Mother's Day honors mothers. Trouble is, some mothers don't have family to honor them or even provide for them as they age.

Meals on Wheels helps feed our elderly residents unable to leave their homes with volunteer services to provide necessary nutrition for this vulnerable population.

Caring Hands matches volunteers with seniors who are trying to remain in their homes and just need a little help.

Both organizations need your help to continue their work.

Help Meals on Wheels

Stumped about what to give your mom or grandmother for Mother's Day?

Honor them with a contribution to Meals on Wheels, which delivered 363,354 meals last year to 2,109 elders unable to leave their homes.

More than 66 percent were women, 47 percent live alone, 69 percent overall were older than 75, and 83 percent live below the "Elder Economic Security Standard" for Contra Costa County.

They need our financial support now.

Meals on Wheels is being forced to implement service reductions in response to severe revenue losses, including the most recent federal sequestration cuts.

That results in a reduction of 200 elders who will be refused Meals on Wheels services this year in order to reduce the program to a sustainable level, explained A. Paul Kraintz, 32-year program director and co-founder of Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa. Community contributions currently support more than 60 percent of funding, which will need to be significantly increased to cover this shortfall of government funding.


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Donations can be sent to Meals on Wheels of Contra Costa, P.O. Box 3195, Martinez, CA 94553 or made via www.mealsonwheelsofcontracosta.org.

Lend 'Caring Hands'

Caring Hands is a collaborative effort of John Muir Health, congregations of various religious faiths, social service agencies and the community at-large creating one-on-one matches between caring volunteers and isolated, frail and disabled seniors -- mostly women over the age of 60 -- enabling them to remain in their homes as long as safely possible.

A friendly phone call, visit, help with local transportation, shopping, mail and other volunteer services are generally provided from one to three hours per week.

Volunteer trainings will be held May 24 and July 26, in Walnut Creek.

"Volunteers can come to the training and if they plan to be gone during the summer, they can wait until later to start volunteering," says Linda Groobin, Caring Hands program manager. Call 925 952-2999 to set up an interview and orientation to learn more about how you can help, and to sign up for a training.

The connection of health and loneliness for older adults will be discussed by health care professionals at a free "Out of Isolation" seminar from noon to 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 31, at John Muir Medical Center Ball Auditorium, 1601 Ygnacio Valley Road, in Walnut Creek.

Enjoy a free lunch generously provided by Chateau III. Also featured will be an "Age Well, Drive Smart" presentation by the DMV and CHP. Reservations are requested before May 17, by calling Cindi at 925-937-8311 or email staff@mowsos.org.

The event is sponsored by Senior Mobility Action Council, John Muir Health, Contra Costa County Advisory Council on Aging, Senior Helpline Services, Chateau III, Rehabilitation Services of Northern California, Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services, CHP, DMV, and the Lamorinda Spirit Van Program.

For Crisis Nursery

Enjoy hilarious truths about love and motherhood at the Mother's Day Comedy Show, guaranteed to raise chuckles and funds for Bay Area Crisis Nursery.

The show is from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Winslow Center, 2590 Pleasant Hill Road, in Pleasant Hill. Cost is $20.

Comedienne Veronica Dangerfield, the "funniest woman in Pleasant Hill," will emcee.

Bay Area Crisis Nursery's primary service is providing a warm, loving, homelike environment for children birth through 11 years old by offering 24-hour residential care for families in stress, located in Concord.

As you celebrate Mother's Day, remember that not all families are in a good place and may need the services of this wonderful organization to give them the time and space to pull their lives together.

Kiwanis Club of Walnut Creek shared proceeds from their "Golf-4-Kids" tournament last week at Boundary Oak Golf Course with Bay Area Crisis Nursery.

Visit http://www.bacn.info/start.html to see how you or your organization can help.

Mother's Day garden

The Pleasant Hill Garden Study Club Garden Boutique and Plant Sale offers something special for Mom the day before Mother's Day! Drop by from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Winslow Center, at the corner of Pleasant Hill Road and Taylor Boulevard. For more information call 925-944-4898, visit www.phgsc.com or email phgardenstudyclub@yahoo.com.

Wine tasting benefit

The Martinez Early Childhood Center, a private, nonprofit program dedicated to offering high-quality preschool education and full-time care for children 1-5 years old, will hold its annual Wine Tasting fundraiser from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday May 10, at the Martinez Event Center, 524 Main St., in Martinez.

Participants can enjoy live music with the Blue Moon Brothers, sip wines donated by local wineries, taste a wide assortment of appetizers, win raffle prizes and bid on silent auctions.

Purchase tickets -- $35 in advance or $40 at the door -- by calling 925-229-2000 or online at http://martinezecc.org/.

Stamp Out Hunger

Residents may partner with their letter carriers to help "Stamp Out Hunger" on Saturday, May 11.

Residents are asked to place a sturdy bag of nonperishable food items by their mailbox before their mail is delivered. Letter carriers will collect and deliver them to our local food bank to then be distributed to the community to help those at risk of hunger.

"This drive comes at a critical time," said Larry Sly, executive director of the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. "Donations tend to drop off after the holidays, while the Bay Area food banks see an increase in requests from parents of school-aged children."

Learn more at www.helpstampouthunger.com.

'Rotarians at Work'

Concord-Diablo Rotarians, along with their youth associate Interact Club from Carondelet High School in Concord, worked on a housing project recently designed to help at-risk youth in Concord.

Each year the "Rotarians at Work Day" concentrates on a single theme throughout the district of 72 clubs, and this year's theme was Youth and Abuse Issues. Rotary members at the workday included Edi Birsan, Nancy Glenfield, Beri Kasper, Jeff Kasper, Eric Maldanado and Pastor Willhite.

The Concord-Diablo Rotary can be reached at www.CDRotary.com or through president Eric Maldonado at 925 951-7182.

Jazzercise 'wishes'

Concord/Clayton Valley Jazzercise instructor Pam Jensen and 22 of her instructors and customers were part of some 275 enthusiasts who gathered at the Oracle Arena in Oakland this spring and performed a specially choreographed half-time show to raise money for the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation. And raise money, they did -- $67,174!

"This event is always so much fun," said Jensen. "What makes it really special is we have fun performing at the game while doing something worthwhile for the community."

Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children 2 1/2-18 with life-threatening medical conditions and their families. For information and to refer a child for a wish, call 415-982-9474 or visit www.SF.Wish.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.