Samaritan House Participates in AVON 39: the Fight to Crush Breast Cancer!

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1,900 Women and Men conquered 39.3-miles to crush !

IMG_5597A huge thank you and congratulations to everyone who participated in San Francisco’s 14th annual walk.  The event raised a whopping $4.4 million dollars! These funds will help accelerate breast cancer research,  improve access to screenings, diagnosis and treatment, and educate people about breast cancer.

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Samaritan House’s Medical Director, Dr. Jason Wong, accepted a check for $376,580, on behalf of Avon’s Western U.S. Breast Health Outreach Programs in Alaska, Arizona, California, Montana and Utah.

The $30,000 that Samaritan House received will support the Samaritan House Breast Care Clinic (SHBCC). The SHBCC reduces barriers to providing uninsured women with access to a continuum of comprehensive, high-quality and timely breast health care services through the provision of education, screening, clinical breast examination (CBE), referrals for free mammography and surgery, and yearly follow-ups. The program utilizes a culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate intervention strategy that targets low-income uninsured women residing in Central County.

An extra special thank you goes out to a few special Samaritan House staff members who actually participated in the weekend-long event. Amy Hsieh spent her weekend volunteering with the Food Services Crew Team and Jamie Nugent and Christiana Weidanz completed the Walk! It was moving and memorable experience for everyone who participated and the community sincerely appreciates your devotion on behalf of the fight to end breast cancer.

For more information on Samaritan House’s Free Breast Care Clinic, visit: http://samaritanhousesanmateo.org/what-we-do/freeheathcareclinics/. For more information about AVON 39 The , or for additional resources visit avonfoundation.org.

Samaritan House Promotes Healthy Eating!

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Monthly Produce Mobile distributions are yet another part of Samaritan House’s effort fight hunger and promote a healthy lifestyle. With food provided by our partners at Second Harvest Food Bank, our monthly Produce Mobile distributes a variety of fresh fruits and veggies to families who need it most.

Since 2006, the program has delivered healthy food to various locations on refrigerated trucks, fitted with canopies and side doors that open up, which decreases the need to find indoor distribution locations, even in bad weather.

Did you know that Samaritan House is the largest food distributor in San Mateo County? Our high-quality essential food services provide a whopping 814,399 meals annually for people in need. Hot nutritious meals and bags of food are provided to our clients daily. Our kitchen, pantry, and dining services fill a gap between the need for food and the ability of individuals to obtain the meals and groceries they need to thrive.

For more information on our vast Food Program, visit our website at: http://samaritanhousesanmateo.org/what-we-do/food-assistance/

 

 

 

Safe Harbor Shelter’s Monthly Birthday Bash!

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Safe Harbor Shelter residents had an awesome birthday party this month, celebrating the 10 residents who have an August birthday!

This is the second time Safe Harbor Shelter has had a birthday bash. The first one happened last May and was orchestrated with the help of a former Safe Harbor Shelter resident and her church, Central Peninsula.

“I must tell you, it feels so glorious to be back there and be with the residents,” says the former resident herself. “Not only did the residents have a fun time, we (volunteers) had so much fun spending time with them too.”

Carol Laughlin, Samaritan House’s Director of Volunteers, says they plan to continue putting on this event as long as it as it makes the residents happy.

Safe Harbor Shelter is Samaritan House’s 90 bed emergency homeless shelter located in South San Francisco. Homeless individuals 18 years and older and from San Mateo County are permitted to enter the shelter on a first-come, first-served basis. The shelter is operated in collaboration with the County of San Mateo Human Services Agency.

 

Foster City Rotary Donation!

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We are thrilled to announce the receipt of a $3,000 donation from the Foster City Rotary!

Stephanie Masten, Mary Lou Griffin, Mike Hoffman and Ed Grohe (pictured above), presented the check yesterday afternoon before taking a tour around the Pacific Boulevard headquarters.

“WOW!  I’m totally impressed with the tour!!  and from what I hear…there is more to see!!  It was so interesting for me to see and hear what all you do!!  Puts a lump in my throat,” says Masten. “You all seem so passionate in what you do! Our motto in Rotary is ‘Service before Self’  and I see that all around Samaritan House!”

Thank you so much, Foster City Rotary, for your wonderful generosity and all the ways you join in and help Samaritan House serve our community. 

Help Us Send Children Back to School with the Tools to Succeed!

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We are collecting donations for our annual back-to-school backpack drive from now through July 23rd. Backpacks full of schools supplies will be given out at our Backpack Giveaway on July 24th!

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School Supplies Needed:

• Backpacks
• Pens (blue or black ink only)
• Highlighters
• Notebooks (wide ruled & college rules)
• Loose Leaf Paper (wide ruled & college rules)
• 3 Ring Binders (2 inch)
• Pocket Folders
• Colored Pencils (Multi-color 12pk)
• Pink Erasers
• Markers (Multi-color Washable 8pk)
• Glue (Elmers White Glue or Glue Sticks)
• Child Scissors
• Ruler
• Portable Pencil Sharpener
• Calculator
• Crayons (Crayola 8 pk)
• Pencil Case

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Donations will gratefully be accepted at our main office, 3rd floor M-F from 9 – 5pm. Donation receipts are available.

We thank you in advance for your support!

Samaritan House Bike Giveaway!

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Our parking lot is always a busy place, but on April 1, instead of cars wheeling in and out, laughing children wearing brand new bright green helmets were wheeling bicycles around orange safety cones.

Wednesday’s event was the first in our new Closet children’s program, Books, and Backpacks.  The bicycle safety clinic and used bike repair and giveaway was the result of a partnership with two wonderful local agencies, the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition and the Bay Area Bike Mobile.

Laughter bubbled up from the nine children as they tried on the cool green helmets and mounted their newly refurbished bikes. Parents looked on with broad smiles as the children demonstrated safe riding skills under the instruction of Ernesto Lizaola, education programs manager for the bike coalition.

Mother of triplets, Ana Carolina Mendoza was so excited that the girls had bicycles that fit – she promised to their too-small bikes to Samaritan House to be donated to the next group of children.

Earlier in the day, the team arrived and got to work changing tires, replacing brakes, getting 16 bicycles back in shape in record time. And the bike coalition brought two boxes of new helmets, making sure each child received a safe, well-fitting helmet and a larger-sized donated bike.

Starting out with a half-hour classroom presentation for parents and children in our third floor conference room, the group then trooped down to the parking lot for the hands-on part of the program.

“This is the first time they have ever been taught anything about bicycles,” Ana Carolina said. She said she was really pleased they were learning the basics of bike safety.

Samaritan House plans to hold similar events in the future and welcomes the donation of youth and adult bicycles in good condition or a donation of $10, which will provide a safe helmet for a child.

About the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition: “Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition () exists to promote increased cycling in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. To accomplish this goal, SVBC advocates for improved and expanded bicycle infrastructure and other facilities, including bike lanes, paths, racks, lockers, accommodating traffic signals, capacity on transit, and more. Additionally, SVBC promotes bicycle culture through events and activities such as Bike to Work Day, Bicycle Friendly Workplace, and Valet Bike Parking at a variety of area events.

About the BikeMobile: “The Bay Area BikeMobile  hosts bicycle repair clinics at schools, libraries, recreation centers, and community events across the San Francisco Bay Area. At these events, we engage participants in a hands-on repair process so that they may be more confident making future repairs on their own. Additionally, we promote safe riding, teach beginners how to ride without training wheels, and give away refurbished bicycles. By partnering with Spare the Air Youth and  Safe Routes to Schools they are able to offer this as a free resource to the public, focusing on low-income communities that often do not have access to professional bike repair. The Bay Area BikeMobile helps keep youth rolling to school safely while reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

 

Community Connections – Vicky Stein

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Samaritan House volunteer – Vicky Stein

There are few things in the world as satisfying as feeding people. My favorite memories of my childhood are of the chaos in our kitchen as we finished cooking and sat down at a crowded table, filling ourselves with warm food and good company: I could look around the table at my friends and family and feel proud that I had worked hard to leave everyone healthy, satisfied, and loved. As a result, the Samaritan House Produce Harvest is one of my favorite volunteer activities- it also leaves me with the sense that I’m helping my community create warmth in their own homes.

Not every one of my neighbors is as lucky as I’ve been, to have constant and predictable access to healthy food- junk food is cheaper, faster, and more readily accessible. It doesn’t require special storage like fruits and vegetables do, which makes it simpler to stock up and store both for donors and clients. But the health benefits of produce are clear- high in nutrition and flavor, low in fats and salts and added sugars- and we’ve figured out a way to help people who might not be able to afford grocery store fruits and vegetables benefit from local bounty. When leftover produce from farms isn’t bought by supermarkets, it’s often donated or sold below cost to the Second Harvest Food Bank, which can transport the fragile goods in its refrigerated truck. The Samaritan House, teamed up with Second Harvest Food Bank, distributes the produce to nearly a hundred families on the last Monday of each month, turning potentially wasted food into fresh opportunity.

 

While the planning of the event seems smooth (the food is picked up and transported, the truck is unloaded, families check in and collect their produce, volunteers help them carry bags to cars and wave goodbye) it often becomes a happy sort of chaos. Volunteers span the ages, from students in school uniforms to retired parents, which means that only some can help with heavy lifting, some speak more languages than others, and some might not have ever cooked the produce they’re giving away. Meanwhile, clients at the event might also speak only one language, which won’t necessarily be English, and may have come with their elderly grandparents and children, who add to the general excitement. Those of us who regularly turn up to help are joined by men from the Worker’s Resource Center, who pitch in with unloading the truck, unfolding tables, and moving heavy boxes into empty spaces so that the handout can continue smoothly. Everyone signs in and pulls on a pair of gloves and, in true neighborly spirit, joins the melee and lends a hand wherever their skills are needed.

 

At the end of the event, my hands are sweaty inside the latex gloves and my sweater is covered in flecks of onion skin, and I can watch in satisfaction as hundreds of people walk away laden with the fixings to feed their families a healthy and hearty meal.

**This post was written for our Community Connections Blog. There you will find stories, ideas, opinions and other narratives from the people who know Samaritan House the best, the staff and volunteers! you have a story you would like to tell, please email it to rebecca@samaritanhousesanmatao.org. 

Meet our New Dental Director, Dr. Robert Rideau

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Dr. Rideau has practiced in San Mateo and the Bay Area for more than 25 years, providing quality dental services in both Cosmetic and Restorative . Having Dr. ROb Rideaucompleted more than 2000 hours of continuing education in the practice of dentistry, Dr. Rideau remains abreast of the most current trends in the science and art of dentistry. 

As a graduate of the UCLA School of Dentistry, Dr. Rideau is a member of the American Dental Association and the California Dental Association. In his commitment to the community, he currently serves on the Board of the San Mateo County Dental Society. You can also find Dr. Rideau volunteering at the Dental Clinic in San Mateo.

Samaritan House’s free dental program was established in 1998 and has since expanded tremendously. Dental Clinic services include fillings, cleanings, extractions, and root canals. With the guidance of a part-time Dental Director, a small paid staff, and countless volunteers, we are able to provide professional dental care to low-income families.

Wheels are Rolling – Bikes for the Worker Resource Center

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It can be a huge challenge to find a job without a mode of transportation. Luckily for many workers at Samaritan House’s Workers Resource Center (WRC), the wheels have started rolling!

The Congregational Church of San Mateo (CCSM) recently donated 11 refurbished bicycles, along with locks and helmets to the WRC.

CCSM finds old, run down bikes and works together to clean, align, lubricate and test –drive the bikes until they are restored to safe, operational level. They recruited the help of Talbots Cycles, who provided highly discounted bike parts and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, help pay for helmets and locks. The WRC will be raffling off the bikes to the workers.

To the workers, these bikes mean a reliable mode of transportation. Dependable transportation means a better chance in finding stable employment. A salary could mean stability for an entire family and with that stability, the family can thrive.

Please email Carol@samaritanhousesanmateo.org  if you have a bicycle to donate.

 

Safe Harbor Shelter Increases Clients’ Access to Programming

A special thank you to communications volunteer Monica MacMillan for contributing the following blog post.

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Since 1987, Samaritan House has been providing beds to the homeless as part of its efforts to meet the immediate and basic needs of low-income individuals in San Mateo County.  In 2000, Samaritan House opened Safe Harbor Shelter, a ninety-bed shelter located in South San Francisco.  In addition to providing the homeless with emergency shelter, safety, warmth, and sustenance, Safe Harbor offers healthcare assistance, substance abuse counseling, and job search assistance.  Historically, Safe Harbor has offered its clients referrals to outside agencies for these supplementary services.  Increasingly, however, it is trying to bring programs in-house.

“We want to support our clients as much as possible” by improving their access to programming, says Julia Parmer, the Mental Health Case Manager at Safe Harbor.  Because many clients don’t own their own transportation, it can be difficult for them to travel to outside agencies to get the help they need.  Moreover, “there is a lot of downtime [at the shelter].”  Programs offered on-site give clients a productive way to spend their time if they are not working.  Parmer has been offering group stress management counseling, and art therapy is coming soon.  Alcoholics Anonymous and Bible study groups meet weekly.  A new learning center with computers is also planned for the near future.

Course Hero, a local start-up company that allows college students to share their academic resources with each other, recently came to Safe Harbor to offer a free resume-building workshop.  Knowledgeable volunteers offered tips on how to market yourself, how to write a personalized cover letter, and what to do and not to do in an interview.  For clients who brought their existing resumes and cover letters, volunteers offered one-on-one editing sessions.  Course Hero plans to return periodically to provide its expertise to Safe Harbor clients.  “I’m happy that we’re in a position to help,” says John Stacey, co-founder and VP of Campus Programs.

For more information about Safe Harbor Shelter, please contact  650-873-4921.

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