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Neighbor to Neighbor volunteers recently helped serve a healthy meal to temporary residents at the Mountain View Emergency Family Shelter in Martinez.

Senior center fun

Make new friends, learn new skills and find more energy in your life and community by joining a Senior Center in your neighborhood.

Exciting recreational, social and volunteer opportunities are available at senior centers, nonprofit organizations for folks over 60 years old.

Discounts on special events, savings on local and international trips, financial counseling, blood pressure checks, medical insurance counseling, income tax preparation, will preparation, legal advice and lunch at the C.C. Cafe in senior centers are offered Monday-Friday. A monthly newsletter brings members up to date on all activities.

Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services provide a healthy, delicious lunch each weekday at a C.C. Café at the Walnut Creek or Concord Community Center. A new menu is offered each month. Suggested donations are $2 to cover the cost of food.

Contact the cafe manager by 11 a.m. the day before you want to come for lunch. Call Walnut Creek C.C. Cafe manager Shirley Guri at 925-280-7310. And contact Concord C.C. Cafe manager Katy Chumbly at 925-825-1488.

  • Visit the Senior Center in Walnut Creek between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, at the Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Drive. Call 925-943-5851 or visit www.walnutcreekseniorsclub.org.


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  • The Concord Senior Center is part of the Concord Community Center, and open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, at 2727 Parkside Circle in Concord. Call 925-671-3320 or visit www.ci.concord.ca.us/community/seniors/scinfo.aspx for more information.

  • The new Senior Center in Pleasant Hill offers a noon lunch at their C.C. Cafe from Monday-Friday. Call 925-771-7641 for reservations before noon a day earlier than you wish to dine.

    The Pleasant Hill Senior Center offers a free DVD and book lending library, a computer classroom with more than 20 new computers, and travel, notary, legal, insurance and financial counselors are on site.

    The facility is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and until 3 p.m. Fridays, at 233 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill. Visit www.phseniorcenter.com or call 925-798-8788 for more information.

    CASA receives grant

    RIC Insurance General Agency of Walnut Creek won the Safeco Insurance "Do Something Special" contest among agencies throughout California and selected CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates for foster children, in Walnut Creek to receive a $5,000 grant.

    CASA foster children are matched with a community volunteer to listen, advise and mentor them during their years in foster care.

    There are currently 76 foster children waiting for a CASA friend. Volunteer informational sessions are held regularly. The next one is offered from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 13, at CASA headquarters, 2020 N. Broadway in Walnut Creek. Call 925-256-7284, email Gina at casa@cccocasa.org or visit www.cccocasa.org to learn of other ways you or your company can help.

    Opportunity Junction

    Opportunity Junction was honored at the Tipping Point Community Awards honoring Bay Area organizations working to prevent poverty, and received a grant of $50,000.

    Opportunity Junction believes that everyone who is willing to work hard deserves the opportunity to succeed, and combines technology training and personal development with real job experience to help low-income adults gain the skills and confidence needed to support themselves and their families.

    While every participant enters the program unemployed, 93 percent are placed in new jobs within six months of completing the program.

    Rasheeda Davis is an Opportunity Junction graduate.

    "Opportunity Junction taught me new technical skills and helped me master the Microsoft Office suite. They even hooked me up with the Internet at home so my daughter could work on her college applications.

    "Today, I love my job as the office manager at a new charter school in Antioch. I'm proud to be building a career and to have stability for my kids."

    Contact Alissa Friedman to learn how you or your business can help at 925-776-1133.

    Neighbor to Neighbor

    Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, Temple Isaiah of Lafayette and San Ramon Valley Islamic Center members saw a growing need to combat poverty, hunger and homelessness in our community and formed "Neighbor to Neighbor" three years ago.

    Neighbor to Neighbor frequently works and supports SHELTER, Inc. and their efforts to prevent and end homelessness in Contra Costa County. Their hope is to deepen the ties among people of all faiths.

    Neighbor to Neighbor volunteers recently helped serve a healthy meal to temporary residents at the Mountain View Emergency Family Shelter in Martinez, including 19 adults and 21 children.

    "As Christians, Jews and Muslims, we came together to prepare and serve a large well-balanced meal for the shelter residents," says Terry Clark, Neighbor to Neighbor coordinator and member of the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church.

    "This was just one small step of what we hope will be many opportunities for us to really have an impact on the quality of life of those in need," says Rabbi Judy Shanks of Temple Isaiah of Lafayette.

    The Mountain View Emergency Family Shelter is at full capacity and expanded for the winter season.

    "Right now we have 14 families living with us and 17 of the 21 children are under 5 years old," says SHELTER, Inc.'s case manager Terry Webb. "Our kitchen is run 100 percent by volunteers with a budget of only $1,000 per fiscal year, so our volunteers and donors are very much appreciated and needed.

    The interfaith liaison at San Ramon Valley Islamic Center, Hina Khan-Mukhatar, expressed appreciation for the shared values among the faiths.

    "It is important to all of us that we show our gratitude for our blessings and then to also share those blessings with others who may not be as fortunate as we are.

    "As part of Neighbor to Neighbor, Jews, Christians and Muslims in the East Bay have been able to break bread together on numerous occasions.

    "So it's nice now to take that same generosity and try to fill the hearts and tummies of the homeless in our communities."

    The goal for the new year is to grow their interfaith group and to identify what more collectively can be done to help the community and fellow neighbors in need. Contact them at SHELTER, Inc. at www.shelterincofccc.org or call 925-335-0698.

    Pet purr-fect

    All of ARF's adult cats (6 months and older) adoption fees have been waived through Jan. 12. View all the pets online at www.arf.net. Standard adoption criteria apply.

    Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation rescues dogs and cats who have run out of time at public shelters until a new home can be found.

    Visit ARF at 2890 Mitchell Drive in Walnut Creek. Call 925-256-1ARF (925-256-1273) or visit www.arf.net.

    Tons of crab feasts

    Residents in Central Contra Costa County have their choice of fundraising crab feasts in the next month.

  • Boys and Girls Club of Diablo Valley Crab Feed begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, at 1301 Alhambra Ave. in Martinez. The cost is $50. Call 925-228-3896.

  • Walnut Creek Seniors Club Crab Feed begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11. There will also be dancing at the event at 1375 Civic Drive, in Walnut Creek. The cost is $50. Call 925-943-5851.

  • The Walnut Festival Association Crab Feed is planned at 6:30 Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 233 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill. The cost is $45. Visit www.thewalnutfestival.org or call 925-935-6766.

  • Pleasant Hill Senior Center Crab Feed will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at 233 Gregory Lane, in Pleasant Hill. The cost is $35 if purchased by Jan. 10. No tickets will be sold at the door. Visit www.phseniorcenter.com or call 925-798-8788.

  • Youth Homes Crab Feed is planned Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 233 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill. The festivities start at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7 p.m. The cost is $50. For information, email leslie.d.smith@gmail.com.

  • Rotary Sunrise of Walnut Creek Crab Feed, is at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at Centre Concord, 5298 Clayton Road, in Concord. Tickets are $45. Visit www.wcsunriserotary.org for information.

  • Martinez Historical Society annual Crab Feed is planned for 6 p.m. Feb. 8, at the Shell Clubhouse, 1635 Pacheco Blvd. in Martinez. The cost is $40. Call Marlene Thompson at 925-228-7065.

  • The Grace Episcopal Church crab feed fundraiser will be held Jan. 25, at 130 Muir Station Road, in Martinez. Social hour is at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $45 for adults, and $8 for kids 12 and younger. Those attending should bring utensils and sauces. Call 925-383-8386 for reservations.

    "Good Neighbors" is compiled by Faith Barnidge. Send club and organization news, Scouting items, notices of awards and other submissions to goodneighbors@bayareanewsgroup.com.