Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in April


National Poetry Month 2014 PosterLike a pebble plunk

Making circles in a pond,

Good neighbors reach out.

Like my haiku? It’s in honor of National Poetry Month, one of many, many great things you can get involved in as a “good neighbor” in your community. Pick one of these five suggestions and reach out!

1. Celebrate Poetry: As I said, April is National Poetry Month, a time to celebrate an important and cherished art form. Libraries and poets laureate all over the Bay Area are marking the month with special events and displays to help people interact with reading and creating poetry. Folks at the Oakland Public Library decorated the staircases from top to bottom with poems created by Oakland Youth Poet Laureates, California poets, and children’s poets. In Cupertino the Poet Laureate has launched a Poetry Exchange, where people can see new poems daily, or contribute their own poems. Contact your local library to find out what special events are happening in your city. [Read more…]

Five Ways to be a Good Neighbor in April


Earth-Day-ways-to-be-a-good-neighbor-April-2013As the weather warms up, so does the calendar: there are an increasing number of activities going on in the Bay Area in April. Lots of opportunities for cleaning up the environment, charity walking, service projects, community events, and more, are available.

Every month I list five ideas of how you can get involved in the community and make a difference to those around you and the rest of the world. Consider incorporating at least one of these suggestions into your calendar.

Speaking of calendars, check out my new Kindness Calendar, which lists special service and awareness days/weeks/months that happen annually. There are eight listed for April alone! And for even more community events, keep an eye on the GNS Community Calendar (or list your own events there!).

1. Love Your Mother (Earth): April 22 is Earth Day, but the entire month of April is in essence, Earth Month, with all the events happening around the Bay Area designed to beautify, build awareness of, and celebrate, the care and protection of our planet (it is, in fact, Keep America Beautiful Month, and Arbor Day is April 27). The first weekend in April kicks off Earth activities. Saturday, April 6, the City of Cupertino is [Read more…]

Five Ways to Be a Good Neighbor in April


It’s April, which means spring is now in full swing. Opportunities to be a good neighbor around Silicon Valley and the Bay Area are sprouting as fast as seedlings in the warm sun.

Here are five ways to do good for others (and yourself) this month.

1. Drive Focused: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The California Highway Patrol and other local departments plan on cracking down on distracted driving all month as a way to bolster public awareness of this dangerous problem. Using a cell phone while driving—hand-held or hands-free—delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent, according to one university study. And text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Find out more at In the meantime, officials want everyone to take the pledge to drive distraction free, and to encourage others to do the same.

2. Knit for a Cause: A group of people who love to knit and crochet get together regularly to create hats and scarves for Sacred Heart Community Services. Called One Brink Knits, it’s a part of the One Brick Silicon Valley group that helps connect volunteers with service projects. Don’t know how to knit or crochet? [Read more…]

Honoring Our Volunteers: A Commitment to Rebuilding


We’re finishing our time of highlighting volunteers for National Volunteer Week with a recent story about some people from a Pacifica, CA., church who have made the commitment to travel to New Orleans every winter to help rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Many of the people in this group have been traveling to New Orleans for several years now. They give up their vacations to volunteer their time getting dusty and dirty to help raise up another family. They are another example of the millions of volunteers who make a huge difference in communities all over the world. Thank you Volunteers! MORE

Honoring Our Volunteers: Holiday Parties for the Homeless


Today for National Volunteer Week we’re featuring a story about volunteers who make holiday parties possible for homeless people every year in San Jose, CA. This story is about  the Christmas party that they held last December, but I know they are gearing up for an Easter party soon. The volunteers from The River Church prepare the meal, shuttle people to and from the homeless shelter, share the meal with the men and women, and sing songs together. MORE


Honoring Our Volunteers: EPA Homeless Connect


As we continue with celebrating National Volunteer Week, today we feature a story about how one community comes together to help give hope to homeless people. Although the Homeless Connect event in East Palo Alto is organized through a partnership of nonprofit and governmental agencies, the annual event could never happen without the hard work from dozens of volunteers. Thanks to them, homeless men and women during these events get showers, haircuts, foot care, bicycle repair, legal advice, housing leads, and a hot meal. MORE

Honoring Our Volunteers: Day Camp for Refugee Students


Continuing our theme of thanking volunteers during National Volunteer Week, today we feature a story about a summer day camp for refugee children and teens. The idea for the day camp was conceived of and brought to life by a volunteer. Dozens of volunteers made the week-long camp a reality. The week was a resounding success, and the good news I just learned today is that the camp is being repeated this summer. MORE

Honoring Our Volunteers: The Produce Mobile


In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 10-16), Good Neighbor Stories is saluting some of the volunteers we’ve told you about since last year. We’ll be highlighting just a few of the people who make the Silicon Valley community – and the world – a better place with their donations of time and talents.

Today I’m featuring Good Neighbor Stories very first story about the people who made fresh produce a reality in a poor San Jose neighborhood where supermarkets and healthy eating choices are hard to come by. Thanks to a partnership between public and private agencies, and the efforts of a lot of volunteers, The Produce Mobile now visits the neighborhood once a month bringing farm fresh fruits and vegetables to families who desperately need them. MORE

Five Ways to Be A Good Neighbor in April


1)   Be Kind to the Earth: Earth Day is April 22. Here in the Silicon Valley numerous cities and organizations are doing fairs and other events to promote greener living. Check your city’s website for details. The Earth Day Network is encouraging individuals, corporations and organizations to commit to acts of earth care through its “Billion Acts of Green” Campaign. Make your own commitment to take one new green action this month.  [Read more…]