Around East County: Working Wonders, Nonprofit Year of the Brentwood Room


At the end of last year, the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce sent a notice to social media to find out which nonprofit groups could qualify as Brentwood's non-profit by the year 2018. The The largest business organization in the city has listed 28 non-profit organizations eligible for the contest. When results were counted and recently announced, one of the newest non-profit organizations won the award. It's been two years since the doors opened for just eight months and it seems that Working Wonders Brentwood has already made a strong impression in the community.

"Much of the credit goes to my husband, Matt Schwab," said Christine Schwab, group director. "He is really good at raising awareness and talking to a lot of people about what we do, which has created good relationships and opportunities."

As parents of a son with special needs, the Schwabs have been working to put this program in place with other influential members of the community to find viable programs for young adults with disabilities. special needs. Their mission is to serve adults with intellectual disabilities in their community by providing them with lasting opportunities to improve their lives. The program is open to youth 22 and older, as it is about the age of young adults with disabilities who drop out of local school programs.

Groups focus on activities focused on art, professional skills and fitness. A day in the life of one of the eight students currently enrolled in the program could be volunteered at the Brentwood Library for Friends of the Library in their used book store. The group can be found dusting tablets, adding books or bringing books to one of the group's satellite stations. On other days, they deliver sandwiches to Brentwood's Dino's Sandwich Shop or clean the rooms at Antioche's Special Haven.

"They really like doing the work," said Schwab. "It gives them the feeling that they play an important role, and give them a chance to see what a job looks like."

Currently, the group is limited to eight people, but Schwab says it hopes to double the number of young adults in June, by which time they can expand. Working Wonders has young adults from Discovery Bay to Oakley. The organization will be honored on March 15 at the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce 2019 Annual Awards Gala – A Night at the Diablo Club. For more information on the annual Awards Night and how to get tickets, visit the Chamber's website at:

Spring Heritage Hikes: Hikers will have the opportunity to walk the trails on March 16th inside generally forbidden areas offering panoramic views of the foothills. The hikes include a scenic hike through the Marsh Creek Regional Historic Park and the surrounding foothills led by the John Marsh Historic Trust, as well as a hike through the Marsh Creek Reservoir, led by the Flood Control and Rescue District. water conservation of Contra Costa County.

"Heritage hikes, like other activities we've been able to organize, barely illustrate what we expect from this park," said Rick Lemyre, General Manager, Marsh Historic Trust. "This time we thought it would be nice to show a spring smidgen."

Ger Erickson and Harry York will lead the Vista Hike at Marsh Creek Regional Historic Park. Lemyre stated that this hike climbed moderate slopes and gave a glimpse of most of the park and other connected open spaces of the East Bay Regional Park District, Mount Diablo State Park and County Flood Control District.

The second hike, which they describe as a tank hike, will be led by Paul Detjens of the Flood Control District. It is on flat ground and goes around the Marsh Creek Reservoir. Both hikes start at 9:00 and last about 90 minutes. Plan to arrive around 8:30 in the morning. Tickets are $ 20 for adults, $ 10 for ages 7 to 13 and can be purchased at:

The hikes are both on land that was once part of John Marsh's Rancho Los Meganos, established in 1838. Both hikes start from the John Marsh Garden, where the Bidwell-Bartleson party arrived in 1841, becoming the first emigrants to reach California by crossing the Sierra Nevada. Heritage hikes depart from the western end of the historic California Trail, which is 3,000 km long.

Roni Gehlke can be reached at