We had a wonderful time in Nepal and India. We visited and helped orphanages, schools, a village that had been damaged by an earthquake, and many cultural sites. We learned so much! Check our facebook page for details and pictures of our amazing adventure.
What OTW Has Done
OTW participants, alumni, and leaders had multiple opportunities to bond and learn from others during the following events:
OTW alumni participated on two panels on Intervention & Prevention where they discussed what led them down the path to resiliency. One panel was for community members and the other for law enforcement at the Corte Madera police department.
We traveled to Nepal where we trekked through the Himalayas and stayed in a remote village that had been devastated by the earthquake in 2015. OTW stayed with the Chepang people, donated paint and school supplies, primed and painted their school and the window frames of the villagers' homes. We also visited several orphanages, the Nepal Disabled Association, Clinic Nepal, and primed, sanded, and painted the perimeter wall around another school. In India, we learned so much as we visited Varanasi, the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and many other of the country's beautiful sites.
OTW donated beverages, helped set up, manned the registration booth, and participated in the Marin Crop Hunger Walk. It was a great event with over 125 participants.
OTW volunteered with Rafael Evening Rotary to help Extrafood.org distribute food to nonprofits serving children, adults, and families in need after the Farmer's Market at the Marin Civic Center.
OTW prepared, served and shared a meal with local homeless through the REST program. The REST program is an alternating shelter service for the homeless provided by local Marin County churches from late fall through to spring. We were humbled and fortunate to be able to spend our time helping with such an important need in our community.
OTW participants spent the month gift wrapping at Barnes & Noble and Copperfield's to raise money for our annual trip. OTW was proudly selected to be one of two organizations to benefit from Barnes & Noble's book drive this year which allowed us to make donations to other needy organizations within Marin.
OTW also decided as a group to sponsor two needy families through the Adopt a Family of Marin program. We were able to provide toys, towels, clothing, and soccer balls to families who would have otherwise gone without during the holiday season.
We celebrated our 5th Anniversary during our annual Dinner Silent Auction and it was a great success. Thank you to everyone who attended, donated and/or participated in any capacity.
A small group of us assisted Marin County Juvenile Probation by delivering turkeys to people in our community.
OTW successfully kicked off the 2016-2017 year and welcomed new group members. For our next trip, we are celebrating our 5th anniversary by returning to Nepal to help with earthquake relief in late March 2017 and then heading to India. A few alumni joined us to share their experiences since joining OTW with our newbies.
We were fortunate to have educator, Hal Thomas, teach a group of alumni academic skills that will help them with college and continue to grow and move forward with their life aspirations.
OTW volunteered with Rafael Evening Rotary to help local Marin County seniors find parking at the Senior Information day at the Exhibition hall. Then a group of us volunteered to decorate and set up local Canoles Hall for their Halloween karaoke dance.
OTW spent most of September interviewing and accepting program candidates. The program is now full for the 2016-2017 year.
Some lucky members of the OTW group attended the GoPro Grand Prix race at Sonoma Raceway.
OTW held its first Marin Parks event at Stafford Lake. Participants had a great time bonding over games and during the community barbecue.
OTW volunteered with Rafael Evening Rotary to help Extra Food gather, sort and distribute food donations from Sunday's Civic Center farmer's market vendors to Homeward Bound, Rotary Senior Village and St. Vincent's.
Thirteen OTWers helped out the local Corte Madera Barnes & Noble store at their Harry Potter celebration. We ran various kids activities, hosted the owl cupcake area and helped organize the store's participants into assigned home teams. At the strike of midnight, the store released the script of Harry Potters latest story. It was a fun evening and we enjoyed being part of B&N's festivities.
A few OTW participants helped Habitat for Humanity - an incredible organization that builds homes for low-income families--with their local project in Novato building 10 homes. If any of you enjoy being outdoors, enjoy working with your hands, seeing your work become part of many people's efforts to create a home for someone in need, please call us and find out our next Habitat outing. We'd love for you to join us!
OTW was on its annual trip, this time to Canada and Alaska. [READ MORE]
OTW was very fortunate to have therapists, Roberta Godbe-Tipp and Jeff Tipp, generously offer their time to provide OTW with a therapeutic retreat. We spent the weekend in a remote location near Sebastopol and had the opportunity to explore our inner-selves to learn about what blocks us in life and how to move through it. This experience allowed us to practice being better communicators and provided us with a deeper understanding of ourselves.
OTW is proud to announce it has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Marin County Parks Community Grant Program. This is the third year OTW has received a grant from Marin County Parks which has been integral in the expansion of OTW program services to youth at risk and their families, participant connectedness, and OTW’s annual trip preparation.
On May 22nd, we completed our 2nd-year grant with Marin Parks. We had our sixth hike outing at King Mountain Open Space. Sometime in early fall, we will be exhibiting our photographs – more details to come!
We helped make another meal for Mill Street Center homeless shelter.
A few of us volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul's in San Rafael.
OTW held its 4th annual garage sale. We had a lot of things to sell and made over a thousand dollars. This money will be used to pay for food, activities and unforeseen costs for this year’s trip.
Thirty OTW alumni, participants, family members and a couple of young moms went to a Giants game. They played the Arizona Diamondbacks and although the Giants did not win, we still had a great time hanging out together!
We had the pleasure of having Dr. Rene Miranda as a guest speaker. He educated us about traditions within the indigenous tribes and took us on a shamanic journey. We learned ways to find an internal safe place and how to identify wisdom and teachings from our ancestors. It was an eye-opening experience!
Marin County Park’s hike for this month was at Stafford Lake. Following our hike, we celebrated Mother’s Day early and Girls Stepping Up For Change, Young Moms Marin and OTW invited their mothers, family, and friends to a Mother’s Day celebration. We had over 60 people attend. It was a beautiful outing honoring moms and recognizing them for their dedication to us.
OTW participants and friends gathered for a pool tournament with the goal of getting to know one another further before our year end trip. We had 8 teams and the Wallowing Weasles won first place.
OTW delivered donations from Barnes & Noble and their generous customers to various organizations, groups and non-profits within Marin County who specifically work with and support youth at risk.
Marin County Park visit to Roy’s Redwoods was a spectacular day of hiking and eating our picnic lunch together.
OTW participants let loose and hosted a Karaoke Dance event.
Adult Marin County Probation Supervisor, Cynthia Fix, volunteered her time and led us through a two-hour class on the Colors Program which taught us about ourselves and how we related to others which was perfect preparation for our upcoming trip.
Jenny Sowry, Executive Director of Isla, spoke with a few OTW participants about the possibilities of doing a nine-week scholarship - internship in Uganda. This program offers young adults to use their skills to educate Ugandan communities.
A few OTW helped the Youth Service Team (YST) prepare and cook a meal for the Mill Street Center homeless shelter.
OTW was honored to hear Jabali Smith share his real life story about being human trafficked within the United States, being sent to Mexico and growing up illiterate until he was 18 years of age. His story inspired us... that is, it exemplified that no matter what a person has gone through they have the power to choose to not be a victim of their circumstances. We all have this choice to be empowered by our life stories and through our resiliency, we can show others that they too, can rise above their past. Today, Jabali is earning his double, black-belt in karate and we will keep you posted when Jabali's upcoming book and his Oakland non-profit organization, The Well Child's doors open.
We were fortunate again to be trained by local Rotarian, Greg Williams, on how to fit a prosthetic hand on people who have, unfortunately, lost part or the lower half of their arm. The program is called LN-4 and it provides free fitting and hands, worldwide, to anyone who is in need. We are looking forward to bringing these hands with us on our 2017 OTW trip and finding people on our travels who "need a hand." For OTW, it can't get any better in life than to help improve another person's quality of life.
Marin County Park visit to Agate Beach. If you have yet to see this beautiful place, we hope you find some time this summer to check it out. If you have already been, wouldn’t it be great to go back for another visit?
OTW participants volunteered at the Canal Alliance. Participants set up food donated by SF-Marin Food Bank and other local organizations and distributed the food to the Canal Community.
Marin County Park visit to McNears Beach where we had our second Marin Parks photography class followed by our first hosted public barbecue. We had an amazing turnout (61 people)!