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placeholder Local charities deliver holiday wish lists

Project Joybells delivers the kinds of toys kids would be asking for

Scientists mix with politics to delay worthy stem cell treatments

St. Jarlath: Rebuilding a school, one step at a time

Catholic colleges advised to remain ‘Catholic’

Help retired religious
with December collection

Domincans worldwide gather to mull new challenges7

With 100 crosses in the ground, a pause for prayer

Advice for those who are dealing with grief during the holidays

St. Isidore’s holiday outreach gets helping hand

Adopt-a-Family matches needs and volunteers

St. Vincent de Paul to serve Thanksgiving meal in Pittsburg

Vatican to discuss stem-cell research

Bishop issues Communion conditions

Leading Catholic laity urge civility in presidential election

De La Salle seniors honored

Men’s conference draws 200

placeholder November 21, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA

Local charities deliver holiday wish lists

Community groups across the East Bay report an increased need for services as more people face economic hardship due to unemployment, under-employment, foreclosure and other challenges. Local charities are struggling to meet the increased demands for assistance. As The Voice does every Christmas season, here is a list of charities, some Catholic, as well as interfaith organizations that can use your help.

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

The Food Bank, which distributes food for 300,000 meals weekly through 275 food pantries, soup kitchens and community agencies, has been in business since 1985 — with a vision of the day when it can go out of business.
Need: Monetary donations; non-perishable food items; volunteer time.
Where: 7900 Edgewater Drive, Oakland, 94621
Contact: www.accfb.org or 800-870-3663 (FOOD)

An international pregnancy service that supports pregnant girls and women who need help by providing positive alternatives to abortion.
Need: Maternity clothes, nursing pads, board members, monthly donors, hooded baby bath towels, crib sheets.
Where: 3106 Clayton Road, Concord 94519
Contact: Linda Easterday, director, 925-798-7227 or 800-5900-4900; fax: 925-798-7228

Casa Vincentia

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

Needs: Financial donations; 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; butcher’s block; water glasses; food storage containers; disposable cameras; flat iron; blow dryer; 13-gallon garbage bags.
Where: 3210 — 62nd Ave., Oakland 94605
Contact: Barbara Jackson, 510-729-0316

Catholic Charities of the East Bay

Catholic Charities 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

The Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays program matches sponsors (individuals, groups, companies) with low-income families who otherwise would not be receiving gifts. Our goal is to serve about 50 families. Sponsors to "shop" as well as cash contributions are welcome.
Need: Long-term sponsorship of a family.
Contact: Carol Louisell, 510-768-3142 or clouisell@cceb.org

Project Joybells

An annual toy drive for children of CCEB clients spearheaded by long-time volunteer, Mary Moyce. Financial contributions support the purchase of toys for these children.
Need: Financial contributions payable to “Catholic Charities Joybells,” 433 Jefferson St., Oakland 94607
Contact: Carol Louisell, 510-768-3142 or clouisell@cceb.org

General Holiday Fund

Our holiday food fund allows us to provide housing assistance, counseling, education to those who need a helping hand during the holidays.
Need: Financial contributions payable to “Catholic Charities of the East Bay.”
Where: 433 Jefferson St., Oakland 94607
Contact: Joe Vallor, 510-768-3138

Contra Costa Interfaith Coalition

A network of faith-based communities, including several Catholic churches, that assist the needy in Contra Costa County by buying, preparing and distributing food at the Concord Homeless Shelter, and by supporting 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 Drive, Walnut Creek 94598
Contact: John Krajcir, 925-937-6742

Delta Christian Community Food Pantry

The members of Delta Community Presbyterian Church in Discovery Bay, St. Anne Parish in Byron and Byron United Methodist Church have joined forces to open this food pantry to feed the hungry and offer information and referrals to individuals and families in the Eastern Contra Costa community who are in need. Food collection barrels are located at the three churches.
Need: Food, volunteers and money.
Where: United Methodist Church, 14671 Byron Highway, Byron 94514
Contact: 925-634-0184

Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO)

A coalition of congregations and community members helping homeless families move to self-sufficiency. The nonprofit organization serves families with minor children throughout the East Bay and beyond by providing crisis care, self-sufficiency services and developmental support for kids.
Need: Monetary donations, gift cards for groceries (e.g., Costco, Safeway), gift cards for shoes and underwear (e.g., Target, Walmart), copy paper, diapers, bath towels, wash cloths, twin-sized sheet sets, blankets, pots and pans, utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, women’s sanitary supplies, umbrellas, children’s hats and gloves.
Where: 21455 Birch St., No. 5, Hayward 94541
Contact: 510-886-5473; adasilva@fescofamilyshelter.org; www.fescofamilyshelter.org

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

Provides help to neighbors in need with donations of food, funds and time to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. Together we feed over 132,000 a month in our community.
Need: Donations of time, food and money.
Where: 4010 Nelson Ave. in Concord and 2339 Courage Drive, Suite F, in Fairfield
Contact: www.foodbankccs.org or 925-676-7543.

Mercy Brown Bag Program

Sponsored by Mercy Retirement and 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, 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 a 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; and new sleeping bags are needed for homeless clients and others without beds. Please see website for further information and to donate online: www.monumentcrisiscenter.org.
Where: Street address: 2350 Monument Blvd., Suite B, Concord 94520
Mailing address: P.O. Box 23973, Pleasant Hill 94523
Office Hours: Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Also open Tuesdays from 5 p.m. -7 p.m.
Contact: Sandra Scherer, executive director, 925-825-7751; e-mail: sscherer@monumentcrisiscenter.org

Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Alameda County

Free Dining Room

Daily free meals to men, women and children in downtown Oakland, 10:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Also provides lunches for several nonprofit 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, towels and paper napkins
Where: 675 23rd St. (at San Pablo Ave.), Oakland 94612
Contact: To volunteer: Rosa Baeza, volunteer coordinator, 510-877-9252. To donate: Chef Kim Blair, 510-877-9213.

Champion Guidance Center for Men

Drop-in center for men offering showers, haircuts, laundry facilities, clothing, health care, mailbox service, Internet access, substance abuse meetings, educational classes. Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-3 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 showers, laundry facilities, clothing, diapers and formula for infants, health care, educational classes. Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m.
Need: Cash donations, new children’s clothes and new toys for Christmas, women’s robes, blankets, disposable diapers, travel and full-size 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: Judy Jones-Germany, women’s center manager, 510-444-3790.

Food Locker

A food bank providing groceries and staples to the food pantries operated by the grassroots network of Vincentian volunteers serving their neighbors throughout Alameda County and other nonprofit organizations.
Needs: Volunteers, large quantities (i.e. pallets) canned foods or dry goods, turkeys, ham, cheese.
Where: 9235 San Leandro St., Oakland 94603
Contact: Al Gargantilla, Food Locker Supervisor, 510-385-8926.

Retail Stores

St. Vincent de Paul operates three retail thrift stores throughout Alameda County selling gently used goods along with new mattresses and dressers. SVdP also operates REDUX Studios and Gallery in Alameda, featuring art and goods from recycled materials and vintage items.
Need: Gently used or new furniture, household items, and clothing.
Where: Drop off your donation at any SVdP Retail Thrift Store (Oakland, Fremont, Livermore)
Contact: For bulk pickup, Linnie Moses (donation scheduler), 510-638-7600

WasteNot, a Social Enterprise

We accept contributions of a wide range of electronics through our WasteNot enterprise. Your old computers, televisions and cell phones help provide job training to the disadvantaged. SVdP receives revenue from recycling your electronics, and you can be assured that your equipment enters a safe, reliable recycling stream — saving our landfills.
Need: 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), 510-638-7600

Winter Nights Family Shelter

Some 20 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. 10, 2011, to April 30, 2012. 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, and 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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