Since Foothills' founding in 1961, we have been engaged in loving and serving our neighbors locally and globally.
Explore below a few ways we have shared God's love through the years.
Foothills has a long tradition of Service Trips for youth and adults. Recently our youth have chosen to focus on two main justice issues, housing and the environment.
As a church family we are lucky. While some of us have experienced housing insecurity in tough economic times, we have adequate shelter. We have a wish that all people could have adequate shelter and we work towards a day when our wish will come true. A recent “build” trip worked on housing for the Navajo Nation while also conducting a day camp for local children. In 2019 a group went to Smith River, CA, where they joined other youth groups from around the west to work on community building and repair projects.
Past Service Trips
2019 Sierra Service Project, Smith River, CA
2018 Experience Mission, Black Mesa, Navajo Nation, AZ
2017 Blue Theology Mission Station, Pacific Grove, CA
2016 Sierra Service Project, Stockton, CA
2015 Camp Restore, New Orleans, LA
2014 Sanctuary One, Jacksonville, OR
2013 Amor Ministries, San Carlos Apache Reservation, AZ
2012 Sanctuary One, Jacksonville, OR
2011 Amor Ministries, Apache Reservation, Globe, AZ
2010 Lassen National Park, CA
School and Water project in Eregi, Kenya
One of our most memorable and special projects sprang from the dream of an immigration lottery winner from Kenya in 2007. Stanley Imbali and his family came from their tiny home village of Eregi, a village of about 14,000 people in Western Kenya near Lake Victoria. He soon connected with Foothills through his new employer, Sandra Overton, a church member who needed a home health aide.
Stanley told Sandra about his dream of buying a book for each child in the village and later about the need for running water in the village. Fundraising efforts targeted for books started right away, at first consisting of collecting used plastic bottles to redeem for cash, but rapidly switching to a series of authentic African dinners prepared by Stanley and his wife Schola at the home of Sandra.
By 2016 enough money was raised to provide one book for each of the 640 children at the Ikhulili Primary School. As of now there are also textbooks in many subjects for elementary grade students and a tile floor replacing the previous dirt one. Amazingly, the village went from the bottom 3% of Kenyan school scores to the 97% in the country in 2017. We couldn’t be more pleased or proud to see the impact of our joint efforts in raising some $12,000.
Bringing potable water directly to the village has been phase 2 of Stanley’s dream. Nearly $63,000 has been donated to this effort to date, again from Foothills Church and its wider community of friends and neighbors here and abroad. At this time the first part of the project has been completed. The spring has been refurbished, the pipelines have been dug and pipe installed, the storage tank on the hill is in place and there are four distribution tanks in the village so that the women and children of the village do not have to walk one and a half miles to get water. Clean and safe spring water is now available to everyone in the village and no one has to walk more than 100 yards to get it.
The only remaining task is to raise money to buy a large steel storage tank to which water can be pumped. The current plastic tank is both a bit small so the water supply is not adequate and will degrade over time in the tropical sun.
Checks for tax-free contributions to the Kenyan Book and Water Project Fund may be made out to Foothills Congregational Church, 461 Orange Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94022. Please call the church office if you would like to speak with Stanley or others involved with this special project.
And … another dream or two, not ever really expressed, but clearly fulfilled: Stanley now has a college degree as a psychiatric technician and is a California state employee. And his son, Brian, is now at Cornell on a full scholarship pursuing his Ph.D. in the sciences.
Saturday of Service
In 2018, we held our first Saturday of Service. Some 90 church members of all ages gathered their energies, talents and love of people, animals and plants, even for our very first organized day of service.
Following a rallying breakfast and benediction in the Parish Hall, volunteers from the church volunteered at seven sites, including Collective Roots, Deer Hollow Farm, Pandemonium and Haven House. A large lively and dedicated crowd based in the Parish Hall assembled bags for female veterans through Operation Care & Comfort, created exquisite cards for shut-ins and our troops overseas, and made cozy fleece blankets for shelter animals.
Operation Care & Comfort
Operation Care and Comfort (OCC) is an all volunteer 501(c) (3) organization that provides support and comfort to units of deployed U.S. military service members, serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict regions. Periodically, Foothills members and friends collect items including hygiene supplies, food, flip flops, holiday cards, newspapers and Halloween candy and then participate in packing the items together to be sent to our troops abroad. Many hands make quick work and you can be sure that our troops appreciate every item they receive.
Day of Donation
From 1962 to 2018 Foothills held an annual rummage sale. Read more about the sale and its many benefits to the community in the Los Altos Town Crier.
In 2019, in lieu of the rummage sale, the church held a Day of Donation. Over 11,640 pounds of goods were donated by Foothills members, raising over $1600 for the Mentor Tutoring Connection.