So you remember Anne Frank's words "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world," and you have some time on your hands and decide you'd like to start improving the world, beginning with your own community – here's how you can start.
Since the holiday season can be even tougher on those who are in need, and we all know that it's tough on anyone really, know this first before you think about volunteering – age doesn't matter – what matters first and foremost, is a desire to help those in need. From people to pets, below are 5 ways to volunteer your time and talents in East Contra Costa County – our world. (By the way, we are Cypress Self Storage, Oakley's newest self storage facility, currently under construction and planned to open in 2019.)
1. Los Medanos College (LMC) Food Pantry
Located in Pittsburg, the LMC Food Pantry is for students. Partnered with the Food Bank of Contra Costa County & Solano, their Food Pantry opens on Nov. 26 and accepts donations. Not only Los Medanos College, but there are other food distribution locations for Contra Costa and Solano Counties. You can find a complete list here: www.foodbankccs.org/getfood. For more information about LMC's Food Pantry, contact John Nguyen at email@example.com or call (925) 473-7553.
2. Shepherd’s Gate Woman's Shelter
Located in Brentwood, this organization is a shelter for women and children. It is a refuge from domestic violence, they help rebuild lives after homelessness and offer restoration from addiction. There are many ways to volunteer your time or donate. Simply visit their website at https://www.shepherdsgate.org.
3. City of Oakley (Yay, Cypress Self Storage's Hometown!)
Known as the "Place for families in the heart of the Delta," volunteers simply fill out (completely!) a downloadable application from their website, or pick one up from City Hall off Main Street. Each applicant will get a brief interview to find out what your interests are, whether it's special events, outdoors or landscaping, and what dates and times you have available to volunteer. Visit https://www.ci.oakley.ca.us/recreation/volunteer-opportunities/.
4. East Contra Costa County Homeless Animals Lifeline Organization
Also known as H.A.L.O., volunteers can foster pets by offering homeless pets a temporary home, volunteer your time in admin, helping with adoptions or events, help with the newsletter or with socializing animals, donate items such as blankets, pet toys, collars, dog and cat food, kitty litter and small cat beds or dog sweaters. Located in Antioch, for more information, visit http://www.eccchalo.org.
5. One Day At a Time
Known as ODAT and founded by Johnny Rodriguez in 1997, is a youth organization with a goal of providing youth with a supportive network of peers, opportunities for academic and personal growth and exposure to positive transformative experiences. By enhancing education and leadership skills, providing guidance and developing trusting relationships, the non-profit empowers youth with the confidence and life skills to make better choices and lead positive lives. To volunteer or do community service hours at ODAT, you can send an email with your name and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at https://www.odatec.org.
At Cypress Self Storage, we truly love our community. As the new year approaches (wow, it's hard to believe 2019 is almost here), you may be thinking about new year's resolutions. If volunteering is on your list for 2019, we truly hope this list helps you choose which organization is right for you. Don't forget, once we finish construction and open our doors in 2019, please stop by and say "hi"!