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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May Mission – Spreading Literacy

About

Literacy and instilling a love of reading is so important in the lives of our youth. Books teach us, take us away from the mundane and connect us to a world much bigger than ourselves. Reading is a large part of our families lives and we want to help spread the gift of books to others.

 

MONTHLY MISSION OUTLINE

This month’s mission is a little different than our past missions. We do not have a particular focus group, but rather a target action……spread literacy.  Our goal is to collect books in good condition. They can be kids books, board books, picture books, novels, anthologies…..really, any books! We will sort them and donate them to different organizations who will find them as wonderful as the original owners.

  • Collect books…glorious books…books of all types from now until June 4th, 2017
  • Ask friends and families.
  • Come to Our book sorting party….June 4th at 10 am.
  • Drop off all your collected items. // You can drop off your books 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 books 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:

  • Cleaning out our family book shelves.
  • Tell family and friends…Ask them to go through their books as well.
  • Purchase your favorite book to donate
  • 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.

If you have ideas of organizations or charities that would love book donations….please message us your ideas. Your ideas are valuable to the kindness cooperative’s missions.

Thank you and stay tuned for our next mission.

 

National Day of Unplugging

Today, Friday, March 3rd is National Day of Unplugging and personally, it has come at the perfect time.

I have been overindulging in social media, ignoring my new stack of books I so eagerly want to read and pretending I don’t see my poor little puppy sadly begging for a walk. So today I am excited to be motivated to unplug and be a good example to my children and show them the importance of unplugging and recharging once in a while.

You can download your own “Commit to Unplugging” sign HERE.

So Happy Day of Unplugging! Next week, we would love to see how you and your family unplugged so tag us on IG with #kindcooperative

March Sneak Peek!

You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book. ~ Dr. Suess

Reading is huge in our house.

We read together for school and for fun. When the kids ask me a question that I don’t know the answer to, which seems to be a lot lately, I reach for a book instead of relying on Google, hoping to be a good example for them when they have questions in the future.

We read as a reward for good behavior and attitude. We read to take the blues and boredom away. We read to help settle our minds at the end of a long day. We read to laugh and we read to cry. We read and find those who have much in common with us and we read to learn more about those that don’t.

We all know the statistics on reading and children; it improves brain function, strengthens their vocabulary, introduces them to new ideas, helps them become better writers, teaches them about places near and far, etc., etc. the list is extremely lengthy. My motto is, as long as they are reading, I am happy because there really isn’t anything bad that comes from diving into a new book.

With that said, our next monthly mission for March is going to be focused on Literacy and all things books!

I am very excited about this because personally, reading is a huge part of my life. I spend most of my free time reading books, blogs, articles, anything I can get my hands on. On a daily basis, I try to set a good example for my children and have them see the joy that can come from seeing their mother read and enjoy herself with a new story. We take weekly trips to our local library and participate in events they have there.

We visit locally owned bookstores to find new books and meet our favorite authors.

I am the Chair of the Scholastic Book Fair at the kid’s school and I have also recently started a book club, which they see and get excited about and have expressed their interest in starting their own book club one day.

This is all very easy for me because I grew up around books and had a great role model for reading in my own mother. However, this isn’t always the case for other children around the world. Access to books and education on reading can fall to the wayside when money and time is tight. So Rachel and I are very excited to focus all of March on Literacy and bringing the love of reading and books to those that may not have access as easy as we do.

We will be kicking the month off by celebrating National Read Across America Day this week on Thursday, March 2nd. If you are not familiar with National Read Across America Day, it is an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

In cities and towns across the nation, teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others develop NEA’s Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. Governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities with proclamations and floor statements. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And teachers and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall if it boosts their students’ reading.

This is just a fun way to kick off a month-long joy of reading with our children. We will also be hosting a book drive, book donation drop-offs and a number of other fun events focused around reading throughout the month so make sure to check back on Wednesday when we post the official Monthly Mission.

In the meantime, save some time this week to snuggle up and dive into a new book.

Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.