Give-Back to the Local Community this Season

Tis the season to take a minute to think about and give to others less fortunate. After all, true holiday cheer comes from kindness. When you share small acts of kindness, you are giving back more than you might think. Below are ways to give back to your Bay Area neighbors along the San Francisco Peninsula this holiday season and help make a difference in someone’s life.

Giving The Gift of Food. Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is committed to ending hunger in our community, by distributing nutritious food, the foundation for a healthy, productive life, to nearly every neighborhood in Silicon Valley. Be sure to visit their website and to check their “Give Help” tab to learn about other options that can help this amazing organization.

Volunteer to Aid Local Families.  Samaritan House’s central mission is to preserve dignity, promote self-sufficiency, and provide hope with compassion to everyone in the community. They need the help of volunteers to ensure the working poor of San Mateo County aren’t invisible. You can join their team of over 3,300 volunteers and help those in need. Volunteer opportunities include Food Services Support and Mobile Meals Delivery.

Supporting Local Healthcare. Peninsula Healthcare Connection is community-based organization serving people experiencing homelessness or exhibiting a high risk of experiencing homelessness, and providing them with comprehensive, client-oriented health and wellness services. You can donate funds to help their work and/or volunteer to give back to your community.  Learn more about getting involved here.

Share Some Warmth and Give a Gift. Donate your gently used winter hats, gloves, thick socks, coats and warm blankets to women’s and homeless shelters. One Warm Coat has a number of ways to get involved this holiday season. Since 1947, the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program has collected new, unwrapped toys and distributes to less fortunate children. Watch for the bins around San Mateo County.

Visit Children’s Hospitals. Donated new toys, books, stuffed animals, craft materials, and other items can help comfort and entertain children during their hospital experience. Find local opportunities near you.

Donate Blood. Give more than thanks this season. There are several resources locally where you can donate blood. Click here to discover a location near you. Make a difference and help save a life by giving the gift of life.

Seniors This Time of Year. Many of the seniors at the assisted living or health care facilities don’t get many visitors and love to have people come and spend time with them. Be a Santa to a Senior this year, click here to find opportunities near you! Organize a children’s choir, bring a book or a deck of cards and brighten someone’s day. Contact your local Senior Housing Communities to find out their specific needs. Additionally, services such as Live Oak Adult Day Care offer much-needed caregivers support.

Host a Box Party. HandsOn Bay Area makes volunteering with your coworkers, friends or family easy with Project in a Box. You’ll receive a box with all necessary supplies and instructional materials included as well as a pre-paid shipping label and second box to mail the finished project to the benefiting charity, after the project is complete.

Roll Up Those Sleeves. Rebuilding Together Peninsula provides essential safe and healthy housing-related repair service for vulnerable homeowners and community facilities throughout San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County. Since 1989, RTP has serviced more than 2,500 homes and 400 facilities, revitalizing communities and rebuilding lives.

Sit Down and Send a Note. A wonderful option to connect during the digital age is to write a letter to friend or loved one. Expressing how you feel and how much they mean to you is the perfect, personalized holiday gift. Also, when you’re out and about this season, small acts of kindness can make a world of difference. Smile, say thank you, and let someone go in front of you in line.

There are many more ways to make a difference this season and throughout the year, these are just a few ideas to spark your kindness creativity. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us at Bay Meadows! rates Bay Meadows high on the list for walkable locations to live on the San Francisco Peninsula and for good reason! Why? Because we are steps from shopping (Hillsdale Center), groceries (Whole Foods), parks, a farmer’s market and an easy bike-ride from downtown San Mateo with its burgeoning restaurant scene. Plus, Hillsdale Caltrain is a quick stroll from anywhere in the neighborhood making it easy to get from here to there. Learn all about connecting the dots for your many transportation options with Connect San Mateo.