Hometown Heroes

Updated: May 21, 2020

Highlighting Hometown Heroes uplifts community spirits

May has been a month of celebrating community love in Lamorinda. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage had a wonderful campaign to acknowledge and show appreciation for the local Hometown Hero. Christine Mason, a Realtor at Coldwell Banker in Orinda, ran with it in a big way. She asked residents to nominate philanthropic-minded people in town, and Mason began highlighting their efforts on Lamorinda Families, a private Facebook Group. The Shelter-in-Place order had just been extended until the end of May, she wanted to share uplifting stories to help instill community pride and keep their sanity.

The selected Hometown Heroes are exemplary neighbors who have gone above and beyond to extend kindness, especially since the Shelter-in-Place order started.

The Heroes shared their stories. Some were quite emotional when acknowledged. A couple of them said they “needed” it and it was perfect timing. Mason has gotten great feedback from the community about showcasing our generous residents. They are truly inspiring individuals, teams and projects.

Some Hometown Heroes are Donna Pickthall & Diane Eames, co-owners of Genuine Goodness in Orinda, are two women but they have done what many bigger, more reputable restaurants have not done. In the last few months they have fed hundreds of families, given free meals to seniors, fed our health care workers, provided essential supplies to our community and maintained company values.

And Sharon McGinnis Girdlestone, founded Lamorinda Families, giving the tight-knit community a central place to gather. It's especially helpful for communicating and exchanging information during various community crises in past few years. What makes it special is because it’s also the platform where so many fundraisers are generously supported, donations for so many causes are gathered. Last Friday, Girdlestone mobilized the community and was able to gather 3 full truck loads of donations within 48 hours. The vehicles caravanned to a women and children’s shelter to drop it off. The continued overwhelming show of support will mean more trips to other shelters.

Mason is currently leading the Farms to Farmers fundraiser, which aims to support local farms while supporting food banks. Many Bay Area residents are sick, out of work, have depleted their savings, and are in dire need of feeding their families. Food banks are overwhelmed, undersupplied and are forced to turn families away empty handed, leaving them on the brink of starvation. At the same time, farmers are having their vegetable crops go to waste as restaurants are closed and supply chains have broken down. There is more than enough food, but it is not in the right places. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, here’s the link

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