Another ‘Beautiful’ Weekend in the South Bay Thanks to Volunteers

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After a weekend of painting, sawing, hammering, raking, weeding, cleaning, and much, much more, the South Bay is shining just a little brighter this week, thanks to the work of an estimated 3,500 volunteers working through the nonprofit group, Beautiful Day.

Many volunteers worked multiple shifts from Friday to Saturday, helping to fill up to 4,600 positions at 26 sites from Milpitas to Morgan Hill, with most of the work centered in San Jose. Last year the event attracted approximately 2,400 volunteers.

Beautiful Day is a faith-based nonprofit that came out of Westgate Church in San Jose in 2004. The group partners with the City of San Jose, secular nonprofits, businesses and other churches to organize a massive regional service event each spring, as well as a smaller event in the fall, along with other projects.

This spring’s event actually got started a week earlier, when volunteers helped prepare some sites for the larger number of volunteers to come. One shift of volunteers worked Wednesday at Full Circle Farm in Sunnyvale.

From work that required a lot of elbow grease, to more personal jobs working with senior citizens, disabled youth and homeless people, Beautiful Day volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs, gave of themselves all week. [Read more…]

Master Organizer Puts Tools Into the Hands of Thousands of Volunteers

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Get ready Silicon Valley. You’re about to get a makeover, thanks to more than 100 gallons of paint, 441 pieces of lumber, 113 pounds of nails, and a lot of sweat and elbow grease from thousands of volunteers.

It’s all a part of the large-scale April 21-29 service project called Beautiful Day, coordinated by the nonprofit group that goes by the same name. Organizers are working to recruit up to 6,000 volunteers to refurbish homes, neighborhoods, parks, creeks, freeways, an elementary school, and much more. Most of the projects will take place the final weekend, April 28 and 29.

As the recruitment effort goes on, one team within Beautiful Day is working to put the materials and tools into the hands of the volunteers. The Acquisitions Team is lead by a volunteer affectionately known as the “Master Shopper”, Wendy Laugesen.

Laugesen laughs at the reference, and adds that she likes to call herself the “Master Organizer”.

Master Organizer, indeed, as she and her team pull together more than 600 items on a master inventory list. Each line item may have multiples of each item, translating into thousands of materials and tools needed during the week.

From nametags to napkins, to tanbark and tetherballs, Laugesen has it on her list. [Read more…]

Volunteers to Beautify Santa Clara School April 28-29

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The children and staff of Pomeroy Elementary in Santa Clara will leave their well-worn campus on an upcoming Friday to return on Monday to a brighter, fresher school, thanks to a full weekend of volunteer labor.

More than 300 volunteers are expected to descend on the campus in the Santa Clara Unified School District on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, to clean, paint, build, and garden, in a project called “Beautify Pomeroy”. The group Beautiful Day is signing up people from all over Silicon Valley who want to invest in the children’s futures through the service project.

“Beautify Pomeroy” is part of an even larger community-wide annual Beautiful Day event that is expected to utilize approximately 6,000 volunteers between April 21 and 29. Projects include cleaning area freeways, refurbishing homes, cleaning parks and neighborhoods, helping the homeless, and more.

By the end of that weekend at Pomeroy, the teachers’ lounge will have a new look, as well as a refrigerator that actually works, replacing the old broken one. The school’s community garden will have new planter boxes and a solar-powered water feature. The playground will have some new equipment, as well as a recycling center to collect empty juice boxes and water bottles. And around campus some walls will sport fresh paint and murals.

“I think it’s just exciting to think about what you’re doing for the next generation,” said Lori Dabak, one of the project’s coordinators. “You don’t know how this investment will affect something down the road.” [Read more…]