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Local Author's Book Features Volunteers in Action

'Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook' shines a light on Bay Area volunteers and organizations.

Volunteers from around the Bay Area are prominently featured in a new book, "Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook," written by Pam Marino, a Cupertino resident, Patch reporter and guest editor in the South Bay for the past two years, as well as a Patch blogger.

Marino, a writer and editor, has her own website, Good Neighbor Stories, about San Francisco Bay Area people and organizations making a difference in the community and the world.

"Good Neighbor Stories 2013 Datebook" features articles and photos of those people and organizations, including Cupertino teen Yasmine Davis, who with her mother makes sure low-income children in the area have birthday parties, done through her nonprofit Make a Birthday Wish.

“Be a good neighbor, share good stories,” is at the heart of Marino's website about locals making the world a better place, and now these stories come to life on the pages of her inspirational datebook.

The book is a collaboration of the Good Neighbor Stories and San Mateo-based Reach and Teach, a peace and social justice learning company.

“Our goal is to inspire people to be good neighbors and make their communities just a little brighter throughout the year,” Marino said. “We’re also excited about shining a light on some really awesome people and groups who are making a real difference to others.”

In addition to uplifting stories and full-color illustrations, the 8 ½-inch x 5 ½-inch spiral-bound datebook includes inspirational quotes for each week, reminders of holidays and important dates from a diverse array of perspectives, and generous space to jot down appointments and special occasions.

For users with smart devices who want to find out more about the people and organizations in the datebook, each story comes with a QR Code that when scanned takes them to full-length stories on the Good Neighbor Stories website.

The datebook’s eye-catching design is by Oakland-based Design Action Collective. Currently in pre-order, it will come printed in late October on recycled materials with soy ink by Inkworks Press in Berkeley.

Marino launched Good Neighbor Stories in 2010, drawing on both her reporting background and a lifetime of volunteer experiences to share positive stories of Bay Area volunteers and nonprofits. The site also serves as a valuable resource to those looking for opportunities to volunteer or donate, as well as to nonprofits.

Reach and Teach is a peace and social justice learning company, working to transform the world through teachable moments. Through both the Reach and Teach website and a brick-and-mortar store at 178 South Boulevard, San Mateo, the company offers books, films, music, curriculum, games, toys, fair trade gifts, and other products focused on peacemaking, gender equality, and sustainable living.

Editor’s note: Pam Marino is a regular contributor to Patch, and Cupertino Patch edito Anne Ernst considers her a good friend. But don’t let that take away from the good work Marino is doing on Good Neighbor Stories. Portions of Good Neighbor Stories appear on Patch in a regular blog by Marino. To get the full stories go to Good Neighbor Stories.

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