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July 2020 Newsletter: Summer is HERE!

We are seven months into one of the most historic years in history! We continue to be nimble and effective as we have transitioned to being an essential needs organization for families. Four months of shelter in place…we are living in an unprecedented time when families are beginning to return to work after months of lost wages. We continue to empower families by providing food, encouragement, teaching, and financial support. Adjusting to the new “normal” has taken a toll on our community leaving many questions unanswered. Will work continue? Should we stay? Do we choose between watching our children or going back to work? Thank you for staying the course as we launch into Summer Camp 2020 RESPIRA – BREATHE. We welcome your prayers and financial support more than ever. Take a moment to check the July edition of CLIMATE magazine. We are grateful for the acknowledgement and of course support of Peninsula Covenant Church location. Please sign up here to work with a child 1/1 or in small groups as we head into the critical time of return to school.

COVID-19 Webpage Update

Our website has gotten a little update with a landing page for all things related to our response to the needs of our neighbors in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. There we will post current updates, resources for families, answers to frequently asked questions, and more. Please stop by and share with your friends!
Click here to see our new webpage!

Food Distribution at PCC

June marked the start of a new food distribution location. We have been so blessed to have the continued support of Peninsula Covenant Church (PCC) as we have transitioned there to do our weekly food distribution. We continue to receive deliveries from the Facebook Community Mobile Market through a partnership with Good Roots . 125 families receive fresh organic food weekly. This sustains them for this long haul of figuring out how to budget in the midst of caring for their families needs.

With the changes in group gatherings and in an abundance of caution, we have shifted our plans for our summer STEAM camp. Since our students are still in great need of academic and social support, we are planning to have camps in smaller group settings while still adhering to recommended guidelines. Campers will participate in academic activities, art projects, sports, and more! There are many ways that you can partner with us, including giving towards a camper’s tuition for camp. $350 is the cost per camper weekly and our goal is to provide camp for 144 students in East Redwood City! This means we need just over $50,000 to support this camp. Can you help?

Be a good neighbor – Support a Camper

With a new summer camp model in partnership with Redwood City Parks and Recreation, we have had to scale back the size and schedule of our camp to 12 campers per session and half-day camp offerings in order to serve more families. We are in need of volunteers to sponsor, prepare and serve lunch (to be supervised by parents), and more. Click below for more information and to sign up.

Click here to sponsor a camper!
Thanks to your generous gifts, faithful dedication, and encouraging prayers and kind words, we have been able to come alongside our neighbors with love and provision. This summer we will continue to provide for families in need of rental assistance, utilities and essential services. Our sense is this will be the case through the end of the year (or longer).
Give today to make a difference now! We rely on the support of caring individuals and organizations to do the important work of supporting these families every day. Click here to give a one-time gift or set up a recurring donation. Inquire with your employer about match giving opportunities!
We are always accepting donations of fresh food, dry goods/non-perishables, toiletries, and more. Contact Cynthia Nava to arrange a time/location. Redwood City. For a list of items needed, see our Amazon Wish List or check the list on our website.

June 2020: Neighbors Together and Mother’s Day

Neighbors Together – Mothers’ Day /
Dia de las Madres

We have been so blessed to partner with Mary Martinez for 6 years!

This year we joined the Sheriff’s Activity League to bring joy and love to the mamás/madres/moms of our community on Dia de las Madres in North Fair Oaks (NFO). We saw many smiles and emotional scenes as the patrol cars stopped at every corner to ensure we could drop off flowers. There was a mariachi serenading beautiful and familiar music and Generations United brought lovely beauty care gifts for the mamas. Tears flowed as so many have felt isolated and forgotten in the time of SIP. Many live in very close quarters so to step outside or open the door to flowers and gifts was so life-giving! Thank you Keith Miller for joining me in this journey. It was a joy to have your help with all of our packages!

To date, the Emergency Fund has given over

Thanks to your generous gifts, faithful dedication, and encouraging prayers and kind words, we have been able to come alongside our neighbors with love and provision. In May we gave over $50k to help over 30 families during this difficult time thanks to our partnerships with New Community Church, Menlo Church, Kiwanis and a very special financial outpouring from Peninsula Covenant Church and their benevolence fund. Dozens of individual donors and businesses have given and allowed us to write checks for rent, telephone bills, cable, utilities, gas cards, and groceries. It is truly more blessed to give than to receive!

Our goal is to give another $60,000 to support families in June. We have been meeting one on one with single moms and heads of households to get to know the challenges they face. This is difficult and exhausting work. Will you stand with us in this? 65% of our families lost their employment and had no reserves in place. How will they pay rent? Keep their phones turned on? Meet the daily needs of their families?

This is what we are using our Emergency Funds for!

Click here to see how your gifts can make an impact today!

Food Distribution and Generations United transition

Beginning March 15, GU pivoted our work to ensure we met the felt needs and essential needs of families. Our staff transitioned swiftly to create a beautiful model of love. We are in partnership with Facebook Market/Good Roots who have graciously provided fresh organic produce and food to make meals in boxes and bags. We have been serving 125 families directly every week. It feels like Christmas weekly as volunteers from our community deliver the food to the doorsteps of community members.
It’s such a beautiful time of love, joy, and encouragement. Families have fresh food and a sense that they have not been forgotten during this pandemic. Families also come and serve with us weekly to sort clothes, toys, diapers, wipes, oatmeal, bags of beans and rice, laundry detergent, and even quarters being donated so they can do laundry. We are not wasting one thing or gift as we pursue empowering families!
This week we are strategically moving to a new location at our longtime community partner and supporter – Peninsula Covenant Church (PCC), 3560 Farmhill Blvd. in the front parking lot.
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Julia Dugan for allowing us to transform the American Academy of Dance into our emergency relief hub since March when we made this shift. We are forever grateful for this time and how quickly we could set things in motion! Our hard-working staff – Cynthia Nava, Andrew Cruz, Candice Bún, Benita Hopkins, and Crystal Tapelu have stepped up to serve and transition during this wild ride! We are so grateful for their hearts, their expertise and their love as they’ve done so much in these past few months and have not missed a beat!

Be a good neighbor – Become a pen pal or volunteer

We have hundreds of children who would love to hear from you! If you’d like to join us by writing a note of encouragement to children, we would be honored and have made it easy to get communication to children.

You can make a difference in the lives of families right here in Redwood City by delivering a food box, reading a story on video chat, or helping us sort through donations. Visit our website to see how you can join our team.

Click here to join us

Feet on the Street

Community members continue to make masks with Marilyn Lynch

Our food distribution is moving to PCC! Join us or give today!

Give today to make a difference now! We rely on the support of caring individuals and organizations to do the important work of supporting these families every day. Click here to give a one-time gift or set up a recurring donation. Inquire with your employer about match giving opportunities!
We are always accepting donations of fresh food, dry goods/non-perishables, toiletries, and more at our office location: 2555 Middlefield Rd., Redwood City. For a list of items needed, see our Amazon Wish List or check the list on our website.

Empower Families in Redwood City in 2020

older man teaching a young girl
group of children with adult woman
3 children at a table

As we reflected last week on the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. I spent most of the day listening to his words.

group of children

“For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.”


We are now at the end of the first month of the year with 4 days left to raise an additional $24K. Generations United has BIG goals for 2020 and we are so excited about them. In the coming months, we will have more to share about new initiatives, enhancing programs, and growing our team! Our match campaign is going amazingly well but there is still work to do! Thank you to all of our friends and supporters who have generously given so far. We set a HUGE goal this year to raise $100,000 which will be matched by 2 amazing donors. $200,000 will go a long way to serve the students and families that we reach.
Every gift makes an impact!

Tony gapastione and angie ibarra recording a podcastAngie on Holy Cannoli Podcast
I invite you to listen to a podcast recorded last year with my longtime friend and community partner, Tony Gapastione, that shares my heart around why I felt called to launch this organization and how we see this work impacting lives daily. The children and families in our city need to know that they are cared for and that they are not forgotten. In this conversation, I express how my life experiences contributed to my understanding of this pain of abandonment so well. I would love to hear what stood out to you in this episode and how it impacted you.
Click to Listen


There are many ways to partner with us:

  • Make a one-time tax-deductible donation before the end of the month and have it DOUBLED by our match campaign
  • Become a monthly giving partner with a recurring donation of $25, $50, or any amount you choose
  • Share this email with a friend to spread the word
  • Join us as a reading volunteer at one of our campuses in Redwood City
  • “Like” us on Facebook and share our content
  • Ask your employer about donation match opportunities

artistic quote from angie


Angie Ibarra
Executive Director
Generations United, Inc.

Volunteer during the school year:
Click to sign up


“One hundred years from now, it will not matter what your bank account was, the sort of house you lived in, or the kind of car you drove, but the world may be different because you were important in the life of a child.”

—Forest E. Witcraft

November Calendar Items and Information

November is around the corner and we have been extremely blessed and active at GU! We are heading into 2020 with an incredible story of God’s continued grace upon our work. Be on the lookout for our end of year letter in the coming weeks. We have big goals for 2020 and a match campaign for further expansion is in place through January 31st! You can give here:
Did you like the movie Coco? Join us this Sunday, 11/3 for Redwood City’s annual Dia De Los Muertos event downtown. What a great way to learn of the deep and rich culture of the Mexican celebration that honors those who’ve gone before us! Music, food, dance, altars – see you there!
We want to be sure you know about additional calendar items for November:
We will be partnering with Menlo Church for Serve Your City. They will do some work with us on our new location at Centro Destino – Stewart Chapel AME Zion, 536 Hurlingame Avenue, Redwood City. We can always use additional help from our precious team members!
  • Contractor Needed!
    We are in need of a kitchen remodel at Centro Destino Stewart Chapel AME Zion
    Please refer any leads to:
    Angie Ibarra
  • Saturday, 11/9 – Serve Your City
    25 to 30 volunteers – Invite staff, volunteers and families – 2 shifts.
    Register here:
    Our NFO families will provide breakfast, snacks and lunch (pan dulce, pupusas, tacos)
  • Monday, 11/11 – Veterans Day Holiday
  • Tuesday, 11/12 – KIPP/Staff development day
  • Thursday 11/14 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM.
    GU annual Thanksgiving dinner!
    A time when the community comes together in
    a cross cultural community focused gathering.
    Join us!
    Centro Destino – Stewart Chapel AME Zion,
    536 Hurlingame Avenue, Redwood City.
    Click here to volunteer.
  • 11/25-11/28 – No school Thanksgiving holiday
We are celebrating the grand opening of our latest center in North Fair Oaks – Centro Destino. The photos to the right are from our recent event with CZI.

Miracles Are Happening in Redwood City

October is upon us and we are celebrating Hispanic Heritage month with the best news: the fulfillment of God’s BIG dreams for our community in North Fair Oaks in Redwood City. June, July, and August were a whirlwind of hard work and success with 2 summer programs and backpack drive for 1,000 students in Redwood City! Personally, I successfully became a certified mentor, coach, speaker and trainer for John Maxwell and recorded a podcast telling the GU story. Listen here: Generations United Story
Summer 2019 will go down in the GU history books as one of the most productive and miraculous ever! School started with a bang on August 19th in 2 locations with 55 students. Within a month, we were furthering our discussions with a wonderful church partner to provide a location for our families to expand and enhance our reach into the community!
Effective Tuesday, October 1, we will serve 40 children Monday-Thursday after school at our new location! This is a dream come true after many years of believing for a community outreach center! There is a lot of work to do, but we believe that with everyone coming together, we can see the fulfillment of a community outreach center being fully functional in 2020! Sports, dance, ESL, immigration education, adult classes, music, and mental health services, cross-cultural learning groups are all part of this dream. Although we have a lot of work ahead of us, what hasn’t required that before? It’s going to be wonderful to begin our journey with our academic enrichment center launch on October 1. We are casting the net wide for you to come by this weekend and help us spruce up the space and bring your smiles and gloves! There are a lot of other activities planned in the days to come, including a very special afternoon on Tuesday, Oct. 8 from 4p-6p when volunteers from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative will join us as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month!
You are welcome to see our new facility and the wonderful space we are creating for our children and families of the community!
Saturday, 10am-4pm – Clean up & vision casting
Sunday, September 29 at 2:30pm
Take home fresh fruit and vegetables
donated by Facebook and meet our families!
 Stewart Chapel
536 Hurlingame Ave
Redwood City

New Church Partner!

Thank you for your continued support, prayers and love. The journey for GU has been nothing short of miraculous on so many levels. We have identified a partner church with Stewart Chapel AME, which is blocks from the former Fair Oaks campus.The story is incredible and the vision big, but we are so incredibly excited to see the fulfillment of a longstanding dream. In early 2000 I was working with another church reaching children and families through outreach events in NFO, this was the start of my love for this area in unincorporated Redwood City.

On 11/15/2007 GU was birthed with a vision to disciple nations, I joined PCC at the end of that year. In 2011 we began our work in RWC public schools and every year we have sensed God’s leading to move into closer proximity with children and families in the NFO community. The dream of transformational partnerships in collaboration with diverse churches is happening! The opportunity is great! Stewart Chapel is granting GU full access to this church which has about 20 congregants all African-American senior citizens who have a desire to reach out and engage with the families of the community. Children will bring this place to life in a glorious way and offer a local regional educational center that will empower children and families like never before! We are truly excited to see where God takes this partnership. It’s been amazing to share ideas with Grayelin Young the Pastor of the church. He is very excited about what we will do together!

You are cordially invited to pray with us this Sunday, September 15th @8am we’ve been invited to pray at the church. I’d love for you to join us! 536 Hurlingame Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063

Here are some pictures of the church. So much space and land for ministry activities! Believe with us!

Academic Enrichment Centers

An Opportunity to Invest in Children’s Literacy in North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, CA



As most educators would agree, nothing is more foundational to academic success than the ability to read. The link, in other words, between literacy and competency in math, science and engineering is irrefutable. For this reason, developing the reading skills of elementary-age children sits at the core of our Academic Enrichment Centers (AECs). Through its Redwood City Reads program, adult volunteers become reading buddies for our young learners. From this mentoring relationship, students are supported and encouraged in the whole of their education, e.g. homework and study skills. We go further, however, by connecting the students’ families to a host of supportive and life-enriching services, including workshops or classes in nutrition, exercise, martial arts, parenting, housing and immigration. In short, through our AECs, children do not have to learn alone. You are invited to invest in their future today, through the work of Generations United.

Prioritizing Silicon Valley’s Latino Youth

Over a fourth of Silicon Valley’s 3 million residents are of Latino heritage, many from generations who settled here long before the region’s cities were incorporated. They have long played a vital role in the region’s economic prosperity and cultural vitality. Recent immigration policies at the national level have had an adverse effect on this community. Moreover, the spike in housing costs is pricing out these vulnerable families. An inequitable distribution of wealth, and a school district deficit of over $10M, has wreaked havoc on the public schools, particularly on the Latino North Fair Oaks community. A slew of consolidations and closures have sent hundreds of families scrambling. Such disruption in already difficult circumstances have made the academic challenges for our young people even greater. As Manuel Pastor, Director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, reports, “the percent of the valley’s Latino students meeting the 8th grade math standards – key to the high-paying jobs of the future – is less than half the figure for all students.” And as the industry well knows, proficiency in math and science is critical to accessing employment in tech, a sector that increasingly recognizes its need for more cultural diversity. AEC’s are our response to help meet this challenge.

Funding Needs

For academic year 2019-20, we plan to run four AECs that serve North Fair Oaks and the surrounding community. Three will be connected with public school campuses (one being a charter), and the fourth with a local church in the vicinity. AEC expenses include compensation for a lead and assistant site coordinator, shuttle transportation (for the church site), program supplies, and costs associated with administration, outreach, volunteer-training, and external partnership coordination. Each site requires $50,000 to run, and with the help of private contributions and grants, we can meet our $200,000 goal.

About Generations United

Our mission is to empower Redwood City & North Fair Oaks children and their families to reach their full potential. Led by a passionate, competent staff and hundreds of volunteers, our organization promotes community, wellness, and academic success through several local initiatives. In partnership with local schools, congregations, nonprofits and corporations, we not only provide academic enrichment centers for the children, but complementary services for the entire family, including English-as-a-Second-Language, nutrition education, fitness programs, personal safety, and emergency assistance. Generations United is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, EIN# 51-0666650.

July Newsletter


Thank you for investing in the work of Generations United. It’s wonderful to be able to update you on our work this past summer.


We held 2 distinct summer camps in Redwood City. One was held at an existing location: Schaberg/Roosevelt with 18 students, while a brand new endeavor took place with our newest church partner, Redeemer Lutheran. Redeemer has a successful private school and a longstanding local church. Pastor Paul Schult has been in

Redwood City for a few years and had been looking for ways to bring the two groups together, all while identifying a local partner for outreach. Our meeting in January sparked a conversation and led to the fulfillment of a longstanding dream for us. God’s timing is perfect. The closure of Fair Oaks and Hawes Schools left many people in our community heartbroken and displaced. The realization that perhaps we could host a summer camp at a local church seemed to be the perfect idea for these precious families who had felt abandoned, marginalized and disillusioned. Many students who have experienced the pain of school closures in RWC found themselves showered with the love and care of a family of believers coming together with one purpose: to love!

We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of over 121 adults and 28 LIT’s (leaders in training) who came together to serve 70 children; it was nothing short of a miracle. Generations United has been serving children in local schools since 2012, but this was our first endeavor at a local church. We are grateful to report that this was by far our most exciting summer ever! We believe everyone involved was touched in a positive way for the better and God was glorified!

The opposition to our plans was intense. We had planned to use the church’s bus which broke down a month before we launched. Three days before we launched we lost our lead teacher. God totally used this opportunity to allow us to trust Him! It was remarkable as a few weeks before I distinctly knew I was to send for my daughter (Crystal), a veteran missionary leader and children’s minister to come out to help lead an aspect of the camp. She literally saved the day! I know we couldn’t have done this camp without her. She sacrificed being home with her husband, and my grand-daughter Tishy was the youngest student and mascot for the camp. The team that Redeemer put together was stellar. I could tell endless stories of how each of the individuals made this local mission trip an incredible adventure. It was miraculous what happened on so many levels.

We put together a prayer team (thank you Mary Lou Morton & PCC), an incredible kitchen crew that cooked home made breakfast and lunch daily. Some of the Redeemer ladies found themselves seeing the work they did together as “cooking lessons.” It was indeed a positive cross cultural experience. There are too many highlights to count. Watching people of different ethnic groups, stories and backgrounds was priceless! All we can say is that we and our community were changed for the better and God was glorified. GU has served many of these families over the course of 6 summers and by far they all said this was their best! We are hoping to have an opportunity to connect again in the future to celebrate together and share great stories. In fact, wouldn’t it be great if we got together to celebrate more often? Please enjoy the pictures attached and witness the smiles, joy and cross cultural outreach.

Thank you for your incredible hearts, love and sacrifice. We welcome you to continue journeying with us to serve children and families. This school year we will launch our after school programming to 100+ children for our 7th year . We will remain on the former Fair Oaks campus working with KIPP Excellencia with 850 students. Our expectation is to serve a few hundred, as well continue on the 2 existing campuses we work with. This will require lots of prayer, local missionaries, volunteers and mentors on local school campuses. Will you join us? We covet your prayers, your finances, your time, and your talent. Would you consider becoming a monthly financial donor? With our expansion we will need more staff. This is a big request as the unemployment rate is low and most organizations serving families are vying for the same people.

Lastly, as we wrap up our camp, we would ask you to pray for the 160+ new volunteers and 70 children, as well as for the new school year. We are non-stop and in the throws of our backpack drive in July/August. We know that we have aggressive goals, but we are desperate to do ALL we can to see children succeed in the years to come!.

I leave you with a thought from The Power of Proximity “We can see evidence of injustice all around us, whether in continuing incidents of racial inequality or in the systemic forces that disenfranchise people and perpetuate poverty. It’s important to learn about the city’s inequities and to be a voice for the voiceless any way we can.”

Angie Ibarra
Executive Director, Generations United

May Newsletter


It is a bittersweet time in Redwood City. Although we are incredibly excited about a number of amazing things happening in the next month, we are also aware of the pain felt by our precious neighbors in NFO whose school is closing in June. Some are still making decisions about where their children will go. Please pray as many are beginning to experience much sadness. At GU we are grateful you have been on this journey with us! There is no way we could do this without your heart, love and ongoing encouragement!This month we celebrated our 12th year serving Redwood City Schools and reminisced with some dear families as we celebrated Easter together.
May is a time of transition. We are asking you to consider joining us on a number of fronts. You are welcome to come out and join us as we bid farewell to the Fair Oaks students on Friday, 5/10 – interestingly enough, that is Mother’s Day in Latin America. Our plan is to bless the families with a beautiful send off and gift cards provided by our very own Rica Ruiz.

Moving and School Closures

With the transition of many students in RCSD we have been asked to clear out our 3 classrooms. The schools needs to make many changes to their existing campuses to make room for the influx of students. We will be wrapping up our programs as follows:
John Gill – A2 – last day for RWCR Monday, 5/13
Fair Oaks – Room 20 – last day for AEC & RWCR Friday, 5/10 – Dia Del Nino
Roosevelt – Programming continues until the end of the school year Friday, 6/7
We will pack up the classroom, but not until 6/3.

We Are Hiring!

We are hiring a team member to assist us in closing our classrooms and preparing for summer. We will need your assistance with this endeavor. There will be lots of packing of books, supplies, materials and of course some heavy lifting as we determine where we will move/donate or toss items.

3 Week Summer Outreach

Monday, 6/17 — Friday, 7/5 (no program 7/4)

We are incredibly excited about our summer programming. We will have a tremendous outreach to our families from North Fair Oaks that will be hosted on the Redeemer Lutheran campus. This has been a long-standing dream to offer a program like this and we would love for you to join us! We have identified some teachers who will join us and already have volunteers signed up from Redeemer! We will provide transportation for the families in NFO and have a goal of a total of 60 children in attendance (40 from NFO and 20 from Redeemer Lutheran), This has never been done and we are excited to offer a cross cultural experience for children and families. It’s a local mission trip right in our city!
We hope you will join us as we will continue to offer reading, but in addition to that we have a full schedule of great programming for the whole family. Mothers of the children are invited to join us as we will provide breakfast and lunch, sports, VBS, games, ESL, and so much more. We will have a movie night, Zumba, field trips, music, Bible stories and we’d love to have you join us! All of this needs to be bathed in prayer – we’ll have lots of opportunities for that! While many are on summer break, we are on summer MISSIONS!
  • If you want to sponsor a child you can DONATE here
  • To VOLUNTEER please sign up here

Backpacks – Our Annual Drive

We are so grateful for our partners and plan to distribute 1,000 backpacks to children as we have for 6 years. We will need help with that endeavor in July.
Lastly, in the Fall our plan is to continue on all 3 RWC campuses. We are grateful for our relationships in Redwood City! When the time is right, I’m sure we’ll need help moving some items onto the campus! Be on the lookout for more information on that in July as well.
Our deepest gratitude to you we couldn’t fathom doing this without you. Please continue to pray and ask God what part you can play in this great endeavor.

June Save The Dates

Saturday, 6/1 7pm  Century Redwood City, Generations United to sponsoring this movie with Bravemaker
Friday, 6/7  Last day of school
Saturday, 6/8  Benefit Concert (featuring our very wonderful Benita Hopkins 5pm Irvington Presbyterian, Fremont
Tuesday and Thursday, 6/11 & 13  Volunteer Orientation 5-7pm
Saturday, 6/15  AAD Dance performance, Redwood City