CHAC: Providing mental health services for individuals and families


Courtesy of CHAC
Interns with the Community Health Awareness Council engage in a garage graffiti teambuilding paint project. Now in its 45th year, CHAC continues to provide individual mental health counseling, classes and group support services in schools and to residents of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. 

• Mission: The Mountain View-based Community Health Awareness Council, now in its 45th year, continues to provide individual mental health counseling, classes and group support services in schools and to residents of Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View and surrounding communities.

“CHAC is a significant part of our community’s emotional safety net,” said Executive Director Marsha Deslauriers.

Young Men's Service League helps Dress for Success


Julie Crane/Special to the Town Crier
The Los Altos-based Young Men’s Service League Rancho Chapter held its annual Ultimate Gift Event Nov. 4. They helped Dress for Success San Jose, which strives to empower women economically by providing support and interview-appropriate attire.

The Los Altos-based Young Men’s Service League Rancho Chapter held its annual Ultimate Gift Event Nov. 4, inspired by the book of the same name by Jim Stovall, which shows how a young man who inherits a large sum of money learns the importance of giving.

You would think that many organizations would jump at the chance to be the recipient of our YMSL Ultimate Gift project. We were surprised, however, at how difficult it was to find an organization that could benefit from the hundreds of hours and donations our members provide. We ultimately found Dress for Success San Jose, which strives to empower women economically by providing support and interview-appropriate attire. The opportunity to make such a positive impact in the lives of other women was an inspiring mission.

Inspired by her kids, Los Altos resident publishes first children's book


Erin Sloan Photography/Special to the Town Crier
Margaret Chiu Greanias of Los Altos recently released her first children’s book, “Maximillian Villainous.”

Since childhood, Margaret Chiu Greanias has loved reading books. Although she struggled in English class throughout grade school, the Los Altos resident discovered a love for writing in college.

Last summer, many years after a career in marketing, the stay-at-home mom published her first children’s book, “Maximillian Villainous.”

Local residents' pop-up boutique helps Kenyan students with education


Courtesy of Caren McNelly McCormack
Organizers of a pop-up marketplace boutique that sold handcrafted pieces from Kenya, including the tote bags pictured above, earmarked their proceeds for education and health care in Kenya.

A fundraiser to help the people of Kenya that began 10 years ago in a Los Altos family’s living room continues to grow, thanks to sales from a successful pop-up marketplace boutique.

Caren McNelly McCormack, founder of the nonprofit Kilgoris Project, has joined forces with her neighbor, Dr. Debra Matityahu, founder of the nonprofit Beyond Fistula, on the boutique. The pop-up, which concluded operations Sunday, sold handcrafted pieces from Kenya that included jewelery, handwoven baskets and tote bags. The profits were earmarked for education and health care in Kenya.

Bayshore Christian Ministries: Equipping youth with spiritual, academic and leadership skills


Courtesy of Bayshore Christian Ministries
Bayshore Christian Ministries’ Create Studios middle schoolers take part in a SumoBot competition.

• Mission: Bayshore Christian Ministries equips East-of-Bayshore youth to grow spiritually, gain life skills and develop as leaders so that they have hope and a future.

• 2018 update: Through its relational and holistic programs, BCM served more than 300 children and youth in 2018. It was a year of both growth and contraction. The nonprofit organization expanded its Vacation Bible School to a third site, grew its Create Studios program by adding more tutoring days and saw the number of youth engaged in spiritual programs more than double in the past four years. But in preparation for the coming season, BCM retired its EPA Fellows Program and O’Keefe tutoring outreach.

House of Grace: Supporting women as they overcome hardship


Courtesy of House of Grace
House of Grace helps women get back on their feet without being separated from their children.

• Mission: House of Grace supports addicted, abused and homeless women as they rebuild their lives, without being separated from their young children. The long-term, life transformation program addresses chemical dependency, abusive relationships and other self-destructive behaviors. Living in Cityteam-owned apartments, women are mentored and taught how to rejoin the mainstream and become productive citizens supporting themselves as well as their families. The nonprofit organization also has a nursery onsite so that young children (newborn to 5 years old) have a safe and caring environment.

The women who come to House of Grace often have stories of homelessness, addiction, jail, lost jobs and broken families. When they graduate, their stories are redeemed with reunited families, steady employment, a pursuit of higher education, a desire to help others and faith in God’s grace.


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