Archive for the ‘Children & Families’ Category

Kaiser partners with Food Bank to support Antioch High’s Warm for the Holidays event Friday

Monday, December 20th, 2021

Antioch High School Principal Louie Rocha (center) joined Antioch Medical Center Chief Operating Operator Dante Green, FACHE (left), Kaiser Permanente Diablo Service Area Physician-in-Chief Sharon Krejci Mowat, MD, FAAP, and Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Program Coordinator Jamie Diaz (far right) at the Warm for the Holidays event on Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. Photo: Kaiser Permanente

By Antonia Ehlers, PR and Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

The line into the Antioch High School gymnasium was long, last Friday afternoon, as local families queued up on a chilly day for the annual Warm for the Holidays event, a joint effort of Kaiser Permanente, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, the high school, and other community organizations. The school district invited K-12 students of all ages, along with their families to “shop” for food, clothing, books and toys.

More than 2,000 pounds of food was distributed to families in the community.

“The Antioch High School Warm for the Holidays annual event has been a heartwarming experience for our students and staff, who have discovered the power of service to community,” said Antioch High School Principal Louie Rocha. “Despite the recent COVID-19 restrictions, we continue to provide our school community with necessities and gifts to share with their loved ones.”

Kaiser Permanente and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano provided the food portion of the distribution. The Antioch Rotary Club, Holy Rosary Church and the Antioch Woman’s Club donated clothing, toys, books and games.

Through a $550,000 grant to the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, Kaiser Permanente is helping fight food insecurity in the community.

“In order for children to learn in school, we need to increase access to healthy food in our communities,” said Sharon Krejci Mowat, MD, FAAP, Kaiser Permanente Diablo Service Area Physician-in-Chief. “This has been a particularly difficult year for so many families, and partnerships like these in our community our critical to ensuring families have the food they need to lead healthy lives.”

Food insecurity has been an increasing concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has distributed more than 50 percent more food than the previous fiscal year and has served 80,000-100,000 more people each month over last year.

“With generous funding from Kaiser Permanente, the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has been able to purchase fresh produce along with nutritious shelf-stable food for distribution at schools across the community,” said Lindsay Drakeley, leadership gifts manager at the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. “The Food Bank is thankful to have strong community partnerships that make events like this possible.”

 

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Great response for APD toy drive event at Antioch’s Disney Christmas House Saturday night

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

Toys collected at Antioch’s Disney Christmas House on Colonial Court for the annual APD toy drive. APD personnel with the Vistalli family in front of their home Saturday night, Dec. 11, 2021. Photos courtesy of Kristen Vistalli

By Kristen Vistalli

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support our drive by event We are so amazed and grateful by all the donations and support we received. Thank you so much to the Antioch Police Department for everything you do for our city. And huge thank you to Lori Ogorchock DJ Ogorchock and the APD Cadets for all of your help We are very grateful for all of you Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

More APD personnel with the Vistalli family at their Disney Christmas House on Colonial Court in Antioch during the event to support the APD toy drive on Saturday night, Dec. 11, 2021.

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Winners of the annual Antioch Holiday DeLites Parade announced

Monday, December 13th, 2021

First place winners Ballet Folklorico De Antioch. All photos by Allen Payton

Celebrate Antioch Foundation (CAF) has announced this year the annual Antioch Holiday DeLites Parade had three overall winners as judged by Antioch residents Antwon Webster, Connie Komar and Susan Welch.

“We appreciate all the participants and entries in the Holiday DeLites parade,” said Joy Motts, President of Celebrate Antioch Foundation. “We look forward to more participants for next year’s parade during the City’s Sesquicentennial celebration.”

Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place – Ballet Folklorico De Antioch

2nd Place – Elite Dance

Second place winners Elite Dance.

3rd Place – Melody’s Dance Studio

3rd place winners Melody’s Dance Studio.

See photos of all this year’s parade entries as well as the Antioch Menorah lighting for Chanukah and Antioch Christmas Tree lighting by clicking, here.

For more information about CAF and next year’s City of Antioch Sesquicentennial – Celebrating 150 Years of Cityhood, visit www.celebrateantioch.org or visit their Facebook page.

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Toy drive to support non-profit benefitting Antioch students December 18

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Bridge Builders to the New Generation is holding a toy drive in Antioch on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. The event will be hosted by Double Trouble Boxing at 1908 A Street from 11 am to 3 pm.

We are accepting donations of toys or online by PayPal (Bridgebuildersng.org/donate). Donations are tax deductible. Our EIN # is 85-1665741. This is an amazing opportunity to give back to the community that you all services and be a help to our students that are less fortunate than others.

Bridge Builders to the New Generation, Inc. (BB) offers academic advising, after school tutoring, student mentoring, college and career readiness, community/student outreach and social emotional assistance.

BB is dedicated to providing a foundational bridge that takes underserved youth to an inclusive, nurturing, and safe environment where they will learn skills necessary to excel in college, career, and life. BBs professionals take pride in empowering youth to live a productive life by providing a chance to grow and strengthen exceptional educational, social, vocational, and independent living skills.

​Vision – Eliminate barriers to success, allowing underserved youth to live their dreams and attain their aspirations while being productive members of society.

​Goal – Create quality resource and independent education centers that provide underserved youth with activities, skills, and social services necessary to thrive in education. Instilling qualities that will enable them to attain their aspirations by excelling in school, career, and life.

Be the change that you want to see in the world.

For more information visit www.bridgebuildersng.org.

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Annual BART Holiday Toy Drive to benefit hundreds of families in East County

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Ladasha Wheeler, with her daughter, is enrolled in the CNA program at Opportunity Junction in Antioch. Photo courtesy of BART.

East Contra Costa Community Alliance chosen as this year’s beneficiary

Sometimes the people we rely on to care for loved ones need a helping hand themselves. At Opportunity Junction in Antioch future care providers are getting the assistance they need to launch careers as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) through an innovative program that not only provides invaluable hands-on experience but also offers support in dealing with other life challenges. That helping hand can include coaching, connections to resources for housing and childcare, transportation assistance, and food support.

Opportunity Junction is one of a dozen charitable organizations that are part of the East Contra Costa Community Alliance. The Alliance is dedicated to strengthening resources available for those in need in eastern Contra Costa County, an area where finding adequate services has historically been a challenge. By coming together members of the Alliance share and leverage resources to better support disadvantaged populations. BART Board President Mark Foley has selected the Alliance as the beneficiary of this year’s annual BART Holiday Toy Drive.

Graduates of the CNA program at Opportunity Junction. Photo courtesy of BART.

This collaborative approach of the Alliance is paying off for 39-year-old Ladasha Wheeler who is enrolled in the CNA program at Opportunity Junction. Wheeler says she’s always wanted to work in the health care industry and the need has never been greater. “With the pandemic you heard the stories of how people couldn’t be there for their loved ones and how health care workers are overworked,” said Wheeler. “If you can step in to help with a sincere heart to do it why not?”

Wheeler has two adult children and is currently raising her seven-year-old daughter. She says she wouldn’t be able to pursue her career dream without Opportunity Junction. “If you can get the help that you need it’s really nice to have,” said Wheeler. “I’m a proud person but when it comes to donations you never know when you might eventually be on the receiving end.”

“Working together with our partners, we can provide the comprehensive services our residents need,” says Opportunity Junction CEO Alissa Friedman. “That CNA program is itself a partnership with Mt. Diablo Adult Education and Empowered Aging.”

33-year-old Natalee Pletcher is also a mother of three who is in the nursing program. Pletcher says she wouldn’t be able to pursue her goal of becoming a CNA and then a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) without the support of Opportunity Junction.

“The program has really given me not only help with tuition but help with courage because they’ve been there,” she said. “They’re really there for you if you’re struggling with something financially, mentally, or otherwise.”

Pletcher says the BART Holiday Toy Drive will make a big difference for hundreds of families including hers.

“It’s been very difficult for my family to get caught up with COVID. It’s set us back a lot so having this toy drive will really help my kids have a great Christmas,” she added.

The East Contra Costa Community Alliance includes the following non-profit groups that work together to offer a variety of support services:

  • Opportunity Junction– Helps motivated job seekers develop the skills and confidence to launch careers.
  • Monument Impact– Building skills, resources, and power within immigrant, refugee, and low-income communities.
  • Loaves and Fishes– Provides community-based food programs and partner services focused on basic needs.
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA)– Advocates for abused and neglected youth in foster care.
  • DreamCatchers EmpowermentNetwork – Empowers youth and adults with limitations with assessments, job preparation, placement, and coaching.
  • SparkPoint– Focuses on financial stability including managing credit, increasing income, and building assets.
  • Village Community Resource Center– Family-focused support including after-school programs, mental health service, and parent support.
  • Winter Nights Family Shelter– Provides safe shelter for families and assistance to break the cycle of homelessness.
  • Counseling Options and Parent Education (COPE)– Strengthens family relationships through counseling options and parent education programs.
  • Contra Costa Senior Legal Services – Protecting the rights of seniors with a focus on keeping clients healthy and independent.
  • People Who Care Children Association– Free mental health counseling and enrichment opportunities ranging from job training to life skills.
  • Brighter Beginnings– Supports healthy births and development by partnering with parents. Assists young parents and expecting parents.

The collaboration between the charities has been especially valuable in the last year in the face of the global pandemic. Members of the alliance are sharing technical help and advice as well as learning lessons from one another as they offer support services to the community during a challenging time.

“We know what one another does so we can refer to one another more easily and it expands the resources we have for our own clients,” said SparkPoint Contra Costa Director Betty Geishirt Cantrell. “We really supported each other during the pandemic. We all had to move to remote services. We asked each other, ‘how are you doing remote services, what platforms are you using, which one works best’ all of that.”

“Connecting resources for a family who is in crisis is easier when we have partners who value each other’s services”, said C.O.P.E. Family Support Center’s Founder Cathy Botello.

The spirit of partnership is making a difference in the lives of thousands of families in Eastern Contra Costa County.

“Virtual was a factor last year for sure. Most of our classes are in Spanish and that’s a population that often falls into the digital divide,” said Monument Impact Executive Director Debra Ballinger. “We’re partnering with Pittsburg Unified to accommodate more people, teaching basics like how to use a Chromebook. Also, people were so panicked about job loss. It was sudden and immediate for people. We found that we had to find different ways to help to keep people in their homes.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP: If you’d like to join BART employees in helping the non-profits that are part of the East Contra Costa Community Alliance at the holidays you can visit www.ecccalliance.org. The site includes links to all 12 members of the Alliance.

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Be Exceptional to hold Winter Ball for those with special needs Dec. 10th in Brentwood

Saturday, December 4th, 2021

Offers classes at two locations in Antioch

Be Exceptional is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to provide recreational classes and social events for people facing developmental, physical, and emotional challenges.

They currently hold classes in the following three locations:

  • Elite Dance Center at 304 G St., Antioch
  • Antioch Community Center at 4703 Lone Tree Way, Antioch
  • Brentwood Community Center at 35 Oak St., Brentwood

For more information visit their website.

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Grace Bible Fellowship of Antioch to host first ever New Year’s Eve Carnival

Friday, December 3rd, 2021

CARNIVAL RIDES, GAMES, PRIZES, FOOD VENDORS, FREE ENTRANCE & PARKING

Purchase your $15 wristband in advance on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-years-eve-carnival-tickets-217098426237 . Pick up wristbands at the will call station day of the event (bring proof of purchase). Wristbands $20 at the gate (single tickets available).

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14 children in Antioch given wrong, high doses of COVID-19 vaccine at Sutter Delta clinic last weekend

Wednesday, November 17th, 2021

Source: CDC

At least two at “home sick Monday with bad stomachaches”

By Allen Payton

Fourteen children were given higher doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine than they should have received at Sutter Health’s Antioch Urgent Care clinic in the Blue Rock Center over the weekend.

A statement was issued by Dr. Jimmy Hu, a pediatrician and Chair of the Sutter Health COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force:

“This weekend 14 patients at our Antioch pediatric vaccine clinic received vaccines with an incorrect amount of diluent. As soon as we learned of this, we contacted the parents and advised them of CDC guidance in this situation. The safety of our patients is our top priority, and we immediately reviewed our processes to help make sure this doesn’t happen again. According to the CDC, patients who receive vaccine with an incorrect diluent volume may experience more arm soreness, fatigue, headache, or a fever in response to the dose given.”

According to Sutter Health spokesperson, Monique Binkley-Smith, the children received more than the 5- to 11-year-old dose of 10 micrograms, and approximately two-thirds the dose of what a 12-year-old or older would get of 30 micrograms.

The vaccine dilution/prep process is done on-site-at the clinics, the same day it’s administered.

According to an ABC news report, two of the children got sick after receiving the vaccine.

“I’m here tonight to report my story because it’s unacceptable; you expect your medical professionals to give you correct doses,” parent Denise Iserloth said.

Denise and her husband Shawn’s eight and 11-year-old children were among the kids given the wrong amount of coronavirus vaccine.

“The Iserloths, whose children were both home sick Monday with bad stomachaches, say their two children were given 20 micrograms of dosage instead of the recommended 10. They’re now very concerned about any long-term effects,” according to the ABC report.

The children are expected to be fine.

“According to the CDC, patients who receive vaccine with an incorrect diluent volume may experience more arm soreness, fatigue, headache, or a fever in response to the dose given,” Binkley-Smith shared.

Also according to the CDC, “Scientists have conducted clinical trials with about 3,000 children, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine has met the safety and efficacy standards for authorization in children ages 5 through 11 years old.  The safety of COVID-19 vaccines continues to be monitored.”

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