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Homeless Prenatal Program – Our Light, Our House event

From the group at HPP to the Community: 

Thanks to everyone who helped make Our Light, Our House an unprecedented success last month!  With your help, Homeless Prenatal Prevention – or HPP for short,  raised over $215,000 to help break the cycle of childhood poverty.  We are over the moon with gratitude for our planning committee, sponsors, silent auction donors and guests. HPP was delighted to honor both the Family Treatment Court (FTC), a collaborative drug court for parents involved in child welfare, and FTC’s first graduate, Eli Parson, who is now a Case Manager at HPP!

OUR WORK GROUP has donated and volunteered with this amazing group. Their success is so gratifying. If you’d like to make a HUGE difference for a family, you can volunteer here or donate.   – the editor

HONORING FATHERS!  For the past few years, HPP has been offering a very successful Fatherhood Group. This weekly workshop offers a safe and comfortable space for fathers – especially those who are involved with the child welfare system – to discuss ways to become more engaged and active in their children’s lives. Fatherhood Group was launched and is led by two single-fathers, both of whom successfully reunified with their children after system involvement. Learning from one another, participants develop greater confidence and comfort in addressing everything from child custody status to parenting styles and childcare. Since its launch in 2010, over 400 fathers have participated in HPP’s Fatherhood Group. Happy Father’s Day! If you’re still thinking of a gift idea for a great dad in your life, consider making a donation in his name to benefit HPP’s Fatherhood Group!

Our Light, Our House, Our Gratitude


BLOGGERS!!  Want to get involved, doing what you do best?? As you may have read news journalists will be joining together on June 29th to flood media outlets with stories on homelessness. HPP looks forward to a day devoted to raising awareness and problem-solving around this important issue — and we hope you’ll join the conversation by liking and sharing HPP’s posts and creating your own. Be sure to like us on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.   


Overcoming Obstacles

Want some pointers? We had a great talk at work.  To get started, take a look at the 4 phases.

  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance

the changes THAT STICK require meaningful contemplation. Think about what you WANT! And it takes time, more than a month. Make a plan, you have a much better chance to succeed.


Start with one thing. Don’t try to change your world.

NOTE: Learning to sort out FAULTY THINKING can really help you make the right choices.


Kaiser Fung – Numbersense

Big Data is almost a dinner-time word, at least in my home. Kaiser Fung makes it painless to learn more.

How to make simple sense of complex statistics–from the author of Numbers Rule Your World

We live in a world of Big Data–and it’s getting bigger every day. Virtually every choice we make hinges on how someone generates data . . . and how someone else interprets it–whether we realize it or not.

Where do you send your child for the best education? Big Data. Which airline should you choose to ensure a timely arrival? Big Data. Who will you vote for in the next election? Big Data.

The problem is, the more data we have, the more difficult it is to interpret it. From world leaders to average citizens, everyone is prone to making critical decisions based on poor data interpretations.

In Numbersense, expert statistician Kaiser Fung explains when you should accept the conclusions of the Big Data “experts”–and when you should say, “Wait . . . what?” He delves deeply into a wide range of topics, offering the answers to important questions, such as:

  • How does the college ranking system really work?
  • Can an obesity measure solve America’s biggest healthcare crisis?
  • Should you trust current unemployment data issued by the government?
  • How do you improve your fantasy sports team?
  • Should you worry about businesses that track your data?


Learning More – Dr. Mohinder Singh

Today we had a speaker talk to us about resilience, honesty, hard work and keeping your own identity intact.

It is easy to forget how similar we are, how much we need to help each other and how easy it is to think “me first”. Dr. Singh tells a story about learning his values from his Grandmother: don’t live in debt and don’t die in debt. Being displaced from his home when Pakistan split with India he started his life adventures very early indeed. As a young boy of 5 it didn’t make much sense, but he survived the perilous train trip and a river crossing in a bucket and learned to re-build his life.  This particular attribute would serve him well – during times of poverty, of disrespect or wondering what was next.

He has a lovely quality of acceptance, happiness and kindness …. and I know that ALL of this is possible with his most basic goal of HARD WORK.

Dr. Singh discusses the history of his home and country, but he doesn’t stay in the past very long. He asks how we feel about the recent killings in Orlando, FL? He quietly tells us about the Ideology of Hate. It is more than that murdering man, it is the training of our world, of our country, the hate that is given so much room to operate. We get to consider how it can be different. He talks to us of how a bit of sugar doesn’t add volume to a drink, which is reintroduced as the idea that a petal of jasmine with milk makes it sweeter. I am reminded that we can choose (at least sometimes) to make our lives sweeter. To really look at people and see beneath status, color, clothes, us vs. them….

It’s a great talk, an hour is certainly not enough. He shows us a book he has authored on his religion, Sikh. It is beautiful with photos of temples, people, gatherings. It is an inspired book a blend of English text, glorious pictures that are stories in themselves and pages that look like rich fabric, even though they are paper. The best photo is a large group of people eating together, they are all seated on the ground. The food is nicely prepared and the same for all. My new friend Jyothi explains that the Sikh religion doesn’t divide people into groups but honors all of them.  It is a beautiful and well-spent hour.

Mohinder SinghSGGS

About Dr. Singh

Dr. Mohinder Singh is a Professor of Eminence in the Department of Punjab  Historical Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala and Director of National Institute of Panjab Studies, Bhai Vir Singh Sahitya Sadan New Delhi. He is author of several standard works on Sikh history and religion and sits on Advisory Boards of several international organizations. Dr. Singh has been representing Sikh religion in various international interfaith meetings and had the privilege of audience with Queen Elizabeth II, Archbishop of Canterbury, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and recently with Pope Francis in the Vatican. He also has the privilege of audience with Pranab Mukherjee, President of India and Dr Manmohan Singh, Ex-Prime Minister of India.  Guru Granth Sahib: The Guru Eternal  is the title of the book shown above – More info on the book – Amazon.

Work – Life Balance

Sometimes it happens, that you lose your BALANCE… you work so much that you have no social life, or you have kids, commitments, other “attention-grabbers” that NEED so much of your time, you don’t ever do anything for yourself.

In order to be the best that you can be at work, at home, and stay strong, you need diversity. Working hard and accomplishing great things is a magical elixir but balance  is also a key to a good life.

HOW to… be a friend to yourself…. balance your relationships…make a friend… find an activity… reach out!

The Mars Venus blog by Lauren Gray is a great source for information about relationships and can give you insight about your life, friends, job and other critical relationships.  Lauren is the spunky opinionated daughter of John Grey, a relationship expert…. yes it runs in the family!  Here is her advice on adding more SUPPORT to your life, a friend, hobby, more social time.  Read on:

Could the solution to your relationship woes be another woman?

1. In your free time, check around your community for groups or classes you could get involved with.

Is there a YMCA around? Take dance classes or Zumba classes. It’s a great way to get your exercise in and it’s a fast way to get close to the people around you. You really don’t have to be any good at it either. It’s all fun. You’re sweating and laughing, and at the end you’ll have actually created something together. If dance isn’t your style, try music, art, cooking, yoga, etc.

2. Take a kick boxing class.

Again, its great exercise, and people always bond over the teacher “kicking their ass.” It is an internal strength building and health enhancing move.

3. If you’re feeling really adventurous, join an improv troupe.

It is risky and fun. Actors are the kings and queens of accepting their fellow improviser and all his/her quirks. It becomes like a second family. Side benefit – after you have performed or sang a song in public…. public speaking seems easier!

4. Check to see if there are any volunteering opportunities near you. 

That’s usually a fun, genuine, young group of people that bonds fast because they all support a common cause.

Here are a few groups that LOVE their volunteers, and you can really make a difference:

  • FUF – Friends of the Urban Forest  – plants trees and educates the home owners in care and watering
  • Filoli Nature Center - they have over 1200 volunteers and so manydifferent types of jobs (many offer extensive and on-going training!) 
  • FabMO – an all volunteer fabric warehouse, that keeps textiles OUT of the landfill

and …. there are so many others:

  • Save the Bay – has volunteer weekends for planting or clean up
  • College of San Mateo – the radio station KCSM needs volunteers to digitize records
  • Canopy – plants trees in urban spaces on the SF peninsula 


Celebrations and Commemorations in June

Thinking about Diverse Families

This post is inspired by Well Fargo’s amazing Diversity Program.

The meaning of the word “family” is varied and broad. People often refer to their work family, friends as family, church family, and family of volunteers to name a few. Then there is, of course, the family you are related to by blood, the family you grew up with and the family in your home. Many families now even include their pets. What better representation of diversity than family? No two are exactly alike.

Did You Know?

  • Flag Day is observed each year on June 14 to celebrate the history and symbolism of the American flag.
  • Native American Citizenship Day, held each year on June 15, commemorates the day in 1924 when the United States Congress passed legislation recognizing the citizenship of Native Americans.
  • In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. The day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
  • Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and the enslaved were now free.

fam·i·ly noun – The basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also: any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family <a single-parent family>


di·ver·si·ty noun – The quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc. The state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization


According to reports from the Census Bureau, a majority of all households in the nation are now headed by unmarried adults.  There are now more one-person households (28.7 million) than there are households containing married couples with minor children (24.1 million).  Family diversity has become the norm. Of the 89 million unmarried adults in the United States, about 30 million live alone, while some 65 million live with someone else.  More than 2 million single dads are raising children, as are more than 8 million single mothers.  More than 10 million unmarried adults are living with a domestic partner while another 2 million live with a roommate.  The other 37 million unmarried and single Americans live with adult blood relatives, i.e. parents, children, siblings, or extended family members.


Think about volunteering for a organization that you believe in. Let’s keep the momentum going and show the impact we can make on our communities!

  • Native Peoples Traveling Exhibit – The Native Peoples Team Member Network within Wells Fargo has created a hands-on experiential display of artifacts contributed by team members from a variety of Tribal backgrounds.  This is a great activity to encourage and promote both diversity and understanding. Your company can develop a great idea just like this one, and get your workforce involved!  Or you can research existing events and activities and get involved as helpful volunteers!
  • Girls On The Run Spring 5K – GOTR is a physical activity-based, positive youth development program designed to develop and enhance girls social, psychological and physical competencies to successfully navigate life experiences. Their mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.  They envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams. The GOTR Spring 5K is a run in which girls from the program and their coaches/ mentors run together as their prior 10-week program concludes.  Other runners are encouraged to sign up, as well as volunteers. They will need volunteers for bag check, cheer section, food table, face painting, t-shirt table, start/finish line, parking, and other various duties.  Check out the GOTR website to find a run near you.
  • Juneteenth Celebration Sioux Falls – June 19, 5:00-8:30 pm, Sertoma Park. The  Friendship Baptist Church to celebrate and learn about Juneteenth (see the Did You Know? section above). Festivities will include the Mobile Black History Museum, Soul Food, choir performance, entertainment, children’s area and more.

WAH – Work at Home

Getting ready to start your own campaign…. to work remotely?  There are many Pro issues and some Cons as well…. be ready to talk about the way this could help your company.

From Fast Company:

3 Steps To Convince Your Boss To Let You Work From Home More

There are Technical recruiters that can help you get a virtual job. You can use Linked In to get some interviews.  You can Freelance. OR you can campaign to help your existing company develop more employee-intelligence and let you work from home.  So many choices!

Some companies promote virtual work because……that is their business! Think about applying at companies that have technical consultants, short term hires, visiting nurses and CEOs for that matter, that already get it! Also look into to web based businesses that sell software, have products that are purchased online or have an international presence with regional offices.

Also look into companies and groups that cater to millennial employees …. most of them have been or will be freelancers.

The virtual work world is not all call-centers in dinky towns or making $10 an article for bloggers.  There is real work with great collaborative teams all over the world. Develop your connections and start looking.


JUNE is here!

What are you going to do for JUNE? The weather is nice. You could have a Team Walk or plan a picnic. These are great low cost events. Pot Lucks, Ice cream break time, and swapping chili and BBQ sauce recipes are all fun to do. June is National Safety Month!

I’ve added a few interesting historical events to this month, so you can think back in time.

1  Dare Day
2  Mother Earth’s Day and National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day
3  Repeat Day  Repeat Day
4  National Frozen Yogurt Day
5  National doughnut day
6  Teacher’s Day (Bolivia). In the USA, Teacher’s Day is May 6.
7  National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
8  National Jelly-filled Donut Day
9  Donald Duck Day
10  National Yo-Yo Day
11 In 1770, British explorer Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef.
12  National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
13  National Juggling Day
14  Family History Day and Flag Day
15  Smile Power Day
16 In 1961, Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Soviet Union.
17 In 1579, Sir Francis Drake claims a land he calls Nova Albion (modern California) for England.
18 In 1981, The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk, the first operational aircraft initially designed around stealth technology, makes its first flight. And also on this day in 1923, Checker Taxi puts its first taxi on the streets.
19 Feast of Forest (in the province of Palawan in the Philippines) and World Sauntering Day
20 World Refugee Day (International)
21  Summer Solstice
22 In 1949, Meryl Streep, American actress and singer is born.
23 In 1926, The College Board administers the first SAT exam.  Also, United Nations Public Service Day (International)
24  Eton College was founded in 1441 King Henry VI of England
25  George Orwell, Born today, British writer (1903-1950)
and also on this day Antoni Gaudi, in 1852, inventive Spanish Architect
26  Madagascar becomes independent in 1960
27  In 1967, the world’s first ATM is installed in Enfield, London.
28  Mel Brooks, American filmmaker is, born in 1926
29  In 1613, The Globe Theatre in London, England burns to the ground
30  Happy Birthday to Michael Phelps, 1985, professional swimmer, winner of 14 Olympic gold medals

june month The Third Sunday in June is Father’s Day.

I’ll let your imaginations take you away. There are so many celebrations and party activities in the summer. Find one or ask your team to help you pick an adventure!

Month Long June events!

MAY DAYS are here! 

JULY DAYS are here! 


Memorial Day! We Remember our Heroes.

Memorial Day is Monday, May 30, and many of you will remember family members serving in the military or loved ones that have served. You may be happily heading to a backyard BBQ or gathering with friends in a camping trip – Please take a moment to remember those who sacrifice for us.

Our United States Memorial Day was originally named Decoration Day, was established in the U.S. following the Civil War to honor those who died in service to their country. People decorated the graves of their comrades, countrymen, and family members. Then in 1968, Memorial Day was established as a national holiday to honor all of America’s fallen military members. I didn’t realize this holiday is a recent day of honoring, Did YOU?

LOCAL EVENTS: the San Francisco Presidio will host a parade at 10:30 am on Monday May 28.  Link to MAP or call 415-5615300 for information.

At there National Cemetery….. the program starts at 11:oo a.m. after the parade.

This is a beautiful area, there are hiking trails, lawns, views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Goldsworthy art exhibit is there.


More than 5,000 people are expected to gather at Arlington National Cemetery, just outside Washington, D.C., where  a wreath will be laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Members of the Army’s Third U.S., Infantry, known as the Old Guard, will place miniature American flags in front of more than 260,000 gravestones at the national cemetery. Veterans of Foreign Wars members and American Legion Auxiliary volunteers will distribute millions of red poppies in exchange for contributions to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans.


Oakland Art Walk — first Fridays

Art walks are great fun. Check this one out – there are food trucks, music, dancing, galleries are open, there is wine / beer tasting for a small charge. It is a great time all around. It changes every month…. you can sign up to be a sponsor, to volunteer or to perform!  Join the mailing list to keep up on the new events and activities.


Art, Music, Food, Fun, Community, Celebration! On Telegraph Ave. from W. Grand to 27th St.  5pm – 9:30 pm Nice to Know:  You can get to the art walk from BART. The map of vendors is here – includes the streets and stages set up.

OAKLAND!   Discover    Explore~

THERE IS MORE! The OAKLAND ART MURMUR – OAM -offers a monthly Guided Walking Tour, on the third Saturday of each month, when a gallery director or other prominent member of the Oakland Art Community takes visitors to 3-5 galleries for presentations from curators or artists about their current shows. Tours are themed and take place 2–4pm Visit the Art Murmur website to learn more.