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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Help One Child supports at-risk youth and their families


Courtesy of Susan Herman
Help One Child’s new program provides a safety net for families by offering children a temporary place to live in lieu of foster care.

With all the ways Help One Child has aided at-risk youth over the years, staff and board members could have easily spent several hours of the nonprofit’s 20th-anniversary banquet touting their accomplishments. Instead, they used the spring event to launch another ambitious program.

The Los Altos-based Help One Child announced that it would be the San Francisco Peninsula hub of Safe Families for Children, a national movement designed to deflect children from foster care. An alternative to child welfare custody, the program provides a safety net for families in crisis that have nowhere else to turn by offering their children a temporary place to live.

“It’s a very natural extension of what we already do,” said Susan Herman, Help One Child’s executive director. “We are already recruiting families to open their homes to at-risk youth. We are already supporting those families who have adopted or opened their home to these children.”

Serving Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Help One Child assists at-risk children in and out of the foster-care system by recruiting, training and supporting those willing to house or otherwise help them. When the faith-based organization asked people attending the banquet to champion Safe Families for Children at their churches, Herman said they did so enthusiastically. The next step was to work with the churches and the counties to create referral networks.

“If you’re a single mom who has lost your job and there’s no room at a shelter for you and your children, you can come to Help One Child as a sponsor of the Safe Families for Children program for help,” she said. “We will find a family supported by their church that will open their home for no compensation and care for those children until the parent or parents are able to complete their endeavor, whatever it might be. Maybe somebody has to go to alcohol or drug rehab, or maybe there’s some short-term criminal sentence that needs to be completed.”

The program offers what Herman called “nonresidential placement” as well.

“Sometimes a family needs extended help – taking their child to school early in the morning or making them dinner – and those kinds of connections have been made,” she said.

Over the summer, Help One Child connected volunteers with 11-year-old Alex.

“His father just needed some extra help that normally a family member would provide, but he was alone – the mom was no longer in the picture,” Herman said. “We must have had 15 people offer to have (Alex) into their homes for dinner. Two people offered to bring him to youth group activities at their church during the week while his dad was working. Someone sent him to camp and we took him to our camp. His summer was filled with people inviting him to join their activities. Every time we saw him, he told us how grateful he was.”

Help One Child recently ramped up its Supper Club program. The staff organizes volunteers to cook meals for youth living in nine group homes and two receiving homes (for emergency placement) throughout the two counties.

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