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About Welcoming Stars

Welcoming Stars recognizes programs in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks that model a remarkable commitment to creating a welcoming environment for all who live, work, study, and visit in our community and aims to create a welcoming network of cross-sector organizations and resources for the community. By celebrating and sharing the best and most effective programs in our community that are actively welcoming immigrants and newcomers in innovative and inspiring ways, Redwood City Together aims to amplify their impact and highlight best practices for others to implement in our community and beyond.

Redwood City 2020 is proud to honor the following organizations for their commitment to creating a welcoming environment for all by building trust and mutual respect across communities in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks. To make donations to support the Welcoming Stars in their work, please visit this link.

Get to know the latest Welcoming Stars below:

Thank you to our past Welcoming Stars for helping create a welcoming community for all!

Miracle League Baseball

The Miracle League of San Francisco hosts a biannual baseball league for children and adults with special needs. Every player is assigned a buddy, a youth or adult volunteer, to support, protect, and assist them in whatever they need during the game. They have completed three seasons so far, and we were preparing for our fourth before COVID hit. While during COVID they cannot hold games, they just launched a pen pal program to keep their players and buddies connected. Ultimately, they provide an environment where children and adults of all abilities can build a community that revolves around inclusivity, diversity, and friendship.

Boys & Girls Club of the Peninsula

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula (BGCP) is a critical resource for our community’s underserved families in North Fair Oaks,Redwood City, East Palo Alto, and eastern Menlo Park. BGCP provides K-12 students with year-round academic enrichment and social-emotional learning programs, which run in collaboration with local schools, school districts, cities, nonprofits, and businesses. While schools remain closed due to COVID-19, they have stepped up to support students and school district partners with safe, supportive, in-person work spaces for online learning. Their ultimate goal is to help students “Stay in the Game” by providing academic support and promoting consistent virtual school attendance and work submission.

Community Alliance to Revitalize Our Neighborhood (CARON)

The CARON Program works towards building trust between the community and law enforcement through education and our community academies are great resource to achieving this goal. Sergeant Victor Lopez, CARON Director, was born and raised in Redwood City/NFOArea andconsiders itan honor tohaveservedas the Director over the past 5 years. Understanding the needs of the community is very important not only for himbut also for the entireCARON team.

Multicultural Institute

For over 13 years, the Multicultural Institute has walked alongside the day laborer community in North Fair Oaks and accompanied them in their transition from poverty and isolation to workforce participation and prosperity. Within this time period, Multicultural Institute has served over 1,200 day laborers with wraparound services such as job placement, housing, legal aid, education, and healthcare. By conducting outreach directly out on the streets, Multicultural Institute staff builds trust within the day laborer community and continue to help the immigrant community reach economic stability.

Redwood City Public Library – Human Library

Redwood City Public Library has held three  Human Library events in 2018, 2019, and 2020. The Human Library is a place where real people, referred to as “Books,” are on loan to members of the community, or “Readers.” Books and Readers are paired with each other for 20 minute one-on-one conversations. The books have included: Veteran, Muslim, Transgender, Conservative, Recovered Addict and her Son, Developmentally Disabled, Police Officer, and more.

Casa Circulo Cultural

Casa Circulo Cultural provides creative, educational, and recreational opportunities for Hispanic families, while promoting Hispanic art, culture, and traditions. Through their various art programs for both youth and adults, Casa Circulo Cultural continuously promotes civic commitment to the immigrant community and builds cultural understanding. Learn more about Casa Circulo Cultural

Cañada College English as a Second Language (ESL) Department

The ESL Program at Cañada College started in the early 1970s to serve the immigrant population in the surrounding communities and the Cañada College Community Based English Tutoring Program (CBET) started in 2000 to teach ESL to parents of school age children. By providing ESL learning on campus and at various school sites in both Redwood City and North Fair Oaks, the Cañada College ESL Department prepares immigrants in the community to achieve their academic, vocational, and personal goals. Learn more about Cañada College English as a Second Language (ESL) Department.

OYE (Orgullo y educación) Latinx Youth Conference

The OYE Latinx Youth conference first started in 2010 at the Fair Oaks Community Center organized by volunteers from the community and local community agencies. It has grown over the past 8 years as a youth and adult led initiative and now serves more than 350 youth/young adults and parents in Redwood City and North Fair Oaks and other San Mateo County communities. OYE provides youth with tools to discuss the obstacles and fears they face, to identify their own strengths and opportunities to overcome them and to act collectively to address these obstacles. Learn more about the OYE Latinx Youth Conference.

St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room

Guided by a mission to feed and clothe everyone while treating them with dignity and respect, St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room is a welcoming center offering free hot, nutritious meals, take home groceries, clothing, and other services to everyone, especially those living nearby in North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, and other surrounding communities. The Dining Room began in 1974 as a Sunday meal program for low income seniors, but quickly expanded to provide a hot meal six days a week to everyone who comes through its doors, no questions asked. Their all-volunteer team serve up to 500 free meals a day, give away 3,000 clothing items each month, and have a Public Health Nurse on-site to provide health consultations, referrals and seasonal flu shots. Learn more about St. Anthony’s Padua Dining Room.

International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA)

Welcoming immigrants, refugees and their families is the International Institute of the Bay Area’s mission. They offer immigration and naturalization legal services, citizenship preparation classes, and community education & outreach throughout Redwood City and North Fair Oaks. IIBA’s “Know Your Rights” presentations have been an important source of information for immigrant families. Learn more about the International Institute of the Bay Area (IIBA)

Redwood City School District Community Schools

Redwood City Community Schools close the achievement gap by bridging communities and schools through innovative strategies and partnerships. Community Schools go beyond the classroom and school walls to address any and all issues that affect a child’s long-term success using a whole-child and whole family approach. Learn more about Redwood City School District Community Schools. Learn more about Redwood City School District Community Schools

Faith in Action Bay Area

Through leadership development, civic engagement, and community education, Faith in Action strives to overcome barriers to equity so that every person receives the respect, justice, dignity, and opportunity they deserve. Faith in Action runs a 24-Hour Hotline for the immigrant community to report any immigration enforcement operation and trains volunteers who act as “responders” to verify false alarms about ICE activity. Learn more about Faith in Action Bay Area. Learn more about Faith in Action Bay Area

Cañada College Dream Center

Guided by the belief that all students should have equitable access and opportunities for success, the Cañada College DREAM Center opened in 2016 as a resource center and safe space for undocumented students, community members, and allies. The center provides services including free legal consultations, scholarship and financial aid resources, art and writing workshops, peer mentoring, and a student club. Learn more about the Cañada College DREAM Center. Learn more about the Cañada College DREAM Center

Kainos Home and Training Center

Kainos Home and Training Center serves a diverse, inclusive population of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through residential, vocational, and senior day programs and services. This non-profit organization works with individuals, families, and the community with the powerful mission of enabling each individual they serve to maximize his or her potential while becoming active, contributing members of the community. Learn more about Kainos

Redwood City Public Library

The Redwood City Public Library inspires learning through innovative and visionary programming and services—literacy programs, support for school success, access to technology, safe, inviting spaces for youth and families, and gathering places that connect the members of the community with a love of reading and learning. Learn more about the Redwood City Public Library

Fair Oaks Community Center

The Fair Oaks Community Center also seeks to create community, providing facilities, personnel, and programs necessary to support and coordinate social services for the diverse populations within Redwood City and North Fair Oaks. These aim to educate and empower their community, serving as a bridge to resources for families and individuals who need them. Learn more about the Fair Oaks Community Center

Street Life Ministries

Street Life Ministries works with those who live on the streets, are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and/or are dealing with mental illness, by providing the homeless with meals and connecting those in need with the appropriate professional agencies to obtain support services. Learn more about Street Life Ministries

First Church, UCC

First Church, UCC has been present in Redwood City since 1862. They intentionally use their resources, space, and talent to support the Redwood City and the North Fair Oaks communities. They actively share their facility for free with other organizations, from non-profits and schools to other civic organizations, and have constantly been in partnership with other non-profit community partners due to their belief in the importance of building relationships. Learn more about First Church, UCC

San Mateo County History Museum

The San Mateo County History Museum offers the Land of Opportunity exhibit which highlights the immigrant experiences of the largest immigrant groups who came to San Mateo County from 1850 to the present. This includes the Chinese, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Filipino, and Mexican populations. By celebrating the rich diversity across the history of San Mateo County, this exhibit helps to foster an environment where immigrants and newcomers feel welcome.  Learn more about the San Mateo County History Museum.

Siena Youth Center

The Siena Youth Center is a non-profit program within the St. Francis center which offers multi-service support to members of the community by providing essential services such as food, housing, clothing, and education. The Siena Youth Center offers three programs which focus on youth ages 10 to 17: the North Fair Oaks Youth Initiative, the Change Makers Program, and Trips for Kids Bulldog Riders Biking Program. Learn more about Siena Youth Center.

Coffee with Cops and Donuts with Deputies

The Coffee with Cops and Donuts with Deputies programs work to cultivate relationships between law enforcement and community members in an informal environment. In these settings, law enforcement and community members are able to discuss any concerns or issues, build personal connections, and establish trust and communication in a safe and open space.  Learn more about Coffee with Cops and Donuts with Deputies.

Sequoia High School Dream Club and the Immigrant Youth Action Team (IYAT)

The Sequoia High School Dream Club and Immigrant Youth Action Team do inspiring work in empowering undocumented students and their allies to be leaders in their communities, providing connections and resources, fundraising for higher education scholarships, and uniting the community behind its youth. To learn more about the Sequoia High School Dream Club, please visit their Facebook page.

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