Kops for Kids bikes

Seventeen young residents at the Lighthouse Mentoring Center in Antioch will receive new bicycles for Christmas, thanks to Contra Costa Kops for Kids in Concord and the Tri-Valley Chapter of Turning Wheels for Kids, who donated 11 bicycles.

The Lighthouse Mentoring Center is a 26-bed safe facility for children who come from abused and neglected homes.

Two additional new bicycles and four gently-used bicycles were also donated by the Richmond Police Activities League (PAL) and Pete Janke, retired deputy chief from the Pinole Police Department, so that every resident would receive a bicycle.

"We are honored to be partnering with Turning Wheels for Kids and Richmond PAL to be able to provide the bicycles to these kids who are so deserving of our support," said Larry Lewis, executive director for Contra Costa Kops for Kids.

"It's a blessing for our kids to receive a gift of brand-new bicycles," said Jay Lightner, executive director for Lighthouse. "Most of these kids have never received a brand-new bicycle or even any bicycle at all."

Contra Costa Kops for Kids is a group of active and retired law enforcement personnel whose mission is to help prevent violence, drug abuse, gangs, and juvenile delinquency in Contra Costa County.

For more information, visit www.contracostakopsforkids or call 925-827-1998.

Christmas for Everyone

Christmas for Everyone volunteers work all year round to provide a friendly Christmas Day to more than 3,000 of the county's working poor, seniors and those unable to leave their homes.

Guests will be welcomed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Day, Dec. 25, at New Hope International Church, 2120 Olivera Road in Concord.

Everyone will receive a new gift, almost new clothing and a traditional Christmas dinner with music, entertainment and games.

Volunteers will deliver dinner and gifts to those unable to make it to the event site.

CFE has been helping the working poor in Contra Costa County since 1985, with other service agencies, to provide help to as many families as possible.

Visit their website at www.christmasforeveryone.com, to see their wish list, volunteer to help or make a donation.

And more CFE ...

Clayton Vice Mayor and local Realtor Howard Geller is supporting Christmas for Everyone.

Geller encouraged his community to collect gently used clothing and donations, including the Clayton Business and Community Association.

Last year, Geller delivered four truckloads of goods and more than $4,000 to Christmas for Everyone from the CBCA and other friends.

Trinity Center event

Trinity Center, a Walnut Creek nonprofit helping the homeless survive, will provide dinner on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, at Hillside Covenant Church, 2060 Magnolia Way, in Walnut Creek.

Returning to Trinity Center, Creek Kids Care will provide gifts to homeless community members and share Christmas carols and snacks.

Creek Kids Care provides $300 a month from fundraising activities for breakfast supplies, tents, sleeping bags and tarps for Trinity Center participants. Support them and visit www.creekkids.org.

Trinity Center offers a safety net of basic human services, including breakfast and hot lunch, showers and laundry, clothing, and mail and telephone access at their headquarters at 1924 Trinity Ave., in Walnut Creek.

Outreach services and respite care are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, where up to 50 people a day who are homeless come for assistance and nonperishable food to take with them.

John Alonso, executive director, explained that during our last cold spell they were inspired to open their offices as a temporary shelter, enlisting the aid of the Walnut Creek Police Department and chief Chaplin Lt. Brian Hill and others; Karen Newton with the Red Cross; Kaiser Permanente and many local churches to collect cots, blankets, water and snacks.

Call 925-949-8712 or email info@trinitycenterwc.org to learn how you can help.

Santa visits veterans

Santa Claus (aka Ken Rishell of Concord) and his helpers visited the residents at the Veterans Affairs rehabilitation and extended care facility in Martinez on Dec. 7, to celebrate his and wife Pat's wedded bliss for 57 years.

They have chosen that day and as their way to say "thanks" to veterans for several years.

Ken served in the Air Force so knows what it is like to be away from family and home, especially during the holidays.

Armed with sugar-free candy and candy canes for visitors and staff, they met with vets from all branches of the service, hearing many stories.

"It shows us how much we have to thank each veteran for their service and for keeping us safe here at home. Please remember all of the veterans and their families at this holiday time," said Pat Rishell.

The Clayton Valley—Concord Sunrise Rotary Club donated Snuggies given to female veterans along with personal grooming articles donated by the other elves.

Happy Anniversary, Pat and Ken!

Boy Scout tree lot

Boy Scout Troop 317 of King's Valley Christian School in Concord has opened its annual fundraising Christmas tree lot offering a variety of trees, wreaths, swags, poinsettias and mistletoe trucked in fresh from Oregon.

They are located at the corner of Concord Boulevard and Landana Drive in Dana Plaza, in Concord.

Scouts and adult leaders will be staffing the tree lot on weekends from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekdays from noon to 8 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 23.

Threads of Hope

There was a lot of love and gratitude at the Orinda Theatre recently as much lauded and dedicated volunteers from our community were feted with appreciation and honors from Diablo Magazine Threads of Hope.

Jessica Aguirre, NBC11 news anchor and mistress of ceremonies, held everyone's attention as she introduced each awardee, recognized for their outstanding contribution to our communities.

Out of dozens of nominees, the honorees included:

  • Dave and Lori Sanson for their work with HomeAid

  • Janet Herman, founder of All Stars Swim program

  • Lou Bordisso, living with and advocating for others with early-onset Alzheimer's disease

  • Robert Pack for the Troy and Alana Pack Foundation, dedicated to educating the public and advocating the Legislature for traffic safety and stricter DUI laws and enforcement.

    Cancer Crusader honors were bestowed on:

  • Lisa Monroe, for her work with Camp Okizu for families living with cancer

  • Bonnie Waters, owner of Changes Day Spa in Walnut Creek for her dedication to the cancer support community

  • Bob Hammer, whose Have a Ball Foundation's annual golf tournament has raised more than a million dollars for over 15 different cancer organizations, and has created scholarships for oncology nursing students, sends children with cancer to Camp Okizu and more

  • Sandra Wing of Healing Therapies Foundation, who helps provide cancer patients, during their treatment period, with financial assistance for complementary healing services.

    Surprise honoree, Steven J. Rivera, president of Diablo Publications and founder of the Threads of Hope Awards, thanked the audience of nonprofit leaders and all who wish to make a difference in the lives of those in need in our community.

    Salvation Army gifts

    Every year at Christmastime, The Salvation Army assists hundreds of local families by providing toys for children and a holiday food box for those who otherwise would not be able to afford Christmas on their own.

    If you would like to participate, call 925-676-6180, visit them at The Salvation Army Church and Campus at 3950 Clayton Road, in Concord, or learn more at www.salvationarmyconcordca.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.