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placeholder Advent

Advent begins
on December 3

Advent Events

Filipino tradition
of Simbang Gabi
kicks off Dec. 14

Spreading an idea: The tenderness revolution

'Blue Christmas'
offers reflective light
in a season that
can be dark

Catholic Cemeteries Remembrance Tree Celebrations

Gift of Giving

'Radical answer' to assisting victims of commercial sexual exploitation

Help aging Sisters, Brothers and priests
in religious orders

Local charities
deliver holiday
season wish lists

Financial Matters

Five questions
to ask before
making gifts


800 runners participate in CYO championship


Sister Mary
Denis Baldwin, OP

Sister Romona
Nowak, OP

Drive through
prayer — it's
'God on the go'

St. Perpetua
new center triple
size of old hall

'Taking our
faith back'

'We can do
something for those
who have died'


Message of Fatima
still relevant for
the world today

A museum for
which to be thankful

placeholder November 20, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Gift of Giving

Local charities deliver holiday season wish lists

Abode Services

Abode, which began delivering services to individuals and families without a home in Fremont, is expanding its services to the Tri-Valley area, including Livermore and Pleasanton. Since 2010, Abode Services has moved more than 3,000 adults and children from homelessness into homes.

Need: Gift cards (Target, Wal Mart, Safeway or Payless ShoeSource); holiday dinner basket (canned vegetables, a frozen turkey or ham, stuffing, instant mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and a dessert); (New) winter weather clothing, socks, warm hats; online donations.

Where: 588 Brown Road, Fremont, 94539 (Hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday)

Contact: Jean Morgan, Community Outreach director, 510-252-0910, ext. 804, jmorgan@abodeservices.org; www.abodeservices.org

Alameda County Community Food Bank

ACCFB serves 1 in 5 Alameda County residents by distributing 30 million meals annually, through more than 200 community partners, as well as mobile market and school programs.

In 2016, ACCFB was named Feeding America Food Bank of the Year. For 11 consecutive years, Alameda County Community Food Bank has received Charity Navigator's top rating — Four Stars — ranking the organization among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide. Learn more at www.accfb.org

Need: Monetary donations; non-perishable food items; volunteer time.

Where: 7900 Edgewater Drive, Oakland 94621

Contact: www.accfb.org or 800-870-3663

Bay Area Crisis Nursery

The Bay Area Crisis Nursery's mission is child abuse prevention. The only crisis nursery in the Bay Area, it provides short-term residential care for children to give parents time to focus on solving a crisis. Knowing their children are safe, the parents can make better use of other services to resolve crisis like homelessness, domestic violence, mental or physical illness and a myriad of other unexpected emergencies.

Need: New toys (no war, violent toys, guns or violent action figures) for ages six to 18 months and 18 months to five years of age, clothes (for all ages), books for all age groups, sports equipment, and G-rated DVDs and E-rated game cartridges.

Deliver to: 1506 Mendocino Drive, Concord.

Contact: Catherine Dieterich, 925-685-6633 or Catherine@bayareacrisisnursery.org

Birthright of Brentwood

A nonprofit crisis pregnancy center offering free, confidential, non-judgmental service to pregnant women. We operate with the belief that "every woman has the right to give birth, and every child has the right to be born."

Need: monetary donations, maternity clothes; diapers size 3, 4 or 5, wipes, volunteers.

Mail address: 857 Second St. Suite, D, Brentwood, 94513

Contact: Deena Foley or Rose Deitz 925-634-1275 or by email brentwood@birthright.org

Birthright of Concord

A nonprofit crisis pregnancy center offering free, confidential, non-judgmental service to pregnant women.

Need: maternity clothes; diapers to size 4; baby clothes to 18 months; volunteers; monetary donations welcome.

Mail address: 3106 Clayton Road, Concord 94519

Contact: 925-798-7227

Catholic Charities of the East Bay

Catholic Charities of the East Bay helps families in need rise above poverty and live self-sufficient lives. Founded in 1935, we are devoted to providing social services and advocacy to the working poor in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

Need: Gift cards to Target, Safeway, Walgreens, CVS; BART or other public transportation passes such as Clipper Cards or passes for AC Transit, County Connection or Muni.

433 Jefferson St., Oakland 94607

Contact: Stephen Mullin, director of Engagement, 510-768-3165 or smullin@cceb.org

Mercy Brown Bag Program

Sponsored by Mercy Retirement & Care Center, this program provides bags of nutritious groceries to more than 3,000 needy seniors twice monthly, free of charge. The program helps seniors make ends meet, retain their health, and stay in their own homes.

Need: Cash donations, large-sized paper or plastic bags, produce bags, Ziploc bags and volunteers to deliver groceries to homebound seniors twice a month.

Where: 3431 Foothill Blvd., Oakland 94601

Contact: Krista Lucchesi, director, 510-534-8540, ext. 369

Monument Crisis Center of Contra Costa County

A family resource center assisting and stabilizing the low-income community with nutritious groceries, resource and referrals, adult education, health and wellness workshops, youth, family and senior programs.

Need: Donations via checks or credit card to purchase food; food donations of fresh, packaged or canned foods; diapers, especially sizes 4-6; grocery gift cards to Safeway, Food Maxx or Grocery Outlet. Most of our client families have housing but new sleeping bags are requested for our homeless families. For further information and to donate online: www.monumentcrisiscenter.org

Where: 1990 Market St. Concord 94520.

Hours: 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; extended hours until 7 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Contact: Sandra Scherer, executive director, 925-825-7751, ext. 105; sscherer@monumentcrisiscenter.org

Oakland Elizabeth House

Oakland Elizabeth House is a 12 to 18 month transitional housing program for women and children who experienced homelessness because of domestic violence, rent increases, job loss, substance abuse, and mental health challenges. Our mission is to support women and children in their transition to independence by creating and maintaining a nurturing, cooperative living environment that provides resources, hospitality, and respect.

Need: Gift cards (Safeway, Target, Walmart, Ross, Trader Joe's), household goods (bleach, wipes, dish-washing liquid, detergent for washing clothes, toilet paper and paper towels); personal care items (shampoo, deodorant, shower gel, lotion), baby items (diapers and wipes); canned goods (green beans, cranberry sauce, peas, black eye peas, corn, pinto beans); children's clothing (coats, pants and jackets).

Where: 6423 Colby St., Oakland 94618

Contact: 510-658-1380


Next Step Learning Center

An older youth and adult literacy, high school equivalency preparation, high school diploma completion and college transition program operated by the Sisters of the Holy Names.

Need: Volunteer tutors, cash donations for literacy books; financial assistance for students unable to afford a bus pass or to pay cost of high school equivalency examination fees.

Where: 2222 Curtis St., Oakland 94607

Contact: Lisa Stringer, executive director or Peggy Presley, program director, 510-251-1731

Nights on the Streets — Catholic Worker

Hospitality to the Body of Christ (the homeless and needy in local communities) by providing food, clothing, shelter, counseling and referral, and assisting others who do so.

Need: Prayers for health, guidance and the support of our continuing works of mercy; financial support for our 21st year of hospitality and 15th year of shelter operation run with staff from two Catholic Worker houses; volunteers to prepare and service thrice-weekly "soup nights" each winter (this includes cooking 10 gallons of soup and distributing the same evening); servers for our Sunday breakfast served al fresco at two locations in Berkeley. (Our bishop, Michael C. Barber, SJ, comes and serves at this event — get to know and serve with your bishop!). Sleeping bags are always needed and forever in short supply. A structure capable of housing 8-10 workers and guests including an expanded kitchen; a food storage area and extended bathroom/shower facilities to supplement existing shelter and hospitality facilities in the East Bay.

Mail address: P.O. Box 13468, Berkeley 94712-4468

Contact: J.C. Orton, coordinator, 510-684-1892; noscw@sbcglobal.net

Oakland Catholic Worker

A hospitality house for Latin American immigrants and refugees which has as its mission, "living simply and communally in a community of multicultural volunteers and guests; helping those most in need; supporting an extended community in keeping itself organized and healthy; changing the unjust structures of our society."

Need: Financial donations to assist our many needs; food donations, such as rice, beans, and canned goods; cleaning supplies; gift cards for Smart and Final, Safeway, Home Depot and Office Depot. We need volunteers to help prepare and serve hot meals from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and to help with our grocery distribution from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursdays. We sometimes need volunteers for our ESL program.

Where: 4848 International Blvd., Oakland 94601

Contact: 510-533-7375; oaklandcatholicworker@yahoo.com

St. Mary's Center

St. Mary's Center is a community of hope, justice, and healing that serves at-risk seniors and preschoolers in the heart of Oakland. We strive to improve quality of life through counseling, shelter, nutrition, advocacy and social support.

Need: Monetary donations; coffee; coffee cups; 2 flat-screen TVs; 30 new pillowcases; musical talents to support our memorial garden.

Need for A Friendly Manor (a drop-in center for homeless women): women's underwear; hygiene items; adult diapers; socks; women's deodorant; razors; washcloths, hand towels.

Address: 925 Brockhurst St., Oakland 94608

Contact: Aly Alexander, 510-923-9600, ext. 222 or aalexander@stmaryscenter.org

St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County is a multi-service organization that provides access to much needed goods and services such as the Free Dining Room, Winter Shelter, job training, drop-in centers, free clothing and family services to help people break out of the cycle of poverty.

Need: New toys for children; gently-worn coats for adults; non-perishable food for the holidays; monetary donations and volunteers.

Contact: Muna Texier, 2272 San Pablo Ave., Oakland, 94612; 510-719-0774 for information or make donations at www.svdp-alameda.org

St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County

Founded in 1964, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul offers Thanksgiving and Christmas programs to support the needy from its centralized District Council-Family Resource Center in Pittsburg, and 28 parish-based branches throughout the county.

Help Us Rebuild the Pleasant Hill Thrift Store!: On Oct. 29, the St. Vincent de Paul Pleasant Hill Thrift Store experienced an early-morning fire that destroyed the donation area and caused substantial damage. No one was injured in the fire, as it happened at 6 a.m., but fire and smoke damage to flooring, door frames, windows, computers and merchandise is significant, there is very little equipment and merchandise that is salvageable. Additionally, the store has been closed for insurance assessment and clean up, so we are losing sales revenue that contributes to our safety-net programs. Please help us rebuild our store by making a donation to the FIRE REBUILDING FUND at www.svdp-cc.org and clicking on "Donate" button, select the campaign, "Fire Rebuilding Fund." We hope to re-open the store to the public by mid-December.

Christmas Food Program: Registration required, food gift cards provided to 70 families with children.

Need: Volunteers, cash donations, food donations for our food pantries

Where: SVdP, 2210 Gladstone Drive, Pittsburg 94565

Contact: Barb Hunt, 925-439-5060; or send checks to Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County (SVdP) Attn: Christmas Program, 2210 Gladstone Drive, Pittsburg 94565.

Donate online: www.svdp-cc.org

Holiday One Warm Coat: SVdP is distributing donated coats to the needy throughout the holiday season.

Contact: Stephen Krank, 925-439-5060, s.krank@svdp-cc.org

Christmas Food/ Gift Basket programs: The 28 SVdP branches provide help via Christmas food/gift baskets to more than 13,000 needy individuals throughout the county. The 28 SVdP Conferences in Contra Costa County are providing special Christmas food/gift/blankets programs to more than 3,300 needy families.

Need: Turkeys, hams, hygiene items, toys and books for children, socks for children and adults (preferably bundled in packages of three by size so it's easy to distribute), pajamas for children and adults, diapers and baby wipes, blankets and sleeping bags, food (uncooked and unopened), paper and/or plastic bags (zipper-lock sandwich and gallon size bags), messages of hope and love during the holidays in the form of letters and drawings and cash donations

Contact: Steve Krank, 925-439-5060, s.krank@svdp-cc.org

Send checks to: SVdP of Contra Costa County, 2210 Gladstone Drive, Pittsburg 94565, Attn: Christmas Basket program.

Donate online: www.svdp-cc.org

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