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placeholder Local charities deliver holiday wish lists

Coping with grief and loss during the holidays

New documentary focuses on female infanticide in India

Indian woman tells how her newborn was murdered because she was a girl

Youth Rally in Hayward

Parents, pre-schoolers linked in literacy program

Scientists meet at Vatican to discuss extraterrestrial life

Consider spiritual direction as a way to encounter God

‘Passionate about justice,’ students commit to be agents for social change

Movie review
New DVD retells Fatima Miracle

Help asked in funding retirement needs of religious men and women

Jesuit leader: Cultural diversity is important factor of today’s Church

Group emphasizes Eucharistic adoration

placeholder November 23, 2009   •   VOL. 47, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Local charities deliver holiday wish lists
CNS photo/Mike Crupi, Catholic Courier

A Friendly Place/Manor
A drop-in center for homeless women run by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
Need: Christmas gifts for women, cold and cough medicine, socks (new or clean used), wash cloths (new or used), safety razors, spray deodorant, air freshener, hotel-size soap, shampoo and lotion.
Where: 2298 San Pablo Ave., Oakland 94612
Contact: Sister Maureen Lyons, CSJ, (510) 451-8923

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Distributes 300,000 meals weekly through 275 food pantries, soup kitchens and community agencies. In business since 1985. In the third quarter of 2009, demand through the Emergency Food Helpline (1-800-870-FOOD) skyrocketed by 53 percent.
Need: Monetary donations, non-perishable food items, volunteer time.
Where: 7900 Edgewater Dr., Oakland, 94621
Contact: www.accfb.org or (800) 870-FOOD


An international pregnancy service that supports pregnant girls and women who need help by providing positive alternatives to abortion.
Need: Crib blankets, receiving blankets, sleeper bags, baby towels, one-piece stretch outfits, diapers, maternity clothes, cash donations and volunteers.
Where: 3106 Clayton Road, Concord 94519
Contact: Linda Easterday, director, (925) 798-7227

Need: Volunteers; prayer support; cash donations; newborn and small-size diapers; baby boy clothing, newborn-size to 18 months.
Where: 1048 Grant Ave., San Lorenzo 94580
Contact: Rosanne Maki, (510) 481-9677

Need: Maternity clothes, baby clothes, layettes, cash donations, volunteers, office counselors and board members.
Where: 1520 Catalina Court, Building C, Livermore 94550
Contact: John M. Kupski, director, (925) 449-5887 or (800) 550-4900; Fax: (925) 449-5164

Casa Vincentia

A residence for pregnant women, 18-25, who are homeless and/or in crisis.

Needs: Financial donations; electric clothes dryer; layettes, diapers; women’s pajamas (M, L, XL), sweat shirts (M.L, XL), slippers (M, L); baby wipes, lotions, oils, bath wash and powder; new bed-in-a-bag sheets and comforter sets (bright colors, twin and full) and pillows; bath towels and wash cloths, bassinette sheets and skirts; paper towels, toilet tissue; silverware, butcher’s block, water glasses, food storage containers; disposable cameras; flat iron; blow dryer.
Where: 3210 62nd Ave., Oakland 94605
Contact: Barbara Jackson, (510) 729-0316

Catholic Charities of the East Bay

Lifts people out of poverty by promoting self-sufficiency, strengthening families, and supporting safe and just communities. Since 1935, the agency has served people in need in Alameda and Contra Costa counties regardless of their religious affiliation.
Where: 433 Jefferson St., Oakland 94607
Contact: (510) 768-3100, www.cceb.org

Individuals, parishes, businesses or schools adopt a family in need throughout the year. This is an opportunity to walk with a family through a particularly troublesome time of their lives, helping locate furniture, bedding, clothing, housing and job opportunities.
Need: Long-term sponsorship of a family.
Contact: Wanica Means, (510) 768-3121

Project Joybells

An annual toy drive for children of CCEB clients spearheaded by long-time volunteer Mary Moyce.
Need: Financial contributions payable to “Catholic Charities Joybells,” 433 Jefferson St., Oakland, CA 94607
Contact: Wanica Means, (510) 768-3121

General Holiday Fund

Need: Financial contributions payable to “Catholic Charities of the East Bay.”
Where: 433 Jefferson St., Oakland, CA 94607

CNS photo/Greg Tarczynski
Contra Costa Interfaith Coalition

A network of faith-based communities, including several Catholic churches, which assists the needy in Contra Costa County by buying, preparing and distributing food at the Concord Homeless Shelter, and by supporting transitional housing programs that help the homeless to become self-sufficient.
Need: Cash donations; new or washed blankets, box springs and mattresses; Safeway or Lucky’s gift certificates; sleeping bags; volunteers.
Where: 3319 Deerpark Dr., Walnut Creek 94598
Contact: John Krajcir, (925) 937-6742

Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO)

A coalition of congregations and community members helping homeless families move to self-sufficiency. The non-profit organization serves families with minor children throughout the East Bay and beyond by providing shelter, transitional housing, nutrition, mental health counseling, life skills training, job skills development and housing placement assistance.
Need: Monetary donations, food (see website for specific items), gift cards for groceries (e.g., Costco, Safeway), gift cards for shoes (e.g., Payless Shoe Source, Target, WalMart), copy paper, household items and appliances (see website for specific items), beanbag chairs, children’s books and toys in excellent condition, working computers and all necessary peripherals (keyboard, mouse, monitor) with sufficient memory and speed to handle contemporary programs and Internet applications.
Where: 21455 Birch St., #5, Hayward 94541
Contact: (510) 886-5473; www.fescofamilyshelter.org

FACE (Family Aid-Catholic Education)

Since 1978, FACE has provided tuition assistance to low-income families who desire to send their children to Catholic schools in the Oakland Diocese. Over 1,000 elementary and high school students are currently receiving FACE grants, but more than 1,700 needy students remain on the waiting list.
Need: Financial contributions to help students on our waiting list; donations of items for our upcoming auction fundraiser; volunteers to assist with mailings and annual auction/dinner event, scheduled for March 20, 2010.
Where: 2121 Harrison St., Suite 100, Oakland 94612
Contact: Krista Rosa Brennan, Executive Director, (510) 628-2169

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

Works to alleviate hunger and provide an efficient, coordinated system for collecting and distributing food that reduces food waste and increases public awareness regarding hunger and food security issues in Contra Costa and Solano counties.
Need: Gifts of food, time, and money.
Where: 4010 Nelson Ave., Concord, 94520 and 1891 Woolner Ave., Ste I, Fairfield, 94533
Contact: (925) 676-7543 or www.foodbankccs.or

Lasallian Educational Opportunities (LEO) Center

An after-school tutoring and homework help center for sixth- through 12th-grade students in north and west Oakland; English language and computer training for adults. Operated by the Christian Brothers.
Need: Binder paper, calligraphy pens, ink cartridges, plain paper, graph paper, money for magazine subscriptions, new books for the library, educational games, poster board, acrylic paints, brushes, copy paper, foam board.
Where: 710-40th St., Oakland
Mailing address: P.O. Box 3238, Oakland 94609
Contact: Deacon Noe Gonzalez, (510) 450-0747

Mercy Brown Bag Program

Sponsored by Mercy Retirement and Care Center, this program provides bags of nutritious groceries to over 2,000 needy seniors twice monthly, free of charge. Bags are distributed through 15 sites throughout Alameda County.
Need: Cash donations, large-sized paper bags, plastic produce bags, all sizes of Ziploc bags, volunteers to take bags to homebound seniors, small gifts for volunteer appreciation.
Where: 3431 Foothill Blvd., Oakland 94601
Contact: Krista Lucchesi, Director, (510) 534-8540, ext. 369

Monument Crisis Center of Contra Costa County

An emergency food pantry and community support center assisting 7,000 at-risk families (6,800 people per month) with food, information, educational workshops, tutoring, senior programs and referrals.
Need: Cash, checks, credit card donations to buy food, or food donations of fresh, packaged or canned foods; diapers, especially sizes 4—6; gift cards of small denominations ($10-20) to Safeway, Food Maxx, Walmart, Target. Checks/cash to help with transportation to ride The County Connection for job interviews, employment, school, or health appointments. See website for further information and to donate online: www.monumentcrisiscenter.org.
Where: 2350 Monument Blvd., Suite B, Concord
Mailing address: P.O. Box 23973, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Contact: Sandra Scherer, Executive Director, (925) 825-7751; e-mail: sscherer@monumentcrisiscenter.org

Next Step Learning Center

A literacy program, GED preparation, 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 GED examination fees.
Where: 2222 Curtis St., Oakland 94607
Contact: Sister Cynthia Canning, SNJM, or Sister Rosemary Delaney, SNJM, (510) 251-1731

Nights on the Streets — Catholic Worker

Hospitality to the homeless and needy of our community and the Bay Area by providing food, clothing, shelter assistance, counseling and referral; and assisting others who do so.
Need: Prayers for health, guidance, and support; financial donations for sixth year of shelter run with staff from two Catholic Worker houses; volunteers to prepare and serve thrive-weekly “soup nights” each winter (This includes cooking 10 gallons of soup and distributing the same evening). House for 8 – 10 workers and guests including an expanded kitchen; a food storage area and extended bathroom/shower facilities to supplement existing shelter facilities in the East Bay.
Mail address: P.O. Box 13468, Berkeley 94712-4468
Street Address: 1630 Berkeley Way, Berkeley
Contact: J.C. Orton, (510) 684-1892; e-mail: noscw@sbcglobal.net

Oakland Catholic Worker

A hospitality house for Latin American immigrants and refugees with the mission of “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: Cash donations to pay utilities and property taxes; canned food (beans, soup, etc.); van; blankets to hand out this winter; bath towels and sheets/pillow cases; cleaning supplies; postage stamps; Spanish/English dictionaries; gift cards from local grocery stores; and volunteers.
Address: 4848 International Blvd., Oakland 94601; (510) 533-7375; e-mail: oaklandcatholicworker@yahoo.com

Oakland Elizabeth House

A transitional program for women and women with children who have experienced homelessness, violence, addiction, or poverty as they move to independence and self-sufficiency.
Need: Cash donations for rent, utilities, food costs, and emergency repairs; gift cards from Safeway, Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s; freezer, washer, dryer; cleaning supplies; postage stamps, printer paper and other office supplies; food items like olive oil, 100 percent fruit juice, flour, rice, pasta, beans; passes for tickets for movie or events; EScrip registrations for Safeway, Macy’s, etc. (www.escrip.com to register for Oakland Elizabeth House). Volunteer needs: handyperson, gardening help, grocery shopping, help with meal preparation.
Where: 6423 Colby St., Oakland 94618
Contact: Lori Ottolini Geno, (510) 658-1380; e-mail: oakehouse@oakehouse.org; web: www.oakehouse.org

St. David’s Food Pantry

An outreach ministry that provides food for low-income families, distributed 9 – 10:30 a.m. every Friday behind St. Mark Church, Richmond. Conducted by St. David Parish in Richmond in cooperation with other area parishes and churches.
Need: Cash donations, volunteers, prayers for the ministry.
Where: St. Mark Church, 159 Harbour Way, Richmond 94801
Contact: (510) 237-1531 or davidofwales@gmail.com

St. Mary’s Center

A multi-purpose center for the poor.
Need: Volunteers to “Adopt-a-Family.” Will arrange a match for individuals, families or parishes interested in providing Christmas gifts and dinner for a family in need, including a gift for each child and monetary donation to St. Mary’s Center marked “Christmas Food” to cover a $50 food voucher for your adopted family. Volunteers to prepare and/or serve evening meals for 25 homeless seniors in emergency Winter Shelter, December through April. Financial donations to help St. Mary’s Center.
Where: 925 Brockhurst St., Oakland 94608
Contact: Sister Marilyn Medau, PBVM, (510) 923-9600, ext. 220

Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Alameda County

Free Dining Room

Daily free meals to men, women and children in downtown Oakland, 10:45 a.m. – 12:45p.m., also prepare free lunches for several non-profit satellite locations in Alameda County.
Need: Volunteers, cash donations, large quantities of protein and fresh produce, spices, condiments, catering equipment, beverages, #10 canned foods, aprons, and paper napkins
Where: 675 – 23rd St. (at San Pablo Ave.), Oakland 94612
Contact: For donations: Jonas Williams (Dining Room Manager) at (510) 877-9213. To Volunteer: Volunteer Team at (510) 877-9237

Champion Guidance Center for Men

Drop-in center for men offering laundry, showers, hair cuts, clothing, health care, mailbox service, Internet access, substance abuse meetings. Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Need: Cash donations, volunteers, disposable shaving razors, small bars of soap, shampoo, mouthwash, dental floss, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, socks, t-shirts and underwear, hair clippers, sleeping bags, phone cards, and gift cards.
Where: 675-23rd St., Oakland 94612 (at Martin Luther King Jr. Way.)
Contact: John Ratti, Men’s Center Manager, (510) 877-9218

Visitation Center for Women and Children

Drop-in center for women and children offering laundry, showers, clothing, diapers and formula for infants, health care, educational classes. Tuesday – Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Need: Cash donations, new children’s clothes and new toys for Christmas, disposable diapers, shampoo and conditioner, razors, lotion, soap, mouthwash, dental floss, toothbrushes and toothpaste, hairbrushes, deodorant, socks and underwear for women and children.
Where: 2260 San Pablo Ave., Oakland 94612 (between 23rd and West Grand)
Contact: Carmen Reyes-Edstrom, Women’s Center Manager, (510) 444-3790

Food Locker

10,500 square foot food bank providing groceries and staples to 150+ churches, nonprofit organizations and community groups.
Needs: Volunteers, large quantities (i.e. pallets) of canned foods, turkeys, ham, cheese.
Where: 9235 San Leandro St., Oakland 94603
Contact: Mark Edmund, Food Locker Coordinator, (510) 636-4262

Retail Stores

St. Vincent de Paul Society operates four retail stores in Alameda County selling gently used goods and new items donated by manufacturer. Shopping with SVdP helps your community stay green — tons of items with useful life are diverted from landfills every month from our stores. Also, revenue generated from sales help to support our human services programs.
Need: Gently used or new furniture, household items, and clothing.
Where: Drop off your donation at any SVdP Thrift Store (Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, Livermore)
Contact: For bulk pickup, Linnie Moses (Donation Scheduler) at (510) 638-7600

WasteNot, a Social Enterprise

We accept contributions of a wide range of electronics. Old computers, televisions and cell phones help provide job training to the disadvantaged. SVdP receives revenue from recycling electronics and keeps these items out of landfills.
Accept: Televisions, monitors, laptops, computers, cell phones, scanners and printers, VCR and DVD players, computer cables, digital cameras, telephone systems, stereo equipment, fax machines, other electronic equipment.
Where: Drop off your donation at any SVdP Thrift Store (Oakland, Alameda, Fremont, Livermore)
Contact: For bulk pickup, Linnie Moses (Donation Scheduler) at (510) 638-7600

Shelter, Inc. of Contra Costa County

Founded in 1986, this independent, non-profit organization was created to prevent homelessness and promote self-sufficiency among low-income residents in Contra Costa County. Since 1986, 165,000 men, women and children have been served.
Needs: Items for Holiday Teen Gift Drive: lip gloss, wallets, gift cards to Target, baseball caps (Giants or A’s), manicure/pedicure sets, Axe spray, bath and body lotion sets, gloves, scarves.
Where: 1815 Arnold Dr., Martinez 94553
Contact: (925) 957-7561; e-mail theresitao@shelterincofccc.org

Winter Nights Family Shelter

Twenty-six parishes and faith congregations provide a warm, safe place to sleep for homeless families with children and elderly individuals in central Contra Costa County from Oct. 12, 2009 – April 26, 2010. The shelter provides three meals a day, tutoring and transportation to school for the children, and case management and counseling.
Needs: Financial contributions for operating costs; BART tickets; gasoline cards.
Where: Winter Nights Shelter, c/o Interfaith Council of Contra Costa, 1543 Sunnyvale Ave., Walnut Creek 94597
Contact: Gwen Watson, (925) 930-9965

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