In the latest column, news about a church that used the citywide yard sale to raise funds for Ukrainian relief, a $100 million donation benefiting Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford and the upcoming Municipal Services Center Open House.
EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS ... Many locals join the Palo Alto Citywide Yard Sale to free up their homes — and minds — of unwanted items. All Saints Episcopal Church, which was among the more than 200 participants in this year's yard sale, had a higher purpose in mind when it signed up for the annual event held on June 4.
The church used the sale to fundraise for Ukrainian relief efforts, collecting nearly $2,400. The money will be donated to Ukraine through Episcopal Relief and Development, a charity organization focused on relief. The church passed its initial yard-sale goal by $400.
Organizers attributed the success to the support from both parishioners and community members. "People who came to the yard sale were very pleased," fundraiser organizer Anneke Dempsey said. "In fact, we got our first customer at 7 o'clock and she bought $90 worth of my stuff. I felt good about it. I didn't even think that we had made $2,400, but I was really pleased that we exceeded our goal."
While the church was able to meet its target and wants to see their money positively impact Ukrainians, Dempsey hopes that others in the community will join her in "doing good."
"Think of what's going on in the world," Dempsey said. "How can you make a difference? And yes, $2,400 is not the greatest difference in the world, but if 100 other yard sales happened with the benefit of Ukraine, you start making a difference."
'A TRANSFORMATIONAL IMPACT' ... The West building at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford is in for a makeover thanks to a $100 million donation from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The substantial gift, presented to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health, will be used to modernize the hospital's obstetric and neonatal facilities. The West building, which opened in 1991, is the Bay Area's only facility that houses obstetric, neonatal and developmental medicine in one place.
"We are honored to partner with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to grow our ability to deliver the strongest possible start for expectant moms and their babies," Stanford Children's Health President and CEO Paul King said in a June 2 press release. "Every year, some 4,400 newborns are welcomed into the world at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. With this gift, the environment before, during, and after birth will match the already extraordinary level of care."
The hospital plans to expand its labor and delivery unit to accommodate up to 20% more births. The hospital also intends to carve out dedicated space for its first unit serving high-risk moms who need to be admitted days, weeks or months before delivery.
"This reimagining of the obstetric and newborn care space will ensure mothers and babies have the best start possible at a beautiful and critical moment," said Sierra Clark, a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Packard Children's Hospital board member.
AN UP-CLOSE LOOK ... If you ever wanted to look into a fire truck, watch utilities line crew staff climb a pole or learn what's inside an electrical transformer, then Palo Alto's upcoming Municipal Services Center Open House is just for you.
The city has invited community members to stop by the wide-ranging center on Saturday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors will get a "behind the scenes" look at the inner workings of city services that keep Palo Alto up and running. Many activities are lined up for the day, including warehouse tours, an electric vehicle expo and police officers and firefighters walking the public through their cars. Attendees also can find out how utility meters work, how utilities services operate and what rebates and efficiency programs are available to locals. They also can gather tips on how to stay safe near high-voltage power lines.
Sequoia, the bald eagle housed at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, is also expected to make an appearance, and Pets In Need plans to bring adoptable animals from the city's shelter. The open house will also feature local food trucks and live music. The center is located at 3201 E. Bayshore Road. For more information, visit cityofpaloalto.org/mscopenhouse.