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Multifaith Volunteers Fan Out Across Peninsula in Day of Service

From coat collections to homeless shelter visits, volunteers of all faiths gathered on Monday to help out their neighbors in the spirit of Martin Luther King.

Nearly 200 people from 15 different faith communities in San Mateo County spread out across the Peninsula Monday to volunteer in the first Multifaith Day of Service in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

After a gathering 8:30 a.m. breakfast at First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame, the army of Christians, Jews and Muslims set out to:

  • Prepare and serve lunch and visit with residents at Safe Harbor, a homeless shelter in South San Francisco.
  • Painting the cafeteria, reshelving a storeroom and refurbishing  planter boxes at Belle Aire Elementary School in San Bruno. 
  • Sort children’s books to be given to low-performing schools on the Peninsula.
  • Sort donated coats, stuffed animals and baby food and prepare them for delivery to Syrian refugees in Turkey.

This event was sponsored by the North Peninsula Multifaith Coalition which includes Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Congregation Beth Jacob, Congregational Church of Belmont, First Presbyterian Church of Burlingame, Jewish Community Relations Council, Men of Reform Judaism, Pacifica Institute, Peninsula Sinai Congregation, Peninsula Temple Beth El, Peninsula Temple Sholom, St. Bartholomew Parish, St. Matthias Catholic Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Shinnyo-en Foundation and the Yaseen Foundation of Belmont.

“Working side by side with Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Buddhist folks and more, to serve the needy here on the Peninsula builds bridges of understanding and reminds us that what we have in common (our values) is so much more important than whatever our differences might be,” said the Rev. Kristi Denham of the Congregational Church of Belmont.

Rev. Denham talks about the day's events in the Patch Clip video above.

“People-to-people understanding and acceptance of each other’s beliefs are the paths to peace in the world, Lionel Engelman of Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame added. “Hopefully, this event has accomplished that in some important way. “

The various communities of faith also contributed financially to the daylong event.

Among the local businesses which donated supplies or food to the project are BiRite Foodservice Distributors of Brisbane, Lowe’s and Recology of San Bruno, and Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria of San Mateo.

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