Tell Friends About Good Neighbor Stories, Enter to Win a 2013 Datebook!

Share

You could be a winner in our end of the year promotion contest! To enter, ask your friends on Good-Neighbor-Stories-2013-Datebook-inspirational-calendar-contest-Pam-Marino-Reach-and-TeachFacebook or Twitter to “like” our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter. Make sure you tag us (@goodneighborstories for Facebook; @gnstories for Twitter). Double your chance to win by doing both! The contest ends at 12 midnight, PST, on Friday, Dec. 28.

For helping introduce us to more new neighbors, you’ll be entered to win a copy of the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook! The datebook features uplifting stories and photos from the Good Neighbor Stories website, as well as inspirational quotes, and reminders for all the major holidays. Use for yourself as a calendar, or perhaps a gratitude journal, or give as a gift to make someone’s New Year bright.

Nvidia’s Project Inspire Set to Transform San Jose Urban Farm

Share

The largest employee service event in Silicon Valley, Nvidia’s Project Inspire, is set totally transform the urban farm Veggielution this coming Project-Inspire-Nvidia-largest-employee-holiday-service-project-Full-Circle-Farm-Sunnyvale-featured-in-Good-Neighbor-Stories-2013-Datebookweekend, Dec. 7-8, similar to a major urban farm project the group undertook last year at Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale in lieu of a company holiday party.

Project Inspire’s 2011 event at Full Circle Farm is featured in the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook.

This year approximately 1,500 employees, their families and friends, and other community workers, are expected to descend upon Veggielution, located at Emma Prusch Farm Park in San Jose. In just two days the group is planning on expanding the farm from two acres to six. Projects include building a permanent farm stand, a teaching kitchen, and a produce washing and packing shed. Project Inspire’s volunteers will also install new irrigation, plant native hedgerows, and complete many other tasks.

Veggielution’s Executive Director Amie Frisch called the massive influx of employees along with an investment of $300,000 from Project Inspire a “game changer” for the farm.

The mission of Veggielution is to create “a more sustainable food system in San Jose. We empower people to change the way they think about food by getting their hands in the soil, connecting with the land, and tasting the fruits of their labor.”

Be inspired every day in 2013! Get your limited edition Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook today!

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in December

Share

It’s December, which means it’s holiday time, when many people feel that tug to spread good cheer to others. We’ve got five ways you can indulge in the spirit of giving this month. If you’ve got additional ideas, please share in the comments!

Jacob-Goeders-The-Leukemia-Slayer-Santa-Slayer-Christmas-fund-drive

Jacob Goeders, a.k.a the Leukemia Slayer, in December 2011.

1. Give to a Holiday Drive:Some people love the tradition of giving at the holidays, others are looking for an end-of-year tax deduction. Whatever the reason, you can help a lot of people in need have a brighter season by contributing to a holiday drive, either with goods or cash. One of our favorite fundraisers, Jacob Goeders, a.k.a. The Leukemia Slayer, is raising money for the second year in a row for his Santa Slayer Project. This young man uses money donated to the project to buy gifts for other children on the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital cancer ward, where he himself is being treated for leukemia. But you need to hurry, Jacob needs to finish up shopping soon. Other charities are collecting items like socks, bedding, or coats. Still others could really use gift cards to give to clients, or cash donations to buy what is most needed. Look for food donation barrels at stores and other locations to help local food banks combat hunger at the holidays. Or donate to the Good Neighbor Stories Virtual Food Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Our goal is to raise $1,500 by Jan. 1, 2013.

2. Give the Gift of Time: If you’re low on cash and items to share, consider volunteering your time this month. The United Way of Silicon Valley is looking for volunteers to help spread holiday cheer to the children of East San Jose. Every child at four schools will receive presents from their wish list, along with a book to encourage reading skills. Younger siblings will also receive gifts. Sign up for a shift today before all the spaces are filled. Find more volunteer opportunities at HandsOn Bay Area, and One Brick Silicon Valley.

3. Consider Giving Alternative Gifts: If you’re scratching your head wondering what to give as gifts this year, consider alternative gifts that both honor those you are giving to, and make a difference in the world. Alternative gifts range from donations made in the recipient’s name, to items purchased from nonprofits and companies focused on social justice. A great place to shop for gifts in person is the Holiday Peace and Social Justice Craft and Info Fair, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, at the First Presbyterian Church of Palo Alto, 1140 Cowper St., Palo Alto (I’ll be there selling the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook!). Or, “shop” online at Alternative Gifts International, which has been providing gifts of food, shelter, trees, animals, medicine, and more, since 1986. Pick from 30 different projects located all over the world (including the U.S.) to support in honor of your friend or loved one. [Read more…]

Get into the Holiday Spirit With Severns-Pease Light Display Video

Share

The most popular post on Good Neighbor Stories is from two years ago about Dave Severns and his Severns-Pease Christmas Display in Sunnyvale. During the 2010 holiday season alone, Dave raised $84,000 for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, $4,000 over Dave’s goal for the year, and nearly $30,000 over the previous year.

YouTube Preview Image

Dave passed away in October 2011 from cancer, and the family opted to not continue the popular—and labor intensive—display of 88,000 lights. His legacy lives on, however; a group of friends launched a golf tournament in his name this year, to benefit Second Harvest. Last year this website launched a virtual food drive in his memory, raising nearly $1,400. We’re repeating the drive again this year; I hope you’ll consider donating to help end hunger in Silicon Valley.

The display is also featured in the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook, with photos provided by the Severns family, and a story about Dave.

Did you ever see the Severns-Pease Christmas Display in person? Share your memories with us in comments!

We’re Kicking Off Our Second Annual Virtual Food Drive!

Share

I’m proud to announce that for the second year in a row, Good Neighbor Stories is hosting a virtual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Last year we raised almost $1,400 to feed local hungry families and individuals, exceeding our $1,000 goal. This year the goal is to raise $1,500 between now and Jan. 1, 2013.

Second Harvest officials estimate that they help one person out of every 10 in Silicon Valley. The organization does an efficient job of helping those hungry people: for every $1 donated, officials estimate that two meals are provided.

The efficiency extends to the online donation process, which was streamlined considerably this year. Last year’s process was a little more cumbersome, but Second Harvest apparently listened to input and made necessary improvements to the system.

To donate to the Good Neighbor Stories Virtual Food Drive, go to our donor page and fill out the form. The whole thing takes only a minute or two. Any amount is greatly appreciated, and will make a difference in the lives of local hungry families.

This year I’m offering an incentive to the first 10 people willing to donate $100 or more to the virtual food drive. Email me a copy of your receipt, and in return I’ll send you a thank you gift of the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook, free of charge. You’ll feel good about helping others, and all throughout next year using the datebook.

Please consider making a donation today. Thank you!

The New Datebook is Here! The New Datebook is Here!*

Share

On Friday I got to hold in my hands a printed copy of the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook. It was an exciting moment, the culmination of a lot of discussions and work over the past year.

The datebook looks really beautiful, thanks to Design Action Collective in Oakland, and Inkworks Press in Berkeley, brought on board to the project by publishers Craig Wiesner and Derrick Kikuchi at Reach and Teach.

We printed a limited number of these books, so don’t get left behind! They make awesome holiday gifts for folks who still use paper calendars (you can probably think of some of them right now).

Beyond acting as a calendar, the datebook would also make a wonderful place to write down goals and intentions, or as a gratitude journal. It’s full of upbeat, positive stories and photographs, which will brighten anyone’s day.

By buying the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook, you’re also supporting Bay Area-based small businesses, and you’re helping to spread the word about the terrific people and organizations featured within.

You can find out more, as well as order copies, at the Reach and Teach website.

* A nod to Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”.  

Top 10 Reasons To Buy Our 2013 Datebook

Share

The Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook is officially off to the printers! Here are the “Top 10” reasons why you need to buy this datebook from our friends at Reach and Teach.

  1. Lots of feel good stories to brighten your day. You’ll enjoy seeing the uplifting stories throughout the datebook when you check or note appointments.
  2. Colorful photos that will make you smile all year long.
  3. Inspirational quotes to encourage and motivate.
  4. Plenty of room to write down your appointments or special days.
  5. Don’t use a paper calendar? Our datebook is perfect for use as a place to write goals and intentions, or as a gratitude journal to keep track of what you’re grateful for each day.
  6. It’s good for the Earth. Be satisfied knowing the datebook is printed on paper made from recycled materials, with soy ink.
  7. Great reminders of holidays and other important days from a wide variety of perspectives. If you’re not celebrating a particular holiday, chances are some of your neighbors are. Extend good wishes to them, or get a conversation going and promote cross-cultural understanding.
  8. Helps spread the word about wonderful and worthy nonprofit organizations featured within in the book.
  9. Supports small business. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’re supporting all local businesses.
  10. The perfect gift! Great for family, friends, teachers, caregivers, neighbors—practically anyone. It’s non-fat and zero calories, fits all sizes, is extremely useful, and will lift the spirits of those who use it. They’ll think of you and your thoughtfulness all year!

 

 

 

Avoid Kicking Yourself Later Like I’ve Done Many Times at Costco

Share

If I learned anything from being a Costco customer for more than two decades (it was Price Club when we joined) it’s that if you see something you’re really interested in, buy it now, because it probably won’t be there the next time you come. I kicked myself many times for not grabbing some widget, tchotchke, or tasty specialty item on an earlier visit.

To help you avoid facing a similar fate, I’m here to give you fair warning: only a limited number of  the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook are slated for printing. The best way to insure you get a copy is to pre-order one by Friday, Oct. 19.

“Start everyday feeling good about the world,” is the motto my datebook co-creators at Reach and Teach like to say when describing it, and it’s extremely apt. You’ll start every day with loads of inspiration from the uplifting photos and stories, as well as the encouraging quotes.

The datebook is the perfect holiday gift under $20 for anyone you know who could use some good news throughout the year. It’s also great for anyone adamant about sticking to a paper calendar to keep track of dates and appointments.

Speaking of paper vs. digital calendars, if you’ve made the switch to digital, I make the case in an earlier post that the datebook is great for other uses, such as a place to keep track of goals and intentions, or used as a gratitude journal, listing those things you feel grateful for at the end of each day.

For lots more details about the datebook, see the post introducing it, and/or read all about it and see a low resolution PDF at the Reach and Teach website.

So skip kicking yourself ! Order a copy (or more, for gifts) as soon as possible. And if you miss the pre-order deadline there’s still a chance you’ll be able to snatch up copies, since an additional number beyond the pre-orders will be produced.

 

Three Good Reasons to Buy Our Paper (Gasp!) Datebook

Share

The Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook is printed on good old fashioned (recycled) paper, and before you roll your eyes and say, ‘that’s as passe as the iPhone 4′, hear me out on three reasons why a paper datebook is a good idea.

1. It’s a great gift for anyone still firmly in the paper calendar camp. If you’ve made the switch to digital, you probably know a few people in your life who are clinging to writing down appointments and important events with pen and paper. The Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook is a convenient carry-anywhere size at 8 1/2 x 5 1/2, with a generous amount of room to write in the box of each date. It’s spiral bound, so the datebook lies flat when you need to write something down, or want to display specific pages for quick reference. The full-color illustrations, positive stories, and inspirational quotes will brighten anyone’s day.

2. Makes a great location to write down your goals, dreams, and intentions. Instead of using it as a way of  keeping track of places you are supposed to be, why not use it as a way of dreaming about the places you want to be. Use the uplifting stories and colorful photos as inspiration for your own ideas about living a better life and becoming a better neighbor to the world. Keep track of your goals and intentions as you travel through 2013, and mark your progress. Make sure to celebrate your successes along the way!

3. Keep track of what you are grateful for.
Many motivational experts recommend spending a few minutes at the end of each day writing down things you are feeling grateful for. The Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook makes a great gratitude journal, where you can jot down the people and events which blessed your day. At the end of the year you’ll have an amazing list of what makes your life so special to, and you can refer back to it anytime.

The Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook is available for pre-order now, and will come in plenty of time for gift giving at holiday time. [Read more…]

Introducing the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook

Share

I am very proud to announce that pre-sales are underway for the Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook! Now you can start every day feeling good about the world using the inspirational stories and photos from this very blog.

“Be a good neighbor, share good stories,” has always been at the heart of what I’ve encouraged here, and my hope is that the datebook will motivate users to do both each day of 2013.

Throughout the datebook you’ll see some of the wonderful volunteers and organizations featured on the website, like Yasmine Davis of Make a Birthday Wish, the teen who throws birthday parties for less fortunate kids, and Dave Severns, who before he passed away raised thousands of dollars for the hungry through his amazing Christmas light display, plus many more.

You can see a low resolution preview PDF of the datebook here.

The datebook would not have happened without my friends Derrick Kikuchi and Craig Wiesner at Reach and Teach. We became friends two years ago after I featured their peace and social justice learning company on this blog. Derrick proposed the idea of the datebook over lunch one day, and we have been working together since then to pull it all together. Orders for the book are on their Reach and Teach website. [Read more…]