One Warm Coat Collection for Martha’s Kitchen

Working with One Warm Coat, the Rotary Club of Saratoga is collecting clean, gently used coats for distribution to the clients of Martha’s Kitchen in San Jose. Please bring your donations to the Joan Pisani Community Center,19655 Allendale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070. A box is in the lobby for donations through December 1st.

Martha’s Kitchen serves up to 300 people per day at the Willow Street location; they have over 10,000 clients in the Bay Area. Many of the clients are both food and housing insecure.  As the temperatures drop and the rains begin, the need for warm coats is critical. Please help those in need and donate today!
Having been with Rotary of Saratoga for the last few years, the prospect of new service opportunities, as well as the capacity to participate in them now, excites me to an immeasurable degree. To work alongside a diverse and resilient group of individuals, in creating change within the community, provides me with a sense of fulfillment and happiness. It is truly an amazing feeling to have, one that always makes me smile.
 
Recently, I was intrigued by a request that Cathie Thermond had made, calling for volunteers to help West Valley Community Services with their mobile pantry, helping to deliver essentials for families in need. Ever since the lockdown went into effect early last year, I have thought about helping my community during times of turmoil and hardship, wondering what I could do to help. So, when I heard about this opportunity, I was overjoyed, as it was a chance for me to participate in a noble endeavor to provide aid to those in need. I signed up for all 12 slots our Rotary chapter was participating in and prepared myself for
the journey I was about to embark on. When I told my wife about it, she readily joined to help out.
 
For the sixth year in a row, Saratoga Rotary pulled off a very successful pack for Operation Care & Comfort.  We stuffed over 300 care kits for our brave soldiers!
Using funds from the Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation, our kits held microwave ravioli, popcorn, beef jerky, a Kind bar, a packet of hot chocolate mix, a packet of Gatorade mix and 4 mini chocolate bars.  The hygiene bags held Blistex, hand warmers, a toothbrush and toothpaste.  The women’s bags also included feminine pads and tampons. Handwritten thank you cards were included in every care kit.
Our Rotary Club has been celebrating Read Across America Day at Latimer Elementary in San Jose since 2015.  Each year, Rotarians go into the classrooms and read a story to the students in grades kindergarten through 8 and leave each student with a book to take home.  Over the seven years we have been reading, our Club, through the Saratoga Rotary Charitable Foundation, has donated over 3,600 books to students!

Reading is a critical skill for success in school and beyond.  Yet many in our community still lack the education and resources to become proficient readers. Not only is this a wonderful day for all our volunteers, but we also make a significant contribution to literacy in our community. 

Saratoga Rotarians have been celebrating Breakfast with Santa at Washington Elementary School in San Jose for over 30 years.  We typically bring a nutritious breakfast, crafts, face painters, Christmas songs, a Christmas story, and Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus.  Each TK, Kindergartener, and first grade student receives a gift bag and a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. .
What a great start to the week on an early Monday morning by helping someone?  Its good karma!  Martha’s Kitchen on Willow Street offers this opportunity ! A clean, airy, bright, hygienic and socially distanced work tables allows volunteers to make sandwiches,cut vegetables or whatever else is needed for the day. The food assembled or prepared there (lunch and dinner) is taken to several places in the South Bay to feed the homeless. Two weeks ago, ten of us Rotarians, spent 2-4 hours doing just that!
Kudos to Jamie, Terrence, Cynthia, Larry, Maria, Phil, David Guidry (w/daughter), Sangita, Sesh and Nada (w/camera). Our club intends to do this monthly – so if you are interested, please contact our 2020-21 Community Services Chair – Jamie Price.