Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in February

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Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Ready to show some loving kindness this month? February is the month for both love and kindness. We show our love for those near and dear to us on Valentine’s Day. That same week is Random Acts of Kindness Week, when we’re encouraged to engage in acts of kindness to others in the community.

Here are five ways you can show some kindness to others in the San Francisco Bay Area, or get to know your neighbors a little better by expanding your cultural awareness. Have any more suggestions to add? Share them in the comments section!

1) Celebrate Lunar New Year: The Lunar New Year is Sunday, Feb. 10, ushering in the Year of the Snake. Cultural events are taking place all over the San Francisco Bay Area from Feb. 2 to Feb. 24, with the popular Chinese New Year Parade rolling through downtown San Francisco on Saturday, Feb. 23. A complete calendar for the Chinese New Year Festival and Parade is available online. The Stanford-Pan Asian Music Festival is welcoming the new year Feb. 8-10, at the university’s new Bing Concert Hall. Look for other events, including many family-friendly happenings, at local libraries, community centers, and cultural centers. Los Altos Patch has a great list.

2) Check Out a Festival That’s for the Birds: The 17th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival is happening Feb. 8-10 at Mare Island, a former Naval base on a peninsula located near Vallejo. More than 60 walks and guided tours are available to see all the birds and wildlife found there; an art exhibit, silent auction, and other events are also scheduled. This is a unique opportunity to see this important nature preserve up close. See the festival website for more information. [Read more…]

Random Acts of Kindness Day: What Kindness Will You Show Someone?

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“Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.” Fred Rogers

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day, the culmination of Random Acts of Kindness Week. My hope is that our world was a little nicer this week, as people reached out to one another in kindness. I think of it as that well known ripple effect, when you toss a pebble into a pool of water, and the circles reach out far and wide. Hopefully the random acts performed here and there are rippling all over our neighborhoods and world.

Did you perform an act of kindness? Did someone do something nice for you? Share with us in the comments.

If you haven’t tried showing kindness to someone this week, there’s still today (and tomorrow, and the next day….). Below are several suggestions. Check out our entries on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for more.

  • If someone you know lost a loved one in the past year, send then a note or some flowers to let them know you are thinking about him or her as they mourn the loss
  • Take a container of homemade soup to a sick friend (see my easy recipe below)
  • Plant a few flowers where others can enjoy them
  • Shop at a locally-owned business and find something encouraging to say to the owner
  • Write a few inspirational sayings on cards and leave them in public places for others to find [Read more…]

Five Ways To Be A Good Neighbor In February

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February is the month most famously known for a day of love. Why not spread the love throughout all 29 (Leap Year!) days? Here are five ways to be a good neighbor this month. If you think of more ways, tell us in the comments.

1. Get to Know Muslim Neighbors: Silicon Valley Reads recently kicked off its new campaign, “Muslim and American — Two Perspectives.” Every year Silicon Valley Reads chooses books for all of Silicon Valley to read together. This year organizers chose The Muslim Next Door; The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing by Sumbul Ali-Karamali, and The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson.  A whole host of events are happening in February, all the way to the end of the campaign in April, including lectures, film showings, art exhibits, and small group discussions. Author Ali-Karamali will speak at two special events, 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 5, at the Saratoga Library, and 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12, at the India Community Center in Milpitas. She’ll also be speaking at other events around the valley through April. In all there are more than 100 events happening in conjunction with the reading program. For more information see the Silicon Valley Reads website. [Read more…]