Books For Treats is the Willow Glen-based program that encourages you to give gently read books to your trick-or-treaters instead of candy.
The movement is spreading across the US and Canada, and they’d love to have more communities in Silicon Valley provide a Books For Treats event, as other communities have. If you have contacts in other book- and children-loving places, send them to www.BooksForTreats.org to download their free step-by-step guide.
Willow Glen’s own event is one of the larger giveaways, and it “takes a village” to pull it off with help in the areas listed below.
If you’re interested in helping, please contact Books for Treats founder and Willow Glenner Rebecca Morgan at Rebecca@RebeccaMorgan.com or 408/998-7977
Collect gently read children’s books, especially from baby through second grade. If you are willing to run a book drive (at work, play groups, schools, churches), email me for a drop-off point. If you want to clear out your kids’ libraries, Comerica (on Lincoln), Willow Glen Yoga, Technology Credit Union and Cuchina Bambini take Books For Treats book donations.
Transport 2 pallets of books from near Kelly Park to the Garden Theater the week before Halloween. This would be great for someone with a truck, van or large SUV and some strong-armed help to unload the book boxes. (Boy Scouts? Teenagers? College students? All-round good guys?) Our storage space is open until 4:00 weekdays.
Help sort books on Friday, Oct. 26. Don’t worry if you know nothing about reading levels — we give you brief instruction. We need 12-25 volunteers. We’d love to have those with elementary teaching experience to help determine reading levels, but anyone can help.
Hand out books on Oct. 31 (from 11:00-12:30, 3:00-4:30) to the Lincoln Ave. trick-or-treaters. We need 12-15 volunteers.
Write and distribute press releases. Ideally, this person has experience in this area.
Create video testimonials from parents and kids who’ve experienced Books For Treats. If you’re good with a video camera and are willing to gather some footage before and during the event, we’d love to have short clips on our website and YouTube.
Give books to your own trick-or-treaters. There’s a thorough free kit on how to do this downloadable from www.BooksForTreats.org. You can buy gently read children’s books at the Oct. 6 Friends of the Willow Glen Library book sale, or garage sales and thrift shops.
Tell your neighbors, friends and coworkers about Books For Treats and encourage them to go to www.BooksForTreats.org to download their free kit.
If you’d like to make a monetary contribution to support our web hosting, label printing, etc. let us know and we’ll tell you where to send the check or there’s a PayPal link at www.BooksForTreats.org/donate. We’re now a 501c3 which means your donations are tax deductible!
Even if you can’t help with anything listed below, we’d love to have your support at the fundraiser on Oct. 24 at Willow Street Pizza (Willow Glen location only). They will donate 20% of the proceeds from any purchases for lunch or dinner if you show the flyer downloadable here: http://bit.ly/SnqsCK. Bring a group and have a fun time!
Super tasty food! Self taught chef, Dave Weisner creates impressive flavors and now enters into competition against formally trained chefs.
David (Dave) Weisner of Siena Bistro is one of the chefs going to be featured at the second annual Chefs of Compassion through West Valley Food Community Services.
The event draws 200+ people at $100 each to taste foods created by local chefs from selected ingredients found at the food bank. There are four courses and each chef is featured in a short film at the event held this year at Lexus of Steven Creek in San Jose.
Dave was filmed today (the one day a week Siena is closed- although we give him a hard time that he needs to be open on Mondays!) and the event is slated for September 14, 2012. Good food for a great cause!
For more information: http://www.chefsofcompassion.org/
Sunday morning around twenty volunteers began a cleanup of the north end of Lincoln Avenue from Coe to Parkmoor. They successfully cleaned the east side of Lincoln from Parkmoor to Paula, and the west side to Lonus. They collected eighty 55-gallon trash bags worth of trash and weeds, in addition to non-baggable junk like old tires, mattresses, clothing, motor oil and paint cans. The owner of Ranch Town Recycling was kind enough to provide a truck and driver to collect larger items and tree trimmings, and providing a large dumpster at no cost. (more…)
To show Colin and his family a whole lot of love and alleviate just a fraction of the financial burden they’re facing, a great group of neighbors is hosting a fundraiser this Sunday (3/25) from 1pm-4pm at 1456 Dry Creek Road in the St. Chris Gym (2278 Booksin Avenue). Guests will be treated to live music, food and fun, and a silent auction. Food-wise there will be a hot dog cart, other food and dessert. Kids haircuts will be available for $15. Credit cards will be accepted.
They are encouraging families to ride their bikes to the event, as there will be stations for washing and decorating bikes, and learning about bike safety and proper helmet fittings.
Here are just some of the items that will be up for bid in the silent auction:
We’re excited to share some news about a cool new program designed to reward you for saving money on your energy bill. Yes, you read that right — you earn savings from local businesses by reducing your OWN energy bill!
The program is called Green Energy Match (GEM), and the basic idea is that residents who save energy are eligible to receive 70% off coupons to local merchants. There is also a community grant of $500 each quarter that will be awarded to a PTA, non-profit or other local group.
GEM is sponsored by the City of San Jose and run by an energy efficiency company called WattzOn. Willow Glen is one of just three neighborhoods in which the city is running a pilot program through August of next year, and it’s free to participate.
Start saving energy. WattzOn will give you personalized recommendations on how to save energy in your home. You can choose what works for you and add those activities to your plan.
You can earn 70% off coupons to local businesses,
for products and services valued at $20-$80.
If you save 10% or more, you’ll help your community win a $500 grant to a local school. (If 80% of neighborhood participants achieve the Diamond level (10%) of energy savings during November and December 2011, $500 will be awarded to a designated community program.)
When the nice new sign went up outside the Willow Glen Community Center a few months ago, I remember being impressed that the city was able to fund such a sign given the famously messed up budget situation. Well at a dedication ceremoney today I learned that the sign is actually there thanks to the hard work of local teen Daniel Swanson, who took on the project as part of his effort to attain the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, and a team of local businesses and residents who supported his efforts with money, materials and labor.
“The Willow Glen Community Center participants and staff would like to sincerely thank Daniel Swanson for his outstanding Eagle Scout Project of the Willow Glen Community Center Sign! Since the installation of the sign, more people are aware of the programs available for all ages, and the phone calls have increased. The new sign is an icon that we hope will live on through time for generations to enjoy.”
When 16-year old Daniel was looking for an Eagle scout project, Daniel’s dad Kevin (who produces a public access TV show called Willow Glen in Motion and runs a financial planning company on Lincoln called Integrated Wealth Management) suggested that Daniel check in with the community center to see if he could do anything to help them with their recent shift from being a senior center to a full-fledged community center offering classes and programs for people of all ages.
They said they sure could use a sign that said as much, and the city wasn’t able to provide one, so Daniel leaped into action. He knew he’d have to work hard to pull together lots of money and support to pull it off, including the $2,700 it would take to build the sign itself. At today’s ribbon cutting, Daniel said he spent about 250 hours on the project. As part of his fundraising effort, Daniel incorporated a time capsule into the sign, and supporters were able to include biographies, letters, business cards, etc.
Wilow Guardians ($250+): Michael Mulcahy, Julie Painchaud, Tom Trudell, Center for Spiritual Living
Willow Nurturer ($150-250): Gary Rovai
Revered Angel ($100-150): Rod Diridon, Richard Zapelli, Gary Nelson, Alan Nuttall, Ron Swanson, Lauson Fargher, Emilie Highley, David Machado, Lions Club, David Dearborn, Round Table Pizza
Honored Members (up to $100): Mary Pizzo, Norma Ruiz
In-kind Donation of Materials/Labor
Southern Lumber: discount on the wood
Tom Trafton, signmaker for Christmas in the Park: Routed letters at no charge
Rudy’s Plaster Masters: helped with the lathe and plaster
Travis Bond: donated cement for base
Detail Ink: Helped create design for base
Donated Extra Money to WGCC After-School Program
In fact, in a testament to Daniel’s fundraising and project management prowess, and the wonderful support he received from residents and businesses alike, Daniel beat his fundraising goal and the construction came in under budget, and he ended up donating a surplus of $940 to the community center to fund the recently announced after-school program for teens, which serves over 20 teens a day from 2:30 to 5:30.
In honor of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, this weekend has been designated as National Day of Service and Remembrance. The Friends of the San Jose Rose Garden is recognizing this with a day devoted to bringing the Rose Garden back to life, Saturday September 10.
As fall arrives, the roses need to be deadheaded and weeds need to be pulled. We will begin the day with a fall rose tutorial, showing you how to get the most out of your roses and you can practice at the Garden. But we are desperately in need of help weeding and mulching the beds. Simply put: “Weed Need Your Help!”
These are not your Mother’s weeds, the ones I recall pulling as a kid. They were tough, and you would have to dig them up with a tool. OUR weeds are easy to pull up, by hand, thanks to the generous amount of mulch in the beds. You will see the benefits of mulch! So join us at 9:00 a.m. Sept. 10 at the Garden. Bring gloves and pruning shears if you have them.
For several years, Willow Glen residents Leslie TenBoers and Mary McGrath Keenan have participated in the Willow Glen Relay For Life, a fantastic annual event held at Willow Glen High school that raises money for the American Cancer Society as part of their national Relay For Life program. As part of their fundraising efforts, Mary and Leslie co-chair a block sale on Georgetta where Mary lives.
They’ve been doing an annual fundraiser garage sale at Mary’s home on Georgetta since 2007, but this was the first year other houses participated, and it paid off big time as they raised over $5,000 for the American Cancer Society!
They asked friends to donate things to the sale, and received generous donations from as far away as Los Gatos. Shoppers came from all around the area, and one woman who was unfortunately in town from Placerville for the memorial service of a friend lost to cancer stopped by and said it felt like she was making a difference with her purchase.
Mary and Leslie have also started teaming up to do a Holiday Boutique in December, where the vendors donate a percentage of their sales to the Relay For Life.