December 2014 Newsletter

We're wrapping up another fruitful year at HOPE Collaborative! Thank you for your continued support in and collaboration on our projects. Check out our last updates and announcements for 2014 below.

HOPE Spotlight
Abdu Abdulalim from Three Amigos Market
Abdu Abdulalim, owner of Three Amigos Market.

This month, we would like to recognize Abdu Abdualim for his participation and commitment in HOPE's Healthy Corner Store Project.


Abdu's life is about business. He started his first business in third grade, making hard caramel candy at home and selling it at school.

Growing up in Eritrea, he loved soccer but there were some days when he couldn't play because the ball had a hole. As a young entrepreneur, he would take two damaged balls home, cut them, and sew them together to make one perfect ball. The next day, everyone wondered where he found a new ball. He takes what is given to him and makes it into something better. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and 10 years ago, he bought Three Amigos Market. 


Abdu improved the store by installing new shelves and floors and expanding the inventory. Now, his dream is to sell natural products, like back in Eritrea, where they didn't have junk foods. He increased the store's healthy food offerings by carrying fresh produce, which sold well, and plans to expand his selection of fresh produce to be displayed in front of the store to capture people's attention.


He and his wife have four kids, but when he is working at his store all day, his customers are his family. Abdu says, "You have to take care of the community like you take care of yourself. Money comes and goes, but relationships, brothers, sisters, family are not going to go away." Over 10 years, he has seen kids in the neighborhood grow up. Like family, he wants to make sure they are healthy. Similar to growing up in Eritrea, he is taking what he has and making it into something better.  


Come meet Abdu at Three Amigos Market and support the positive changes he is making. The store is located at 1554 Foothill Ave., Oakland, CA. 

Food Systems 
Build On at Three Amigos
Youth volunteers from BuildOn at Three Amigos corner store conversion work day.
Three Amigos Market is a neighborhood store on the border of the Eastlake and San Antonio neighborhoods of Oakland. The name suggests a Latino market, and the store does carry locally made tortillas from Oakland-based La Finca Tortilleria, but also sells a variety of other locally produced traditional foods to serve the culturally diverse neighborhood in which it is based, such as freshly baked Vietnamese breads and Eritrean sambusas, served hot. Abdu Abdulalim, owner of Three Amigos has worked at the store almost every day for the last 10 years. 

Three Amigos participates in HOPE's Healthy Corner Store Project, and over the past several months, we have been galvanizing community support for the store and making shifts in the store space. As part of this effort, HOPE partnered with BuildOn, a youth community service program, to host a workday at Three Amigos on November 8, 2014. Approximately 25 Oakland youth, including HOPE's Youth Action Board members, volunteered and participated in hands-on activities to redesign the store. Volunteers joined teams to reorganize store merchandise to highlight healthier items; remove signs for "unhealthy" products such as tobacco and alcohol; engage customers in taste testing healthy menu items, survey customers and pedestrians about their opinions of the store; and enter inventory into the store's brand new Point of Sale system.

Berenice Aragon, a high school student at Coliseum College Prep Academy (CCPA) says, "We all came together to make the store better and make it a better place."


HOPE plans to schedule future corner store workdays.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Anita Wong at


Built Environment 
Fall Rain, Coffee, and Community
Some of the volunteers from the Allen Temple Holiday Clean-up.

Two back-to-back community events took place on Saturday, November 22 to implement projects in the Elmhurst Neighborhood Plan. The first event was Allen Temple Baptist Church's Holiday Clean-Up, co-sponsored by Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), HOPE Collaborative, City of Oakland Public Works Department, and Block by Block Organizing Network (BBBON) D7. Following the cleanup was an information session on the Elmhurst Plan hosted by CBE, one of HOPE's Built Environment partners. 


Grey clouds filled the sky and there was heavy rain on the morning of, but 20 volunteers from partner organizations and Elmhurst residents, fueled up on coffee and baked goods contributed by HOPE and Arizmendi's bakery, gathered on 85th Ave and International Blvd. at 9am to pick up trash. The group split up into groups to collect litter along International Blvd., between 80th and 90th Ave.


Later in the day, CBE co-organized an information session at Tassafaronga Recreation Center that informed residents about the Elmhurst Neighborhood Plan and its goals to create a healthy and safe neighborhood. The session encouraged residents to join the Built Environment Action Team (BEAT) and to become community outreach advocates.


Keep an eye out for future events related to the Elmhurst Plan! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact 


Community Engagement
The HOPE Hangout
Esther, Paula, and Chanel at Obelisco for the first HOPE hangout.

HOPE has always prioritized the development of community members to improve conditions within the community through leadership development and skill-building opportunities. One activity to sustain the growth of community members at HOPE is a monthly meeting space to garner peer support for projects and creating a healthy balance between community work and their personal lives.


Recently, HOPE staff has worked with community members to redesign this space to better support Project Leaders and facilitate community-building. Instead of "just another meeting", we have created what we hope to be a more friendly "HOPE Hangout", a casual space, located in the community, for anyone involved with HOPE to come together to build community and break bread.


The first HOPE Hangout took place in November at Obelisco Restaurant, a local restaurant serving affordable, sustainably sourced food in Fruitvale Village. Project Leaders gathered to discuss the ins and outs of their projects, the difficulties of stirring community members to get more involved, and how their projects are a way for them to improve themselves and their communities. This new invigorating space is open to anyone. 


Please contact Anita Wong at if you would like more information or to attend the next HOPE Hangout that will be on January 26, 2015. 


Stay tuned for more updates from the HOPE Collaborative. You can also visit us at, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and like us on Facebook to find updates.

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In This Issue
HOPE Spotlight: Abdu Abdulalim
Build On at Three Amigos
Fall Rain, Coffee, and Community
The HOPE Hangout
Upcoming Events

HOPE New Member Orientation
on Wed., December 17 from 5-7pm at the 81st Ave Library (1021 81st Ave.)

Built Environment and You training on Thurs., December 18 from 4:30-6:30pm at the HOPE office (221 Oak St., Suite D) 

Built Environment Action Team
(BEAT) meeting on Tues., December 23 from 4-6pm at RISE Elementary (8521 A St.)
Alameda County Social Services Agency Farm Stand every Monday from 10am-2pm at Eastmont Self-Sufficiency Center (6955 Foothill Blvd.)

Every Saturday from 10am-3pm, get fresh and healthy produce at the Freedom Farmers Market (5316 Telegraph Ave.)
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� 2014 HOPE Collaborative


221 Oak St. Ste. D, Oakland, CA 94607 | Office: (510) 444-4133 | Fax: (510) 444-4819

 HOPE is a project of The Tides Center