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Volunteer Stories

2023 Impact Report

Thank you to all the people and organizations who have supported our work in 2023. We remain committed to the important work ahead of us: to keep hard-working immigrant families in our community and help them thrive!

Dearest Generations United Partners,

For 17 years, Generations United has radically lived out compassion by advocating for children and families in North Fair Oaks, Redwood City, and East Menlo Park. We have faithfully served the most vulnerable, providing essential support despite economic hardship.

Over many years, gentrification has impacted our community. GU has now felt this pain directly.

In December, we were advised that the land on which our Academic Enrichment Center sits was sold, and medical labs will be constructed on eight parcels. This displacement means we must find a new home for our center by September 30th.

We remain committed to our students and families and are excited by the unforeseen opportunities this challenge presents. We are actively searching for a new location within our service area. This may present a rate increase, as we currently enjoy under-market rent. We are resolute and impassioned by our vision, believing this move is a blessing in disguise.

Thank you for your commitment to caring, giving, volunteering, supporting, and praying for a good outcome as we move forward. This Impact Report details what we have accomplished collectively to help those struggling daily with losing hope.

Here’s how you can make a difference:

  • Donate now: Help cover moving costs and continue summer camps
    • Sponsor a Student for Summer Camp – $400 per student/5 weeks $50,000
    • Help GU Move! Anticipated yearly rent increase of $30,000
    • Set up a new facility and help with location tenant improvements (paint, carpet, etc.) $50,000
  • Visit us: Volunteer or visit the Academic Enrichment Center before we relocate or see our potential new home
  • Spread the word: Share our story and encourage others to get involved

Together, we can ensure a brighter future for our community. Stand with Generations United!

“He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints, Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.” Proverbs 2:7-9

Please use the “FULL SCREEN” (4-arrows icon in the bottom middle) option for best viewing

Download a digital copy here

Additional resources on gentrification in Silicon Valley

Click to read an article from 2022 in the San Mateo Daily Journal on development in the area.

Three-story research building approved in Redwood City

The Bay Area Equity Atlas provides research and data about our region and gives tremendous insight into the issues our families face. Click the buttons or photos to explore the facts about housing shortages and who is most impacted.

Housing Burden Comparison

In 2020, Latino, female renters in San Mateo County, CA were the most burdened by housing costs with 65% spending more than 30 percent of income on rent.

UrbanDisplacement.Org has additional resources on gentrification in our area.

Gentrification in North Fair Oaks

February Newsletter 2024

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We love YOU! We are grateful and blessed to spend time in community every day! Families, volunteers, partners, and donors – what a joy sharing this journey with you is. It’s been an eventful 2024 and we have lots to share in the coming days. Join us for our monthly prayer gathering at 895 2nd Avenue, Redwood City, Friday the 16th: Prayer at 9 am.

We love watching our students make their Valentines and share stories about how they show love. We launched coffee dates with moms and have had amazing life conversations. We’ve also continued to encourage college-aged students to intern with GU, and it’s been a blast to have Enrique Rodriguez, Daniela Gochez, and Yordi Chavez! All three graduated from high school last year. Generations United has also been blessed with the BEST volunteers. It’s been amazing to see the children come alive, as the center has been full every day! Relationships are formed and nurtured as they play games, dance, read, and do math and art. We also have three students attending Wyldlife Woodleaf Weekend Jr. High camp this weekend! A big thank you to Kim Yuen from the Salvation Army, who has helped us secure weekly food for snacks and additional food for the families. Our wonderful moms also make great food for the children, and our dear Sharon King brings amazing baked goods monthly and leads our prayer efforts!

We can only do what we do working together with YOU!


This month, we are celebrating love and friendship and honoring the contributions of Black leaders and community members for Black History Month. We invite you to visit our center for “Tacos & a Tour” – a chance to see our work in North Fair Oaks and how you can be a part of the big things happening in our community. We anticipate lots of changes in the coming months, and caring friends can help our students feel secure and loved amidst these shifts. Read below for ways to be involved.

Spread the Love

One of our favorite partnerships is with Cake4Kids, a national organization with regional chapters. Each chapter has volunteer bakers who make up sweet treats for birthdays and special events.

Please click the button below or the photo to the right for a fun video highlight of the cakes our students have received this year.

Cake4Kids on IG

Volunteer opportunities

We welcome new and returning reading buddies as we look forward to Spring and Summer. Join us one hour per week to significantly impact a student’s academic success. We have weekday opportunities from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. We also need support for special events, crafts, celebrations, and Summer camps! Please consider joining us AND telling a friend! We welcome High School students interested in completing community service hours or seeking a service project during Spring Break. Our upcoming calendar is below, and updates are always available on our website.

THIS WEEK: Friday is an early dismissal day, and we welcome additional helpers to support our staff and students on this longer day. Walking with students after school is a great opportunity to get to know them and help them to feel safe as they head to our AEC. Click below for more information or to sign up.

Volunteer Today!

Volunteer Spotlight:

John Becker

John leads missions internationally for a good portion of the year and comes to Generations United AEC when he is not traveling. John doesn’t just make time to come to the center and work with students, but he recently also picked up a few of “his boys” and took them to the movies (with pops Keith) to see a Marvel movie, Blue Beetle.


In December, he took them to the ice skating rink in SF. We are grateful for his love, his witness, and his commitmentto loving the children and families of North Fair Oaks. Thank you, John! We are so grateful for you!

Impact Report

2023 was one for the books and we have so much good news to share. Stay connected with us on social media and email list to get the latest news. We will publish our Impact Report this month!

Share a meal and Share the LOVE

Providing lunch or snacks for our 17 students would greatly benefit our Academic Enrichment Center. You can sign up to make or donate one time or on a regular basis. The greatest needs are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Fresh-cut fruit, sandwiches, packaged chips, or cookies are great ideas. On early dismissal days like this coming Friday, a hot meal (like mac & cheese pictured here) goes a long way to warm students’ bellies and set them up for homework success.

Email Cindy to Help


Feb 19 – AEC Closed (Presidents’ Day)

March – Business Classes Resume

3/2 Saturday – GU Choir launch w/teacher Raissa

3/13 – Angie’s Birthday

3/15 – Prayer

3/28 – Easter Celebration!

View the Calendar Here

Our work is fuled by dedicated staff, faithful volunteers, and generous and caring donors. Please consider a financial gift in any amount and click below. Donations on Zelle and through ACH have zero fees. Both Facebook and PayPal offer the option to give an additional gift to offset the processing fees.


Volunteer Workshops 2022

Join us on a journey of becoming proximate with our neighbors!


You may already be aware of what’s happening in the news, of systemic issues that impact marginalized communities, and of the greater historical context which affects our current events today. If you are not aware, we encourage you to start learning in those areas. But part of this journey towards proximate living also involves listening to people’s stories, engaging with people you may not normally talk to, and getting to know them personally. Begin to push beyond the familiar into a new way of seeing the world and asking how we as Christians are to engage it, and our hope is that this discussion time will help you to do so.

In order to seek awareness, embrace proximity, and lean into the life of justice, we must constantly be paying attention to who we are, what we bring, why we react the way we do, and what our history is. If we can cultivate this self-awareness and humility it will allow us to further embrace others’ stories and see our own role in the road to justice.

Angie has previously shared some thoughts on the Power of Proximity, but we have included an updated video below.

Year End Update 2019


An incredible 2019 for Generations United (GU) included twists and turns as well as divine surprises, sacrifices and a willingness to reach well beyond our comfort zone. Critical choices paid off in ways we never imagined as we partnered with more community members and organizations, got closer to new children and families as well as grew our staff and funding to new levels. Thank you to many who trusted in us as we met our changes and influx of families to reach into our community like never before.

January found us meeting with a new church partner: the Pastor of Redeemer Church in Redwood City joined me as I shared the challenging stories of the families in North Fair Oaks. Through tears we agreed that there was something we could do together. By March, we were dreaming of a summer camp for children displaced by the closures of four schools in Redwood City. So many of these precious families were heartbroken and there was only one thing we knew… we need to serve and honor them in a special way as they grieve the loss of their school community. Summer STEAM camp was already part of what we’ve offered over the years, but this was a newer (enhanced) model. Being on the beautiful Redeemer campus in June brought such dignity and joy to the families. We experienced community in a unique and special way with 120+ new volunteers from Redeemer, YMSL, and Street Code who served cross culturally with mothers in the kitchen preparing hot meals while offering whole family activities in a larger space. As we reminisce about this summer we are still brought to tears as we remember the lives that were impacted.

On the heels of a tremendous summer outreach, we headed right into the launch of a new school year. With the school closures we focused our efforts on developing new relationships while maintaining a presence where GU’s heartbeat lies, in North Fair Oaks. Formerly Fair Oaks school campus now has close to 1,000 students with 2 charter schools housed together. We began the school year with the intent of serving children on the campus, but found that in order for us to offer quality programming, while developing long term impact and relationships, we needed more space. Our surprise was when we took a risk and contacted a long time friend at a local church. Stewart Chapel AME Zion is the spot where our latest outreach center has been located since October 1st. It was no easy feat and we were thrust into planning and moving into a church we hoped would be blessed by some TLC with the smiles of 40 children. Just like Redeemer Church, a pastor opened his arms and church to a GU dream to serve children and families. This new location is just blocks from KIPP Excelencia and has brought such a confirmation of a dream to provide a safe place for those who live in fear, trauma, and pain. Please know that we’d love to have you come take a tour of any of our locations and see firsthand the beautiful families we serve.

The uneven wealth of the tech economy along with the spike in housing costs is causing systemic displacement. GU seeks to empower this community through our centers which provide academic and whole-family support. As we head into a new year and a new decade, I’m incredibly grateful for what is on the horizon. We are fortunate to have you consider joining the GU family as we remain committed to reach our city in love.

Our joy is to be on the forefront of serving the most vulnerable in our midst. May you find great joy in wrapping up 2019 and moving into a new decade. We hope you enjoy the holidays and will consider a generous investment in families. Our commitment remains to steward your finances well and see the lives of many transformed in Redwood City. We believe in the power of love. Please respond today with your generous and sacrificial financial support. Every year we have been fortunate to have generous donors who will allow for your gifts to be doubled! Our miracle challenge is for $100,000 that will be matched by 1/31/19. This is the biggest financial endeavor we have had, but know that we will accomplish this only with your help. As our work to serve women, children, and vulnerable and poor immigrants in our city is so important, we hope to be at the top of your year-end giving list.

This has sustained us and allowed us to witness first hand the beauty of a dream fulfilled by teaming with amazing people like yourselves. For this we are forever humbled and grateful. Thank you for standing with us and believing in us. Filled with gratitude and more determined than ever to launch full force into 2020 with a new vigor and focus.

– Angie Ibarra

“When we build relationships where we live, we discover the complexities of standing with the vulnerable and the commitment needed for long-term change.”

– Michelle Warren The Power of Proximity

Up to $100,000 match! Double your giving to reach more children & families!


Central Peninsula Church Promotes Redwood City Reads

A Message For CPC Members

Redwood City Reads is one of CPC’s “For Our Neighbor” service opportunities. It’s part of Generations United that Angie Ibarra started. She attends Peninsula Covenant Church and has a passion for low income families in Redwood City.  She is in the process of building teams for the upcoming school year and is expanding the work on the KIPP Excellencia campus (formerly Fair Oaks campus). As the summer season wraps up, Angie would love to know if the CPC family of believers would like to reach out to this community. Would you like to be part of serving these children and showing them the love of Jesus?

There are many ways to get involved. One is to be part of Redwood City Reads by reading once a week with a child so they don’t fall behind in learning English. Perhaps you’d like to make a gift bag for a teacher or assemble backpacks with Angie’s team. Here’s a video about the work of Generations United. I’ve been helping children read for a few years at this school through Angie’s organization, and it has been a joy and privilege to see them progress and not fall behind in their classes.

Email me if you’re interested in any of these ways to serve or have questions at

Year End Update

Greetings, December 2018

We are so grateful to have you join Generations United, Inc. as we completely commit to the call to serve children and families at a deeper level. In 2018, we had greater vision and courage to engage with families who are facing such incredible trauma and pain as they decided whether to remain in the changing landscape in the Silicon Valley. Throughout the year, the community carried the weight and uncertainty of appending school closures in their underserved neighborhoods. As I write this letter, the school district just confirmed four school closures. In total, close to 2,000 children will be impacted as the district goes from 16 to 12 sites. Our role as a stable, trusted resource and educational support to the disenfranchised children and families is needed more than ever. We can only do this with your generous support.

Our mission is to empower the children and families of Redwood City & North Fair Oaks to reach their full potential…in this generation and the next. We believe we are bridge builders to strengthen communities. There are countless people in our city (young and old) who are blessed as they come together! We believe that as we stand together, we will become an even greater community. Through intentional engagement, ALL will benefit from a connection to one another as our lives intersect cross-culturally, intergenerationally, and across educational/income levels. We have a newly updated website where we will share many stories in 2019. We hope you will share yours with us! As we head into the new year, you will hear more about learning opportunities.

Since 2012, GU has stepped in to fill gaps in the community with academic enrichment programs, homework centers, ESL, parent support groups, family dinners, and fitness (e.g. Taekwondo and ballet). Together, these activities offer an important resource: community. GU’s leaders and volunteers collectively represent a crucial network of support that goes far beyond its programs. Such solidarity requires trust, and it’s this trust that enables our work to succeed. Many of our families are in deep crisis.

One family we are working with has two teenagers navigating adolescence and a 5-year old son who has physical and learning disabilities. They live with the fear of deportation and are working through expensive and difficult immigration processes. A GU volunteer is deeply engaged and loving this family on their difficult journey. We need many more caring volunteers to make a lasting impact.

We are grateful to continue our work and are exploring even more ways to engage with entire families in the community. We encourage you to continue to invite others and join us financially. We need to hire critical staff to lead our efforts as we expand our vision and mobilize more people to engage in cross-cultural, intergenerational, community work. The needs are great, but we know together we can make an impact!

Please respond today with your financial support, and have your investment doubled by a gracious donor who has offered to match up to $40,000 by 1/31/19. As our work to serve the women, children, poor and immigrants in our city is so important. We hope to be at the top of your year-end giving list. Thank you for standing with us and believing in us. I’d love to have you visit one of our locations soon! Sincerely,

Angie Ibarra, Executive Director

Celebrating our cultural diversity is core to what we’re about.

When we build relationships where we live, we discover the complexities of standing with the vulnerable and the commitment needed for long-term change. Proximity changes our perspective, compels our response, and keeps us committed to the journey of pursuing justice for all. Move beyond awareness and experience the power of proximity.

-Michelle Warren, The Power of Proximity


New Website, New Challenges, New Energy!

Holiday greetings, dear friends!  

We are thrilled to introduce our new, freshly unwrapped website to welcome the new year.  Designed with love by our dear Silicon Valley partners, Exclusive Image, we hope that its vibrant colors and beautiful faces capture for you the renewed energy with which we enter 2019.  As the executive director of Generations United, I want to express my God-ward thanks for all of you. Some of you are reading this as long-time volunteers and supporters of our work.  Others of you may be learning about Generations United for the first time and are feeling called to join in. Whichever the case, your interest brings much food to the soul, nourishing me and our whole team for the good and hard work that lies ahead.

Many of you are aware of the paradox that is Redwood City and the larger Silicon Valley within which our city rests.  The innovation, technological prowess, and entrepreneurial spirit concentrated here, reverberates around the world. Unquestionably, the Valley is transforming the way that humans relate, work and live.  With prolific innovation comes prosperity. As geography professor Richard Walker points out, if this region “were a country, it would rank among the top twenty, just ahead of the Netherlands, Turkey, and Taiwan” with a gross domestic product of over $780 billion last year.  But such great prosperity comes to some…at great cost to many others.

As I write this, the Redwood City School District is in painstaking deliberations about the fate of several of its schools, all four of them at which Generations United has loved and served since our beginnings.  Fair Oaks Community School has been a place of safety and stability for hundreds of families in this beautiful but struggling Latino immigrant neighborhood for several generations. In fact, the librarian has been on this campus for 35 years! Tech wealth, particularly in these past two years, has brought housing and living costs soaring, and further displacement by school closures will further exacerbate the struggle to live and thrive in this place.   

But while there are reasons to dismay, we at Generations United are choosing to hope.  To have hope in the richness of community and collaboration we have with so many wonderful congregations, nonprofits, government agencies and, of course, the local schools (do visit the “Partners” page).  We are grateful for the growing numbers of businesses that are donating their skills, talents, backpacks and school supplies for the cause. We thank the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Saga Foundation for their generous support for leadership development and capacity building for our expansion onto new sites in 2019.  Last, and certainly not least, we celebrate the God-given gifts, time and energy of the hundreds of loving volunteers that do the day-to-day work of uniting people, across generations, for a better future.   

In closing, I wish to share a personal story.  Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to join a team from my church, Peninsula Covenant, on a trip to Spain.  Albeit a beautiful country, we went not to take in the sights but to visit the work of refugee intake, shelter and social services for the thousands of families that have been forced to migrate from Africa and other parts of the world due to war, famine, and poverty.  Suffice it to say, it broke my heart to see so many mothers and children (too often separated) stripped of everything they’ve had, and disoriented in a place not their own. But it also moved me beyond words to see the tireless efforts of so many volunteers, giving of themselves to the work of restoration and resettlement for precious, fellow human beings.  This experience changed my life, and gave me renewed passion and energy for the not-dissimilar challenges that so many children, mothers and fathers are facing right here on the peninsula.

We hope you enjoy our new website and, most of all, the opportunity it represents for you to join – or continue to journey – with us in the work of Generations United.  For those who are new, please go our “Contact” page and let us know what you’re thinking. Hope to hear from you soon, my friend!

God bless.

Angie Ibarra

Fair Oaks Thanksgiving 2018

We had a wonderful celebration with 100+ Fair Oaks family members (including children) attending the event. We prayed and Mary and I witnessed a miracle as donations came flooding in from many different sources. Many thanks to the wonderful people who brought turkeys, gravy, pies, so much food! Thank you to the amazing volunteers who served so beautifully and made this a wonderful celebration. Some FO families were at the RCSD board meeting until 12:30am yet made it out tonight with the cold, poor air quality and dark evening. Your smiles mean so much to so many! We had some wonderful dishes from the families and we do hope you got to try some!

Mary, it’s always an honor and joy to see your heart to serve the families. Your tireless commitment is an inspiration and I’m so very grateful to work with you for so many years. You are the BEST alumni EVER!

We continue to believe the BEST for our children and families as decisions are being made about school closure. We remain committed to our work of empowering families in NFO. Join us in working with children M-F after school. All are welcome as we have 128 children in the REACH program. We will continue to work with as many as we can through the end of the school.

Hoping you have an amazing Thanksgiving. We do have much to be grateful for. I know I’m extremely grateful for you and the work we do with children and families in Redwood City.