Not At Home For The HolidaysDecember 24th, 2009
A Poet, A Newly Employed Grocery Store Worker, And Former Publicist All Spend Christmas At St. Anthony’s
SAN FRANCISCO, CA A poet, a newly employed grocery store worker, and a former publicist meet in a “soup kitchen”…It sounds like the beginning of a recession joke, but at St. Anthony’s Dining Room, San Francisco’s oldest and largest private congregate food program, this kind of amalgamation of life experiences isn’t uncommon. And why aren’t these people “home for the holidays”?
Scott, a published artist and poet, invited his 6 members of his family to join him volunteering on Christmas Day at St. Anthony’s to have a more meaningful holiday; Tim, who got the day off his new job as a grocery store worker, will be volunteering in the St. Anthony Dining Room to ‘give back’ for the help St. Anthony’s gave him with his sobriety; and Pam, the former publicist that is eating her Christmas meal in the Dining Room, is there because the SRO she now lives in doesn’t have a kitchen. This Christmas, all 3 of these very distinct personalities will share why they are NOT at home for the holidays, and why they are spending their Christmas in the Tenderloin at St. Anthony’s.
“This time last year I was in a really bad situation” noted volunteer and St. Anthony’s rehab program participant Tim Stewart. “This year I’m employed and volunteering on Christmas day to “give back”. And tomorrow I’ll be back at work!”
St. Anthony’s will serve an estimated 4,000 meals this Christmas, and will give out gifts of new socks, hats, toiletries, and chocolate bars to guests, thanks to donations and volunteer efforts of Gymboree, the Hilton, and the Palace Hotel.
St. Anthony Foundation’s programs help heal individuals and families with programs that provide a gateway out of poverty, including a Dining Room which serves 2600 meals every day, a free clothing program, a technology lab, residential drug and alcohol recovery program, and a free medical clinic. St. Anthony Foundation does not accept any federal, state, or local government money for its programs, and is entirely funded by private donations.