There's great news for the Health Trust, and it only stands to get better with the public's help.
The San Jose-based nonprofit is a finalist in the Google Impact Challenge for the Bay Area, and that brings with it a $250,000 grant from the Mountain View search engine giant's philanthropic arm. The Health Trust can win another $250,000 if it places in the top four among 10 finalists in an online vote ending Monday. (You can get more information and vote at https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/bayarea2014.)
The goal of the Google Impact Challenge is to find innovative ideas for making the Bay Area a better place to live. Other finalists include BUILD, the entrepreneurship nonprofit with three locations in the East Bay and Peninsula, and the Mountain View-based Bring Me a Book Foundation.
The Health Trust's idea, by the way, is to bring better food to low-income communities by making it easier for people to get affordable produce in Santa Clara County. Achieving that goal would mean putting more farmers markets, corner vegetable stores and even street vendors in areas that are sorely lacking in them. That sounds like a plan that would have a real effect.
HOME-STORE IMPROVEMENTS: Habitat for Humanity is opening a ReStore, one of its nonprofit home-improvement outlets and donation centers, at San Jose's new Environmental Innovation Center at 1608 Las Plumas Ave. The story behind ReStore, and there's already one open on South Second Street in San Jose, is that it stocks new and used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances at about 50 to 75 percent off the original retail price. All the proceeds support building homes for low-income families.
The ribbon-cutting, along with all those speeches, is taking place Friday, but the official grand opening starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Speaking of recycling, the old Orchard Supply Hardware off West San Carlos Street closed its doors Tuesday, and its replacement store opened Wednesday right next door in the parking lot. There's a grand opening for that store on Saturday, too.
PLIGHT OF POWS: Former "MASH" star Loretta Swit is in San Jose this weekend with the film "Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience," a documentary that she narrated. It'll be shown at San Jose State's Student Union Ballroom at 2 p.m. Saturday. Afterward, Swit will take part in a question-and-answer session with the film's director, Jan Thompson, and former prisoners of war.
Tickets to the film are $10 and can be purchased at the door.