On March 17, 2019 the Teen Interfaith Council celebrated several religious holiday celebrations at once. The three celebrations were comprised of the Hindu Holi celebration, the Jewish Purim celebration and the Catholic St. Patrick’s Day Celebration. The photos and video link tell the story of how we celebrated Holi by making tie-dyed t-shirts, celebrated Purim by making traditional hamantaschen pastries and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day my making green milkshakes! This was another great way to celebrate our religious diversity and to simply be friends!
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On December 8, 2018, members of the Teen Interfaith Council helped distribute clothing and personal items to low-income and homeless persons in downtown San Jose, California. According to Celinda Miranda who directed the Annual Coat Give-away over 270 people were served, there were. sbout 150 volunteers, 630 coats donate, and community resources with the VA, 2nd Harvest Food Bank and United Way 211 were provided as well. The Foothill Community Health Center gave flu shots and medical support as well.
It was our privilege to help at this annual event. Many volunteers were Muslim Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, and Zoroastrian. The Interfaith Teen Council is a model of interfaith cooperation and peace-building.
November 18, 2018 Two members of the Teen Interfaith Council spoke at the 4th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service held on November 18, 2018. The video highlights some of the speakers and events of that day. We invite you to take a few minutes and watch this unique and wonderful event.
As the 2018-2019 school year began the Teen Interfaith Council brainstormed several ideas to help the community and they suggested a blanket drive for homeless individuals who live on the streets and sleep along the Guadalupe River in downtown San Jose. Each of the teen’s religious traditions believe in compassion and being of service to the community. Some of the religions represented by our young people were the Sikhs, Jews, Muslims, Episcopalians, Zoroastrians, and Hindus.
The teen interfaith Council collected blankets at their Mosques, Gurdwaras, Temples, Synagogues and Churches in order to provide warmth to the homeless individuals in downtown San Jose. Over 70 people benefitted from the blankets the interfaith teens collected and handed out at St. James Park in downtown San Jose on November 11, 2018. Members of the Teen Interfaith Council who collected blankets distributed them at St. James Park.
The Teen Interfaith Council brought more than blankets on this day. They brought their cheerful youthful spirits and gave these adults living on the streets of San Jose the warmth of their friendship, kindness and compassion.
There are over 7,000 people living on the streets and under the freeways and along the creeks of San Jose, California. We are the richest place on the planet and we know how to make fancy gadgets and AI, and we have hundreds of billionaires and have technological advances that dwarf any other era, yet we can’t help our brothers and sisters on the street who suffer a loss of their dignity and who are broken emotionally, socially, and physically. Why can’t we solve that problem?
The Teen Interfaith Council comprised of 15, 16 and 17 year olds are doing their part. It is their prayer that the adults of the community do theirs.
Teen Reflections “It was truly amazing to see the impact we can make. I enjoyed by time and would love to do this again!” –Nikta
“The one woman who came back and said ‘I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I would just like a thicker blanket,’ really reminded me of the position in society that these people have and I really appreciated the opportunity to do this.” –Oscar
On October 3rd the Teen Interfaith Council had its first planning meeting for 2018-2019 school year. After much discussion the Council decided to focus on a blanket drive to benefit the homeless population in Santa Clara County. There are over 7000 homeless individuals in Santa Clara County and many people sleep outside along the freeways or along the Guadalupe River that runs through San Jose. The Council will have collection sites at a local Mosque, Sikh Gurdwara, and places of worship. Members of each faith tradition will also be invited to help out.
On Saturday, December 9, 2017 the Teen Interfaith Council volunteered at Grace Baptist Church in downtown San Jose, assisting with their Annual Winter Coat Give-a-away. It was a privilege working with Celinda and the Grace Baptist community helping our brothers and sisters who are homeless or living in poverty.
On December 21, 2016 the Teen Interfaith Council sent two representatives to attend the Annual Homeless Memorial Service held in front of San Jose City Hall in San Jose California.
In 2015 about 13o homeless individuals died in the streets and along the creeks of San Jose, California. This interfaith memorial service was attended by interfaith leaders, Mayor Sam Liccardo, and several other community groups. This was a call to action on behalf of the more than 7,000 homeless people in Silicon Valley as well as a remembrance of those who died on the streets. Two members of the Teen Interfaith Council were in attendance and one the Hindu members of the Teen Interfaith Council offered a reflection in remembrance of those who lost their lives. Below are a few photos and a video link of the Interfaith Homeless Memorial Service. Diane Fisher of the Jewish Federation and Deacon Steve Herrera (Co-directors of the Council) were also in attendance.
Teen Interfaith Council Distributes Coats at Grace Baptist
Every year the Teen Interfaith Council participates in the annual coat giveaway at Grace Baptist Church in downtown San Jose California. These are some photos of our participation in this event to help low income families and the homeless.