder and unpaid executive director Cathey Edwards, she told Good Neighbor Stories in March. [Read more…]

Reborn Homeless Shelter Puts Faith in Community

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A rotating shelter for homeless men in the West Valley once cut in a budget-trimming move is now experiencing rebirth, thanks to a Lead Overnight Supervisor Ron Eiland unloads cots from a truck.collaboration of more than 20 churches, community members, and businesses.

The newly incorporated nonprofit, Faith in Action Silicon Valley Rotating Shelter, is celebrating the grand opening of its program with a special benefit concert and reception for the entire community at 7 p.m., this Saturday, March 24, at the Congregational Community Church, 1112 S. Bernardo Ave., Sunnyvale.

Faith in Action volunteers reopened the once defunct shelter earlier this month at the first in a series of eight host congregations in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and Saratoga that are opening their doors for one month at a time.

The shelter can house up to 15 men who are actively working toward jobs and permanent homes. Eligible shelter guests are allowed to stay up to 90 days.

Facing Uncertainty

It’s a big success for the group, which faced a lot of uncertainty when the original Faith in Action rotating shelter was shut down three years ago, after nearly two decades of operation through the help of West Valley Community Services (WVCS). [Read more…]