Oregon Team Supports Their Local Food Bank

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On September 1st, 2017, Leela Newman, Pete Fulford, and Fabiana LaBauve worked on the Oregon Food Bank’s community farm, digging up rows of weeds to clear a new plot for farming, picking several flats of tomatoes, and composting organic materials.

3rd Quarter 2017 - Oregon Food Bank - September 1st Tomatoes

Oregon Food Bank’s Community Farm is a 3/4 acre site next to OFB’s warehouse, where community members can learn to grow food under the instruction of a farmer-educator. The farm is operated in partnership with MudBone Grown, a women-minority-veteran owned small farm working communities. Volunteers grow food to localize the food economies of underprivileged and marginalized communities, learn new skills, and take home a share of the harvest for free. The program offers a nutritious supply of fresh produce to low-income individuals and families in need of fresh fruits and vegetables in communities across the state. Additional produce is distributed to hunger-relief agencies throughout Portland. Harvest Shares, such as MudBorne’s, encourage healthy eating through nutrition education, skill building, and access to a rich and diverse array of community resources.

[By Leela Newman]


CVI & Elks & Ukulele Friends Prepare 20 Quiche for Fire Victims

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Since our Breast Cancer Prevention Partners Peak Hike was cancelled, due to poor air quality on Mt. Tam, a group of us decided to put our volunteer time to help a new  evacuation center opened up in Santa Rosa for the first responders and the fire victims.

Today, Saturday, October 14th, CVI purchased the ingredients for making 20 quiche for $155, Jen O’Mara of San Rafael Elks asked to use the Elks’ kitchen, and we quickly recruited 8 people to help make 3 different types of quiche in 3 hours.  We started at 1:00 pm and all 20 were ready by 4:00 pm.  Fresh out of the oven, 20 quiche were delivered to a kitchen in Novato where Francisco Ramirez and another team made 150 sandwiches also for the victims in Santa Rosa .

Here is the Quiche Team at San Rafael Elks Lodge in San Rafael:  left to right- Melann Mushet, Elk and Ukulele player; Joan Corey – Ukulele player, Charlene Loen -Ukulele player; Jen O’Mara – Elk and head chef; Charlotte Kobayashi- Elk and Ukulele player; Ralph Loan- Ukulele Player; Laurel Botsford – Elk member and SharedHope for Human Trafficking.

4th Quarter 2017 -Group Quiche Makers at Elks 10-14-2017

Extra kudos to Francisco for taking the extra step and delivered the sandwiches and the quiche to the Santa Rosa evacuation center just in time for dinner, before 6 pm!  He reported that the prepared food was greatly appreciated as there were just snacks [pretzels] and drinks at the center!  This was truly two great cooking teams working in different locations for the same purpose – to serve the fire fighters and fire victims.

We are doing another fundraiser on October 28th at the Tam Junction Starbucks in Mill Valley.  We will suggest using funds raised at this event to provide more food for the fire fighters and victims.

[By Charlotte Kobayashi]



Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Connecticut!

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Kickoff for Strides for Life Walk

In continuation from the inventory preparation for the American Cancer Society’s Strides for Life Walk (July 28th), Diane Frate and Lisa Slen assisted with the setup for the Kickoff on August 23rd.

3rd Quarter 2017 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer August 23

The Kickoff is to get people revved up for the walk, which takes place in October.

[by Diane Frate]

2nd Annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ is Another Success!

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On August 15th, CVI employees joined forces to help the United Way Bucks County with their Stuff the Bus campaign to provide backpacks and school supplies to children in need throughout Bucks County.

The effort began weeks ago when CVI employees started collecting school supplies at the Doylestown office. This year’s overwhelming response was overwhelming contributed to our success. CVI’s Power Foundation purchased 80 backpacks to give us a jump start on the collection drive. The rest of the backpacks and all supplies were purchased by CVI employees from all across the country.

A very big thank you to all the employees who donated supplies: Charlotte Kobayashi, Conrad Smith, Diane Frate, Erik Peterson, Fabiana LaBauve, Jaime Farrar, Jeff Adler, Joe Kozub, Joe Terry, Mary Pacell, Nicci Hammerel, Nina Litvinchuk, Sheila Ryan and Tim Brooks.

On the big day, everyone organized and separated the supplies into boxes. We counted each item, then created a list of how many of each item would go in all the backpacks. After that, we stuffed the bags. Everyone worked together efficiently and swiftly while listening to 80s and 90s tunes and reminiscing about their own days at school. Susan Supernavage and Elise Moores took on the task to count out a dozen pencils for each bag to help make packing go smoothly. Eric Nitschke made a fun video of the team in action. At the end of the day, the team stuffed 84 backpacks, beating their total from last year.

Thank you to our awesome team of stuffers, who also donated supplies: Brent Alwood, Eric Nitschke, Elise Moores, Evan O’Donnell, Laura Vollbrecht, Leslie Talbot, Patti Fiore, Sonia Sommers, Susan Supernavage and Cassie Galster. Special thanks to Tim Brooks who helped us quickly deliver the backpacks to United Way in time for their deadline.

In addition the efforts from CVI, United Way was able to collect a total of 2,848 backpacks and supplies for the 2017 school year. United Way works with all 13 school districts in the county to identify those in need and will distribute these bags throughout the county. 16% of kids struggle to have their basic needs met.

[By Cassie Galster]

Back Packs for Incline Middle School

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Seven Incline Middle School students were awarded “DaKine” back packs for a great start of new 2017 school year!
Here are a few photos of happy 6th graders raring to start the new school year.
3rd Quarter 2017 Backpack Incline -2

3rd Quarter 2017 Backpacks for 7 Incline students

Thank you to Lynn Zambrano, Teresa Kwan, Geoff Kinnaird for packing the backpacks and Sarah McMahan and Dustin Ring for delivering them to Incline Middle School.

[By Charlotte Kobayashi]

Pleasanton Team Packed 6696 Meal Packs at KAH!

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Fourteen CVI employees, including friends and family, volunteered at the Pleasanton Kids Against Hunger facility, on August 17th, 2017. Gloria’s friend, Noriko Hill, joined in, as well as, Alexa and Kayla Terry [Joe and Katie’s twin daughters]. Others included: Gloria Fan, Mary Rhoades, Katie and Nathan Findling, Francisco Ramirez, Justin Barry, Anthony Reta, Christian Stephen, Dominic Marquis, Kathy Callahan, and Charlotte Kobayashi.

3rd Quarter 2017 KAH Aug 17 Kayla -2
Partnering with The Kimpton Buchanan Hotel group of 7, we packed 6696 meal bags for a total of 31,696 meal bags for 2017.
We have exceeded our goal f 30,000 for 2017!
3rd Quarter 2017 KAH August 17 Alexa

Another Kids Against Hunger volunteer day soon to be scheduled in mid-November before Thanksgiving.Keep watching Slack, “in our communities” for more information.
[By Charlotte Kobayashi]

Preparing for Strides for Life Walk

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The American Cancer Society, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks raise awareness and funds to save lives from breast cancer. Each event is a noncompetitive 5 mile walk that brings people together to make a difference for everyone who has been touched by breast cancer.

The events raise money to fund innovative research, provide free information and support, and to help people reduce their breast cancer risk or find it early when it’s most treatable.

In preparation for this event, Diane spent the morning of July 28th assisting with inventory. There was an assortment of fleeces, tote bags, sun glasses, ski and baseball hats that needed to be counted, organized by sizes and packed in bids. These items will be sold at their upcoming Kick-Off event on August 23rd.

3rd Quarter Diane Sorting Clothes American Cancer Society July 28-2017

All funds raised go directly to help fund breast cancer research. The American Cancer Society goal is to have 300 participants for this year’s event.

The Darien Team is looking forward to volunteering at the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” Kick-Off event.

(By Diane Frate)

Nearly 3/4 Ton of Food Collected for Doylestown, PA Food Pantry

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Forty two million Americans—including 13 million children—live in households that are food insecure, meaning there was limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy life.

To aid local families and children around the CVI Doylestown office, Eric Nitschke (Product Marketing, Doylestown) helped collect 1,378 pounds of non-perishable food to benefit the Bucks County Opportunity Council and Bucks County Housing Group’s Doylestown food pantry.

According to the Bucks County Opportunity Council, “This is an awesome donation and it comes in handy during the summer months when our pantries are low.”
3rd Quarter 2017 Food Drive Eric N
Businesses around Plumsteadville Village participated by posting signs and displays, and holding food drives with giveaways and coupons for donations from shoppers and community members. Fun story displays included wheelbarrows, trashcans, and student desks.
3rd Quarter 2017 Photo Jul 13 11 56 43 AM
And, where is Eric Nitschke?

The Food Drive was set up as part of the Plumsteadville Village Business Alliance Eric founded in 2016, bringing together 50+ locally-owned businesses to participate in community causes, events, social media campaigns, and more. (

By Eric Nitschke

Bishop Trio Bicycle 801 Miles in Ten Days!

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[Photo above: Hugh in red, to his right is his Dad, and to his left two sons]

Hugh Bishop and his two sons, Eric and Sebastian, started in Marblehead, Massachusetts. They covered 801 miles in 10 days to reach Cleveland, Ohio.

Along the way, they climbed 38,732 vertical feet, went through four states, had three flat tires, and raised over $2,000 for Kids Against Hunger located in Pleasanton, California.
2nd Quarter 2017 Hugh Bishop and sons Eric & Sebastian in front of hotel

2nd Quarter 2017 Eric and Sebastian Bishop

They had a great experience and are looking forward to continuing their cross-country trek in June of 2018.
[By Hugh Bishop]

Habitat for Humanity – Pleasanton Team Builds Playhouse for Blue Star Mom’s Group

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Many people are very familiar with Habitat for Humanity and their mission to provide affordable housing solutions for families in need.  Fewer people are familiar with their retail stores where they sell donated home building supplies, however not many people know about their playhouse building program.  Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley’s Playhouse Program is an opportunity that provides children in the community with a place to call their own.  Habitat for Humanity works with local charities and families to find deserving recipients of the playhouse at the end of the day.

On June 28, 2017, Build Day, LIFT team members, Mary Rhoades, Christian Stephen, Anthony Reta, Meghan Peddicord, Kelly Wong and Dominic Marquis, worked together to construct and decorate the children’s playhouse based on a theme picked out by the family receiving this one of a kind donation.

Building - Christian and Kelly
[Above photo: Kelly Wong and Christian Stephens]

Anthony Roofing
[Above photo: Anthony Reta]

The recipient of this woodland themed playhouse was a member of the Blue Star Mom group, a local charity that assists active and veteran military service members.  The father was a former submarine crewman based at Pearl Harbor but is now stationed locally while he goes through Officer training getting his PHD in electrical engineering.  His six children were all smiles as they jumped out of the family van and started playing with the playhouse and telling us all about their fun plans for it.

A special thanks to Charlotte, although she could not be present for the build, Charlotte and the Power Foundation were able to raise the necessary funds to do such a fun and rewarding charity event.

[By Dominic Marquis]