Share the Spirit 2016 stories of help and hope.

 

Sharing the Spirit: How you make a difference in lives of East Bay residents during the holidays

Throughout the holiday season, the East Bay Times has been publishing stories about local nonprofits and the work they’re doing to improve the lives of residents in need through our annual Share the Spirit campaign. Thanks to the generous support ...
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Oakland church serves up food and fellowship

A hot meal is waiting for anyone hungry each Wednesday at Downs Memorial United Methodist Church. There’s also conversation, companionship and a little encouragement for those knocked around by life. “It means the world to me,” Jerome Hatcher, 76, said ...
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Berkeley Food Pantry feeds hungry, helps environment

If, to paraphrase Scripture, to save a life is to save the world, the Berkeley Food Pantry tries to live that lesson literally. Here they measure success not only in the number of people they feed but also by how ...
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Woman overcomes disability, cancer with help of Bay Area Rescue Mission

In fall of 2012, Maria L. Fortez had all but run out of options. After a foot injury resulted in her not being able to work, the then 54-year-old quickly found herself behind on rent. She applied for disability, but ...
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Alamo man continues to change lives through nonprofit work

Jim Noe routinely deflects praise, but the results of a lifetime of volunteerism in Contra Costa County speak for him far more effectively. Noe’s spirit has completely transformed at least one life — the Vietnamese refugee who flourished in America ...
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Brentwood mom trades dead-end jobs for career with nonprofit’s help

Shaunette Buchanan used to dream of becoming a real estate agent when she grew up, enamored with the idea of showing off all the features that she imagined her own home would have to prospective buyers. Fast forward a couple ...
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Hayward family finds shelter, hope after loss of father

After Roxanne Stanton’s children saw their father pass away from a heart attack in their home in September, they couldn’t feel safe there anymore. Her youngest, Darwin, who is named after his father, was in the room watching his mother ...
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Once abused, Tri-Valley Haven volunteer now helps to end the cycle

Cindy Gavello  knew about the fears and anxiety of domestic abuse long before she became a volunteer to help victims. Twenty-five years ago, her husband hit her, yelled at her and limited her contact with neighbors and friends out of ...
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Oakland girl with cerebral palsy finds a team of her own

April Cookston remembers the days she sat watching in her wheelchair as her brothers played soccer, longing to scamper in the grass with them. But she was confined to the sidelines. Those days are over. April, a 10-year-old with cerebral ...
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Homeless vet slept under Oakland overpass, now in his own studio

Instead of living in Army barracks, Robert Bruce would pitch a tent in the nearby woods. He preferred the isolation. While not a troublemaker, the infantryman was repeatedly disciplined for letting his hair grow too long. Going to the barber meant being around ...
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