Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Antioch Council recognizes REACH Project’s 50th anniversary

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

REACH Project’s Antioch office on D Street. Photo from rehabreviews.com.

By Allen Payton

During their meeting on Tuesday night, April 14, 2020, the Antioch City Council approved a resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the REACH Project, which helps youth experiencing drug and alcohol abuse.

“It’s really amazing. Thank you so much for the proclamation,” said Shirley Marchetti, the founder of the REACH Program. “It’s amazing to be talking to the council tonight. Fifty years ago, I stood there with Chief Carlson and mayor that night, sharing our concerns about youth and drugs. We did what the council told us. Thank you for still being there and supporting us. The proclamation simply shows how blessed I am…someone took the chance on me and the mission we were on.”

“I need to thank my family, all of them have worked with me,” she continued. “Now, my son Mickey works with me and is the Executive Director allowing me to retire.”

She also thanked “Betty Inzerillo, who is still connected to REACH.”

“This type of thing just wasn’t done, where cities, law enforcement, schools and citizens took on the responsibility to work together,” Marchetti stated. “So, I’m thankful for all the workers…and those who are there, now risking their lives. I would be there, too but my son, Mickey and Chief Brooks has me locked down.”

“I want to thank the mother of Joy Motts. I don’t know what we would have done without here. I thank Mary Rocha. I thank you all for me being this blessed,” she added.

“It was an honor be part of the inception of REACH,” said Mayor Pro Tem Motts. “I’m proud my mom was able to be part of it.”

“Congratulations, Shirley,” added Mayor Sean Wright.

On April 1st the following message was posted on the Antioch Police Department’s Facebook page:

“In some happy news, the REACH Project is celebrating 50 years of service to the youth and families in our community. Here is a message from REACH Director, Mickie Marchetti, about this milestone:

‘April 1, 1970 – April 1, 2020

In 1968 a small group of Antioch parents, led by Shirley Marchetti, created REACH Project in response to the damages of alcohol and other drug abuse experienced among youth in the community.

The mission began through an Antioch City Council report issued by Police Chief E. A. Carlson illustrating the needs for community-based prevention, intervention and treatment.

With initial funding acquired in 1970 and in conjunction with Antioch Police Department, Antioch Unified School District and Contra Costa Health Services Department, REACH Project established a “Linking Model” of innovative community-based programs.

REACH Project has delivered educational, counseling and treatment services for Antioch youths, adults and their families including first of its kind programs such as the Youth Intervention Program as a family-based alternative to the Juvenile Justice System, REACH Within School for severely high-risk teen girls and Grandparents raising grandchildren.

On April 1, 2020, REACH Project and Shirley Marchetti celebrate 50 years of community work joining local law enforcement, education, health services, businesses and parent groups into a shared responsibility model of long-standing and community relevant family-based services.

Thank you, REACH, for your years of service to this community and congratulations!’”

Following is the Proclamation approved by the city council:

IN HONOR OF

REACH Project 50 Year Anniversary

WHEREAS, in 1968 a small group of Antioch parents, led by Shirley Marchetti,

created REACH Project in response to the damages of alcohol and other

drug abuse experienced among youth in the community;

WHEREAS, the mission began through an Antioch City Council report issued by

Police Chief E. A. Carlson illustrating the needs for community-based

prevention, intervention and treatment;

WHEREAS, with initial funding acquired in 1970 and in conjunction with the

Antioch Police Department, Antioch Unified School District and Contra

Costa Health Services Department, REACH Project established a

“Linking Model” of innovative community-based programs;

WHEREAS, REACH Project has delivered educational, counseling and treatment

services for Antioch youths, adults and their families including first of its kind

programs such as the Youth Intervention Program as a family-based

alternative to the Juvenile Justice System, REACH Within School

for severely high-risk teen girls and Grandparents Raising

Grandchildren; and

WHEREAS, April 1, 2020, REACH Project and Shirley Marchetti celebrated 50

years of community work, joining local law enforcement, education, health

services, businesses and parent groups into a shared responsibility model

of long-standing and community-relevant family-based services.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, SEAN WRIGHT, Mayor of the City of Antioch,

do hereby salute REACH Project for its long-standing dedication, support and

positive influence on the City of Antioch.

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Rapid Response Fund formed to bring emergency relief to county residents impacted by COVID-19

Saturday, April 11th, 2020

Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation’s first round of grants will go to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, the Contra Costa Crisis Center, Shelter, Inc., Catholic Charities East Bay and White Pony Express

By Kim McCarl, Assistant to the Director, Communications, Contra Costa Health Services

MARTINEZ — Beyond its devastating health implications, COVID-19 is undermining basic living conditions for tens of thousands of people living in the Bay Area, especially those that are most vulnerable. The Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation (CCRHF) has established a COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and has been selected as a lead partner organization in the newly formed COVID-19 Regional Response Fund supported by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.  The COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund is also supported by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as well as individual donors.

The CCRHF Rapid Response Fund is moving quickly to help those individuals in desperate need. Locally, the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation will play an important role in identifying highest risk populations and funding organizations to provide needed assistance.

“The economic impact of COVID-19 in the Bay Area is immense, with the biggest impact on people who have been living on the margins. These are families that can’t wait for government assistance in a few weeks, they are suffering and in jeopardy now,” explains CCRHF Chair Bette Felton. “Thanks to the amazing generosity of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, as well as individual donors, we can now move rapidly, locate the organizations best suited to safeguard those people at high risk and make sure they have the funds and resources to help protect our communities.”

We understand this is a dynamic and changing situation.  Based on our understanding of the greatest needs at this time, the Fund is supporting four key areas: food distribution, financial assistance, shelter and emergency housing, and support for essential workers.

“Grants will be made on a timely basis to organizations best equipped to address these needs among the county’s most vulnerable populations. Given the urgency of the crisis, our priority is to find organizations with the proven capacity that can move quickly,” says Felton.

In light of that urgency, in its first round of funding, the CCRHF is extending grants to five organizations: the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, the Contra Costa Crisis Center, Shelter, Inc., Catholic Charities East Bay and White Pony Express.  These initial grants will quickly amplify the impact these organizations are positioned to make.

Additional organizations will be considered in future funding cycles, based on:

  • the organization’s ability to reach populations most vulnerable to the economic or health risks posed by this public health crisis,
  • its capacity to move expeditiously and
  • the ability of the organization to deploy the funds expediently.

For additional information about the COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund and the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation visit https://www.ccrhfcovid-19.org/

About the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation

Established in 2003, the Contra Costa Regional Health Foundation is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that supports Contra Costa Health Services in its work to care for and improve the health of all the people in Contra Costa County with special attention to those who are the most vulnerable.

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“Eye of Diablo” Beacon lighting Easter Sunday in response to global coronavirus pandemic

Saturday, April 11th, 2020

Mt Diablo lit Beacon. Herald file photo by Clayton Worsdell.

By Laura Kindsvater, Communications Intern, Save Mount Diablo

WALNUT CREEK, CA—Mount Diablo State Park’s Beacon will be lit after sunset in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Easter Sunday, April 12. Thereafter, until the pandemic crisis is over, the Beacon will be lit every Sunday after sunset and shine brightly until sunrise the next day.

Ted Clement, Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo, stated, “Lighting the Beacon every Sunday is a way to honor our heroes in this global pandemic struggle, to pay our respects to the dead and those suffering, to lift our eyes to higher ground and the light and be reminded of the healing power of nature and our Mount Diablo, and to bring our communities together during this difficult time.”

Mount Diablo’s Beacon lights the nighttime sky on December 7. Copyright Stephen Joseph; used with permission.

Save Mount Diablo staff and volunteers will be working on lighting the Beacon every Sunday, and turning it off every Monday after sunrise, in close coordination with their good partners at California State Parks. Physical distancing will be followed throughout. This effort has also been coordinated with the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Chapter 5.

Save Mount Diablo; California State Parks; the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors, Chapter 5; California State University – East Bay (Concord); and others organize the annual lighting ceremony of the Beacon every December 7 in honor of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

Eduardo Guaracha, Diablo Range Superintendent of California State Parks, said, “As we look up in the sky, let this beacon remind us we are not alone. Our thoughts and support are with the heroes, healthcare and emergency workers, and all those affected by this worldwide pandemic. Let the light give us hope for a better future and remind us to keep our heads and spirits up.”

The Beacon on Mount Diablo was originally installed and illuminated in 1928 to aid in transcontinental aviation. It is one of the five guiding beacons installed along the West Coast by Standard Oil of California and is the only one known to still be operational.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Beacon’s light was extinguished during the West Coast blackout, for fear it might enable an attack on California. It stayed dark until Pearl Harbor Day, 1964, when Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, relit the Beacon in a commemorative ceremony and suggested it be illuminated every December 7 to honor those who served and sacrificed.

Since that day, Pearl Harbor veterans and their families have gathered every December 7 to see the Beacon light shine once again.

The Beacon now shines brighter than ever since it underwent an extensive restoration process in 2013 thanks to a campaign led by Save Mount Diablo to ensure it continues to shine for many more years.

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Cancer Support Community reschedules 6th Annual Hope Walk due to COVID-19 shelter in place

Monday, April 6th, 2020

New Date is October 17, 2020

By Alexandra Rubin, Director of Communications, Cancer Support Community San Francisco Bay Area

WALNUT CREEK, April 6, 2020 – Cancer Support Community San Francisco Bay Area (CSC) has announced that their 6th annual Hope Walk, originally scheduled for May 16, has been rescheduled to October 17. The fun event, which is a major fundraiser for the organization, draws over 1,000 registered walkers and more than 70 exhibitors to Heather Farm Park each year.

“The Hope Walk is a way for our members, supporters, and the whole community to come out and celebrate the great work that Cancer Support Community does, which is helping people live longer and live better when faced with cancer,” said CSC’s Development Director and the event’s manager, Carol Louisell. “And, it’s just a really great time for families to get out and get some exercise along with music, entertainment, and a thousand friends!”

While the Hope Walk has had to be postponed due to the shelter-in-place order, CSC has been able to continue bringing support, hope, and healing to cancer patients and their caregivers without interruption. CSC started providing virtual support groups the same day the order was announced, on Monday, March 16. By the next week, CSC not only had very strong participation in support groups and individual counseling sessions – with their therapists and facilitators working from their homes – but also had moved many movement classes and some workshops online.

“This is exactly what our mission is,” said James Bouquin, CSC’s Chief Executive Officer. “We help people deal with the unexpected, dramatic crisis of cancer every day. It’s one of the most isolating of diseases, creating anxiety and fear. We are proud and profoundly grateful that we can continue to be a source of hope, community, and relief for our members.”

People can register for the walk and make donations at http://www.hopewalkbayarea.net/. All registrations for the May date will be transferred to the new date.

CSC’s gala, “An Evening of Hope and Healing,” is still scheduled for September 19. For information on either of these events, please contact Carol Louisell at clouisell@cancersupport.net.

About Cancer Support Community San Francisco Bay Area

Celebrating 30 years in the East Bay, Cancer Support Community provides comprehensive, integrative care—including counseling, support groups, nutrition training, exercise classes, and patient education programs—for people with cancer, their caregivers, and their families. Our evidence-based services enable cancer patients to partner with their medical teams to manage their treatment and recovery most effectively, increase their chances for survival, reduce their chances of recurrence, and provide for the highest possible quality of life. We never turn anyone away, and all of our services are always provided free of charge. With services provided at our Walnut Creek center, in local medical centers throughout the Bay Area, and now in Antioch, we serve more than 2,200 people annually.

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American Legion Post 161 to hold blood drive in Antioch Saturday, April 11

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

 

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Amid California shelter in place, White Pony Express continues to deliver rescued food to those in need

Friday, March 27th, 2020

By Steven Spraitzar, Public Relations, White Pony Express

White Pony Express (WPE), the Pleasant Hill food rescue group, announces that its programs are continuing to operate under Contra Costa County’s stringent requirements to contain the spread of COVID-19.   Specifically, WPE wishes to let the public know that:

  • White Pony Express remains OPEN for business. It continues to rescue nutritious fresh food from supermarkets and restaurants and deliver it free to those in need in our communities.
  • WPE’s School Food Pantry Program is continuing to deliver food to free-lunch schools in the county. However, because the schools have closed, this food is now being taken to alternative distribution sites where the food is being made available to the school families.
  • Volunteers are urgently needed as some volunteers wish to self-isolate.
  • Those who wish to volunteer can sign up at https://www.whiteponyexpress.org/covid-19-response-volunteer
  • Financial donations are also needed so WPE can continue providing nutritious food to hungry people. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so by visiting WPE’s website at https://www.whiteponyexpress.org/donate-funds.
  • WPE will make limited deliveries of needed clothing for the foreseeable future.
  • No donations of clothing will be accepted while the shelter-in-place order is in effect.
  • WPE has implemented stringent health guidelines in place to protect its volunteers. These protocols (hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, gloves, social distancing, etc.) are now a part of all WPE’s food and clothing operations.

ABOUT WPE:  WPE is a volunteer-powered 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Pleasant Hill, CA, which helps people move from the margins to the mainstream by providing free food and clothing in a loving and respectful manner.

Dr. Carol Weyland Conner founded WPE in September 2013 when she was troubled that in an area with such an abundance of food, many thousands were going hungry, while at the same time food retailers were throwing out huge quantities of healthy, fresh food. From this insight, the Food Rescue program was born. In a little over 6 years, WPE has rescued and delivered more than 10.5 million pounds of fresh, nutritious food, free of charge, that would otherwise go to waste. This is equivalent to 8,750,000 meals.

In 2014 the White Pony General Store was added to provide high quality clothing, toys, and books to the underserved in our communities—all free of charge. Since that time, the General Store has given away over 512,000 items to those in need.

For more on WPE, visit www.whiteponyexpress.org.

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Antioch school district adds third location for grab and go meals beginning Wednesday

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

From Antioch Unified School District

UPDATE REGARDING GRAB AND GO MEALS: DUE TO HIGH DEMAND THIRD LOCATION ADDED BEGINNING WEDNESDAY

We are seeing a steady increase in the number of families needing grab and go meals. As a result, Mission Elementary will begin grab and go meals beginning Wednesday, March 25th from 10:00 am -12:00 pm Monday thru Friday. Mission Elementary is located at 1711 Mission Drive in Antioch.

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County announces sites for donating protective equipment and supplies for healthcare providers

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Donations will be accepted beginning Tuesday

By Kim McCarl, Communications Officer, Contra Costa Health Services

Contra Costa County announced, today the opening of three donation sites for protective medical supplies in West County, Central County and East County. The Regional Center of the East Bay, which serves developmentally disabled residents of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, will be distributing medical gloves donated by Facebook along with other medical equipment.
On Tuesday, March 24, Contra Costa Health Services will begin accepting donations of protective equipment and supplies for use by healthcare providers throughout the county.
Businesses and residents are encouraged to donate only the following types of protective medical supplies:

  • Eye protection, such as goggles and face shields
  • Antibacterial and disinfecting wipes, typically alcohol or bleach based (unopened). NO baby wipes.
  • N-95 and surgical masks (in unopened containers/boxes)
  • Medical gowns: Disposable gowns, as well as cloth surgical and hospital gowns in good condition

Donation centers will be open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at:

  • West County: 151 Linus Pauling Drive, Hercules
  • Central County: 1750 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill
  • East County: 4545 Delta Fair Blvd., Antioch

Recognizing the urgent need all healthcare providers have for protective equipment, Facebook donated 350,000 medical gloves that will be distributed throughout Contra Costa County. Their donation is one example of the commitment organizations of all sizes have to support readiness efforts.
Please call the Contra Costa Health Services call center at 844-729-8410 with questions about what protective equipment will be accepted. Donation sites will be staffed by county employees.

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