February Sneak Peek – The Super Guadalupe River Run

February’s mission is The Super Guadalupe River Run!

What a great way to kick off Super Bowl Sunday. Get your blood pumping and work off those calories before they hit your lips…all while supporting a natural wonderland in our community!

Depending on your zest for activity, the day holds a 10k, a 5k and a 1k for the little tikes. The registration fees will go to supporting the conservancy and preserving this awesome treasure in our city. Below you will find a short video about the run made by a participant.

 

 

Race day is February 5th and registration ends January 30th.

Race fees and festivity times are as follows:

  • February 5 08:30 AM PST – Childcare ($10 per child)
  • February 5 09:00 AM PST – 10K run ($50 per entry)
  • February 5 09:20 AM PST – 5K run/walk ($40 per entry)
  • February 5 10:30 AM PST – 1K Kids’ run ($10 per child)

For all the race details…map, fees, registration, start lines, race packet info click HERE.

Not familiar with the Guadalupe River Parks?Here is an intro to the treasures these wonderful parks hold….

In the dense urban environment of downtown San Jose, the trails, parks and plazas of the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens not only serve to enjoy and preserve natural ecology, they offer residents and visitors a multitude of ways to recreate, relax, discover and enjoy

Ride, walk, run or skate 2.6 miles of trails, enjoy the public art, attend a festival, watch the birds, or romp in a playground. Stop and smell the roses, there are 3,700 varieties to choose from in the Heritage Rose Garden. See the fruit trees that put this valley on the map in the Historic Orchard.

Explore the latest in drought tolerant landscaping in the Courtyard Garden. Or cultivate your own plot in the Guadalupe Community Garden. Take a rest at one of the seven Sister City seating areas to simply watch the river flow.

Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Center to sign up for a class, pick up a map, and check out our local wildlife displays. The Guadalupe River Parks have so much to offer and here is a fun way to help give back to this community asset.

To explore what the Guadalupe River Park Conservancy is up to and all they have to offer click HERE.

We hope to see you on the 5th!

Tag us on Instagram or Facebook if you sign-up!! #kindcooperative

#kindcooperative Spotlight – Ben Hagler

Last month when we were working with the Second Harvest Food Bank, one person, in particular, kept popping up in my mind, my Uncle Ben Hagler out in Nashville, TN.

He has worked with the Second Harvest Food Bank out in Tennessee for a number of years and I thought it would be such a great idea to talk to him about his experience with the organization and why he chooses to pour his heart and soul into this charity on a regular basis.

Below you will find his personal thoughts, pictures and an interview on his experiences and the phenomenal organization that the Second Harvest Food Bank has grown to be. I hope you enjoy his story as much as we did…

“Hunger is a worldwide problem and lives in all of our communities. It has no boundaries and impact the lives of 1 in 7 Americans. In Tennessee, where I live, 1 in 6 children go to bed hungry every night and more than a million Tennesseans are at risk of hunger everyday.

An organization working for hunger issues I discovered upon moving here several years ago, is the Second Harvest Food Bankof Middle Tennessee.

Operating since 1978, its mission has been to feed hungry people and solve hunger issues in our community by collecting, processing, inspecting and sorting food that would otherwise be wasted. This food is then distributed to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters serving the hungry throughout middle Tennessee.

I began working with Second Harvest Food Bank over four years ago as a volunteer in the warehouse inspecting and sorting food with other volunteers. This was strenuous but satisfying work. 

I later discovered that the range of work the Second Harvest Food Bank was doing was much broader. There was the Culinary Arts Kitchen!

This Culinary Arts Kitchen, championed by a Chef and Sous-Chef and a staff of eager volunteers, were working hard to produce gourmet meals that were being prepared and served two days a week in their restaurant.

Having worked in a similar environment for years in Atlanta with Project Open Hand, preparing meals for people with AIDS and AIDS related illness, a kitchen was the place for me. Plus, at my age, the kitchen was more suited to my ability and energy level than lifting heavy boxes or food in the warehouse.

I soon began working as a volunteer in the Culinary Arts Kitchen. We, in the Culinary Arts Kitchen, buy our own food rather than use donated food and prepare it to be served 2 days a week in our restaurant to people in the community. We also serve gourmet meals to the general public on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Culinary Arts Kitchen is not a “food line” for the homeless, since that need is taken care of by local soup kitchens and shelters with food the Second Harvest Food Bank provides free. However, in the Culinary Arts Kitchen, our meals are paid for by the customer and all the money goes directly back into the operating funds of the Second Harvest Food Bank.

In addition to the meals served, we also provide food for breakfast and luncheon meetings in the Second Harvest Food Bank facility, as well as off-site catered events such as weddings, banquets and dinners in private homes. 

All paid for by the customer and all going directly back into the operating funds of the Second Harvest Food Bank.

For me, it has been a gratifying experience to work alongside other volunteers once a week for the past 4 years. Plus, under the direction of our professionally trained Chef and Sous-Chef, I am also learning how to cook!

The problem of World Hunger is a problem we as humanity must commit ourselves to solve. It’s only a matter of choosing to shift our time, money and energy towards that end.

We are all in this together.”

 

Thank you SO much Uncle Ben for sharing your story with us. Love you! ~ Sue

 

LifeMoves Clothing Drive Sorting Party

We are so happy to see the #kindcooperative in motion and so many of you have reached out to us on Facebook and on the blog to let us know you want to help with this month’s mission to clothe the homeless.  Keep up the good work!

In addition to collecting clothes this month, we wanted to let you know about our “Sorting Party” we will be hosting to coincide with this month’s mission. [Details can also be found HERE and HERE]

We will need to sort through all the donations and we thought this would be a great opportunity to get the kids involved and working.

Not only will they feel the hard work they are doing collecting the clothes, but they will see just how much we have all collected over the month. It is hard for kids to tangibly feel their contribution and really understand the impact they are having. Letting them see the piles of clothes is a great first step in a deeper understanding of how their kindness is making an impact.

If you are local, stop by from 10-1 pm and join us! We will be taking donations up until 1 pm that day.

Thanks and keep up the great work #kindcooperative!

January Mission – Clothing The Homeless // January 3rd-January 22nd

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 clothing and Warm items for ALL ages. // New or gently used items, please. Most needed items:
    • Men’s, Women’s, Teens and Children’s clothing
    • New underwear, socks & pajamas
    • Sweaters and Coats
    • Thermals
    • Comfortable shoes and wool socks
    • Gloves, scarves, beanies, umbrellas and ponchos
    • Tote bags, duffel bags, and purses
    • Blankets

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

  • Drop off all your collected items. // 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:

  • Having a household closet cleaning party
  • 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 January mission with our clothes sorting party on Sunday, January 22nd from 10-1 pm. Click HERE to find out more info!

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 see you next month for our next Monthly Mission:

Land & Resource Conservation-Guadalupe River Park Conservancy