Bay Area’s Super Volunteer Weekend Approaches; Sign Up to Make a Difference

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From Beautiful Day 2012.

A wave of kindness and compassion is about to wash over the Bay Area this weekend. Are you ready to dive in?

Numerous nonprofit and faith-based groups are sponsoring large-scale volunteer events all over the region April 27 and 28, and they’re counting on you, along with thousands of others, to swing hammers, pull weeds, paint homes, beautify schools, and take long walks all in the name of helping our communities.

The biggest events of the weekend, Beautiful Day and Compassion Weekend, could draw as many as 10,000 people to projects from San Francisco to Hollister.  National Rebuilding Day takes place on Saturday, when even more thousands of volunteers representing four local chapters of Rebuilding Together will refurbish dozens homes. There are a few more Earth Day events taking place, and several charity walks are slated.

UPDATE (4/25/13): Giant Sweep, a collaboration of Starbucks, the San Francisco Giants, and the City of San Francisco, is also taking place on Saturday, April 27, in what the coffee giant is calling a Global Day of Service. Up to 1,000 volunteers are needed to clean up litter and make improvements around the city from 8:30 a.m. to lunchtime.

Below is a rundown of all the major events happening in the region this weekend, with links to online registrations. Consider joining your neighbors in making the Bay Area a better place for all.

Did I miss an event? Please share the information in comments! [Read more…]

Louder Than Words: Beautiful Day Looking for 6K+ Volunteers to Take Action in April

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Credit: Beautiful Day Instagram

This year’s Beautiful Day logo is a megaphone blaring the words, “Louder Than Words”, and there’s maybe nothing louder than the action of more than 6,000 volunteers engaged in making a positive impact on Santa Clara County, the week of April 22-28.

The nonprofit group collaborates annually with dozens of churches, agencies, nonprofits, companies, and individuals, for one week in April to fix up schools, homes, centers, parks, neighborhoods, and other public spaces. Last year an estimated 3,500 people volunteered during Beautiful Day week; 2,400 volunteered the year before.

“I think this year, more than ever, we’re seeing the volume—and by volume I mean the loudness—of a collective expression of service and compassion that’s amplified for the world to see,” said Beautiful Day Director Jon Talbert.  He said this year’s event will demonstrate that, “when you unify and serve together, you make a significant impact in your neighborhood, and that’s what we hope to see happen.”

Talbert estimates there are between 6,000 and 7,000 volunteer slots available for almost 50 projects happening all over Santa Clara County. “And they’re filling them,” he said. [Read more…]

Beautiful Day “Mini-Me” Open to Volunteers on Nov. 17

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The nonprofit group Beautiful Day is looking for volunteers on Saturday, Nov. 17, for the autumn “mini” version of its massive springtime service event in San Jose.

The group organized six volunteer projects for the upcoming weekend; two are already full to capacity with volunteers. At the two full projects volunteers are making over a local elementary school and caring for the roses at San Jose’s beloved Municipal Rose Garden.

The remaining open projects include:

  • Painting big, colorful playground maps of the United States at four area elementary schools, two in Sunnyvale and two in Santa Clara. There are two shifts available , 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The project is open to all ages.
  • Cleaning up and helping out neighbors in the immediate area of Westgate Church in San Jose; there are two shifts, 8 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The project is open to ages 13 and up.
  • Picking up trash on the area’s freeways on Saturday morning. This is for ages 18 and up only.
  • Adopting families for Christmas. Rather than a specific project this weekend, Beautiful Day is looking for people to help sponsor needy families in the area for the holidays.

For more information on the projects and how to sign up, see the Beautiful Day website. And check out the Good Neighbor Stories Beautiful Day Page, with links to all of our past stories about the group.

 

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…]

Beautiful Day Dawning: Group Calls Out to Volunteers for April Service Week

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Beautiful Day, San Jose’s largest annual volunteer service event, is back next month with ambitious plans to serve all 10 districts of the city, plus a nonprofit farm in Sunnyvale, and miles of the area’s freeways.

With the theme of “Serving Our Community is How We Roll”, the organization is putting out a call for thousands of volunteers to take action between April 21 and 29. Most of the projects are taking place the weekend of April 28-29. The Beautiful Day website includes information on each project and an easy online registration form for those interested.

From fixing houses, to rehabilitating school campuses, to cleaning creeks and putting on a carnival and dance for special needs students, there are numerous opportunities to serve. Many of the projects are family friendly.

The faith-based group collaborates with local governments, nonprofits, churches, and businesses to pull off the large number of projects concentrated in one week. Since 2004 the event has grown from smaller clean-up and fix-up projects to the massive operation it is today. Beautiful Day organizers estimate that approximately 2,400 volunteers participated in last spring’s one-week event—and they may double that this April. [Read more…]

Beautiful Day: Retired Cops Out to Change Lives in Alviso Find Their Own Lives Changed

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Retired police officers Bob Froese and Jim Buchanan once looked upon the small low-income San Jose area of Alviso with hardened cops’

Jim Buchanan (left) and Bob Froese

eyes: a place with a few rough characters, and all the social ills that come with being a neighborhood of people living on the margins of society.

But recently, when the two found themselves leading possibly one of the largest community service projects ever in Alviso, their hearts melted and they began to see the neighborhood with softer eyes.

“After our experience here we have a passion for the people of Alviso,” Froese said. He said the stereotypes he once held for the community have completely disappeared. “Our opinions have been changed 180 degrees. We have a deep love and affection for the people now.”

With all the precision of a major police operation, the two marshaled the forces of 600 volunteers last weekend for the “Awaken Alviso” project, one of 17 projects worked on May 16-22 by a San Jose coalition of churches, nonprofits, businesses and governmental agencies called Beautiful Day. [Read more…]