OTW's 8th Annual Dinner & Auction
Join us for an evening filled with inspiration, community, great food, and an auction. Bring your friends, family, and colleagues! This event is coordinated by and directly benefits Marin County at-risk young adults (16-25).
Learn about our recent visit to refugee camps in Greece and how it impacted our youth. Special guest speaker, Justin Hilton, Founder of Safeplace International, will discuss the refugee/migrant crisis and the double-marginalized population his organization helps.
If you are able to donate an item to support Opening the World, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN: Saturday, November 2nd, 6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: 1510 5th Ave, First Presbyterian Church, San Rafael
TICKETS: $75 per person or $400 for a table of 6. To purchase tickets:
1) Purchase through Eventbrite for a small fee
2) Email email@example.com or call (415) 419-9695
3) Mail check payable to Opening the World to 636 Lindaro Street, Suite 1, San Rafael, CA 94901
OTW participants, alumni, and leaders had multiple opportunities to bond and learn from others during the following events:
We helped the Marin County Bicycle Coalition at their annual Marin Century event with recycling their garbage and have been invited to help out again next year.
OTW we worked a concession stand at a Giants' game and is planning to work a few more games before the seasons’ end. Visit us!
We traveled to Athens, Greece, and visited the Skaramagas refugee camp hosts over 3,000 refugees, including over 750 children, from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cameroon. We worked closely with the Ministry of Education and also visited with refugees at a non-government sanctioned refugee camp. We delivered 14 bags of donations and bought 5 tents and 6 blankets for 5 newly arrived Afghan refugees. We also bought 40 pounds of rice, 40 bread, 8.5 liters of oil, and gave approximately $500 in donations to a Lebanese single mother and a few refugees from Cameroon.
We continued to move forward with our fundraising efforts and held our annual garage sale. This fundraiser helps us offset our travel costs as well as support the communities we plan to assist on our community service trip.
A group of OTWers attended the movies together and at the end of the month, 31 people (22 youth) hopped on a bus and traveled to San Jose to watch an NHL game - Calgary Flames vs. San Jose Sharks. The Sharks won and this outing literally "Opened the World" for many to the world of hockey.
February was a busy month. OTW volunteered twice to help Sanzuma, a non-profit organization dedicated to growing organic food for impoverished youth in Marin County. OTW participants spent their time weeding, cleaning up the garden, building a fence and putting posts in the ground preparation for an orchard.
OTW also hosted its second annual Career Day and we were fortunate to have 26 professionals from our community volunteer to take time out of their Saturday to educate our youth about their vocational paths.
Finally, we found transitional housing for our OTW TAY (transitional aged youth) in Fairfax!!!! This is a HUGE feat especially due to the high cost living in Marin County. During one weekend, 16 local youth-young adults gutted and painted a cottage so OTWers have a place to live while they launch into their adult lives. Youth will have a 6-month to one year opportunity (depending on their financial need) at this location. This is a great opportunity for our youth as it provides them with the much needed next step and shows them the amazing things a group of people can do when they put their minds to it...
Marin County Probation facilitated the Colors Personality Assessment for OTW participants which taught them a lot about themselves and how they interact with others in the world.
Also, a large group of OTWers enjoyed attending a Cirque du Soleil show. This was a huge highlight as many have never experienced the magic of Cirque du Soleil.
OTW participants had a busy month with a trip to Google, a Cirque du Soleil show in the city, the annual holiday party where we put packages together for the homeless, gift wrapping to raise funds for our annual trip, a holiday party and game night.
Participants worked extremely hard to host OTW's 7th Annual Dinner Silent Auction with special guest speaker, former COO of Google Cloud and Intel Group President, Diane Bryant, who shared her personal story of resilience.
To start off the new year, OTW participants and alumni spent a weekend in the Redwoods learning about themselves and each other.
OTW went to Key West, Florida, to help Habitat for Humanity rebuild homes that were ruined by Hurricane Irma.
May was Mental Health Month and Marin County hosted multiple events to increase awareness about behavioral health issues. OTW partnered with Marin County Department of Health and Human Services’ Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division to challenge local political and civic leaders to walk a day in the shoes of someone who accesses Marin County's behavioral health service system. OTW then hosted a moderated panel discussion during which leaders spoke about their Challenge Day experiences. Challenge Day participants included:
• Ralph Pata, Police Lieutenant – San Rafael Police Department
• Mike Daly, Probation Chief – Marin County Probation Department
• Mary Jane Burke, Superintendent – Marin Office of Education (7-12; 5-7)
• Katie Rice, Supervisor – Marin County Board of Supervisors
• Grant Colfax, Director – Health and Human Services Department
• Jei Africa, Director – Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Division
• Kate Colin, Councilwoman – City of San Rafael
• Anne Pletcher, Candidate – District Attorney
• Shelly Scott, Board Member – Novato Unified School District
• Lori Frugoli, Candidate – District Attorney
OTW was honored to be invited to WE Day in Los Angeles. WE Day is a global event held in 17 cities designed to celebrate young people who volunteer locally, nationally and globally, or who raise money for important causes. Celebrities like Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Aniston, Will Ferrell, Martin Sheen, YouTubers, and musicians all gathered to say a big thank you to the selected youth groups for making a difference in the world.
Each year, OTW volunteers with the Marin County CROP Walk. OTW ran the registration booth, blew up balloons, created and mounted signs as well as directed traffic so the walkers were safe. The walk raises awareness about how 2 in 5 people here in Marin County are food insecure as well as over 845 million people throughout the world. Over $13,000 was raised at the event plus an additional $6,000 in online donations. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds stay here in Marin and the remainder of the money raised goes to combat global hunger.
OTW hosted a FREE Career Exploration Day for Marin County youth with special guest speaker, Congressman Jared Huffman, and professionals from Health & Social Services, Law Enforcement, Small Business, Technology, Trades, and Arts & Entertainment fields who shared how they chose their careers and why.
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 and community volunteers joined together and spent three days prepping, painting and then touching up Senior Access' Adult Day Center in San Rafael.