Virtual Food Drive: Your Donation Doubled Thanks To Generous Matching

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Every dollar that you donate to our virtual food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is doubled, thanks to the Koret Foundation and a generous individual Food Donation Barreldonor. But don’t wait, our drive, and the matching donation program, ends Dec. 31.

Second Harvest officials say that every dollar donated means two meals for hungry families. With the matching program, that means for every dollar you donate by the end of the month, four meals are made possible!

Our goal is to raise $1,000 by Dec. 31, and it’s exciting to think that could mean $2,000 to combat hunger in our community. Help us meet that goal by donating today. Thank you!

Company’s Employees Skip Holiday Party For Largest-Ever Service Event

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Last weekend NVIDIA’s employees chose hammers and shovels over hors d’oeuvres and Champagne, forgoing a holiday party and instead taking part in one of Silicon Valley’s largest-ever employee volunteer service events.

About 1,500 employees, their families, and other volunteers descended on the nonprofit Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale Friday and Saturday to saw wood, swing hammers, shovel dirt, paint and more. The result was a huge boost to the farm’s ability to provide nutrition education to students and fresh produce to the community.

On Saturday morning about 1,000 grownups, teens and children were busily tilling soil, building new structures and planters, and painting murals on the 11-acre farm located on land leased from the Santa Clara Unified School District.

“I think parties are kind of selfish and this is selfless,” said Chris Pedersen, a content developer for NVIDIA, who was busy digging raised beds with his wife and two kids on Saturday. “I think it’s awesome; you always go home with a really good feeling.”

The technology company stopped having holiday parties 11 years ago, and had been doing annual community service on a smaller scale, until 5 years ago when employees organized under the banner Project Inspire, said spokesperson Tonie Hansen.

The Project Inspire events started with about 500 employees and other volunteers, but over the years has continued to grow, peaking at this year’s 1,500 participants. [Read more…]

Animal Shelters Offering $10 Adoptions To Bring Pets ‘Home For The Holidays’

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Six Silicon Valley animal agencies are promoting $10 adoptions between Dec. 9 and Dec. 31 in an effort to find homes for 1,000 pets in a drive they are calling “Home For The Holidays”. Home for Holidays Pet Adoptions

Humane Society Silicon Valley, Santa Clara County Animal Shelter, City of Palo Alto Animal Services, Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, City of San Jose Animal Care and Services, and Town Cats are working together on the drive.

The group set up a counter at http://www.wecareproject.org/ to keep track of the adoptions between now and the end of the month. Click on any of the logos at the bottom of the page to be redirected to the shelters for more information and to see available pets.

Not all pets will be available at the $10 rate; some animals younger than six months will require standard adoptions fees.

Virtual Holiday Food Drive – We’re On Our Way!

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Second Harvest Food Bank Green Banner

Good Neighbor Stories launched its first virtual holiday food drive two days ago, and we’ve already collected 23 percent of our goal! As of Thursday night, we have $230.50 raised. Our goal is to raise $1,000 by Dec. 31, and we hope to move well beyond that amount.

Help us collect money to feed thousands of people in the Silicon Valley who are going hungry during these holidays, and throughout the year. Check out our complete instructions on how to donate. 

The money that goes to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties helps people from all walks of life and backgrounds. One example of how the agency helps people with the most basic of necessities, is found in this story from the group’s Fall 2011 newsletter:

My name is Carl. I was born and raised in the Bay Area and grew up on a ranch, where I worked until graduating from high school. After moving to the Midwest to pursue a degree in electronics and serving in the Air Force as a mechanic, I moved back to the Bay Area to work at a high-tech company during its early years. I went on to work there for 31 years before being laid off in 2003.

I was unable to find stable work afterwards, so I was forced into early retirement and found myself needing food assistance for the first time in my life. I’m a proud man who has worked hard my entire life, so it was hard for me to ask for help, but I was hungry. [Read more…]

30 Ways to Be a Good Neighbor This Holiday Season – Part 3

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We’re counting down 30 ways to be a good neighbor during the holidays. We started with Part 1, how to be a good neighbor in your own neighborhood, followed by Part 2, how to help the greater

Peace Pendant

community. Today we list the ways we can all be better neighbors to the world.

Good Neighbor Stories wishes everyone a very joyous holiday season to all! Please be a part of our neighborhood by leaving your comments and ideas. Share with us how you’re being a good neighbor to others, or how someone reached out and blessed you.

 

Good Neighbor Stories Virtual Holiday Food Drive – Help Us End Hunger

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Holiday Food DriveGood Neighbor Stories is proud to announce our first virtual holiday food drive! Help us this holiday season raise money for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Our goal is to raise $1,000 between now and Dec. 31. We’re sponsoring the food drive in memory of Dave Severns, who created the Severns-Pease Christmas Light Display in Sunnyvale. Last holiday season Dave raised more than $84,000 for Second Harvest.

The food bank’s officials expect one in 10 residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties will turn to the agency for food this holiday season. The economy has driven up the numbers of our Silicon Valley neighbors going hungry; 80 percent of the agencies that distribute food from Second Harvest report an increased need over past years. Help us ensure that families experiencing hunger get access to food this winter by donating through our food drive.

It’s easy to participate. Go to https://donate.shfb.org/vfd/, click on “Friends and Family Drive” on the “Donor Type” drop down menu, and then click on “Good Neighbor Stories” on the “Organization Name” drop down menu. [Read more…]

Christmas Tree Lots For Good Interactive Map 2011

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Shopping for a Christmas tree in Silicon Valley this weekend? You can find your perfect tree and help others at the same time by using our interactive map. Thank you to Los Altos Patch, which provided theChristmas Tree information. Check out the article for more detail about each of the organizations sponsoring the tree lots.

Don’t delay, because a few of the lots are open for a limited time only. For example, this is the only weekend for Trees For Troops at Battaglia Ranch in San Martin, a program that ships trees to military families. A part of the Spirit of Christmas Foundation, the program has provided approximately 84,000 trees to families since it began in 2005.

Have we missed a lot that’s doing good this holiday season? Tell us in the comments section, and we’ll add it to the map.

Update: See our 2012 map.

View Christmas Tree Lots For Good 2011 in a larger map

 

30 Ways to Be A Good Neighbor This Holiday Season: Part 1

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Thanksgiving is behind us and we now start the march to the December holidays. Last year I ran a three-part series on ways to be a good neighbor during the holidays, and those ways remain as evergreen asPlate of cookies for neighbors. well, holiday evergreens. Today I’m reposting part 1 about how to be a good neighbor in your own neighborhood. Parts 2 and 3 talk about how to be a good neighbor in your greater community, and in the world.

Hope you enjoy these ideas, and please, share your own with us here! And if you do follow through on a good neighbor action this holiday season, share what happens with us here, too.

Honoring Our Volunteers: Holiday Parties for the Homeless

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Today for National Volunteer Week we’re featuring a story about volunteers who make holiday parties possible for homeless people every year in San Jose, CA. This story is about  the Christmas party that they held last December, but I know they are gearing up for an Easter party soon. The volunteers from The River Church prepare the meal, shuttle people to and from the homeless shelter, share the meal with the men and women, and sing songs together. MORE

 

Update: Christmas Lights Display Smashes Fundraising Record!

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Wow! The Severns-Pease Christmas Display obliterated its previous fundraising record, taking in more than $84,000 between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in donations for a local food bank. Last year the display raised nearly $55,000. Dave Severns is of course well pleased that they were able to break the $80,000 goal he set for the season.

I wrote about the display back in early December . Severns and his neighbor Andy Pease have been putting up the joint display since 1995, with each year getting a little more elaborate than the next. When Severns computerized the display in 2002, hundreds of people started flocking to see the magical show of lights and music. Some people suggested they charge a fee, but they decided instead to collect money and food for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

As Severns’ own chart shows, the donations have increased every year. With this year’s smashing fundraising success, it puts the display up with large corporations who have collected a million pounds or more worth of food for the food bank.

It will be interesting to see what goal Severns sets for next year. In the meantime, congratulations to neighbors who made a big difference to the local community!