The RMC Bay Area offices participated in a Back-to-School Drive with the Family Giving Tree (FGT) this summer. FGT's Back-to-School Drive was launched in 1995 with the goal of “closing the educational gap for in-need K-12 students.” Together, the San Jose, San Francisco, and Walnut Creek offices donated 34 backpacks filled with school supplies, an additional 60 Kindergarden-1st grade school supply kits, and over $550 in online/cash donations - totaling a value of almost $3,000! The San Francisco office also received donations from Lotus Water, a partner on our joint-venture contract with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). Our contributions to FGT help students around the Bay Area.
The SF office employees got their hands dirty on July 15th volunteering at the Literacy for Environmental Justice’s (LEJ) Native Plant Nursery and Community Garden. The volunteers spent the morning doing a variety of tasks around the garden including cleaning seeds, hauling dirt, weeding and watering the demonstration garden and nursery, cleaning pots, and sewing seeds. The day ended with a picnic lunch with LEJ staff and other volunteers. LEJ actively works with youth, SF residents, educators, and volunteers to restore ecology, improve environmental health, and strengthen community in southeast San Francisco.
To celebrate Earth Day, staff from the Walnut Creek office and our friends and family volunteered at the Oakland Zoo. They spent the morning removing grass under trees and pulling thistle by the zoo entrance. The zookeepers informed us that the thistles are fed to animals like giraffes, whose leathery mouths can handle the prickly plants.
In December, members of our Irvine office donated their time to the South County Outreach Program's thrift store. The volunteers worked to sort, organize, and clean donated toys, books, and other items. South County Outreach operates the Upscale Resale Thrift Store to support the agency’s mission. South County Outreach distributes clothing vouchers to clients to shop at Upscale Resale to help with the cost of clothing and other household necessities. The revenue that is generated by the store assists with operational costs.
Members of our Walnut Creek office purchased toys and clothing specifically requested by families through the City of Concord Child Care Center's Adopt-a-Family Program. The donated items ranged from warm winter coats and shoes, to sports equipment and action figures. Staff wrapped the presents and delivered them to the program's office; assisting 6 families and 15 children in all.
Staff from our San Francisco office purchased toys to donate to the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program. As shown in the picture, gifts included stuffed animals, coloring books, footballs, games, and still-popular Frozen merchandise. Since 1949, the Program has evolved from a few firefighters repairing broken toys and bikes for 15 families to, in 2013, 300 firefighters and friends volunteering their time to distribute over 200,000 toys to more than 40,000 disadvantaged children.
Staff from the San Jose office helped shop for gifts to support the San Andreas Regional Center (SARC) holiday gift drive. SARC is an organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities who live in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties. This holiday season they were collecting gifts/toys for their clients in low income households. They were in particular need of gifts for teenagers, so our shoppers focused on that age group. Among our gifts were games, kinetic sand, nail polish and pajamas.
The San Jose office made several gift baskets filled with Thanksgiving goodies which we delivered to a nearby Life Moves home Thanksgiving week. Life Moves, formerly known as InnVision Shelter Networks, is an organization that the San Jose office has supported for many years during the holiday season. Life Moves’s mission is to provide interim housing and supportive services that create opportunities for homeless families, individuals and veterans to rapidly return to stable housing and long-term self-sufficiency.
A group of RMC’ers, friends, and families from the Rooftop Elementary School in San Francisco joined up for the day to paint and assemble a MakerSpace, which will be used as a classroom for science experiments and shop classes.
RMC San Francisco joined the Rooftop Elementary School to install rain barrels in their garden. The event involved some creative engineering and a plethora of zip ties to capture rain water from the garden roof and store it in three rain barrels. The collected rain water will be used to water their garden and the whole system will serve as a cool lesson for the students regarding water reuse and conservation. It even rained that day so we were able to catch the barrels in action!
The Irvine office donated backpacks and school supplies for the Back to School Event for families in need in the South Orange County area. The focus of this event is to assist families in getting their children ready to go back to school with tools for their education. Many families that receive services are in the extremely low income category and often struggle with the costs associated with the starting school season. Each backpack is fully supplied with the necessary materials needed to successfully start the new school year!
The Walnut Creek and San Jose offices participated in a Back-to-School Backpack Drive hosted by the Family Giving Tree. Between the two offices we donated 21 backpacks filled with school supplies that will be sent to low-income K through 12th graders across the Bay Area. In addition to the backpacks, the two offices donated several hundred dollars more to the organization to help supply additional backpacks.
This spring staff in RMC’s San Jose office spent several lunch hours and staff meetings working on blankets for Project Linus. Project Linus is an organization dedicated to providing “love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans.
Members of our Walnut Creek office recently spent the day removing invasive species and restoring grassland at the Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve in Oakland.
Staff from RMC's Irvine office spent the morning helping the South County Outreach's food pantry service project. The group sorted, stocked and cleaned the shelves as the fresh food came in from markets and kind donors in the area. The food is then distributed to residents in need.
In mid-March, a group of RMC employees from the Sacramento office planted 18 trees along the Johnny Cash Trail near the intersection of East Natoma and Randall Drive. Once grown, the trees will one day become a “tree tunnel”, providing shade along the trail.
Members of our Walnut Creek and San Francisco offices volunteered at Crown Beach in Alameda to help with the East Bay Regional Park District’s habitat restoration project. The RMC group was tasked with invasive species removal (fennel and radishes).
During the 2015 holiday season, RMC employees donated puzzles, soccer balls, books, and dolls to the San Francisco Firefighter’s Toy Program. Since 1949, the Program has evolved from a few firefighters repairing broken toys and bikes for 15 families to, in 2013, 300 firefighters and friends volunteering their time to distribute over 200,000 toys to more than 40,000 disadvantaged children.
In an effort to help protect the ocean from pollution, members of our Santa Monica office participated in a local beach cleanup on May 7, 2015. A significant amount of trash was collected; most notable was the amount of plastic items that were littering the beach including bottle caps, Easter eggs, and discarded sand-castle building toys.
The San Diego office recently served lunch to the families of sick children at Rady’s Children’s Hospital. The work was done through the Ronald McDonald House, a facility located adjacent to the hospital which provides three meals a day, napping/overnight rooms, and other amenities free of charge to registered families.