Family Night at ACCFB

On March 1st, 2018, BFF Alliance organized a volunteer event at the Alameda County Community Food Bank’s Family Night.  Family Night is a special event held twice a year from 5:30-7:30pm where children as young as 5 years can volunteer with their families.  Brenna, Lily, Vida, Sharleen, Dan, Kylie, Alyssa, Jada, Joshua, Kieu, Leon, Lynna, David, Emmett, Clara, Adam, Ellie, Charlie, Mailisha, Julee, Penny, Pepper, Chris, Yvette, Paul, Chandler, Joey, Lucia, Brent, and Truly helped bag pears for distribution. Collectively, we bagged 11,209 pounds of pears which is equivalent to 9,500 meals.  We can make a positive contribution no matter the age and we are proud of our young volunteers.

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YES (Youth for the Environment and Sustainability) Conference

On February 24th, 2018, over a thousand students, teachers and volunteers attended the 4th annual Spare the Air Youth’s YES (Youth for the Environment and Sustainability) Conference at Laney College in Oakland. After registration and breakfast, everyone filed into the gym to hear welcome greetings and announcements.  We cheered speeches from the Air District Chair; David Hudson, MCT Commissioner and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Laney College representative Dean Peter Crabtree, and finally, the Middle School keynote speaker; Alyssa Goldfield.

Throughout the day everyone participated in two sessions, choosing from over 50 seminars.  We learned about many environmental topics from Fracking, Green Careers, Urban Transportation, Recycling, and Sustainable Engineering to Student Activism, Edible Forestry, Marine Life, Ocean Acidification, and how to get involved in sustainable change.

During lunch, we enjoyed other fun activities like the bike blenders, poetry performances, open mic, yoga, Capoeira, chalk art, dancing and a photo booth in the Quad.  

We ended back at the gym for the closing ceremony with High School keynote speaker; McKenna Smith, adult keynote speaker; Devin Lars, and Youth Speaks poet; Jed Rodriguez. Competition winners and raffle prizes of gift bags, $100 gift cards, Amazon Echo, and a bicycle were handed out.  The YES Conference was a huge success and everyone from the air district and the planning committee was grateful for the turnout and awesome results.

My keynote speech was on how people can fight climate change in their home, school, and community by their daily actions. I attended a lesson held by students from Lincoln Middle School to learn about the watershed, ocean acidification, and the importance of sorting trash. I took pictures at the photo booth during our amazing lunch. I made a bike blender smoothie, played fun environmentally targeted games at the mini carnival, listened to music, and hung out with my friends. During session two, I learned about important factors in city planning of the future. The important things to consider are energy, transportation, food, and employment to construct a city that is eco-friendly. The keynote speakers talked about the importance of women in STEM fields and encouraged us not let obstacles and failures prevent us from pursuing our dreams.  I am grateful to be a part of the planning committee and to be chosen as a keynote speaker.

Official 2018 YES Conference Video

Food Basket for Chinese New Year at Salvation Army

On 1/27/2018, my mom and I volunteered at Salvation Army to help low-income seniors fill out applications to receive free food baskets for Chinese New Year.  Our Cantonese and Mandarin came in handy as very few of them spoke English.

We were asked back on 2/10/2018 to enter the application into the computer system. I recruited Evelynne and Amanda to join us. We had to catch duplicates and verify their family information.


Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference

On Saturday, February 24th 2018, held at Laney College in Oakland from 9:00 am- 3:00 pm, hundreds of students and educators from across the Bay Area will attend the 5th annual YES Conference.  Attendees will learn from other teens on ways to collaborate and share ideas on sustainability and climate solutions.  It is a great way to practice presentation skills, meet other teens with similar goals, and have fun. If you are in middle school or up, you can register here and upload the waiver. For more questions, go the official website.


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International Coastal Clean-up

International Coastal Cleanup Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in September. Last year, over half a million volunteers removed over 18 million pounds of trash from beaches, coasts and waterways in 112 countries. Trash on the beach and in the water is bad for the environment. Occasionally, aquatic animals or birds will eat plastic because they think it is food.  When they eat too much off it, they die.

On September 16th 2017, Alyssa, Kylie, Sharleen, Dan, Jada, Joshua and Kieu went to Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda and spent two hours picking up litter. Collectively, our group picked up over 700 pieces of litter on the beach. Out of that 700, 403 were plastic pieces! There were cigarette butts, food wrappers, packaging foam, and plastic sand toys. Some other things that different people found included a ceramic incense holder, dolls, sunglasses, and part of a Halloween costume.

Our group had the privilege of meeting Alameda Mayor Trish Spencer, Todd, a Rotary Club member, and his daughters, Madison and Hayley.  Becca with the Park Service patrolled the beach.  We observed over 200 other volunteers that day!

Everyone came together because we wanted to have a clean beach and a healthy planet.  We didn’t want animals dying because of the trash choking the Earth.

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