Share the Spirit 2021 stories of help and hope.

 

Veterans Accession House helps homeless veterans find stability, community in Pittsburg

For nearly two months, Kendrick Harrelson never left the fire restoration company where he worked. Literally. At night, he went into a back storage room, inflated an old air mattress and tried falling asleep while a small pinprick hole left ...
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Lions Center helps people regain the independence they lost when their eyesight dimmed

Navigating a sighted world with a white cane is a bitter life for some. But not Mac Coates. His cheerfulness is infectious despite a genetic eye disease that robbed him of his sight as a young man, leaving him in ...
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Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area provides a safe, welcoming community

K. Leigh Alfrey was 3 months old in 1985 when she, her parents and older sister moved to the Bay Area from southern California. One reason for the move was there were no organizations down south that provided direct services ...
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Former homeless woman gives back to the center that gave her hope

The first night out on the streets, Leslie Banks lost all hope. Looking for refuge and a safe place to sleep, Banks curled up in a park with a sleeping bag and her bike. She fell asleep only to be ...
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Berkeley Food Network battles hunger in COVID era

Carolyn Sharp is grateful that Berkeley Food Network has embarked on a dynamic quest during the COVID pandemic: end hunger in the iconic East Bay city. “The Berkeley Food Network is a main artery for this neighborhood,” said Sharp, who ...
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Facing tough times, Oakland residents get back on career track through Civicorps

During a recent stroll through the large warehouse that Civicorps calls its headquarters and where so many fledgling adults find a way out of life’s setbacks, it’s sinking in on 21-year-old Jasmine Lagunas that she will soon need to leave ...
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Former foster youth inspired by East Bay Children’s Law Offices attorney

For almost Aleja Stephenson entire life, people she should have been able to trust were the ones who let her down the hardest, who hurt her the most. She was born to a teen mother who was addicted to drugs ...
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St. Vincent de Paul helps El Sobrante family after a crushing series of events

The sound of trickling water as dozens of goldfish glide around an aquarium in the living room creates a soothing ambience, a stark contrast to the nearly four years of physical and emotional turmoil Rich Parker and his family have ...
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Their grief brought them together; now they help others on the same painful path

Ann Khadalia and Steve Grimes interact with each other with a sometimes remarkable ease, occasionally finishing each other’s sentences or reminding the other of yet another story to tell. They speak easily and reflect often. They still can smile, and ...
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Traumatized veteran getting needed assistance from Berkeley Food and Housing Project

Joseph Augustine knows what it is like to hit rock bottom. Traumatized by his stint in the U.S. Navy in the early 1980s — where he said he experienced extreme racism and physical and mental abuse, and was denied the ...
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