Most of us want to help others, but need a little motivation to make it happen. Service clubs provide that motivation along with a lot of fun, which helps everybody help others and help themselves to new friends, learning experiences and worthwhile activities.
Get involved! Join an organization near you!
Meals on Wheels
When the Walnut Creek Seniors Club learned that Meals on Wheels would have to drop 200 people from the program because of a $100,000 budget cut, they donated $15, 000 to the Meals on Wheels Senior Outreach Services program.
Meals on Wheels delivers meals and companionship to seniors unable to leave their homes who have one or more chronic conditions that prevent them from preparing nutritious meals for themselves.
Meals on Wheels is a safety net for seniors throughout Contra Costa County. People who may want to donate directly to Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services may reach them at www.mowsos.org or call 925-937-8311.
The Walnut Creek Seniors Club is a nonprofit organization of more than 2,000 members dedicated to enriching the lives of seniors in Walnut Creek. The club supports charitable activities that provide assistance to senior citizens, and conduct or support educational classes and cultural activities. The club is open to people 50 and older, living in the Walnut Creek area. For more information, visit www.walnutcreekseniorsclub.org or call 925-943-5851.
DVC Emeritus College
Emeritus College, a nonprofit, fee-supported program of Diablo Valley College, provides people 55 and older with an opportunity to take affordable classes, exercise the brain, and meet interesting people without the stress of homework and tests.
Join for $50 and get discounts on classes, trips, special social events and meet other "lifelong learners" from your community.
Offerings for the fall semester include Impressionists on Water, Brain Boosters, Tour of the John Muir House, and a fascinating lecture, "What were the Atoms in Your Body Doing 8 Billion Years Ago?" by Andrew Frankness, to name just a few.
To see the entire brochure, visit www.dvc.edu/emeritus or call 925 969-4316 for more information.
Historical society fun
The Walnut Creek Historical Society is actively engaged in supporting the local history requirements in area schools.
In the fall and spring, local third-graders are invited to participate in the Living History Program 1906. Children spend a day at the Shadelands Ranch Museum and relive Walnut Creek's history.
Docents play characters who lived at the Shadelands Fruit Ranch in 1906 and help students do chores, play games, tour the house, visit the Japanese workers bunkhouse, see the water tower, examine the basement, collect herbs, and plant seeds in the slow food garden.
As a compliment to the Living History Program, the society provides guided tours of Walnut Creek's downtown for local third-grade classes.
Docents lead students down Main Street, pointing out historic structures and explaining the history of the city. Students carry a booklet specially designed to enhance the tours with "then" and "now" photographs of all the sites covered.
Students can take the booklets home and share what they have learned of local history from the pre-Columbian period to the present day, with their family.
Save the date for the annual Holiday Tea at Shadelands Ranch on Oct. 1, followed by the Pumpkin Patch and December Holiday Tree sale.
Doesn't that sound like fun? Become a volunteer docent for public and school tours of Shadelands Ranch, 2660 Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek. Time commitments are flexible.
The Diablo Valley Quilt Show will feature more than 250 quilts made by DVQ member-volunteers and a special exhibit of quilts made by award-winning artist Nancy S. Brown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15, at the Tice Valley Community Gym, 2055 Tice Valley Blvd. in Walnut Creek.
Visitors will enjoy more than 20 vendors, a guild-sponsored boutique and free demonstrations. Admission is $10, good for both days. For more information, visit www.diablovalleyquilters.com.
Quilt show proceeds will support the group's outreach programs. In 2012, 410 quilts were donated by DVQ volunteers to Healthy Start in Martinez and San Pablo; Esther Gutierrez, Contra Costa County Community Health Services for Women, Infants and Children in East County; The Down syndrome Connection, the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Palo Alto; and the Ronald McDonald House.
Children's Hospital Oakland received some of 1,083 pillowcases DVQ donated to local organizations, including Children's Hospital Walnut Creek Campus; John Muir Pediatric Oncology; Kaiser Permanente in Oakland and Santa Clara, and the Children's Cancer Community.
So far this year they have donated 266 quilts and 932 pillowcases.
And more stitching ...
The Valley Quail Chapter of the Embroiderers' Guild of America will have a party to celebrate their 30-year chapter anniversary at 10 a.m. Sept. 12, at Faith Christian Fellowship Church, 860 Bancroft Road in Walnut Creek.
A very special commemorative Valley Quail sampler has been designed and stitched in honor of the occasion. Publicity chairwoman Beverly Spurs shared some of the philanthropic activities of their members, including embroidered bookmarks to be given to local schoolchildren to encourage reading and "kissing pillows" to be given to soldiers and their families.
Needlework enthusiasts are invited to attend the celebration or general meetings at 10 a.m. on the second Thursday of the month in January, March, May, September and November. Evening meetings are at 7 o'clock in February, April, July, August and October. Contact chapter president Evelin Mitchell for further information at 925-944-5917.
Las Lomas Girl Scout Troop 30848 recently enjoyed a visit to the new Bay Bridge to celebrate "bridging" to the highest Girl Scouting level -- Ambassador Girl Scouts.
The troop, together for 12 years, includes Kate Didion, Mary Evans, Jennifer Hernandez, Grace Howard, Kimberly Johnson, Meredith Johnson, Kate Pearson, Maddy Shedd, Alison Taplin, Carly Wade, Megan Wenzel, Bella Younger and Haley Zeiger.
These young ladies will be continuing their dedication to community service projects through their Scout troop this year.
Troop leader Julia Younger said the girls will be collecting coats for One Warm Coat, a national nonprofit that assists in the donation of winter coats to people in need.
The troop will also be working with Oakland Family Services programs for foster children.
These young ladies will make fine Ambassadors and great future community leaders. We love their spirit of generosity!
Hospice open house
Hospice of the East Bay's Bridge program for grieving children and teens will be holding a Back to School Open House at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 3470 Buskirk Avenue in Pleasant Hill.
The Bridge program offers bereavement support to meet the grief and loss needs of children and teens through art, play, talk and peer support.
Hospice of the East Bay provides compassionate end-of-life care to terminally ill patients, while offering emotional, spiritual, and grief support for the entire family.
Register for the next Bridge program, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, by calling Bereavement Services at Hospice of the East Bay at 925-887-5681.
"Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Send club and organization news, Scouting items, notices of awards and other submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.