It’s about that time again! Each year we open the District 9 Star Application with the hopes of highlighting our community’s unsung heroes. We ask our residents to nominate those in their community who bring a smile to their face and inspire them — those who make a lasting difference in the lives of others. My team and I always look forward to reading all the stories that are submitted about District 9’s humble heroes.
The District 9 Star program is my way of recognizing those that spread positivity, altruism, joy, love, and kindness in our own corner of San José. I am truly very proud to call all of these individuals District 9 residents.
Below are the three individuals and organizations we selected to be the 2021 District 9 Stars —
South Valley FISH Food Pantry
For the past five years, South Valley FISH Food Pantry has spent every Thursday afternoon providing free meals and groceries to those in need in the Cambrian area, including holiday meals three times a year. Through coordination with Second Harvest Food Bank, generous monetary donations, and the hard work and compassion of their 80+ volunteers, they serve approximately 45 families per week. In fact, in 2020, a total of 2,073 families were fed through this program thanks to their effort to keep the organization functioning at a time when their services to minimize food insecurity were needed the most. Their team goes above and beyond to be accommodating and kind to all clients, creating picture cards and working with each other to translate choices for non-English speaking clients. I commend this organization for their admirable leadership in the Cambrian community; ensuring that individuals and families in need are fed and nourished, warmly welcoming those of all ages as volunteers, and making their services as accessible as possible. Thank you & congratulations!
Vikki Bowes-Mok and H.B. Mok
Vikki and H.B. add beauty to the neighborhood through their painted rocks and contributions to the Art Box Project, making a big difference through small acts of kindness. They both volunteer their time and talent through the Happy Hollow Foundation, where Vikki is a board member and H.B. is building a chicken coop to enhance our treasured Happy Hollow Park & Zoo. Vikki co-started the non-profit group Compass Collective, their published Field Guide to Community Service showing how easy it is to get involved, give back, and make a difference. During the summer, the couple hosts Front Yard Fridays to bring neighbors together in a lighthearted environment to meet each other and grow as a community. I commend Vikki and H.B. for being a wonderful team who spreads joy and finds meaningful ways to bring the community together. Thank you & congratulations!
Latha is a wonderful role model who pours her heart into organizing social events that seek to bond all Indians within the area and allow them to celebrate their roots; such as Mehndi Night, Bhajan Night, and Diwali. She has devoted herself to sharing her light and providing support to the younger generation in her community through kick-starting several events such as Camp Sapne, Big Brother and Sister, and Doggy Love. Sustainable living is a passion of hers. She has volunteered time to installing compost bins in 57 homes, as well as Oster Elementary School, and preparing compost starter ingredients to ensure each home is successful in their journey. Her contributions have made a lasting impact beyond the Cambrian Indian Community, through the creation of numerous fundraisers for local organizations such as the Humane Society and Leigh High School. I commend Latha for being a natural-born leader, a jack-of-all-trades, and for taking a hands-on approach to making a difference within the Cambrian Indian Community and beyond. Thank you & congratulations!
Thank you to everyone that has made a positive impact on our community. Congratulations to each and every one of you for receiving this award. I am grateful for the joyful, giving spirit that each of you bring to the City of San José.