December 2008 E-Newsletter

April 18, 2011

Let's Make This A True Season Of Cheer

Foreclosures. Deficits. Layoffs. Wall Street bailouts.

We're overwhelmed with bad news and uncertainty. Many of us or someone we know have been affected by the collapsing economy.

But I'm confident that we'll climb out of this morass because Americans won't settle for anything less, and they said so on Nov. 4. We have a new president with a new direction: Nurture the middle class.

And it is up to us, this holiday season, to nurture our own communities in whatever way we can. One effective way is to make a donation - either in the form of cash or your valuable time as a volunteer - to non-profit charitable groups that serve our poor and homeless. In these tough economic times, your generosity is needed and it will be appreciated more than ever.

It was a character out of a Dickens tale who said the business of mankind is charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence. Let's show the rest of the world that we mean business.

There are many charitable organizations that need donations and volunteers. Listed below are some organizations that I have contributed to over the years. I hope you might consider helping them or another charitable organization of your choosing this holiday season.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties Holiday Food & Fund Drive is in full swing. The food bank has seen a 55 percent increase in the number of people seeking food - some for the very first time.

Second Harvest Food Bank needs help to reach a goal of collecting $8 million and 1.7 million pounds of food this holiday season. Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off at Second Harvest Food Bank's warehouse at 750 Curtner Ave, San Jose, or 1051 Bing Street in San Carlos. Cash donations can be made by calling 1-866-234-3663 or visiting

Sacred Heart Community Service needs cash gifts, volunteers, or donations - especially food, blankets, baby diapers, new socks and underwear. For more information call (408) 278-2171 or visit Sacred Heart Community Service is located at 1381 South First St., San Jose,

Toys For Tots - run by the Marine Corps Reserve - gathers toys for distribution to thousands of needy children in our community. Contribute a toy and make a small but positive difference in a child's life this holiday season. For more information, visit

Upcoming Events

A Yuletide Pageant
The annual San Jose Holiday Parade returns Sunday, Dec. 7, 8:30 a.m. Bring the kids and head downtown to catch a glimpse of Santa's first official visit to San Jose this season.

Many Happy Returns . . .
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is once again offering free income tax assistance in filling out and preparing returns for low-income, disabled, elderly, and limited English-speaking people.

Please bring all pertinent income tax information, including ID, Forms W2, 1099, Social Security cards for dependents, etc. Also, bring your tax booklets received in the mail and your last tax return, if available. Federal and state returns will be prepared at all sites. VITA will not prepare state-only returns.

Customers will be dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis unless otherwise stated. Questions about your taxes? The toll-free Internal Revenue Service help line is 1-800-829-1040 or 1-800-906-9887.

Locations for free income tax assistance within Assembly District 24 are:

  • Campbell Library
    77 Harrison Ave., Campbell
    Feb. 7-April 11
    Saturdays, 10 a.m.-noon
    Russian-speaking volunteers are available.

  • Cathedral of Faith
    2315 Canoas Garden Ave., San Jose
    Feb. 21-April 9
    Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.
    Spanish-speaking volunteers are available.

  • San Jose Library-Cambrian Branch
    1780 Hillsdale Ave., San Jose
    Feb. 9-April 12
    Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Star One Credit Union
    1090 Blossom Hill Road, San Jose
    Appointments only, (408) 543-5127
    Feb. 5-April 12
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Work2Future One Stop-San Jose
    1290 Parkmoor Ave., San Jose
    Questions? (408) 277-2727
    Feb. 5-April 15
    Tuesdays, 5-7p.m.
    Spanish-speaking volunteers are available.