Here are some fun paparazzi shots from The Center’s Black & White Gala held on 08/24/19. It was a LOT of fun! One of the best!

Watch the Contra Costa Crisis Center’s film that had its debut at The Gala on 08/24/2019. It may be hard to watch, but you will learn how The Center is changing lives one at a time.

Contra Costa Crisis Center Film

Here is the film that was produced for the Contra Costa Crisis Center. It had its debut on Sat night on 08/24 at a black tie affair. Here is the speech intro that Adam Reeves gave for the film and the reason for creating it. The film can be a bit hard to watch.Speech:My name is Adam Reeves.A little over a year ago, I volunteered to be a part of this great organization.I knew nothing about The Center. I had never even heard of it. So, I made it my mission to get the word out there and tell everyone about the great services The Center provides.I personally volunteer in the call center. The center is staffed 24 / 7 with volunteers and staff that do an amazing job. When that phone rings, you have no idea what you may be dealing with:- a mother who can’t find work or provide food for her family- a young boy who is being picked on and bullied at school and is considering ending his life at the age of only 12- an elderly man who has outlived all his relations and friends and has no one to talk to- a young girl who has run away from her home after being sexually abused by her father since she was eight and thinks it is all her fault- a parent who is afraid their teenager may be considering suicide and they don’t know how to talk to him- a friend who is concerned because his best friend is cutting himself in the next roomEach of the previous scenarios are calls that I personally have handled. There are so many stories that pour in to The Center, and The Center makes a difference!!With the help of my cinematographer, David N. Sachs, we did our best to show you just a small part of what The Center is all about in “Bringing Hope and Light to the Darkness”.You will see some very raw and emotional testimonials, which may be hard to watch, but the main purpose in producing this film was to show how “With Help Comes Hope”. And I hope you will all consider helping us in bringing hope.

Posted by Contra Costa Crisis Center on Friday, August 30, 2019

Come on out to the FREE Orinda Jazz Festival on Sunday, September 8th, at Orinda Community Church. There will be performances from many, including: London-based Cabaret Star Holly Penfield, jazz vocalists Eve Marie Shahoian and Kay Kostopoulos, guitarist/bassist Pato Milo, Ted Parker and The Caldecats, accordionist Patricia Henning, Ed Ivey’s North Beach Brass Band, pianist Leland Thunes, harpist Jack Pantaleo, flutist Nancy Tyler, drummer Jon Weiner, vocalist Alvenson Ikemba, pianist Walter Pope, Captain Didgeridoo, flutist/vocalist Carol Alban, and others.
The show is from 4-6:30 pm and also features a special surprise guest Grammy-winning violinist!

Admission is free. Donations will be accepted for the Contra Costa Crisis Center.
All ages welcome! Free parking. The venue is a 15-minute walk from the Orinda BART station. For more information email Carol Alban at The Crisis Center is so grateful for the support! Hope to see you there on Sunday, Sept 8th.

How would you like to sit in the Madden Box Seats for TWO to one of the upcoming games!! Now is your chance.

Come to the Contra Costa Crisis Center Gala and bid on some great prizes from John Madden autographed football helmet to games to tickets to collectible wines from the Football Hall of Fame!!

The fundraiser is coming up on August 24th!! Get your tickets now by going to this link!!!


Congratulations to Ron Potts, the recipient of the Annual “Judy Guthrie Volunteer Appreciation and Recognition Brunch” Volunteer of the Year Award for 2019!

Sunday, July 21st, 2019 was a day of appreciation for all the many volunteers and staff that contribute in making the Contra Costa Crisis Center the best it can be! All of them work tirelessly to ensure that we fulfill our mission to keep people alive and safe, help them through crises, and provide or connect them with culturally relevant resources in the community.

Many of the attendees came from the Leftovers Thrift Shop, which operates entirely through the staff of volunteers who sort, price, create displays, and sell merchandise. Since the shop was founded in 1976, it has never had a paid employee.

And other attendees came from our call center’s hotline, which operates 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, and serves as a touchstone for the community. Answering nearly 70,000 calls a year, the 211 Information and Referral program, assists to connect individuals and families in need to agencies that provide emergency shelter, food, mental health and substance abuse counseling and hundreds of other services.

Thank you all for your volunteer work. Thank you all for attending.

And a special thank you to Ron Potts, our Volunteer of the year!

We wish to thank our Wonderful Sponsors for the upcoming Contra Costa Crisis Center Black & White Gala on August 24th!!

Silver Circle

Bronze Circle

The CC Crisis Center is filming a documentary about The Center and all the great work it does.

The film includes our Executive Director Tom Tamura introducing us to The Crisis Center.

It will include testimonials from parents and spouses who have lost loved ones due to suicide or sudden death and how The Center helped with the loss and grieving process for them.


Also, for the first time, you will get to see inside The Contra Costa Crisis Center.
You will see the “Memorial Wall”, the grief rooms, the call center, the group therapy meeting rooms, and more.

This film will have its debut at The Black and White Gala to be held on August 24th.
For reservations, click here.

The Center handles:

  • 24 hour crisis line
  • grief counseling
  • information and referral
  • mobile grief response
  • outreach and education
  • community projects

Keep checking back for more information on this wonderful film.

 – and the Crisis Center will be one of the beneficiaries!

Lafayette Juniors will host their 19th Annual Kitchen Tour on Saturday, May 19th, from 10am to 3pm. This year’s Tour benefits our organization as well as four other local non-profits dedicated to helping women, families, and individuals in need. It’s a special chance to see six beautiful Lafayette homes for a great cause, with masterfully designed modern, elegant, and awe-inspiring kitchens.  Tour tickets are $50 ($45 tax deductible). You can purchase tickets online at


The start of spring can bring a renewed sense of purpose, a time to commit or recommit to goals and intentions, a sense of renewal and returning energy,  and a time to set priorities for the coming months.

For those in the non-profit and social services sector, a renewed commitment to practicing self-care should be at the top of our list. Self-care is often stressed as a core competency or mandate for those in the social services sector, yet many of us struggle to develop and sustain meaningful self-care practices.

Self-care is far from self-indulgence, rather it is the safeguard against burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary trauma. Without self-care practices, we are attempting to carry out our daily task and fulfill our agencies mission without the necessary resources or equipment.

Developing your own self-care plan 

Unsure where to start?  The  University of Buffalo, School of Social Work has developed an online self-care starter kit that is an excellent resource for those who have been working in the social services sector for a few weeks to a few decades.  The kit includes tools to help you assess your coping strategies, identify your stressors, and develop a plan to help you build healthy habits and practices and protect against compassion fatigue.

You can see the full self-care starter kit here.

This year’s events remind us the unexpected and unthinkable can happen at any time.  Our hearts and thoughts are with everyone touched by tragedy.  Hurricanes, earthquakes, the devastating wildfires caused untold destruction and loss of life.  They’ve left many feeling vulnerable and anxious.

Where would you turn in a time of crisis for support?  Who listens to your fears?

We do.  Our Crisis Center volunteers are here to help and to listen, just as they have since we first opened in 1963.  That’s why your support is more critical than ever.   Please consider a gift this year.

In addition to crisis intervention, we provide grief support and our 2-1-1 line which helps people make timely connections to safety-new resources.  And to support the safety net, we recently added Share the Spirit and Corporate Volunteer Week.  Donors like you make this possible, alongside our dedicated board, volunteers and staff.  Together we create a safety net for anyone in need, whatever their income, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or citizenship status. 

Rob Park, board member, has seen the value of safety-net services firsthand.

He is a psychologist at Kaiser Permanente, working with children, adolescents, and families throughout Contra Costa County.  He knows how emotional stress and catastrophic events impact individuals and families.

Rob said, “The Crisis Center is such an important safety-net for the entire county.  Working in the mental health field, I understand the vital role a crisis intervention volunteer fills when someone is in deep distress.  What I didn’t know is that volunteers and staff receive calls from individuals and families in all types of crisis – from homelessness and food insecurity to joblessness, elder abuse and drug addiction.  Staff maintains an extensive database so we can provide current information on local services.”

“What surprised me most is that this critical work is not fully publicly funded.  That means each year, to keep these call lines open, the Crisis enter needs to reach out and ask our donors to support this life affirming work.  I’ve never viewed myself as a fundraiser, but I am inspired by our dedicated staff and volunteers.  The Crisis Center is an amazing asset to the community and I want people to know about it and support this work.

Our trained volunteers, dedicated staff and generous donors, like you, keep our work alive so we can be here when needed.  In 2017, we’ve received 23,738 calls on the 2-1-1 line from people seeking basic assistance or shelter.  Our crisis lines received 20,626 crisis intervention calls.

Please give generously.  Your donations shares light and hope with the lives of so many.  On behalf of the Crisis Center volunteers, board, and staff, I thank you for your support.



Mary Vradelis, Interim Executive Director