Monday, December 30, 2013

Diana Nyad: Never, Ever Give Up

In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating ... Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that's how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida -- at age 64. Hear her story.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Monthly Community Service Day Tomorrow!

Please join us for our monthly Community Service Day, this Saturday, December 28th, 2013.  We meet at Starbucks Downtown Fairfield 700 Texas Street @ 9:00AM. We hope to see you all there!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Our Past Doesn't Define Our Future: Kintay Johnson at TEDxYouth@HumboldtBay

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Boyd Varty: What I learned from Nelson Mandela

"In the cathedral of the wild, we get to see the best parts of ourselves reflected back to us." Boyd Varty, a wildlife activist, shares stories of animals, humans and their interrelatedness, or "ubuntu" -- defined as, "I am, because of you." And he dedicates the talk to South African leader Nelson Mandela, the human embodiment of that same great-hearted, generous spirit.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

David Steindl-Rast: Want to Be Happy? Be Grateful

The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you're going, and above all, being grateful.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Toby Eccles: Invest in Social Change

Here's a stat worth knowing: In the UK, 63% of men who finish short-term prison sentences are back inside within a year for another crime. Helping them stay outside involves job training, classes, therapy. And it would pay off handsomely -- but the government can't find the funds. Toby Eccles shares an idea for how to change that: the Social Impact Bond. It's an unusual bond that helps fund new social services -- especially those where a small investment could create a much larger societal benefit. (And yes, investors, mainly NGOs, get a share of the profit if the service works.)

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Positive Aspects of Doing Volunteer Work

People find themselves motivated to do volunteer work for all different sorts of reasons. Many want to reach out to others to lend a helping hand. They are concerned about the well-being of other members of society and want to contribute in whatever way they can. Those who volunteer can benefit from the experience because it offers them the opportunity to develop new skills and to grow the ones they already have.

The benefits to you when it comes to doing volunteer work are many and are far reaching. You get to spend time working in an environment that is different than what you are used to. This helps to broaden your horizons and it provides you with the unique opportunity to learn more about who you are and what you are capable of. It also helps to increase your level of confidence.

Unpaid work for your community can also be good for your future occupation. The training you receive when you work as a volunteer can help you to achieve a qualification you are aiming for in a particular field of study. Work that you do selflessly to benefit others helps everyone concerned, and it looks great on a resume! Your curriculum vitae and all of the job applications you fill out in the future will look much better if volunteer work is included there.

You can network when you act as an unpaid staff member of an organization that administers to the community at large. By doing so, you can make new friends and acquaintances and you can also make contacts that could help you with everything from looking for a job to working on a personal project down the road. The sector that you are working in can teach you and can offer insight. This is especially useful if it is an industry you may wish to pursue a career in.

The sense of satisfaction that comes from getting involved in the act of volunteering is tremendous. To contribute to a worthy cause is something to be cherished and valued. It offers a broader experience of life that you might not acquire otherwise.

You may wish to choose volunteer work that is in line with the skills and experiences you already have, or you may decide to look for an experience that will challenge you to work as hard as possible and will place you outside of your comfort zone. The choice is yours. What matters the most is that you reach out to others who need assistance and your heart is in the right place.

Find out what opportunities for unpaid work are available in the area you reside in. You may be happy working at a soup kitchen or walking dogs at the local animal shelter. Whatever you choose, find something that will make a difference in other people's lives.

Pay it forward. Read more about volunteer work New Orleans at:
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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Successful Community Clean Up Event

FAIRFIELD CA ‐ Two goals of the Matt Garcia Foundation are to clean the community and to get guns off the streets. Ironically they ended up doing both Saturday during their monthly Community clean up event.
The foundation gathered at the Downtown Starbucks at 9:00 AM as it does every month with dozens of volunteers of all ages to go out and clean an area of the city. After meeting together, fellowshipping and receiving basic instructions and clean up tools the groups headed out to clean the downtown area itself.
Upon returning, a first time adult volunteer returned with his bucket and told Raymond Courtemanche, Matt Garcia’s stepfather and Clean‐Up coordinator that he thought he found a gun on the 700 block of Jefferson Street during his rounds.
Courtemanche carefully removed the other debris from the bucket and found that the volunteer’s thoughts were correct.
Courtemanche said, “Upon finding that the volunteer had located and picked up a real gun, I notified Fairfield Police Department asking them to respond to our location and retrieve the weapon.”
Teresa Courtemanche, the foundation President and mother of Garcia said, “We teach people, especially youth, that if you ever come across a firearm to leave it where you found it and notify a Police Officer, Fireman or Teacher and not to move or examine it.”
This is most important and is why the Foundation conducts an Annual Gun Buy Back Program to remove unwanted guns from the streets after the senseless murder of the Late Fairfield City Councilman Matt Garcia in September 2008.
The Matt Garcia Foundation whose mission is to “Support Youth, Stop Crime and Strengthen the Community” the principles that Garcia ran for office and lived his life by.
To get more information about the Foundation or to Volunteer, you can visit their website at