Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in March

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ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-tree-plantings-good-neighbor-stories-pam-marinoRain, finally! The dust and dirt that was building up on all the shrubs, trees and outdoor surfaces is washed away, giving the feeling of a fresh start. Spring is just a couple of weeks away, so put winter behind you and start something new that will make your neighborhood and community a better place.

Here are five ways you can make a difference this month.

1. Spring Spruce Ups: Parks, open spaces and eco-friendly organizations are organizing outdoor clean-ups and plantings all month. The Golden Gate Audubon Society has several habitat restoration events on both sides of the bay, and Save the Bay has similar types of restoration and planting events open to volunteers. The San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club is hosting a tree planting event in Oakland on March 8. Or check out the numerous events offered by Our City Forest in San  Jose.

2. Educate Yourself About Income Inequality: Silicon Valley De-Bug is hosting the Forum on Inequality in Silicon Valley from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, March 6, at the Camera 12 Theaters, 201 S. 2nd Street, San Jose. The award-winning website’s staff is bringing together community leaders to speak about the problem of income inequality, along with a local hip hop artist who is premiering a video, “Gold Out West,” for this free community event. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in September

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September is the “Other New Year”, when the slower-paced summer comes to an end, and a new busier season starts to ramp up. In a way it’s another fresh start, with all new opportunities to be better neighbors in our communities and the world. Here are five ways to be a good neighbor this month.

1. Support Kids With Cancer: In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, get educated about what children and teens diagnosed with cancer and their families experience, and find out how you can help. According to The Truth 365, a volunteer organization that created a documentary and social media campaign to educate the public about pediatric cancer, more than 13,500 youth under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer each year. Of those, approximately 2,500 succumb to their cancer; the average age of a child who dies from cancer is 8. Most causes of pediatric cancer remain a mystery, and there is no known way to prevent it. Find out more by visiting The Truth 365. While there you can sign a petition demanding more funding for pediatric cancer research, or even donate money toward research. Or, check out and donate to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which also supports childhood cancer research. Another great way to stay on top of the issue and show support for Jacob Goeders, a Bay Area boy known as “The Leukemia Slayer”, and his family, is by “liking” his Facebook page. The family is posting items about childhood cancer all month.

2. Take a Week (or just a day) to Show You Care and Remember: Sept. 11 was declared a National Day of Service and Remembrance [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…]