Happy New Year!
Make a New Year's resolution that will inspire you. Learn more about an issue close to your heart and have fun helping others as a volunteer. New friendships are created around a common cause. Volunteers are appreciated and respected.
You may not be in a position to support many causes financially, so volunteer your time. Time is as good as gold to nonprofit organizations that provide support to those who need help.
The John Muir Health volunteer program Caring Hands matches volunteers and people over 60 years old who may be frail, isolated, or disabled, with free nonmedical assistance. The program helps seniors stay in their homes and remain independent as long as safely possible.
Caring Hands volunteers give a few hours a week to their new senior friend, providing a little transportation and companionship that brings rewards to both of them.
Volunteer trainings offer fundamental skills in working with seniors, and ideas for making your match successful for both of you.
Volunteer trainings will be held Jan. 31, in Brentwood, and March 21, in Concord. Call Linda Groobin at 925-952-2999 and learn about the process of making a new friend who will appreciate your help and enjoy your company as a Caring Hands volunteer.
Visit www.johnmuirhealth.com for volunteer information.
Be a CASA friend
Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children (CASA) volunteers are ordinary people doing extraordinary work for abused, neglected and abandoned children in our community. Many times, the CASA volunteer may be the only consistent and caring adult presence in the life of a child in foster care.
An informational session is offered from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 13, at 2020 N. Broadway, Suite 204, in Walnut Creek. Call 925-256-7284.
The next informational session is Feb. 11, and the next volunteer training begins April 1.
'Like new' kids bikes
Used bikes are donated to the "Adopt-a-Family Bikes" workshop at Trinity Center in Walnut Creek, where the bikes are restored to almost new condition and given to underprivileged kids for Christmas.
Through the years, Adopt-A-Family Bikes has expanded to refurbish and distribute thousands of bicycles to those unable to purchase new bikes for Christmas.
Do you have an old bike that could be spruced up for a needy kid? Call 925-949-8712 to find out when you can drop it off at Trinity Center, 1924 Trinity Ave. in Walnut Creek.
Trinity Center of Walnut Creek is a respite and resource center for homeless families and individuals in Central Contra Costa County, partnered with St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
The center is open two full days per week and partial days on three other days where there are shower and laundry facilities, hot lunches, counseling, medical support, and access to other community services for the homeless.
Make a virtual visit to Trinity Center by going to their website at www.trinitycenterwc.org.
St. Matthew's Angels
The Angel Tree project at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Walnut Creek is celebrating 20 years of service. Church volunteers work all year to collect baby items for the Newborn Infant Project of the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, organized by the CCRMC Auxiliary.
You can participate as an individual or group and donate baby items. Auxiliary volunteers then make up layettes containing a blanket, a receiving blanket, sleepers, onsie, a thermometer and a hat. One of these goes home with each newborn baby.
"We greatly appreciate all contributions" said Deloris McDonald, Auxiliary publicity chairman. "There is an average of 175 babies born each month."
For more information, call Shirley Peterson at 925-228-5716.
Garden club delivers
A holiday tradition of the Pleasant Hill Garden Study Club is the donation of cheerful houseplants to Hospice patients.
Each year at the club's December meeting, members bring the plants, which are then delivered the following morning. This season, 30 plants were delivered to Hospice of the East Bay, and another 30 to Sutter Care at Home.
The label stakes were generously donated by Jory's Flowers of Concord, and labels were prepared by member Jan Egan.
New Lindsay director
Lindsay Wildlife Museum's new executive director Norma Bishop said, "I am ecstatic to be the next leader at Lindsay Wildlife Museum.
Building on its great credentials, dedicated board of directors and talented staff, we'll work together to build a wildlife nature center that draws families, children and adults from throughout Northern California." Welcome!
Bishop has served as executive director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum; executive director at Santa Barbara Maritime Museum; and taught nonprofit finance and fundraising law at UC Santa Barbara.
The Lindsay Wildlife Museum offers a natural history and education center and a wildlife rehabilitation hospital that treats and releases thousands of injured local wildlife each year.
The facility is located at 1931 First Ave. in Walnut Creek. Call 925-935-1978 or visit wildlife-museum.org.
Monument holiday joy
Santa had nearly 100 helpers from Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek who helped make some Christmas cheer for 42 families from Meadow Homes Elementary School, the Michael Chavez Center and the Monument Community Partnership, all in Concord.
The employees, from more than 20 departments, helped the Monument area, which is one of Kaiser's Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Zones.
The zones are a three-year effort by Kaiser to encourage people in low-income communities to eat better and move more to increase health and decrease obesity.
After almost a month of gathering and wrapping, organizers of a toy drive -- dubbed project Good Cheer -- delivered gifts in time for Christmas.
"We provided at least one wrapped gift, or sometimes gift cards for food, to every mom, dad, teen and child in 42 families," said Danielle Ormsby-Toombs, safety coordinator at the Walnut Creek medical center.
"We are grateful that the staff, employees, and physicians of Kaiser Permanente have banded together to make a difference for so many families this holiday season," said Ana Villalobos, Monument HEAL Zone manager for the Monument Community Partnership-Michael Chavez Center.
"Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Send club and organization news, Scouting items, and other submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.