Friday, November 29, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Glide Memorial Church

It's Black Friday and many people are out shopping, thankful for the extreme deals. It's also Feel Good Friday and we're taking a moment to be thankful for Glide Memorial Church.

Built in 1929 and located in San Francisco, CA "GLIDE's mission is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization."

Yesterday 5,000 meals were served to the homeless and other people in need for Thanksgiving (ABC news story) but GLIDE is active year round. As stated on their website, "From serving nearly 1,000,000 free meals a year, to providing affordable housing, free or low-cost state-of-the-art healthcare along with dozens of other programs that help the poor, GLIDE is unconditional in its love, support and commitment to the community it serves."
Janice Mirikitani andCecil Williams 

Those of you living in the Bay Area can attend a Sunday Celebration or help out as a volunteer. Everyone can visit the video page to see a history of the church and their programs or like their Facebook page.

Now back to family, board games and leftovers!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Eyes in the Sky

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you may be thinking about turkey (mmm, turkey) but Feel Good Friday is here to talk about raptors! 

You may be asking yourself, "Are thoughts of turkey really what prompted this post?" Well, no. Admittedly, I recently saw a friend who volunteers with Eyes in the Sky and she told me about this very cool program that I'm going to share with you.

As they explain on their website, "Eyes in the Sky (EITS) has been Santa Barbara Audubon’s key wildlife education program since 2000. It features seven birds of prey that serve as education ambassadors. All were rescued and rehabilitated but, due to permanent disabilities, can no longer survive in the wild. They were adopted from wildlife rehabilitation centers that would otherwise, by law, have had to be euthanized."

Athena, a Barn owl
If you live in (or visit) Santa Barbara you can visit the center to meet the birds. If you're a teacher in the area, you can make arrangements for EITS to bring one or more raptors to your classroom for a storytelling program. That's a show and tell day you don't want to miss!

For those of you who live too far away to drop by, there's a video of Max, a Great horned owl that you can watch here. You can also like the Santa Barbara Audubon Society's Facebook page to stay in the loop.
Teresa and Ivan, a Red-tailed hawk

Finally, apologies if this post made the Alan Parsons Project song Eye in the Sky get stuck in your head. If it's any consolation it's stuck in my head too.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Make a Wish, Batkid

Many of you may be familiar with the work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It's an organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions at the rate of one wish every 38 minutes. Wishes can range from meeting a celebrity or visiting a city to having an army-themed playhouse.

Today, the city of San Francisco is conspiring with Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area to transform into Gotham City so a 5-year old with leukemia, named Miles, can be Batkid for a day.

He's got a busy schedule:
  • 10:00am - getting a call for help from the Chief of Police and heading out in his batmobile to rescue a damsel in distress from the Hyde Street cable car line
  • 10:15am - stopping a bank robbery at 500 Montgomery Street
  • 11:15am - lunch, while a flashmob dances in Union Square to let him know Giants mascot Lou Seal has been kidnapped
  • AT&T Park for the rescue and the City Hall to meet Mayor Lee and get a key to the city
If you can't take part in the adventure but still want to know what's happening you can stream Miles' press conference live at 2:30 PST at, follow along on Twitter using #sfbatkid or check the Facebook page for updates.

Today, Feel Good Friday is even prouder than usual to call San Francisco home.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Operation Gratitude

Veterans Day is Monday and Feel Good Friday wants YOU!

Wants you to do what? How about getting involved sending a care package and a letter of appreciation to someone in the military? 

10 years ago, Carolyn Blashek founded Operation Gratitude. As they explain on their website, "Operation Gratitude seeks to lift morale in the Military Community by sending care packages addressed to individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deployed overseas, to their children left behind, and to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors and their Care Givers.  Operation Gratitude Care Packages contain food, hygiene products, entertainment and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation, all wrapped with good wishes of love and support."

Their current program is focused on sending the troops all that excess Halloween candy you have laying around - unless you already ate it - and care packages for the holidays will be next on the list. To date, they've sent out 989,147 packages!

You can see Operation Gratitude in action in this 4 minute CBS videofollow Carolyn Blashek on the Huffington Post where she is a regular blogger and like their Facebook page to stay in the loop.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Feel Good Friday - Corazón de Niña

Today's Feel Good Friday coincides with Day of the Dead (Día de Muetros en Español). It's "a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died." (Thanks, Wikipedia).

So let's go to Mexico! A local restaurant in Puerto Vallarta is hosting a charity event to raise money for Corazón de Niña - a shelter for teenage girls. As they explain on their website, "Our goal is that the girls grow with security, love, values and education in order to become healthy, strong and independent women and thus change the cycle.  The girls know that this is their home until they are ready to leave the house and fly.  We are the only house in Puerto Vallarta with a focus on adolescent girls, insisting on maintaining the girls together with a variety of ages."

Keeping the home running isn't easy. To make ends meet, the girls sell donated items on the weekends and they subsist on food from Costco that is past it's expiration date. All the while they're trying to build out the house to accommodate more girls.

How can you help? If you'd like to make a donation and want it to be tax deductible in the US, you must make it through the Casa JoJo Foundation. You can watch the 6:22 minute video they made here.

As always, you can stay in the loop by liking their Facebook page or best of all, make a plan to visit in person! Now you've got an excuse for a little vacation in PV! You're welcome.