Young Marines help feed the hungry on Veterans Day.

Today, Veterans Day, a Celebration of Service was held at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park.

Several local organizations from around San Diego came together during the event to engage in service projects that help the community.

When I arrived at the museum in the early afternoon, I noticed that hard-working Young Marines were helping Feeding San Diego to assemble Thanksgiving boxes.

Every box makes a complete Thanksgiving dinner, minus a turkey. Those who are hungry during the holiday season will greatly appreciate the kindness of others.

The Veterans Day event is part of the #ThanksToVeterans Tour, which has traveled across the United States to celebrate the service and contributions of Veterans.

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I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Geek culture helps military veterans!

Some very cool people are helping military veterans by bringing them the joys of geek culture and video gaming.

Stack Up is the name of the organization. They have a table outside Comic-Con, near the “pirate ship” behind the San Diego Convention Center.

Serving far from home or coming back into civilian life can be difficult for veterans. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories in the news. Or you have friends or family with experience. Feelings of isolation. Anxiety. Depression. Or worse.

Stack Up provides these veterans with community and fun!

They send video games to deployed troops; they offer veterans trips to cool geek culture events; they engage in community outreach; and they provide mental health support through online community.

It’s a uniquely awesome way to help those who’ve sacrificed.

If you want to learn more about Stack Up, and perhaps get connected, or help them out, click here!

If you’d like to view my coverage of Comic-Con so far, which includes hundreds of cool photographs, click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A special little garden in the Gaslamp.

In San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, near the south end of Fifth Avenue, you’ll find a very special garden. Located in the public plaza often referred to as Gaslamp Square, the tiny garden beautifies the front of the Tin Fish restaurant.

A plaque explains why the garden is special.

It states:

THIS TINY GARDEN IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MICHAEL PATRICK BROWN, WHO LOVED LIFE AND TRIED TO MAKE THIS SPACE BEAUTIFUL. IT IS ALSO DEDICATED TO ALL VICTIMS OF PANCREATIC CANCER.

Those who find joy in the small garden are urged to go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, which is here. One can donate in Mike’s name.

Michael operated the popular Tin Fish Gaslamp for many years. It’s a place where many happy memories have been made.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You missed Red Shoe Day? Donate online!

It’s Red Shoe Day in San Diego!

Volunteers hanging out at busy intersections this morning were collecting donations for the Ronald McDonald House, which helps sick kids who are being treated at local hospitals, providing a nearby place for their families to stay!

Did you miss an opportunity to place some money in a red shoe this morning? Well, you can donate online. Do it here!

Thank you!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sunflowers in Escondido help Ukrainian refugees!

An effort is underway in Escondido to help refugees who’ve fled Ukraine during the Russian invasion.

I saw numerous beautiful paintings of sunflowers on display at the 2022 Escondido Street Festival today. Sunflowers are the national flower of Ukraine.

The bright, optimistic paintings were created by artists who belong to the Escondido Art Association. Their project is called Sunflowers for Ukraine. Purchases and donations go to World Central Kitchen, which is feeding displaced Ukrainians.

Want to learn more?

Visit the Escondido Art Association’s website by clicking here! They’ve already raised ten thousand dollars!

Feeling inspired by this project? But you don’t live in Escondido? Certainly there are many artists who can paint sunflowers where you live! You can grow sunflowers like these, too!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Would you like to read a happy short story about sunflowers and spreading kindness? Then click here!

A hamburger and Vista’s old Wishing Well.

In Vista, California there’s a Wishing Well that is several generations old. It has gathered pennies in one spot for almost three quarters of a century.

Curious eyes can discover this small Wishing Well across the driveway of Pepper Tree Frosty, right next to their outdoor eating area.

I happened to see it today while waiting for my order of a hamburger at the walk-up window. I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a wishing well. When’s the last time you’ve seen one?

I learned from Dan, the friendly owner of Pepper Tree Frosty, that the well was created in the 1950’s by the Lions Club.

Pepper Tree Frosty, a popular ice cream and fast food destination at 270 South Santa Fe Avenue, was originally a Tastee-Freez, built in 1953. When acquired by Dan’s family years later, it was renamed for the pepper trees lining the nearby creek.

Dan said that coins dropped into the shallow, ornamental Wishing Well go to the Boys and Girls Clubs, although donations came to a long pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the way, my hamburger and fries were super good!

(There’s an image of Pepper Tree Frosty in a cool mural in downtown Vista! I’ll be posting those photos soon! As “well” as more interesting stuff I saw today in Vista!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Mosaic at God’s Extended Hand building.

There’s an elaborate, quite beautiful tile mosaic mural outside the old God’s Extended Hand building in San Diego’s East Village. You can see it at the corner of 16th Street and Island Avenue.

The colorful mural is overflowing with compassionate messages and religious imagery, including Christ as a shepherd carrying a lamb.

The God’s Extended Hand ministry endured for 96 years, feeding the homeless and hungry, until it closed down a few months ago. Father Joe’s Villages will be redeveloping the site, creating more affordable housing and support for the homeless downtown. I don’t know whether these mosaics will be preserved.

I walked past part of the artwork this morning and took these photos. I only photographed the wall along 16th Street. Some people camped on the sidewalk were by the other wall on Island Avenue.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

How kids in hospitals become superheroes!

Young patients in the hospital or an outpatient setting have the opportunity to become superheroes!

Kids can gain amazing superpowers (and smiles) with the help of the Healing Little Heroes Foundation!

The HLH Foundation brings encouragement, happiness and hope to sick and disabled children, especially those with cancer. How? By helping kids play the role of superhero!

I met Dr. Justin Wu today. He’s co-founder of the HLH Foundation. We met at the Fandom Invasion event today in Escondido. He brought three cool cars along which kids love, including Lightning McQueen from the animated movie Cars!

Justin is an unselfish, enthusiastic guy who is changing people’s lives–and the world–for the better.

Want to learn more? Click here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can help homeless people in San Diego.

Homeless man walks through life with his stuff.

Seven years ago I published 20 Ways To Help the Homeless in San Diego. This special page lists twenty organizations and initiatives that can use your help, to reach and assist homeless people all around San Diego.

This morning I revised the page. I’ve removed links to charitable operations and websites that no longer exist, added others.

If you find it in your heart, please visit this page again. There are many opportunities to volunteer, mentor, donate, provide hope.

Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to help out in your own way.

Have a great day!

Richard

Making Strides Hope Tree blooms.

The Making Strides Hope Tree was blooming in San Diego this morning.

I walked into Balboa Park after the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event had come to a close.

Workers had begun to disassemble canopies. A few remaining participants were trickling out of the park.

But the Hope Tree remained.

The Making Strides Hope Tree is an opportunity to dedicate a pink ribbon tribute in memory of a lost loved one or in honor of someone who has or is currently battling breast cancer.

If you’d like to make a donation to fight breast cancer, click here.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!