Wreaths for veterans, Toys for Tots, gifts for injured animals at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and a story about Yara, a girl from Walnut Creek who raised money from bake sales to send to victims of Hurricane Sandy with her friends and teammates from Aquanuts will warm your hearts this week.

DAR wreaths

The Anne Loucks Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Martinez is lending its support to help the Wreaths Across America Sacramento Valley National Support Committee place a wreath on more than 12,000 graves of veterans at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, noted Peggy Ransdell, in a news release.

Laying of the wreaths ceremonies are held simultaneously across the nation each year to remember and honor the memory of all fallen heroes.

Wreaths Across America is seeking support to buy 12,000 wreaths from Maine for each veteran. Visit www.svncsc.org before Nov. 25, to buy a wreath for a fallen veteran. Enter CASVC001 as the sponsoring group and designate Sacramento Valley as the cemetery.

The annual tradition of placing wreaths will take place at 9 a.m. Dec. 15, at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road in Dixon. It is open to the public.

The Anne Loucks Chapter of DAR was formed in Martinez in 1927. Most members are from the Diablo and San Ramon Valley areas of the county.

The board of directors includes Susan Keen Busenius, regent; Judy Onopchenko, first vice regent; Kay Ernst, second vice regent; Kathy Nielson, chaplain; Diane McLean, recording secretary; Leslie Pfeifer, corresponding secretary; Mel Tilkin, treasurer; Danielle Zazueta, registrar; Ann Costello, historian and Carol Berry as librarian.

For more information about this chapter visit http://anneloucks.californiadar.org.

Gifts for the animals

More than 5,000 injured and orphaned animals are cared for each year in the Lindsay Wildlife Museum and hospital. Additionally, there is lifelong care for more than 100 resident wildlife ambassadors at a cost of more than $100,000 each year.

They depend on the generosity of caring community members to donate vital nutrition, medical care and supplies.

A gift can help provide pain medications to treat 100 injured songbirds; organic soil, shredded bark and pine shavings provide animals something to dig, bury or sleep in; cat trees provide great "furniture" for mammals to climb; special formula for hand-feeding baby squirrels ($28 is enough formula to feed a litter for two weeks); a set of stainless steel pins are needed to fix a fracture in a larger animal such as a hawk, eagle, or fox; vaccination series for orphaned raccoons; specially-formulated diets for 60 nestling, fledgling and adult hummingbirds and more.

Classes on birding, wildlife rehabilitation, Fun with Fungi and Newt Walk are available and might be enjoyed as gifts for the family.

Visit http://wildlife-museum.org or call 925-935-1978 to make a donation or learn more.

Toys for Tots

The time has come again! The Edward Jones Investment office in Martinez is serving as a drop-off location for the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots program, said Jeni Waters in a news release. Community support and local donations will ensure the best year ever to bring gifts to kids in our neighborhoods.

Marines will distribute the toys to kids in need during the Christmas season.

Residents are invited to bring new and unwrapped toys for children of all ages to Edward Jones Investment, 608 Las Juntas St., in Martinez, through Dec. 18. Drop-off hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. Call 925-370-0184 or email Jeni at jeni.waters@edwardjones.com with questions.

Ooh, the support!

The Martinez Recreation Department's eighth annual Restaurant Tour in October -- at which 157 visitors tasted culinary samples from 20 downtown restaurants -- raised $2,355 to support the Oohs, Aahs and Giggles program, a free performing arts series for children, noted Robin Agostino. Winners of "Best Restaurant" were Ashley Affeiro and Arash Pakzad of Barrel Aged.

Resident Terri Bowman and her husband, Dick, and cousin, Rock Huddelston of Oakley, were among visitors, and Terri said, "(They) were very impressed on how charming the downtown is and loved the small-town atmosphere."

Artists Market

Great fun and great one-of-a-kind professional quality gifts, refreshments and entertainment will be offered at an Artists Market, sponsored by Civic Arts Education and the Clay Arts Guild this weekend at two locations. Visitors can shop a variety of artwork handcrafted by the artists from Civic Arts Education's programs.

The opening receptions at Civic Park and the Shadelands Arts Center are from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and the sales continue from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (until 5 p.m. at Civic Park).

The Shadelands campus at 111 N. Wiget Lane in Walnut Creek will feature paintings, photography, glass, gourds, jewelry, textiles and more. There will be a special shopping area for kids who get to decorate their own wrapping. A special cookie decorating session takes place at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Clay Arts Guild will feature live music and artist demonstrations at their opening reception Friday at Civic Park Studio, 1313 Civic Drive in Walnut Creek. Quality functional and display wheel-thrown ceramics will be available, including sculptures, dinnerware, Stoneware, raku, salt- and pit-fired items.

For more information, call 925-943-5846 or visit www.arts-ed.org and www.clayartsguild.com.

Santa at the ranch

Santa will welcome arrivals at the Rodgers Ranch Holiday Boutique from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 1-2, at 315 Cortsen Road in Pleasant Hill.

Rodgers Ranch board member Sarah Young has donated her stuffed bear collection to sell, benefiting Friends of Rodgers Ranch and the Pleasant Hill Historical Society. There will be additional unique gifts for sale.

For more information call 925-937-3677 or email rodgersranch@yahoo.com.

Aquanuts aid victims

Nov. 13 was Walnut Creek Aquanuts team member Yara Elian's, 10th birthday. She kept talking about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and how cold people in New York and New Jersey must feel because of the freezing weather and the dire situation.

She decided that this year -- as a part of her birthday celebration -- to gather her friends and organize a cookie/lemonade sale to raise money for those on the East Coast suffering from the effects of the storm.

Aquanuts friend, Lydia Avramenko of the San Francisco office of TNS Global, informed Yara that her company was matching donations to the Red Cross, along with retailer Gymboree, which got Yara and her brother, Zachary, 8, both very excited.

First, Yara, Zachary and Yara's teammates from the Walnut Creek Aquanuts held a bake sale. The Aquanuts and their coaches helped raise $157 in just three hours, and Yara's friends held another sale raising $127.

As a result, the kids raised more than $284, which was doubled by Gymboree and TNS Global to a $580 donation. Yara brought a part of the sum raised by her team and friends ($90) to the Gymboree store in Walnut Creek, and another check for $200 was mailed to TNS Headquarters in Pennsylvania.

Happy Birthday, Yara, and great thanks for remembering others!

Hearts for Hope

Youth Homes "Hearts for Hope" gala attendees recently raised more than $112,000 for work with abused and neglected foster youth. Funds are also raised through the Youth Homes Auxiliary Thrift Shop at 15-C Vivian Drive in Pleasant Hill.

Benefactors and sponsors acknowledged at the gala included Hanna Global Solutions, Gemmer Asset Management LLC, Tom and Libby Edwards, Lorna H. Martyn, Mechanics Bank, Pleasant Hill Coin and Jewelry Exchange, Shell Oil, WildPackets Inc., Brad Holsworth of Burr Pilger Mayer Inc., First Republic Bank, Kaiser Permanente, R&D Commercial Properties, Wells Fargo and many others. For a complete list of benefactors and information about how you can help foster youth, visit www.youthhomes.org.

"Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Send club and organization news, Scouting items, notices of awards and other submissions to goodneighbors@bayareanewsgroup.com.