Good Neighbors by Faith Barnidge: Provide meals for STAND! to help victims of violence

[“Good Neighbors by Faith Barnidge: Provide meals for STAND! to help victims of violence” originally appeared in the East Bay Times.]

The STAND! For Families Free of Violence crisis line offers support for victims of abuse 24 hours a day at 888-215-5555. The Rollie Mullen Center provides immediate and ongoing residential shelter for women and minor children who are supported in their struggle to survive and seek a brighter future. 

STAND! provides all of Contra Costa County residents’ referrals to resources to help families escape the circle of violence and lead safe, productive lives.

To learn more about the work of this local respected organization, contact representatives of the volunteer Speaker’s Bureau, who will provide free, 45- to 60-minute presentations to community organizations and business or nonprofit groups.

Visit or call Gretchen Ellis, MSW, trainer/volunteer coordinator, at 925-603-0175 to schedule a speaker, or to volunteer.

Help is needed for meals to be donated for lunch and dinner to the residents of the Rollie Mullen Center during a much-needed kitchen renovation scheduled through July 7. Meals must be fully prepared in advance for 18 adults and six children, and in disposable containers. STAND! volunteers will pick up and deliver the meals to this safe location. Call the crisis line to schedule your donation.

Save the date! The 25th annual “Rebuilding Lives” luncheon to show support and raise funds for STAND! programs will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at  Crowne Plaza Hotel, 45 John Glenn Drive, in Concord.

AAUW scholarships

The Danville-Alamo-Walnut Creek branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) recently awarded $2,500 scholarships to local women who plan to pursue post-graduate degrees.

The awardees included Sydney Corona, a Saint Mary’s College graduate pursuing a doctoral degree at the California Institute of Technology; Erin Delker, currently earning a Ph.D in public health at both UC San Diego and San Diego State; Melissa Fife, currently enrolled in a master’s program at the University of Utah; Rebecca Medwedeff, who is pursuing a BA in art and a Minor in psychology from Marylhurst University; and Anna Vojvoda, a second-year electrical engineering student at Cal Poly. For more information, visit

Corporate Volunteers

The Contra Costa Crisis Center answers 211 and crisis lines 24 hours a day. Their homeless outreach team approaches  homeless persons in the field to coordinate support with Contra Costa County agencies.

Crisis Center projects coordinator Dee Dee Robillard recently arranged for employee volunteers from Yapstone, a Walnut Creek-based online payment service provider, to purchase and donate deodorant, Band-aids, baby wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, and assemble kits for the outreach team to use as a conversation starter with local homeless persons, with the goal of connecting them with needed services. 

Yapstone encourages employees with paid time off to volunteer in the community. Yapstone also plans to create a video and interview Crisis Center staff on how volunteerism impacts the community, to internally promote employee volunteering.

If your organization or business would like to volunteer for a project at the Crisis Center, call 925-939-1916, ext. 408, or visit

Concord sesquicentennial

The Concord Historical Society is accepting donations to build a brick patio around the bronze sculpture of founding father, Don Salvio Pacheco, which will be unveiled at the July 4 celebration of the city’s 150th anniversary in Todos Santos Plaza in 2018.

Engraved bricks cost $150, and will enable donors to mark their place in Concord history. Visit for more information.

Lafayette Juniors

Lafayette Juniors raises funds and offer service in support of other nonprofits that serve women, families and seniors. Contributions totaling $60,000 were recently awarded to Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, Alternative Family Services, The Taylor Family Foundation, and Trinity Center in a special ceremony at the Lafayette Community Center.

Lafayette Juniors raises funds at the Fall Rummage Sale and the spring Kitchen Tour. 

The major beneficiary, Contra Costa Interfaith Housing, received $30,000. The nonprofit has provided permanent, affordable housing and support services to homeless and at-risk families and individuals since 1991.

“All of us at CCIH are extremely grateful for Lafayette Juniors’ partnership. These funds are going to support over 100 formerly homeless and low-income children with daily academic tutoring programs, preschool, teen clubs, summer camps and enrichment activities,” said Deanne Pearn, executive director of Contra Costa Interfaith Housing.

“The Juniors are helping us end homelessness among the most vulnerable families in our community, providing the same comprehensive support we provide to our own families to help our residents and their children lead rich and meaningful lives,” she said.

Lafayette Juniors also donated $15,000 to Alternative Family Services, and $7,500 each to The Taylor Family Foundation and Trinity Center.

Lafayette Juniors is accepting applications until July 31 from all nonprofits in Contra Costa and neighboring counties who serve women, families and seniors and others requiring assistance. The Juniors will select four organizations from the applicant pool to become their 2017–2018 beneficiaries.To obtain an application or learn more about the Lafayette Juniors, visit