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BRI Tech Sessions

On December 3rd, 2023, BRI hosted several tech sessions at Carlton Senior Living to teach senior citizens how to use technology. BRI started at 12:30 after checking in and setting up slideshows. After fixing some settings and some overall teaching, they managed to educate the seniors with some basic technology use, such as adding people to their favorites list. We gave them a basic rundown of how each button work. This technology session gave BRI members a lesson on just how fast the current era, as well as modern devices, evolve. It demonstrated to BRI members how regardless of age, people are willing to overcome any challenge.


BRI Book Reading Event

On November 26, 2023, BRI Youth joined other eager library-goers at the Fremont Main Library main door at 1:00pm. After gathering suitable reading materials from all genres and reading levels, there was a quick set up, moving tables and chairs to form groups of tables. Different books were displayed on each.  Within the 2 hours, including setup and cleanup, BRI read aloud to 5 children. Each session with the children took around 15 minutes, with thorough reading from cover to cover for at least 2 books each time. Finally after picking out a book to read and reading it, the children were able to select a small gift to take home with them. For a mere 1 hour of fully active time, the number of books read to curious children who wandered rests at a solid 8 books to 5 children. It was a day of gratitude and humility, supporting and nurturing children's curiosity and interest towards reading, as well as learning a little about the life of the other reading alongside you.

Milpitas Gardening Event

On September 16th, 2023, BRI organized a volunteer event to help move tanbark and mulch around a garden. This garden is a community garden primarily used by elders around Milpitas, and the purpose of the event was to spread the tanbark in order to prevent the risk of injury during the rainy/winter season. The volunteers used a variety of tools such as rakes, shovels, and wheelbarrows in order to transport the mulch. This event lasted 3 and a half hours from 9 am-12:30 pm, and everyone was very hardworking and dedicated to completing this task. In the end, BRI helped bring a smile to the elderly people in the garden.


Almond Picking Event

On August 27, 2023, several BRI Youth members went to Fong Song Farms to harvest almonds. Many volunteers worked hard throughout the morning and afternoon to collect the almonds and were also able to pick fruit from the fruit trees. The volunteers persisted through the heat as they worked to harvest the almonds since Mr. Lin was generous enough to match $150 per almond tree that was picked to donate to BRI. However, due to the unusually wet and cool weather that came to California this year, many of the trees had fewer almonds than in previous years, and most of the fruit was not yet ripe. Despite this, youth members still eagerly moved from tree to tree to pick the fruits and almonds. Through this experience, volunteers learned of the effects of the changing climate on crops and farms.


Cooking for Homeless Event

On July 22, 26, and 28, 2021, eight BRI members and seven parents took turns cooking and serving lunches or dinner at Abode Services, a local homeless shelter. Each of the three groups took approximately one to three hours to prepare and cook a combination of ingredients from Abode Service’s lovely kitchen and home grown organic vegetables from youth members’ backyard gardens into nutritious and delicious meals. Some of the variety of foods made included fried rice, fried noodles, chicken wings, chicken tenders, churros, sandwiches, steam vegetables and fries. Each meal served around 15 to 20 people. All of the residents and staffs applauded our healthy and yummy foods and appreciates our contribution. Special thanks to the BRI youth members who served the meals.

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Fundraising Christmas Concert for the Homeless

The BRI Youth Christmas Concert took place virtually on Saturday, December 26th, 2020. Held during the heart of the holiday season, this concert celebrated the joy surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day. It featured a brilliant lineup of twelve individual musical programs performed by BRI Youth members, followed by a Christmas Song Medley that included three well-known holiday songs: “Jingle Bells,” “Silent Night,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Many youth members contributed to this choir and ensemble performance with instrumental and vocal recordings, adding to the excitement and spirit of the medley and the concert. The video production also presented a beautiful, festive visual aspect that was truly unforgettable. The audience genuinely enjoyed the Christmas Concert, both during the meeting on Zoom and after the concert video was published on YouTube. Many thanks to every BRI Youth member and counselor who played a role in helping this concert come alive! Stay tuned for more information about upcoming holiday concerts and other events at the BRI Youth Group!

Watch the Christmas Concert here:


Volunteering at TCV Food Bank

Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. However this year 1 in 8 Americans don't have food, 40% more people are in need of food banks, and our children are hit the hardest.

On December 24th, a chilly Christmas Eve, a group of BRI Youth members volunteered at the Tri-City Volunteer Food Bank despite the risk of COVID-19. They first split into two shifts, 9 am-11 am  and 11 am-1 pm. Both shifts worked from 4 stations, directed cars for better efficiency, and transported bags of food to the trunks of the cars to maintain a contactless experience. Each car received a chicken, a bag containing groceries such as potatoes and coffee, baked goods, bread, plant-based milk, a stuffed animal, and a BRI free reading club flyer. Every time they loaded the food and toys into the cars with Christmas greetings, they were glad to see big smiles on the families’ faces. After a day of work, they served more than 100 families in need, making our efforts worthwhile. They are so proud to be serving this community.


Fremont Homeless Navigation Center Christmas Donation

As 2020 neared Christmas, BRI Youth started a fundraising event for homeless people. The donations collection lasted for several days, and members donated clothes, blankets, shoes, food, and more. They also used the donated money to buy other foods. Many members also specially prepared Christmas cards and a 3D poster to express their caring hearts.

On December 22, three BRI Youth members and members of the Rotary Club of HuaRen in Silicon Valley went to the Fremont Homeless Navigation Center in the early evening to deliver the donations to the shelter. They brought them Chinese dinner, cake, and snacks with the other donations. The people at the center were very happy and greatly appreciative of the donations.

By making these donations, the youth members hoped to make a difference in some people's lives and make them feel warm during the holiday season.


Environmental Agriculture Project at Fremont Urban Farm

Many BRI youth members went to the Fremont Urban Farm to help the farmers tear out plastic tape on the cardboard boxes. Before they came to the farm, they brought our surgical masks, surgical gloves, and gardening gloves to start our service. The whole time they were there (four hours) they were separated into two groups to work on different tasks. The first group ripped off any plastic tape on the cardboard and removed the staples while the second group laid out the cardboard on the ground and spread out mulch on top. At the end of the day, they were all exhausted, but it was heartwarming to see that they helped out the people in need.


Union City Food Drive-Thru


On 7 September 2020, to help people during the pandemic, a group of youth members went to Union City to distribute food at a food drive-thru. They arrived at around 8 in the morning and helped load boxes of food into their cars. These included packs of drinks, rice, canned food, and more. After over 1000 lbs. of food was loaded onto the cars, they drove to the drive-thru site at the church. After they arrived, they unloaded the cars and then helped the other people sort the food into categories.

Soon, it was almost 11, time for the food drive-thru to begin. Families were able to receive a bag of produce and dry foods as well as choose between stir-fried noodles and sandwiches, and if they had cats or dogs, they could also receive pet food. For the next hour or so, they helped hand out the sandwiches to people in their cars. The Union City mayor, City Councilor, school district board member, and the church's priest came to thank the volunteers for helping. At the end of the drive-thru, they were tired but glad to have helped provide food to people in need during the pandemic.


BRI Youth Donates to Fremont Fire Department

In September, during the SCU Lightning Complex Fire, BRI Youth stepped in to try to help the firefighters working to quench the imminent blaze and dispel the choking ash and haze over the sky. BRI Youth purchased bottled water, granola bars, protein bars, muscle milk, protein shakes, various supplements, and electrolyte mixtures to donate to the firefighters. To express their thanks, members of BRI Youth made a poster and created very beautiful, thoughtful, and touching cards. 

On September 17, 2020, members of BRI Youth along with Huaren Rotary Club, Mission San Jose Rotary Club, and various other organizations cooperated to donate to the Fremont Fire Department. We were honored to see that our mayor, Lily Mei, Dublin City mayor David Haubert, and Fremont councilman candidate Charles Chui also joined our donation. Two news organizations -- KTSF TV channel 26 and Chinese newspaper World Journal -- also reported on the donation.

Tri-City Valley Food Bank Drive-Thru Food Pantry

As the pandemic continues, many businesses are still closed, and some people are suffering under these conditions. Because of this, food pantries are even more important for providing food.

On August 21, 2020, we volunteered at the Tri-City Valley Food Bank to help distribute food to those in need. To maintain social-distancing, the food bank was operating as a drive-thru. Three BRI Youth members arrived for the afternoon slot. The staff at the food bank first measured their temperatures, used hand sanitizer, and put on safety vests. Then, they transported the boxes of food, direct traffic, and load the cars with two food boxes per car.

After two hours, they finished distributing all the food boxes at our station. Seeing the people in their cars smile and wave as they left made them feel happy to be helping out. Although the air was smoky from the California wildfires, and the weather was very hot, they still felt that it was worth it.

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