Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June

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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. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in November

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San Jose Veterans Day ParadeThe Halloween decorations are on the discount aisle, and the Christmas decorations are already up and blinking away at many retailers, so it must mean it’s November. Before we hurtle ourselves toward December holidays, let’s take a deep breath and focus on Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful for what’s good in our lives, and share that thankfulness with others by making a difference in our communities.

Every month I suggest five ways to help others and build a stronger community. I hope you will consider trying at least one of these suggestions in November. Follow the links in each item to find out more.

1. Support Our Veterans: Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11, and there are numerous events taking place around the Bay Area to honor and support our veterans. One unique way is through “Operation Laughter”, a comedy show on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at the De Anza Hotel in downtown San Jose. The show features two comedians who call themselves “The Joint Chief of Laffs”, and includes cocktails, appetizers, and a raffle. Proceeds go to help the Walking Point Foundation, which helps Iraq and Afghanistan war vets through the expressive and performing arts. Also in San Jose on Sunday, Nov. 10, is the National Veterans Day Run, on the Guadalupe River Trail. Proceeds go to the Folds of Honor Foundation, which helps the spouses and children of soldiers killed or wounded in war. On the actual day itself is the 95th annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown San Jose, starting at 11 a.m. San Francisco’s 94th annual Veterans Day Parade also starts at 11 a.m., at the intersection of Second and Market streets. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in August

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Photo by Nikolaus Koumoundouros

Every month I give a shout out to five ways to be a good neighbor/better citizen/all-around-nicer person. It could be a special event, a kindness idea, or a volunteering opportunity. Check out this month’s suggestions, and chime in with your own ideas for August in the San Francisco Bay Area, or upcoming months.

1. Promote Peace: Commemorate the 68th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the 12th Annual Peace Lantern Ceremony, 6:30 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 3, at the north end of Aquatic Park in Berkeley. All ages are invited to decorate shades for the lanterns, listen to music and messages, and then participate in floating the lanterns between 8 and 9 p.m. If you’ve got time during the day, consider volunteering to set up the event.

2. Practice Forgiveness: The first Sunday of every August is International Forgiveness Day, and this year the Bay Area’s Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance is sponsoring an extraordinary event at 7 p.m., on Aug. 4, to [Read more…]

Five Ways to Be a Good Neighbor in May

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thank-a-teacherRecently I was told that “Top 5” lists are “OVER!”, as they say in Portlandia. Random numbered lists are supposedly in.

Ah, well, it’s a tradition here at Good Neighbor Stories to count down five ways to help others in the Bay Area every month. So maybe the number is a little passe, but helping others never goes out of style. Here is the May 2013 list of ways you can be a good neighbor.

1. Praise Our Public Servants: We could not function without our nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. May is the month to formally thank them, with May 4 as International Firefighters Day, May 6-12 as National Nurses Week, May 7 as National Teacher Appreciation Day (6-10 is the official week), May 12-18 as National Police Week, and May 19-25 as National EMS Week. Consider saying “thank you” to these [Read more…]