December Mission-New & Gently Used Toy Drive

December 11th-15th

Life Moves

While the number of homeless in the United States has declined for the third consecutive year, a federal survey highlighted a troubling reality in Santa Clara County.

The region’s homeless problem remains among the worst in the nation. In Santa Clara County, the cost of living is nearly 50% higher than the national average. With such high housing costs, many people earning minimum wage live on the brink of homelessness.

In a detailed report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, San Jose/Santa Clara County posted the nation’s fifth-highest homeless population. It also ranked among the places with the most chronically homeless and homeless children and young adults.

In January of 2015, Santa Clara County conducted a count and found 6,556 people homeless in our County. 71% of those were unsheltered, living on streets, in parks, encampments or other places not meant for human habitation.

These facts and the falling temperatures are just some of the many reasons we chose January’s Mission to be focused on “Clothing the homeless”.  Take a look at what we will be doing this month and join along, however, you can…

ABOUT

With more than 40 years of service and experience in successfully serving homeless families and individuals, LifeMoves is the largest and most effective nonprofit committed to ending the cycle of homelessness for families and individuals in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties. Their successful and multi-faceted therapeutic service model combines clean, modern housing with intensive supportive services that promote dignity and respectfully motivate our clients to achieve autonomy.

LifeMoves programs combat homelessness today – and tomorrow – by teaching comprehensive life skills that help their clients achieve long-term self-sufficiency, and effectively break the cycle of homelessness.

Their innovative and effective program model helps clients understand the root cause of their homelessness. The Lifemoves program requires accountability from our clients and helps them to refocus on developing core competencies they need to succeed for the long-term.

Similarly, their in-depth children’s programming provides academic support to bridge achievement gaps. They support their physical and mental health by addressing the extensive traumatic issues caused by homelessness. Their focus is on maximizing opportunities for homeless youth to help them mature into self-sufficient adults and to end intergenerational poverty which leads to homelessness.

Through these carefully designed programs – and with the support of 225 employees and over 15,000 dedicated volunteers – LifeMoves is able to serve 9,636 homeless clients throughout the Bay and to provide 244,801 nights of shelter annually.

The impact of LifeMoves programs and services is tremendous: typically, more than 92% of families and 78% of individuals completing LifeMoves transitional programs successfully returned to stable housing and self-sufficiency.

MONTHLY MISSION OUTLINE

  • Collect New & Gently Used Toys.
    • Please make sure any used toys have all parts, are in good shape and in working order.

   **All items will be sorted, inspected and distributed to LifeMoves   

  • Drop off all your collected items. // There will be a bin near the office at Guadalupe Elementary School the week of December 11th-15th. After school on Tuesday, December 12th and Thursday, December 14th, we will be collecting items near the pickup area in front of the school. We are also happy to come get your donation items from you and drop them off as well. Email us at thefindingkindnessproject@gmail.com.

BUILDING A KINDNESS COOPERATIVE

Examples of how Rachel & Sue will be putting this Monthly Mission into action:

  • Having our children go through the toys they have outgrown, no longer use or that they feel other children would enjoy. 
  • Post your collection in neighborhood sites like Facebook or NextDoor
  • Taking a wagon around our neighborhoods with our kids after school collecting from neighbors.
  • Reaching out to our immediate social circles; i.e. Girl Scout Troop, Gymnastics Gym, School Board, Hockey Team and Book Club
  • Take a peek at our socials throughout the month to see what else we are doing to participate in raising a Kind generation. Use our hashtag, #kindcooperative, to follow along AND tag us so we can see how you are making the world a little more kind.

***We will be closing out our December mission on Friday, December 15th.

FISCAL INFORMATION

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation instead you can do so HEREWant to know where your money is going? Here is some information about the LifeMoves for your review:

2014-2015 Annual report: HERE

Companies that sponsor LifeMoves: Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Genentech, Kaiser, Microsoft, Visa and much more! For a list of Corporate Sponsors click HERE.

Thank you and check back soon for our next Monthly Mission!

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November Mission – Fighting Hunger

second-harvest-food-bank

SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK

The face of hunger is all around us, and it is hard to see, especially in affluent areas like Silicon Valley where we live. Millions of Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from and the fight to end hunger is a long, ongoing, uphill battle.

These are just a few of the many reasons we chose November’s Mission to be focused on “Fighting Hunger” however we can and we chose to work with and support the Second Harvest Food Bank. Take a look at what we will be doing this month and join along however you can. Last year we collected 326 pounds of food and we would love to beat that this year!

ABOUT

Based in Silicon Valley, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is one of the largest food banks in the nation. Currently providing food to more than one-quarter of a million people every month, Second Harvest is a trusted community-based organization that was founded in 1974.

Despite the immense wealth in Silicon Valley, and partly due to the high cost of living, hunger and malnutrition are pervasive. The Food Bank distributes nutritious food, including more fresh produce than any other food bank in the country, through a network of over 320 nonprofit partners at more than 850 sites. Partner agencies include shelters, pantries, soup kitchens, children’s programs, senior meal sites, and residential programs.

In fiscal year 2017 (July 2016 – June 2017), Second Harvest distributed more than one million pounds of nutritious food each week to low-income people in need in every zip code of our service area from South San Francisco to Gilroy, and from the ocean to the bay.

MONTHLY MISSION OUTLINE

  • Collect canned goods. // Most needed items: Meals in a can (soup, stew, chili), Tuna or canned chicken, Peanut butter, Canned foods with pop-top lids, Canned fruit in its own juice or water, Low-sodium canned vegetables, Olive or canola oil, Spices, Low-sugar whole grain cereals, Healthy snacks (granola bars, nuts, dried fruit). Please avoid donating items packaged in glass. If you find glass items in your barrel, please package them in a box outside of your food collection barrel to prevent breakage.
  • Drop off all your collected canned goods. // You can drop off your donation items at The Finding Kindness Project drop-off location: 14685 Oka Road, Los Gatos, CA 95032 OR email us for pick-up. We are happy to come get your donation items for you and drop them off as well. Email us at thefindingkindnessproject@gmail.com.

BUILDING A KINDNESS COOPERATIVE

Examples of how Rachel & Sue will be putting this Monthly Mission into action:

  • If you are local, join us for the group shopping trip at Grocery Outlet afterschool on Wednesday,  November 29th at 1:45. This is a great way for the kids to get hands-on picking out foods, reading labels and handling money. (see here for details).
  • Taking a wagon around our neighborhoods with our kids after school collecting from neighbors.
  • Reaching out to our immediate social circles; i.e. Girl Scout Troop, Gymnastics Gym, School Board, Hockey Team and Book Club
  • Take a peek at our socials throughout the month to see what else we are doing to participate in raising a Kind generation. Use our hashtag, #kindcooperative, to follow along AND tag us so we can see how you are making the world a little more kind.

FISCAL INFORMATION

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation instead you can do so HERE. Want to know where your money is going? Here is some fiscal information about the Second Harvest Food Bank for your review:

Throughout the fiscal year, volunteers contributed over 310,000 hours of service, which saved them $6.6 million in equivalent personnel costs.

Below are some figures from their 2014-2015 annual report.

  • 96 % of operating expenses go to food distributions and programs
  • 2% to fundraising
  • 2% go to management
  • 60% of Operating Revenue comes straight from individuals like you and me.

If you would like to check out their 2015-2016 annual report in its entirety check out it HERE.

Thank you and see you next month for our next Monthly Mission:

The New and Gently Used Toy Drive!

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Making Dreams Real with the Princess Project

 

November Mission: Making Dreams Come True with the Princess Project

The Princess Project believes in making dreams real every day, and we are incredibly proud to help volunteer with our Silicon Valley chapter.

Our community is always asking how they can help. If you are unable to get hands on with their teens, we encourage you to support this cause by sending a teen to prom with just $25. Every little bit helps and we believe that we can make a difference together.

Giving Tuesday is a national philanthropic effort that reminds us to stay grateful and give back when Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, and Cyber Monday are upon us. We would love your support, please give early and often. Facebook will waive fees and match donations that actually occur on Giving Tuesday (11/28) so mark your calendars. Thanks!

More about what they do…

The Princess Project is a 100% volunteer-run effort that provides free
prom dresses and accessories to Silicon Valley teens who could not otherwise afford them.

Every year they seek and receives hundreds of beautiful dresses from individual donors, corporations and fundraisers.

After they receive all of the dresses and accessories, the wonderful volunteers organize them for the dress giveaway event.

During the dress giveaway, hundreds of teens from all over the Bay Area (sometimes even farther) come and find their perfect dress to make their prom dreams real!

They are a small but mighty group. They have full time jobs, are parents, and run a million miles a minute to keep up with Silicon Valley’s fast paced environment.

We’ve seen their smiling faces. Read their words of hope and thanks, praising the positive and uplifting environment we build for them where they feel safe and beautiful.

Please join us by supporting their efforts, making even more dreams come true.

DONATE HERE: http://bit.ly/2lLR7OW

Wine Country Fire Victims Recap

First and foremost, thank you so much for all of your donations. The outpouring of donations was literally spilling out of our houses and could barely fit in the RV when we went to pack it all up.

We were able to fill up a 24 foot RV, a whole minivan and even still had to turn donations away and send some off to other companies, like Loma Brewery in Los Gatos. It was more than we could have ever imagined and it is a true testament to the giving nature that is in all of us. It was so heartwarming to watch the “web” of kindness grow as everyone worked together to spread the word and help strangers in their time of need. With the world in such chaos lately, it is a nice reminder that people are inherently good. Thank you!

After we organized everything, packaged it up nicely, we were able to drive up and hand deliver all the donations to a donation center at the Century 21 in the heart downtown Santa Rosa. We can’t thank Leigh Ann at that office enough for opening their doors and allowing us to bring as much as we did. We were also able to go shopping for some newer items like toiletries, underwear, etc. with the generous monetary donations from friends and family.

As you can see in some of the pictures below, this was a true family affair. We were able to get the kids involved and have them experience the labor of love that goes into helping those in need. Being that we had family and friends involved, this hit hard and they truly identified with this cause.

After the donations were delivered, we headed back home. Luckily, the following Monday we took the day off and drove back up to help sort, organize and tend to those that came in to gather what they needed. This was another amazing experience, it felt really good to be put to work and help people meet their immediate needs.


 

 

 

 

 

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