It’s World Kindness Day! What Will You do to be Kind?

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Today around the world people are celebrating World Kindness Day, part of World Kindness Week, Nov. 12-18. What will you do to be

Courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

kind to someone else today, or during this special week?

Here are five ways to show kindness today, and throughout the week:

  1. Do something simple today, like smiling at people you pass by, letting someone in on the roadway, contacting a friend going through a tough time to offer a cheery “hello”, or offering to pay the meal of the person behind you in the drive through lane. For even more kindness ideas, see the Good Neighbor Stories Be Kind: Kindness Ideas Page.
  2. Donate food for a holiday food drive, or support a local hunger program. Look for donation barrels for Second Harvest Food Bank at area stores and businesses, or consider donating a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving.  The Front Door Ministry of the First Presbyterian Church of San Jose serves bag lunches to around 45 homeless people each day.  You can help by donating things like paper and plastic bags, or individual-sized lunch items like sandwich cracker kits, fruit cups, bags of nuts, etc. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in July

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Celebrate America’s independence by being a good neighbor this month! Here are five ways to give back to the community during July.

1) Party With Your Neighbors: If you’re home this Fourth of July plan an impromptu block party by inviting neighbors over for a barbecue or simple potluck. Or, find out what your city is doing to celebrate, and make a point of joining in the fun and getting to know more people from your community. For example, in Cupertino there’s a pancake breakfast, children’s parade, and concert in the park from 7 a.m. to noon at the Quinlan Community Center, 10185 N. Stelling Rd. Then in the evening there’s fireworks, with music and games from 6:45 until the big show starts at 9:30. Catch all the fun at either Creekside Park, 10455 Miller Ave., Hyde Middle School, 19325 Bollinger Rd., or Sedgwick Elementary, 19200 Phil Lane.

2) Sort Food for the Hungry: Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties has a brand new warehouse in San Jose to facilitate getting more food out to those who need it most as quickly as possible. The 75,000 square foot facility at 4001 N. First St., is called [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in June

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Time to kick off the summer with five ways to be a good neighbor in your community.

1) Duck!: The 5th annual Silicon Valley Duck Race is Sunday, June 10. The El Camino Hospital Foundation will launch 15,000 rubber ducks into Vasona Creek at Vasona Lake Park, 333 Blossom Hill Rd., Los Gatos, as part of a fundraising race. You can adopt a duck for $5, a family of ducks for $25, a club for $50, and a flock for $100. The first five ducks that reach the finish line in Lake Vasona win prizes, and one duck may even win $1 million. The monies raised go to El Camino Hospital Los Gatos, a not-for-profit, acute-care, full service hospital that serves the communities of Campbell, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and San Jose. The race is accompanied by a festival from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with lots of activities, food, information booths, and more.

2) Share Your Lunch: Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is once again urging us to share our lunches with local children who are at risk to go hungry this summer. Officials estimate that one in five children need some sort of support through the summer months, when they don’t have access to free or subsidized school lunches. [Read more…]

Stamp Out Hunger: Send More Than Mail on Saturday

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Mail carriers will be picking up and delivering more than mail this Saturday, May 12, as part of the  Stamp Out Hunger food drive, the largest single-day effort to combat hunger in America.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the 20-year-old program is also the largest single-day food drive for local food banks, according to officials at Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. The drive comes just as food banks are gearing up to feed area children through the summer who will lose access to subsidized school lunches.

Anyone can participate by leaving a sturdy bag of non-perishable food by their mailbox before the mail is delivered on Saturday. Food bank officials say items like peanut butter, pasta, rice, low-sugar cereal, and canned foods such as tuna, meat, stew, soup, and vegetables are needed the most. Mail carriers will deliver the food to local food banks. [Read more…]

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!

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…]

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…]

Dave Severns Passes Away; He Fought Hunger, Lit Up Community at Christmas

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Good Neighbor Stories is sad to report that Dave Severns, the man who raised thousands of dollars to combat hunger in this community through a dazzling Christmas lights display, has died after a long battle with cancer. The family announced there will be no more Christmas light shows at their Sunnyvale home.Severns-Pease-Christmas-Display-Dave-Severns-Sunnyvale

Last year Dave’s spectacular display of lights and music raised $84,000 in food and money for Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Over the years Dave had collected so much food and raised so much money, he reached the distinction of collecting a million pounds worth of food for the food bank, something usually only achieved by large companies running food drives.

Each year thousands of people drove by his and the home of his next-door neighbors, the Pease family, to see the coordinated show between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Rather than sell tickets, Dave wanted to help the community, so he put out barrels to collect canned food, and encouraged folks to donate to the food bank.

Read the story about Dave, and then consider donating in his memory to the food bank.

See the Good Neighbor Stories video of the Severns-Pease Christmas Display from 2010, the last year it ran.

 

Dave Severns and the Severns-Pease Christmas Light Display is featured in the  Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook! Start every day feeling good about the world!

Order Your Copy Today!

 

Help The 93 Dollar Club Win A Do Something Award

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Carolee Hazard of Menlo Park is up for a VH1 Do Something Award, which recognizes people around the country who have made a difference in their communities. As has become popular these days, the public is invited to vote among a number of nominees to see who actually gets an award. The winners will be revealed at a taping of the Do Something Awards Show on Aug. 14 at the Hollywood Palladium, to be aired Aug. 18.

You may have heard of the 93 Dollar Club, a sort of viral local charity. It was started in 2009 by Hazard after she paid for a stranded stranger’s groceries worth $207 at Trader Joe’s, letting the woman know she could mail Hazard a check later. [Read more…]

Five Ways To Be A Good Neighbor In June

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1) Celebrate National Doughnut Day, June 3: Who doesn’t love doughnuts? Tomorrow is National Doughnut Day, to commemorate the Salvation Army “Lassies”, young women who made and handed out fresh doughnuts to American soldiers in Europe during both World Wars. When soldiers returned home they craved the sweet treats, and the rest of America was introduced to the doughnut. Consider dough-nating (sorry) to the Salvation Army, which right now is front-and-center in Joplin, MO., helping survivors of deadly tornados. You can donate online, or text DONUT or JOPLIN to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

2) Share Your Lunch: Officials at Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties predict that 1 in 5 kids will go hungry this summer while school is out. Kids that normally qualify for free lunches at school have few options during summer vacation. The food bank is looking for people and organizations to host food drives during June, to stock up on needed items for distribution around the two counties. You can participate in a virtual food drive by donating money online. [Read more…]