Tea Season Begins at Bancroft

The crew - headed by Eli Schneider (far left).

This year's Bancroft Girl's Tea, May 13, 2014, was attended by sixty 5th grade girls, their teachers, and special guests. Common Ground supports the teas and luncheons at three of our adopted schools. This Friday will be a combined Luncheon/Tea for Casa de Oro's 6th graders and over the next couple of weeks Kempton's girls and boys, and Bancroft's boys will have their events.

Bancroft Multipurpose Room - our largest Tea ever!

Marsha McDonald enjoys her first Bancroft Tea - as a retiree!

Leslie Huffaker and Jeannie Parsons enjoy the Tea.

If you are interested in helping out at our Teas, Luncheons, or any other event, please contact us at svcommonground@gmail.com.

Kempton Gets 100 Bikes!

To see more pictures follow us on Facebook - Common Ground Collaborative.

The crew at Kempton

It's a bike building family affair.

If there's work to be done, you can't keep Chuck and Don away.

Work, work, work!

Thanks to all who came to both Kempton and Avondale to build bikes.

A great night building bikes!

Common Ground volunteers worked hard and had a great time.

Avondale crew after building 78 bikes.
Grant, John, and a new bike.

The stage is being set.

Bikes For Kids Needs Help

Common Ground has once again been asked to team with Bikes For Kids.  Two of our adopted schools have been awarded 100 bicycles each to give out to their 3rd graders. Common Ground's charge is to assemble them all in one evening. The past two years we have gathered groups of about 30 people to unbox, put together, and fill the tires of 100 bikes. This year the call goes out to our regular builders and more!
Come enjoy the fun and excitement of taking these boxes,

Adding some tools and know how,

and come up with this on the school stage!

When: Tuesday, December 17 
6pm - 9pm
Location: TBA
For information on how to be a Santa's helper this year
contact John Parsons at the Common Ground email address at the top right of this blog.

Food Drive Delivers

Over 90 families from our adopted schools were given food boxes to fill empty shelves at home. A great effort from many Common Ground volunteers and donators, allowed us to give two full boxes of food to each family.  Thank you Valley Farm Market - Campo Rd., Boney's Market - Coronado, and Walmart for your generous gifts.

The two pictures below show the contents of the boxes. A dozen eggs for each family was also included.

Sorting food into boxes

Most of the crew that worked to pack and load over 180 boxes.

Boxes delivered to Bancroft ready for family pick up.

A Very Common Ground Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving break is now a week long for students. For those in our Common Ground schools, a week away from the nutritious meals that are provided for them at school can impact their health. To aid the families who have qualified for Common Ground support, we put together holiday care packages to make sure they are able to get through the week and back to school healthy. Monetary donations are needed by November 17. It takes only $50 to feed a an entire family. Food donations of Peanut Butter or Chicken Broth in cartons are also needed and can be brought to one of the churches listed below on or before the 17th.

Common Ground Collaborative is an interdenominational outreach effort of three churches :
 Santa Sophia Catholic Church, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 
and Foothills United Methodist Church. 

Highlands Elementary - an open letter from the principal.

Highlands Principal Eileen Cotter

Highlands Elementary School is a school where if you drove by you'd think what a pretty school. It is hidden in the hills of Spring Valley and has the appearance of a little oasis. What you can't see from the street or even from inside of the classrooms are the struggles that many of the students cope with day to day.  From not enough food in the kitchens to homelessness to parents who are not in a child's life for a variety of reasons there is much we can't see but it is there.  Common Ground has been the blessing that has saved many a child and family from a night without food or another day with dirty clothes. Common Ground has provided so much to our students and families this year. From a backpack at the start of school to gifts at Christmas to food at the end of the month when a family's access to food has run out Common Ground has been there, a quiet force working behind the scenes to make life a little better for a child or family one person at a time. 
The members of the churches who work as part of Common Ground don't always get to see the faces of the people they help. They don't get the joy of seeing the tears of gratitude or the sigh of relief when a parent realizes Santa can indeed come this Christmas or when they know that they can put some food on the table for the next few days.  At Highlands we have the great honor and privilege of seeing the prayers of a parent or child come true in a new pair of shoes or a package of clean underwear that are the correct size.  These small gifts give people their sense of pride back; they found a way to make it through and provide something for their family.
On behalf of the staff here at Highlands and on behalf of the MANY children and families you have helped this year, we thank you Common Ground. Thank you for the time you spend organizing boxes of food, gifts, office supplies, and shoes. Thank you for the time delivering these blessings to our sites. Thank you for the endless hours spent shopping, planning, organizing and bringing it all together. Thanks for the vision you have had and for the help you give.  None of us will never know for sure the impact a pair of shoes, a box of cereal, a tube of toothpaste, some clean socks or even a new Barbie will make because one can't measure a how a child feels or how much taller and prouder a parent stands when they know their child has what he/she needs, but I can say with certainty that the impact of your generosity has been felt across this school and throughout our community.  Thank you for all you do and all you will continue to do in the years to come.
Eileen Cotter
Highlands Elementary