In Depth

Helping Out


Staff Writer


Ah, the holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa began as simple celebrations of family and friends, of luck and life, but since then have spiraled into huge consumer industries. We’ve forgotten the message of the age-old Dr. Seuss classic, “The Grinch.” Christmas is still Christmas no matter the number of new iPads beneath the tree. So why not celebrate and give back so the animals and people in our community can have a present or two as well?

On Monday, Dec. 3, from 5:30 – 7:30 p. m., there will be the Community Tree Lighting Celebration at 500 Castro Street in Mountain View. This event boasts live music, the arrival of the ever-famous Santa, and of course, the lighting of the tree. While this event is free, it is suggested (but not required) that you bring a canned food donation for the Community Services Agency.

If you’re more into dogs and cats, there is another way to celebrate! The California Operation Santa Paws is a division of the Haute Dog Organization, which was started by Justin Rudd in 2001. Operation Santa Paws focuses on shelters in California and has donation drop off points across the United States. The operation is a drive to collect donations for animal shelters, both monetary and physical objects, such as cleaning supplies and blankets. There is a huge list of items needed, but a few examples are listed below:


* Flannel baby blankets (for kittens)

* Dog and cat shampoo

* Used or new blankets and towels

* Any and all sizes of Ziploc plastic bags

* Peanut butter

* Bleach

* Cat and kitten toys

* Dry or canned kitten and puppy food


If you would like to donate money, you can mail a check to Santa Paws, at 275 St. Joseph Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803. If you are feeling generous, you can even offer up your home to foster cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies. Often older animals don’t get adopted as easily, so they are always in need of foster homes. If you are interested in fostering a pet, you should contact the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, which you can check out at

To help out, you can donate physical items to Operation Santa Paws by contacting Rhonda Fassbender in Sunnyvale. Be sure to call before bringing donations. Her address is 995 East Arques Ave., 94085, and she can be reached at 408.215.3366.

You can also help people in general by  donating to the Red Cross at Anything you can give will help victims of wildfires, hurricanes, and

other disasters.

Pinewood is also making an effort to show our support by continuing to collect cash donations for the wildfire victims. You can leave your donations in the clear bottle outside of the main office at Upper Campus.

Let’s celebrate our community and help!