It’s Time to Donate Turkeys


second-harvest-food-bank-turkey-donations-thanksgiving-holiday-givingBuying a turkey this weekend for your Thanksgiving table? Pick up one or two more frozen birds to donate to local charities, and while you’re at it, consider buying canned hams, canned soup and other nutritious nonperishable foods to help feed the more than 780,000 children and adults in the San Francisco Bay Area estimated to face hunger on a consistent basis.

Nonprofit organizations throughout the Bay Area are putting out the call for turkeys not only for Thanksgiving, but other holiday meals. On Friday, Nov. 21, officials from Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties announced they were only a little over halfway to their goal of collecting 13,000 turkeys.

Below is a list of agencies collecting turkey and other foods this holiday season. Did we miss one? Tell us in the comments section below.

Bay Area Food Banks

Find the food bank near you by visiting The website represents seven food banks serving 11 Northern California counties. All the food banks are in need of frozen turkeys and other holiday meal staples.

Your donation could even win you a pair of tickets to see the 49ers play the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving Day if you donate frozen turkeys or chickens to Second Harvest by Monday, Nov. 24. 
[Read more…]

Sacred Heart Needs 9,000 Toys; Holiday Donation Drives in Final Stretch


holiday_facebook-process-s450x174Last week I reported that Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose was short by 17,000 toys, and that number has shrunk to 9,000. But Christmas is just a week away, and if those gifts are going to get under San Jose Christmas trees in time, they need to show up by this Friday, Dec. 20.

Sacred Heart has 6,000 children signed up to receive gifts this year, according to the organization. It needs to collect about three times the amount, so that each child receives around two gifts and a book. A late Thanksgiving resulting in a shorter period between the holidays is said to be partly to blame for the shortfall, since groups and volunteers that normally collect the toys for Sacred Heart had a shorter period to conduct drives.

You can make Christmas bright for a child by donating a new, unwrapped toy or book to the agency, located at 1381 S. First St., San Jose. Drop off hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m., today and Thursday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday. Or make a donation online.

To see other agencies still collecting toys (some right up until Christmas Day), click on “Read More” below.

In addition to toys, Bay Area food banks say they are in serious need of food and monetary donations this holiday season. According to a KQED blog post on Dec. 17, donations are way down, plus the recent cold snap resulted in more people showing up at food banks in need of assistance. Agency officials are theorizing that the improved economy is giving people the impression that the need for food banks is lower, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. Rising housing, food and heat costs are squeezing many low income families quite hard.

To find out how you can make a donation to a local food bank, visit to find the agency nearest you. Consider making a generous year-end monetary donation. [Read more…]

Turkeys and Cash In High Demand by Food Banks, Agencies Helping the Poor


second-harvest-food-bank-turkey-donations-thanksgiving-holiday-givingThanksgiving is one week away and sadly local food banks and other agencies helping those in need are short of turkeys and money. Nonprofit officials are putting out the call to the public to donate generously as soon as possible.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Wednesday that the San Francisco and Marin Food Banks were short 800 turkeys, and The Alameda County Food Bank was still in need of 4,000 turkeys, hams and chickens. Also on Wednesday, Sacred Heart Community Services sent an email to supporters asking for 3,500 turkeys.

A “Turkey Tally” on the front page of the website for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties showed the agency only about half way to its goal of collecting 12,000 turkeys, as of late Wednesday afternoon.

[Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in November


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…]

Food, Food, Everywhere, and Not a Morsel to Eat; Food Drive Donations Important


Everywhere you turn  on television, the Internet, newspapers, magazines, etc., there is food. How to buy it, cook it, eat it. Competitions to find Second-Harvest-Food-Bank-Santa-Clara-San-Mateo-Counties-Good-Neighbor-Stories-Virtual-Food-Drivethe best people to cook it or bake it. And at the holidays it only seems to amplify, with an endless array of special foods to enjoy, or on which to splurge and indulge.

And yet for an estimated 700,000 people in the San Francisco Area each month, food—especially healthy food—is limited, and often by the end of the month, nonexistent. In one of the richest metropolitan areas in the country, 700,000 people—just under the population of San Mateo County—are hungry, and even starving.

That’s why those of us who have enough food, and in many cases, so much food that we’re throwing it away, need to chip in and help our neighbors who do not have enough.

If you are so inclined to help others facing hunger this holiday season, it is very, very easy to donate food or money. Nearly every supermarket has a food bank barrel near entrances. Buy some extra cans or boxes and drop them in the barrel on your way out.

Donating online is also simple. Good Neighbor Stories is sponsoring a virtual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, with a goal of raising $1,500 by Jan. 1. You can click on the link right now and give a special holiday gift for a local family. It does not have to be a large gift; any size donation is gratefully accepted.

This year we’re offering a special gift for anyone that donates $100 or more: a free copy of the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook! Just send us a soft copy of your donation receipt.

Please help us reach our goal, and help local families and individuals be a little less hungry and food insecure at the holidays and into the New Year. Thank you!



Help The 93 Dollar Club Win A Do Something Award


Carolee Hazard of Menlo Park is up for a VH1 Do Something Award, which recognizes people around the country who have made a difference in their communities. As has become popular these days, the public is invited to vote among a number of nominees to see who actually gets an award. The winners will be revealed at a taping of the Do Something Awards Show on Aug. 14 at the Hollywood Palladium, to be aired Aug. 18.

You may have heard of the 93 Dollar Club, a sort of viral local charity. It was started in 2009 by Hazard after she paid for a stranded stranger’s groceries worth $207 at Trader Joe’s, letting the woman know she could mail Hazard a check later. [Read more…]