Member Stories

Season of Giving: Discovery Bay Neighbor Starts Non-Profit Helping Homeless

Written by Anne Dreshfield

In honor of the holidays, we’re sharing stories every week of how neighbors have used Nextdoor to give back and help neighbors in their communities, starting on Giving Tuesday.

To find volunteer opportunities near you, visit VolunteerMatch or Idealists.org.

We hope you’re inspired to help give back this holiday season, in ways big or small. To join your Nextdoor neighborhood and rally your community to join in on the effort, visit www.nextdoor.com and enter your email and home address.


Katelyn Cunningham, a neighbor in Discovery Bay, CA, had an idea to help the homeless and had been ruminating on it for over two years.

After several of her family members got sick, Katelyn was inspired to jump into action.

“I realized how badly I wanted to make a difference when a couple of my family members got sick,” Katelyn said. “I made the decision that I wanted to fill at least 250 backpacks, and I was so eager to get started that I ran out and bought all them immediately, out of pocket.”

“It’s a great reminder of how helpful and amazing people can be.”
The program was officially started. Dubbed Acts of Kindness, the program provides backpacks filled with hygiene essentials for the displaced and homeless across Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg, and Discovery Bay.

After the initial 250 backpacks, Katelyn started to spread the word about Acts of Kindness, asking for donations. She posted on her neighborhood’s Nextdoor website, and the community immediately responded.

“I was very surprised by how quickly people responded, and I was humbled by their generosity,” Katelyn said. “People were immediately making donations, collecting donations from others, and even making scarves to donate.”

Acts of Kindness is collecting items until New Year’s Day, when backpacks will be donated and delivered to children’s shelters, women’s shelters and homeless shelters across the region. Donations range from everything from gloves, beanies, scarves, blankets, toiletries like soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and other hygiene items.

As for Katelyn, she’s inspired by the response so far and energized for the rest of the year.

“It’s a great reminder of how helpful and amazing people can be,” she says.

For more information or to make a donation, you can contact Acts of Kindness at 925-323-2233.


Originally reported by the Brentwood Press.

Do you have a story about how you have used Nextdoor in your neighborhood? Let us know.

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