Monthly Archives: December 2011

Verizon Supports Next Door’s Effort to Stop Teen Dating Violence Before it Starts

December 23, 2011


Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, has granted Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence $40,000 for its Teen POWER Program, which will help eight San Jose youth leaders to implement teen dating violence outreach, prevention and education campaigns for their high school and middle school aged peers in San Jose. The POWER Program (Proud of Wanting Equal Relationships) seeks to change the perception of Teen Dating Violence from acceptable and inevitable to unacceptable, preventable and avoidable.

“Through this collaboration, Next Door and Verizon hope to stop the violence before it starts by raising awareness about the signs of teen dating violence, said Kathleen Krenek, Executive Director of Next Door. “By providing messages through social media and presentations to sports teams we hope to educate students that violence in a relationship is never acceptable under any circumstances.”

Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence has been offering culturally and linguistically specific domestic violence and teen dating violence services to San Jose and the greater Santa Clara County region for forty years through its emergency and transitional housing, support groups, crisis counseling, legal advocacy, and children and youth services. Next Door seeks to end domestic violence in the moment and for all time. Learn more at

The Verizon Foundation uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation’s largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the Verizon Foundation, visit

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Our Holiday Boutique was a success – thanks to you!

Thanks to hundreds and hundreds of community volunteers and members almost 1,300 battered women and their children are anticipating the gifts they will open on Christmas morning!  We wish we could share with you directly the hugs, smiles and thank yous we received as each mom and her kids left the Holiday Boutique, their eyes brimming with tears and joy!!  We literally could not have done this without so many of you.  We hope these pictures demonstrate just a bit of the generosity that filled our rooms – and hearts.

Shouting Hello To Next Door

By A. Alvin  Winford

Truly, time flies! My four month fellowship at the Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence, San Jose, California is now something of the past.  I am leaving early Wednesday morning the 14th of December.  An unbelievable reality!  The mood is bittersweet.  The oxymoron is self explicit in that it is bitter that I am leaving at a time when everything seems to be coming easier to me. And of course sweet, in that I am returning to my family, work, community and country after four months.

There is a time in everyone’s life when he/she reaches a crossroad and must decide the road he/she should take. My decision to go through this experience has yielded some wonderful memories. I am returning home with new experiences, determined more than ever before to champion values and aspirations that contribute towards a Liberian Society that will prevent and respond to violence against women and children.

During my fellowship, I completed the 40 hour training on domestic violence that enable me work with victims and the Women Support Group. Also, I attended the Human Trafficking Coalition and Domestic Violence Meetings, the Connecting the Dot Conference on Domestic Violence, and Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Annual Conference on Engaging, Motivating and Inspiring Men. I was provided the opportunity to make four presentations on Gender Based Violence at the YWCA Rape Crisis Center in Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University Graduate Program, Next Door staff and board meetings.

Certainly, Next Door has played pivotal role in making this dream to come true. The warm hospitality and professional stewardship of the staff and volunteers have been immense and I can only say thanks. I remain grateful for the interactions which provided me an opportunity to grow.  I will continue to keep the contacts alive even after my departure. Thanks! You were there when I needed you most. You will always be part of my life and the memories remain indelible.

Let me share with you the words of two astute thinkers of our time.

You and I will meet again
When we’re least expecting it
One day in some far off place
I will recognize your face
I won’t say goodbye my friend
For you and I will meet again
~Tom Petty

Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together?  I guess that wouldn’t work.  Someone would leave.  Someone always leaves.  Then we would have to say good-bye.  I hate good-byes.  I know what I need.  I need more hellos.

~Charles M. Schulz

A big Hello Next Door!  Happy Holidays!

Thank you Sal Pizarro!

Wonderful mention this past Saturday about Next Door’s Holiday Boutique in Sal Pizarro column. While we did receive an additional 200 books from Raising a Reader and more from Kaiser Permanente, there is still a need for many more!

Sal’s complete column can be found here.

Meaningful Gifts Simplify the Holidays

This is one of an occasional post from Margaret Epperheimer, a seven-year member of Next Door’s Board of Directors.

The crystal clear, warm Saturday found my Willow Glen neighbors and me outside stringing multi-colored lights. The annual ritual of decorating when the tree truck arrives on our street the first weekend in December is the real holiday kick-off for us. It’s a time to reconnect before the sightseers cruise our neighborhood each evening, enjoying the festive displays.

In addition to getting updates on kids and grandkids, we trade holiday plans and – in recent years – lament the excesses of the season.  Although most of us are reasonably well-off, employed or comfortably retired, the theme of our chats was similar to last year’s: simplify. Let’s put up fewer lights, blow-up displays and lawn ornaments. Let’s be less frenetic and more focused on enjoying the season and each other. Let’s think before we give and give in a more thoughtful and meaningful way.

Imagine, we groused, that stores open now at midnight Thanksgiving to get the most out of Black Friday shopping. Depending on whose numbers you follow, retail sales were up 24% over last year, and Cyber Monday (the online version of Black Friday) saw online transactions grow 36%.  Luxury goods sales were up almost 18%.  We’re torn between celebrating consumer confidence, which could portend a healthier economy, and understanding it will be a long time before the suffering among us will enjoy better times, even if a recovery is truly in the works.

These days, my neighbors and friends talk more about divesting than acquiring things. They want to simplify and streamline their lives and their surroundings. Displays of luxury labels and expensive jewelry are off-putting. Unused gifts that stay in a drawer or gather dust and clutter their homes are not as welcome as they might have been a few years ago. Folks are more interested in receiving and giving in a way that makes a difference.

Tell people, they say, we don’t want more “things” this holiday season, we want meaning.  Honor me, they say, by giving to someone who needs things more than I do. That would be far more satisfying and bring me more joy, they say, than receiving something I don’t want or can’t use. Make a contribution in my name to a worthy cause that’s important to me. And if you don’t know what’s important to me, make a contribution to a cause that’s important to you, they say.

There are endless opportunities in our community to honor each other while making a lasting difference. What if, for example, everyone who goes to a holiday gathering this season foregoes the host/hostess bottle of wine gift and gives a $25 contribution to a special cause?  Next Door’s “$25 Saves Lives” campaign is one idea ( You can do a one-time donation or sign up for $25 a month. In case you’re interested, that’s what I’d like as a gift.

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