Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in January

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Concert to Fight Poverty2014 is off and running! Whether you made New Year’s resolutions, intentions, goals, to dos, dreams, set a theme, or came up with guide words for the year, I hope that you included helping others in your vision.

After reading Beth Kanter’s blog post about setting a theme and choosing three words for the year (she borrowed these concepts from Peter Bregman and Chris Brogan), I chose “peace” as a theme (for myself and those around me), and for good measure repeated “peace” as one of my three words for the year, adding to it “relationships,” and “community.”

Here are five ways we can make a difference for our communities in the San Francisco Bay Area during this first month of 2014. Will you try one of these? If you do, let me know what happens. Happy New Year!

1. Fight Poverty Through Choral Music: Two South Bay churches, Trinity Cathedral and Stone Church of Willow Glen, are combining efforts to put on a Concert to Fight Poverty, 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 12, at Trinity Cathedral, 81 N. 2nd St., San Jose. The choral concert features Saratoga composer Henry Mollicone’s “Beatitude Mass,” sometimes called the “Mass for the Homeless.” Tickets are $20; all proceeds go to Downtown Streets Team, and Trinity Cathedral’s social good programs. Call 408-315-4354 for reservations, or purchase at the door. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in January

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Happy New Year! The world didn’t end in 2012, and the even better news is we get a fresh start in 2013. How will you make this new year better than the last for yourself, andNational-Mentoring-Month-Five-Ways-to-be-a-Good-Neighbor-in-January-2013 for the community? Here are five suggestions to make the world just a little nicer in the month of January. Try one, and let us know what happens!

1. Be a Mentor: January is National Mentoring Month, a time to highlight how important it is for every child to have a caring adult in his or her life. The awareness month is spearheaded nationally by the Harvard School of Public Health; Bay Area Mentoring is leading local awareness efforts. Thursday, Jan. 10, is “I Am a Mentor Day”, when all mentors are encouraged to go on social media to tell their stories, and inspire others to become mentors. Thursday, Jan. 17, is “Thank Your Mentor Day,” for anyone helped by a mentor in childhood to share his or her story. Keep up with the latest on the National Mentoring Month Facebook Page. To find out how to become a mentor in the San Francisco Bay Area, be sure to visit the Bay Area Mentoring website.

2. Donate Blood: January is National Blood Donor Month, established in 1970. The holiday season usually means less blood donations, because of holiday [Read more…]

Rooted In Justice: MLK Day Tree Planting in East Palo Alto

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About 90 volunteers descended on two schools in East Palo Alto today to plant a variety of fruit trees as a way to commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.

The nonprofit group Collective Roots organized the event at the East Palo Alto Phoenix Acadamy and the East Palo Alto Charter School. Volunteers came from all over the valley. There were high school groups, families with small children, Americorps volunteers, and residents from the neighborhood. Together they planted about 40 citrus and avocado trees around the playgrounds and parking areas of the Phoenix Acadamy, and another 25 on the grounds of the charter school, where Collective Roots operates an educational garden.

According to Executive Director Kris Jensen, the group will maintain the trees while they become established, and later will help coordinate harvesting fruit from the trees. In addition to running a creative hands-on learning program, Collective Roots also maintains the East Palo Alto Community Farmers’ Market and the Backyard Gardener Network. [Read more…]

MLK Day of Service Events Around The Valley

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Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve. Visit MLKDay.gov.

Although Monday, Jan. 16, is a national holiday and for many a day off, the National Day of Service organization is encouraging us to make  it a “day on” by volunteering to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. There are several organized volunteer events around Silicon Valley on Monday—or create your own service event right in your own neighborhood. Even something as small as picking up trash, or performing an act of kindness for a neighbor or stranger, can be your own way of remembering Dr. King.

Below is list of organized events we’ve heard about. Use our contact form or comments section if you’ve heard of other events. And if you do your own act of service, share that with us, too!

United Way Silicon Valley – San Jose

Would you like to help local children get a quality education? Want to help teachers? [Read more…]

Five Ways To Be A Good Neighbor In January

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Happy New Year! Here’s to this being a great year for all of us. What better way to start the new year than with a resolve to be a good neighbor all year long."Fourth of July" Rose

We’re kicking off 2012 with a list of five ways to be a good neighbor this month. If you know of some more ways, please share with us in the comments!

1) “Prune!” at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden: Here in the Bay Area, January is the month to prune roses to ensure beautiful blooms this spring and summer. Doable if you have a few rose bushes in your garden, a monumental task if you are the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden, which features more than 4,000 plants on 5 and a half acres. On Saturday, Jan. 7, join hundreds of people for this one-day event. It starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. There’s a brief training included. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and close-toed shoes. Bring gloves, pruning tools, and a filled water bottle.

2) Donate Blood: No, not at the pruning event! January is National Blood Donor Month, established in 1970. The holiday season usually means less blood donations, because of holiday schedules, [Read more…]