Keep America Beautiful – Think Like a Neighbor

The Almost Daily Binx, Silicon Valley, V. Caminiti 31 January 2012

While the grammarians argue the etymological provenance of ‘like’ and ‘as’ we feel very strongly that the substance of the slogan ‘Keep America Beautiful – Think Like a Neighbor’ is a reminder of values that our preoccupation with competing personal interests may have eclipsed. Values that have distinguished the American spirit when the Dough boys  went off to France in the early 1900’s, or when polio was stalked around the globe, or the Berlin Airlift after World War 11.

Even in the iconic settings of the 1950’s and the ostensibly contrasting back-drop of the age of Aquarius, America, Beautiful America, was in its roots, neighborly.  Yes we had, and continue to have aggressive social disorder, prejudice and some out-right dangerous social cancer.  It has always had more than sufficient representation. But still the neighborly essence of America the Beautiful is ‘coffee-talk’ and sometimes inspirational talk from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, Cairo; and, in muted tones, Kabul, Teheran, Lagos, Mogadishu …

There is so much more America, so much more hope, so much more patience … when you think like a neighbor.


South Valley Family Y – Changing Lives

by V.A. Caminiti, The Almost Daily Binx, Silicon Valley – USA

Annual Giving Campaign 2012

Well it’s a very unusual name, Annual Giving Campaign – since for campaigners, it’s a matter of getting so we can, in fact, give.  It is largest volunteer initiative within the entire Y organization, nationwide. And give we do; to our community, to local families and to children within our significant reach.  You may not know it, but the Y delivers all of it’s community support without a single penny of overhead paid from collected gifts (donations.)  That’s what makes us very different from many other philanthropic opportunities – 100% goes to our beneficiaries.

How Does the Y Campaign Help Our Community?

It could easily be said that the South Valley Family Y’s Annual Giving Campaign is a little bit selfish – selfish in the fact that by providing a healthy alternative for families at risk, we shift the odds in their favor. Frankly, there is overwhelming empirical evidence that when heighten a child’s access to a healthy environment the likelihood of his being lured into less favorable behavior is dramatically reduced.  That’s good for everyone in the community.

Then of course there’s programs like our Summer Nutrition Program SNP, where kids of struggling families may actually be victims of circumstance.  We heard from Maria the other night;  a young mother of two.  She told the story of how she had become a Y AGC volunteer because she was so moved by the impact our programs have on her children. They have been beneficiaries of our Branch and enrolled in our SNP and inspired the entire family to eat a more healthy diet.  She wanted to give back for the assistance she received, so what better way than to help raise funds and awareness.

Another story is from Matt, who worked through depression and health obstacles and credits the inspirational atmosphere, comradeship of a healthful environment and a challenge to do something bigger than confines of his mental walls would permit.  He got healthy, got trim and got a new career.  He’s now a Y professional directing youth sports activities and Camps at our Y.

What YOU Can Do !

Get involved in your community – and if you’re in our community – reach out and get involved.  Your local Y – The South Valley Family Y – is committed to our community.  There are no hidden agendas, no secret handshakes and no private interest groups.  However, there is an abundance of goodwill, knowledge and muscle – ready to help and ready to give you an opportunity of a lifetime to connect with people and fulfill your responsibility to your neighbors and yourself.

Here’s how you can get started:

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