Pictured above: Valerie Mitsumori, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley’s 2023 AmeriCorps Program Coordinator stands in front of the RTSV office.
Valerie Mitsumori came to Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley (RTSV) in the Fall of 2022 with the goal of service to her community as an Americoprs member. Every year, Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley welcomes AmeriCorps members, individuals who are interested in volunteerism and service and are then matched with a nonprofit in order to make a tangible difference in our communities. AmeriCorps unites members with organizations to tackle their toughest challenges, strengthen their communities by equipping AmeriCorps members with tools and resources to improve the lives of our neighbors, impact the lives of the members who serve as well as the clients who are served, and empower AmeriCorps members to lead their communities.
In her short time at RTSV, Valerie has already made big waves in our community. She has taken an active leadership role in developing and executing our newest program – Building A Healthy Neighborhood, or BAHN. RTSV has been developing BAHN in addition to our Safe at Home and Critical Repairs programs to implement a deeper community revitalization model and focus on the neighborhood’s needs as a whole. RTSV believes in the power of community and the positive impact that a vibrant neighborhood can have on its residents and Valerie does too. Valerie has fostered the program by working closely with residents in the Seven Trees Neighborhood of San Jose to identify unique needs and opportunities for community connection and revitalization from within the neighborhood itself. After many months of listening to the Seven Trees community, the RTSV team proposed a solution, and Valerie spearheaded the granting and installation of motion sensor lights and video doorbells to provide residents with additional safety.
Pictured above from left to right: RTSV’s Program Manager Victoria, a happy Seven Trees homeowner, and Valerie stand in front of a successfully installed video doorbell.
Valerie’s dedication to her local community and the life-changing repair work we complete here at RTSV has been clear since the start of her service term. So much so, that when it came time for Valerie to develop her annual service project, she looked for ways to harness our partnerships and multiply our impact. Typically at RTSV we support low-income residents and prevent people on the brink of losing their homes from doing so. We rarely get the chance to directly support those that are experiencing homelessness in real time. After the inclimate winter we have been having and in discussions with the Salvation Army of Silicon Valley, Valerie recognized how great the need among the local unhoused community is for items to keep them dry, safe and warm. According to the city of San Jose in 2022, there are over 6,650 unhoused individuals living in rough conditions in tents, makeshift shelters, or vehicles. Items like sleeping bags, backpacks, blankets, and 2-piece sweater suits of all sizes and genders help to keep these people dry, warm and safer from the elements. Quickly, Valerie realized she could plan a successful community drive and capitalize on the gracious generosity of the RTSV community!
This AmeriCorps Basic Needs Drive will be coordinated by Valerie, a partnership with RTSV and The Salvation Army Silicon Valley, an organization focused on providing resources and services to meet human needs without discrimination. From providing a home for unhoused individuals to hot, nutritious meals for older adults, The Salvation Army Silicon Valley is committed to serving our community where the need is greatest. Valerie will focus on collecting new or gently used sleeping bags, backpacks, blankets, and 2-piece sweat suits of all sizes and genders to be distributed to shelters for the unhoused that support individuals experiencing homelessness in our community. Valerie’s goal is to collect a minimum of 100 items by our National Rebuilding Day on Saturday, April 29th.
Pictured above: Valerie’s AmeriCorps Community Drive announcement.
Read below for details.
Valerie hopes that by deepening the relationship between Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley and The Salvation Army Silicon Valley, our organizations will be able to work on projects in the future together that benefit all of our local community members in need. She is hopeful that with the success of this first Community Drive, this can be an annual event that would inspire our community to give back and make a signficant difference in the lives of our fellow community members.
Participating in this drive is a great way to connect with your community and make a small but significant impact! Once these items are collected, Valerie will work with The Salvation Army to identify the appropriate local shelters for the unhoused with the greatest need to distribute the items to.
Valerie’s AmeriCorps Basic Needs Drive
Who: Hosted by Valerie Mistumori, RTSV’s AmeriCorps Program Coordinator in partnership with The Salvation Army Silicon Valley, is collecting items for local shelters for the unhoused to be distributed to individuals experiencing homelessness.
What: A Basic Needs Drive collecting new or gently used sleeping bags, backpacks, blankets, and 2-piece sweat suits. Val is collecting all types of items regardless of gender, age, or size.
When: April 1st – April 29th
Drop by the RTSV Office, Monday – Friday from 9am – 4pm.
If you have items you’d like to donate outside of these hours, contact Valerie at or 408-578-9519 Ext. 1010 for more information on how to do this.
Where: Drop off items at:
Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley
1701 South 7th Street #10
San Jose CA, 95112
How Can I Help: Donate new or gently used sleeping bags, backpacks, blankets, and any size or gender’s 2-piece sweat suits, or share this article with your family and friends to help spread the word! Help Valerie continue her service to our community and reach her goal of collecting 100 items by April 29th!
Pictured above: Valerie and her daughter Ava greet our community at an outreach event.
At RTSV, we believe that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home and we are proud to be supporting Valerie’s efforts to provide comfort and safety to those experiencing homelessness in our community. At RTSV we know that our community steps up when called on to help…. With your support, we can help make Valerie’s AmeriCorps Basic Needs Drive a big success!
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