Why I support Puente by Al Fricke

Al Fricke with youth leadership program participants. Al Fricke con participantes del programa de liderazgo juvenil.

Why I support Puente by Al Fricke

I could say that I support Puente because I like tacos and enchiladas whether served south of the border or in the Pescadero elementary school gym. But, the reasons go much deeper than that. What I really value are the people who grow, harvest, deliver, cook, and serve the food. I like their families, the extended community, and their spirit. And (this is big), the dedication and spirit of the Puente staff is infectious. I am grateful to Puente for letting me help repay a thousand simple genuine kindnesses shown to me while traveling below the border. Through support of Puente, I can provide a tiny flicker of counterbalance to our present national leadership.

I think older retired people like myself have to keep learning and growing or they will shrivel and wrinkle. Which would I rather do, spend a night at Cafecito or watch television until bed? Which is better, experiencing the documentary and discussion following El Otro Lado de Migración or watching the news?

The experience of taking groups of adolescents from Puente for their first sailing adventure always pumps me up. I have so many anecdotes to tell my wife on return. Their eyes are wide open. They hop to it to help and figure things out so quickly. They cannot believe they are steering. They inhale huge sandwiches. They ask penetrating questions. I can tell they are taking mental notes, particularly when they ask me about my career.

So, a better question is why would I not support Puente?


Por qué apoyo Puente by Al Fricke

Podría decir que apoyo a Puente porque me gustan los tacos y las enchiladas ya sean servidas al sur de la frontera o en el gimnasio de la primaria en Pescadero. Pero mis razones van más allá de eso. Lo que verdaderamente aprecio son las personas que crecen, cosechan, distribuyen, cocinan, y sirven la comida. Me gustan sus familias y la comunidad extendida y sus espíritus. Además (esto es grande), la dedicación y espíritu que tiene el equipo de Puente es contagioso. Estoy agradecido con Puente por darme la oportunidad de repagar los múltiples actos de generosidad que se me dieron cuando viaje al sur de la frontera. Con el apoyo de Puente puedo proveer un acto de contrapeso al liderazgo nacional actual.

Yo creo que las personas jubiladas, como yo, tienen que seguir aprendiendo y creciendo, sino, se harán viejos. ¿Que preferiría yo, pasar una noche en Cafecito o ver la tele en cama? Qué es mejor, ¿experimentar el documental y discusión de El Otro Lado de Migración o ver las noticias?

La experiencia de llevar a grupos de jóvenes de Puente en su primer viaje de navegación marina siempre me da energía. Tengo tantas anécdotas para contarle a mi esposa cuando regreso. Sus ojos están alertamente vivos. Ellos brincan a la oportunidad de ayudar y aprenden las cosas rápidamente. Ellos no pueden creer que están navegando el barco. Me doy cuenta que están haciendo notas mentales, particularmente cuando me preguntan sobre mi carrera profesional.

Entonces, la pregunta correcta es ¿por qué no, apoyaría a Puente?

Open Volunteer Opportunities in 2016


Calling all volunteers!

Holiday prep

Do you miss the fine art of handwriting? Puente sends out a number of mailings at the end of the year, and we need volunteers to help us hand write the addresses on these envelopes. This process will start the week of October 31, 2016, and will be ongoing. If you’re interested, please contact Alejandra Ortega or Cerelle Centeno for more details.

Tax season

Love helping people with their taxes? Maybe you’re a retired tax professional looking to volunteer your time? Well then Puente needs your help. Through an initiative called Earn It, Keep It, Save It!, we provide free tax preparation service for income eligible families and individuals. Puente is a VITA site. Volunteers receive training and either support our staff with the preparation of the tax returns or support the tax payers with getting the documents ready. This opportunity requires training and availability for 4-5 months. For more information contact Lina Mira.


Other 2016 Volunteer Opportunities

Cafecito, November 17, Pescadero Elementary School, 6:30pm-9:00pm – Language exchange where ESL participants get to practice speaking English with you, the volunteers.

La Sala Thanksgiving, November 24, Pescadero Community Church, 4:00-8:00pm – La Sala is a weekly dinner for single farmworkers or those here in this country without their families. This is the special Thanksgiving dinner.

Station Night, December 1st, Pescadero Elementary School, 6:30pm -9:00pm – Help ESL students put into practice what they learned this semester. You will act like someone in the real world—someone they are likely to interact with. Each volunteer will be at a different “station.”

Holiday Stockings for Kids, Dec. 6, Pescadero Elementary School, 10:00am-2:00pm – Help us stuff and distribute stockings with various donated items for the children of our community.

Holiday Stocking La Sala for Adults, Dec. 8, Pescadero Elementary School, 10:00am-2:00pm – Help us stuff and distribute stockings with various donated items for our community.

La Posada, December 16, North Street and Stage Street, 9:00am-9:00pm – A special holiday event for which we need volunteers in various roles—help us set up, help us during the event and help us clean up. Posada is a Christmas festival originating in Latin America.

La Sala Posada, December 18, Pescadero Community Church, 2:00pm-6:00pm – La Sala is a weekly dinner for single farmworkers or those here in this country without their families. This is the special Posada dinner.

La Sala Christmas Dinner, December 25, Pescadero Community Church, TBA –A La Sala dinner for the Christmas holiday.

For more information about these volunteer opportunities, please contact Lina Mira: lmira@mypuente.org or 650-262-7080.

Volunteer with Puente

Come read to kids after school!  

Passionate about books? Love reading to kids? Join Puente’s after-school program to read to our youngsters from 3-5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call us at (650-879-1691) for more information.