Organic Greens for St. Anthony’s Guests

Garden for the EnvironmentThese donors are makin’ it rain organic greens down at St. Anthony’s Dining Room!

Students from the Urban Trailblazers youth leadership program teamed up with the Youth Stewardship Program to harvest kale, rainbow chard, and spinach from their garden in Golden Gate Park.

Thanks to their green thumbs and thoughtful gift, our guests will enjoy an extra special meal with ingredients grown right here in San Francisco.

Observations of Family Service

This post is from Carina, who is a high school intern at St. Anthony Foundation’s Free Clothing Program:

Family Service SampleDuring Family Service at St. Anthony’s Free Clothing Program, I see a lot of women coming with their children. These women are looking for clothing for their children, themselves, and their partners. On some days, Family Service can get hectic with the amount of guests who need help, but we survive. These women come to us to receive our help and to move forward with our help.  These women are happy when they can get something for their children. Women always ask for shoes and toys for their children. I see that these women always put their children before themselves. Their children are their priority and it will always be that way. Every parent’s priority should be their children.

What happens at Family Service?

Well, guests first check in then they can get one full outfit for every immediate family member that is currently living with them. For example, they could get an outfit for their husband/partner, their children, and themelves. Then they check out with Mariana who makes sure that guests are taking only one outfit per person on the list of their family members. After that, they get to go home with clothes that now belong to them.  We are also able to give goodie bags of hygiene products, such as shampoo, soap, body lotions, and body washes.

We are all proud to be part of St. Anthony Foundation and help families that are low-income, homeless, and in difficult situations. We love to make changes and we love to see change. The smiles we see on our families’ faces bring smiles to our faces because we are making a change. I know I repeat myself but I repeat myself because it is true that WE ARE MAKING A CHANGE TOGETHER!

Some facts about Family Service at St. Anthony’s:

St. Anthony Foundation has the only program in San Francisco that offers free clothing services for families.

There is an increased need for family services throughout all of St. Anthony’s programs.  We address these needs at our Free Dining Room with space set aside for our families to sit together, the only free pediatric services in the Tenderloin at our Medical Clinic, and of course, our clothing services at our Free Clothing Program.

In 2013, at our Free Clothing Program, we saw 1,450 families.  This included 2,856 children.  The average size of our families was ~4 members.

Back to School Event:

At our Free Clothing Program, we hold an annual Back to School event, providing necessities for our guests heading back to school.  We are focusing on reaching homeless children this year.  So far, we have partnered up with My New Red Shoes, which will be providing 230 pairs of shoes and gift packages for our guests!  We need the support of our community too to provide new backpacks and school supplies.  Please keep us in mind when back to school shopping.  We will be accepting contributions at 101 8th Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.  Thanks!

Bike-By Sock Drive for Feet on the Street

Bike-By Sock DriveThe San Francisco Bicycle Coalition & St. Anthony’s “Paired Up” for a Bike-By Sock Drive last week. In less than two hours, we collected nearly 500 pairs of socks, along with cash donations to buy even more. Bikers & walkers shot their socks through our tire hoop as they passed to loud cheers from the crowd.

Bare feet on the street can lead to major infections down the road. Clean, warm socks are cheap preventative medicine for those who need it most. Cheers to all our friends and neighbors who stopped by and supported our guests today, and to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition for setting up this awesome event!

Click here to check out photos.

Working Together for a Healthy Mid-Market

ttlVolunteers from Yammer Give Day shared their stories & experiences at St. Anthony’s. Here’s what they had to say:

“When I was growing up in a small town in New Hampshire the sense of community, and service to that community, was at the top of everyone’s mind. Moving to San Francisco, I felt that I lost a lot of that. St. Anthony’s changed my perception of this town. We arrived in waves throughout the day and spent time chopping vegetables, assembling hygiene kits and caring for those in this town that need it most. I got dirty— covered in cookie crumbs—and left feeling amazing.”  —Jim VanNest, Yammer QA

Yammer TTL“Being in Silicon Valley makes us forget that there are so many people who have never used a computer before. Volunteering at the Tenderloin Tech Lab was a great experience. We helped Norman who had stopped by at the lab to create a budget plan for a Children’s day care he was planning to start. We helped him create a spread sheet and use formulas. We also helped out a session where the instructor was teaching the class how to send an email and attach a file. Overall, I think the Tech Lab is a tech oasis in the middle of the Tenderloin allowing people free access to a computer. I will surely be back to help out !”
—Priyanka Phatak, Yammer Engineering

Yammer’s work with our guests helps strengthen the Mid-Market community. People in extreme poverty need to be connected with the basics—food, clothing, shelter—to begin their journey to self-sufficiency. These volunteer efforts are critical to the health of Mid-Market.


We’ve Got Mail!

Julia Neymark-1 st 2014 donorOur first knitting donation of the 2014 season arrived in the mail today.  Thank you very much Julia Neymark for kicking us off with a beautiful donation of three cozy hats and a lovely scarf.  St. Anthony’s Scarving Artists hand-crafted scarves or hats will be a source of comfort to those in our community who need it most.

Crafters like Julia know the satisfaction that comes with a challenge met and a project finished but they also know that their work blesses those who receive their hand-made works with a gift that come straight from the heart.

So get out your sticks and realize your potential to bring joy and comfort to those around you. Whether you have just picked up knitting needles for the first time or are a life-long knitter, you will discover new ways to share your beautiful creations with others while enjoying the peace that the rhythm of knitting brings to your life.


Reconnect This Holiday Season

At St. Anthony’s, dignity is always in season. This is especially true during the holidays when people yearn for a place where they feel welcome and appreciated. As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, we invite you to reconnect with the most sacred meaning of the holiday season: being part of a world where we celebrate the inherent dignity of all people.  Below, you’ll find the many ways you can make this holiday season a special one for low-income San Franciscans.

Spend a day at St. Anthony’s serving meals, decorating the Dining Room, carving turkeys, or pouring some piping hot cocoa. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is the chance to reconnect with hundreds of San Franciscans who spend a part of their holiday season at St. Anthony’s. For the first time in 2013, most volunteer shifts are just a click away. Check out our new online volunteer sign up system and choose a day that works for you. (If you are interested in volunteering on Thanksgiving or Christmas day, please call our holiday volunteer line at 415-592-2829.)

Drive by and drop off donations at our annual Curbside Donation Drive the week before Thanksgiving and the three days before Christmas. You’ll find teams of volunteers clad in bright red jackets lining the sidewalk outside of our temporary Dining Room at 150 Golden Gate Avenue. This year, we are collecting turkeys, hams, pantry items, unopened travel size hygiene items (especially shampoo, body wash, and toothbrushes and toothpaste), and new socks. We hope to collect 1,000 turkeys the week before Thanksgiving and 500 hams the week before Christmas. For more information, visit the events page on our website, or LIKE us on Facebook to get the real-time turkey tally and other updates.

Knit for St. Anthony’s:
Join thousands of crafters who send us hand-knit scarves and hats from around the world. Along with handmade cards, the scarves and hats will be given away as gifts for anyone who eats in our Dining Room on Christmas Day. Our goal for 2013 is to collect 5,000 scarves and hats. Find out how you can become a Scarving Artist here. We’ll share stories of people who have found a unique and heartwarming way to connect with the guests at St. Anthony’s, often times from miles away.

Tune into the Fight Hunger Bowl:
Huddle for hunger by tuning into the annual Fight Hunger Bowl on December 27th, the only collegiate bowl game that includes a philanthropic mission. The bowl will be a showdown between a team from the Pac-12 conference and BYU. St. Anthony’s will play host by including all of the players and staff of one of the teams as volunteers in our Dining Room on Christmas Day while Glide Memorial will host the other team in a friendly rivalry that has brought opponents together in the fight against hunger. Proceeds of the bowl have provided over 300,000 meals to people in need over the past 3 years. To find out more, visit the Hunger Bowl website.