Nonprofit organizations

What does a local hero look like? In this case, she is a diminutive 88-year-old with a big heart. Today Lucile Spurlock was named the newest Hometown Hero by Menlo Park City Council member Ray Mueller.

Lucile is a regular driver for “Trinity Tuesdays, Season of Gleaning.” On Tuesday mornings from 8:00 to noon, community members drop off pantry food and fresh produce in the parking lot of Trinity Church, Menlo Park. Most weeks, Lucile loads dozens of bags and boxes of food into her car and drives them to The Food Closet in Palo Alto.

For those who are unfamiliar, gleaning is an ancient Biblical practice where farmers were instructed to leave corners of their fields unharvested … left for the poor, widows, orphans, and strangers to gather and consume. Similarly, olive trees and vines were to have some of their fruit left for the same purpose.

When we admired Lucile’s strength, she revealed that she works with a personal trainer twice a week, does Pilates twice a week and Tai Chi once a week. Her goal is to continue to live in her Menlo Park home of 50 years.

Being strong and active and helpful to others is her way to accomplish this. Lucile has “time on her hands” now during the COVID pandemic, plus she can perform this much-needed driving service while being safe herself. When she drops off the food at the Food Closet, volunteers there help unload the car.

“The volunteers at the Food Closet are most grateful to receive our food,” Lucile says. “This week all the chairs they put out along the curb were full of people eating the food they just picked up. It’s such a simple thing to do, takes practically no time, and is so dreadfully needed. Our gardeners are the real heroes. They donated a huge amount of produce this week — and a bunch of bags of purchased stuff.”

Lucile encourages community members to learn about the gleaning program. To procure fresh fruits and vegetables, Trinity asks folks to “plant an extra row” of produce. The church also sends volunteers to harvest fruit trees in people’s gardens. The specific pantry items needed by Ecumenical Hunger Program (another location where Trinity’s food is delivered) are listed online.

Author Laurie Hunter is long-time Trinity Church parishioner

Photo by Robb Most (c) 2020

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Commonwealth 3 virtual community open house set for September 9

The Sobrato Organization (TSO) would like to invite the Menlo Park community to a public, virtual open house to learn more about the proposed Commonwealth Building 3. The event will take place on Wednesday, September 9 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Commonwealth Building 3 will add a third four-story office building and a new four-level […]

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Banyan Tree Women’s Collective launches with free series of wellness workshops

Melissa Fabreo-Montelongo co-founded the non-profit Banyan Tree Women’s Collective with one thing top of mind – to give access to wellness/fitness choices to a wide and diverse group of people. “Living here in Menlo Park, access is really reserved for certain groups, those who can afford to pay,” she says. “But I don’t want anyone […]

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San Mateo County seeks grant proposals from community organizations on COVID-19 education

The County of San Mateo is seeking grant proposals from community organizations to assist in outreach and education about how residents can help stop the spread of COVID-19. Proposers must be from not-for-profit organizations that include: Organizations: Must be tax-exempt organization such as organizations that are tax exempt under Sections 501(c)3, 501(c)4, 501(c)6 of the […]

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Seven local schools are joining together to support Peninsula Bridge virtual fun run

Seven local schools — Castilleja, Crystal Springs Uplands School, Menlo School, Nueva School, Sacred Heart Schools, St. Matthew’s Episcopal and Woodside Priory — are coming together to support Peninsula Bridge in a virtual fun run on Sunday, September 13. “The pandemic is creating even more barriers for educational equity and success for Peninsula Bridge students and […]

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Meal of Gratitude will be delivered to fire crews and evacuees starting tomorrow

Jesse Cool of Flea Street Cafe let us know that beginning tomorrow (Aug. 22), Meals of Gratitude will be joining forces with the World Central Kitchen to prepare and deliver 200 Meals of Gratitude lunches each day for emergency fire crews and evacuees. “We sent out an email explaining to donors that we are shifting for […]

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Space Cookies robotic team is actively recruiting Freshman girls

For the past eight years, Menlo Park resident Shosh Cohen has been mentoring the Space Cookies, an all girls robotic team that draws from all over the Bay Area. Her goal for the fall: get more local  girls involved. “Our founding sponsors are NASA and the Girl Scouts, which is where the name Space Cookies […]

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Two M-A grads are among the recipients of Peninsula College Fund scholarships

Of the 67 scholarships the Peninsula College Fund awarded this year, two are graduates from Menlo-Atherton High School, Karla Vasquez (pictured top) and Crystal Woods (below right). Menlo Park resident Karla is headed to UC Santa Cruz where she plans to major in Robotics Engineering. “When I first visited the campus, I loved the  nature and […]

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Looma project concludes 9th summer camp spearheaded by Menlo Park resident David Sowerwine

Seventy volunteers and a cluster of parents and donors Zoom-celebrated the end of Looma project’s ninth “summer camp,” seven weeks of distance working and learning by 50 Menlo School students, nine quasi-retired teachers, and a dozen Nepalese students and staff. Looma Education began in 1996 as EcoSystems Nepal with the goal of providing safe, efficient and inexpensive […]

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Cancer Society names Senator Jerry Hill State Legislator of the Year

Senator Jerry Hill has been named State Legislator of the Year by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in recognition of his work championing legislation to protect California kids and communities of color from addiction to tobacco. Senate Bill 793, authored by Sen. Hill, would end the sale of flavored tobacco products […]

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Menlo Park volunteers provide summer online tutoring through All Students Matter

When Ravenswood City School District schools closed in mid-March, it might have also meant the end of the classroom tutoring program All Students Matter (ASM) which provides classroom support for TK-5 students throughout Ravenswood. Instead, a group of ASM volunteers moved quickly to develop new ways to tutor and mentor elementary school students using online […]

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