Helping a Vital Nonprofit Help the Community
Backing up the unsung heroes who are putting food on the tables of neighbors in Silicon Valley—one of the most affluent communities in America.
Folks living in San Jose, Santa Clara and Sunnyvale know the ropes. They expect to pay top dollar for housing, food, entertainment, pets, clothing and childcare. It comes, as they say, with the territory. People are also used to living on the edge, just making ends meet. No one anticipated the layoffs and the lengthy closure of entire portions of the economy experienced over the past 11 months.
In May 2020, Joey Percival, Director of Public Affairs of the Church of Scientology San Jose and a Scientology Volunteer Minister, received a request from the California Volunteers, the civic response service in the office of the governor of California. Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley needed help.
This foodbank was founded in 1974, but according to their website, because of “the prohibitively expensive cost of living in Silicon Valley and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, hunger is at an all-time high.” Second Harvest is assisting some 500,000 people each month to feed themselves and their families, which is twice as many as before the pandemic. And to do so, they needed more help.
“They provide millions of dollars of food each week for those in need,” says Percival. “That now includes those with nice cars and homes, since the pandemic has closed down many businesses.”
Percival, who has coordinated the Church’s regional disaster response to Northern California wildfires for the past several years, collected a team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers from his own and other nearby Scientology Churches and headed to Second Harvest.
“I am in awe of how much they help,” said Percival, who has continued to volunteer at the food bank one or two days a week ever since. “It saddens me to see how many local businesses had to shut down and what a ghost town some parts of the city resemble,” he says. By helping Second Harvest he and the other volunteers he works with know they are making it possible for families to get through these challenging times.
Since the pandemic began, to prevent the spread of the virus and help the region reopen, local Churches of Scientology have been promoting the importance of understanding and complying with protocols.
“The good news is the number of new COVID-19 cases is finally declining to pre-holiday levels,” says Percival, “but health officials are concerned about what they are calling the ‘West Coast variant’ that has been found widely in Santa Clara County. They don’t know yet how contagious this new strain will be. We subscribe to the motto, coined by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure.’”
As soon as the pandemic began, the most effective measures were researched for ensuring the safety of Scientology staff and parishioners and their communities, and these were implemented internationally as protocols.
To make this prevention information broadly available, the Church of Scientology published three educational booklets: How to Keep Yourself & Others Well, How to Protect Yourself & Others with a Mask & Gloves and How to Prevent the Spread of Illness with Isolation.
Beginning in May, Volunteer Ministers of the Bay Area Scientology Churches and Missions handed out thousands of copies of educational booklets that help people understand not only what they can do to prevent the spread of the virus, but why.
“We urge people to read or download copies of these booklets from the How to Say Well Prevention Resource Center on the Scientology website,” says Percival. “They are available in 21 languages including English, Spanish and Chinese, which were the languages most in demand when we handed out copies of the booklets to shops and take-outs and door-to-door to neighbors. We can end the spread of this virus by keeping these simple protocols in.”
The Church of Scientology San Jose was dedicated June 9, 2012, by Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige. The Church is configured to service Scientologists in their ascent to spiritual freedom and serve as a home for the entire community—a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
Church of Scientology Media Relations
(323) 960-3500 phone
(323) 960-3508 fax