Holiday Wish 2011…A Heartwarming Success!

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.

-Mother Teresa

In mid December, we had the pleasure of hosting over 60 children and their caregivers in a fun filled day at the Friends and Family Neighborhood Center. In addition to picking up their gifts, families were invited to snap a picture together, take part in activities, and share cookies and cider with each other.

Check out some of the photos from the event!

Friends Outside and all of the children sponsored this season give our deepest thanks and gratitude to everyone who helped make this season brighter for those impacted by incarceration. Thanks to our sponsors, over 60 children in our community received not only what money bought them but a wonderful memory to hold on to and the knowledge they are not alone and deserve more out of life.


Toy Runs at SQ and DVI!

Toy Run at DVIActivities at San Quentin Visitor Center
PD Gwen with toy run founder, Brett Hatt

Motorcycles lined up outside the San Quentin and DVI Visitor Centers to bring some cheer to our youngest visitors!

Black Sheep of Livermore rode in to DVI late November and brought many toys for visitors. Hatt’s Motorcycles came to visit San Quentin last weekend with two VW buses filled with goodies!

We want to thank everyone who donated and participated to make the events a success!

Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos with Us!

Dia de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead, is a Mexican celebration which originated with the Aztecs over 2,500 years ago. Here in the US, death is often a somber subject whereas in other cultures, death is a more accepted part of life; people mourn while remembering family and friends who have departed.

Originally, Dia de Los Muertos was a month long celebration which was reshaped during the Spanish invasion. More recently, people celebrate with ofrendas, offerings of bread, trinkets, sugar skulls, and orange marigolds (referred to as the “flower of the dead”), wear sugar skull or other face masks, and showcase the culture in honor of their loved ones.

This year, we join with Fathers and Families of San Joaquin to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos in a community wide healing and cultural ceremony. Dancers and storytellers will provide entertainment and food is provided! For more information, see this post.

If you are unable to make it and want to celebrate your own Dia de Los Muertos, check out this link for children’s activities and more!

Dia De Los Muertos: A Community Healing and Cultural Ceremony

Friends Outside joins Fathers & Families Coalition of San Joaquin County in support of community healing and cultural recognition at the Dia De Los Muertos ceremony November 2nd, 2011.

We invite you to this important event as community partners and members:

• Honor and recognize those who have lost their lives to violence.
• Create a space for healing and recovery from violence.
• Take a community wide stand for peace.

The ceremony will begin with a blessing at 4:00 PM at the Catholic Cemetery located on 719 Harding Way Stockton, CA 95205.

A procession will follow promptly at 5PM to Oak Park for a silent candlelight vigil and creation of a community alter. There will be free food, Cultural Dancers, Native American Drummers, Storytellers and a community healing activity.  Please feel free to disseminate widely!

For additional information please call Samuel Nuñez at (209) 941-0701 or by email at

Hanging Out with the Community

Last week, we had the chance to meet and greet with the local Stockton community at the Industrial and Technology BBQ. This annual event, hosted by the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, is a chance for local agencies and business owners to mingle.

Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce and the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel for this wonderful event!

Friends Outside Seeks Helps for Kids this Holiday Season

Childhood should be a time of fun, warmth, security, exploring, learning and discovery.

Children with an incarcerated parent may experience stress, anxiety, and fear.  Their lives have been disrupted; many feel as if they do not live “normal” lives. For some children this will be the first holiday season without their parent; for some it will be one in a long series of lonely holidays.

Friends Outside knows we cannot fix all issues related to having an incarcerated parent but at the very least, we can brighten the holidays for a few lonely children.

In 2010, our sponsors brightened the holiday season for over 100 children. The Holiday Wish Program offers organizations and individuals an opportunity to bring some “normalcy” to a child’s life during the holidays. We nurture, support, bring joy, and give hope to children of incarcerated parents by providing gifts and the knowledge that someone cares.

If you or your organization are interested in sponsoring a family and brightening the holidays with food and gifts, please contact Maria T. Rocero at 209-955-0701 or for more information or complete the Sponsor Form and return via mail, email, or fax.

1st Annual Car Show & Community Health Fair

Janie sold raffle tickets Tanya watched over the raffle prizes
PrizesMarlene managed the Friends Outside booth
Friends Outside Staff and VolunteersVolunteers sold raffle tickets Java J'z!Head Start

Friends Outside had the opportunity to connect with over 1,000 community members at the 1st Annual Car Show & Community Health Fair in Stockton this past June! Held at Weber Point Event Center on a sunny afternoon, families were invited to check out the cars, motorcycles, and bikes, meet with community partners, and participate in the various activities around the park.


We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!