“The Great Activity of Our Life is to Love.”

Yesterday marked what would have been the 113th birthday of our founder, Fr. Alfred Boeddeker. Fr. Al taught us that “the great activity of our life is to love,” so our chefs poured their hearts into an extra special meal to honor his memory: 2,600 orders of grilled steak, salad, and garlic fries for our guests. Get a glimpse of the man who started “The Miracle of Jones Street” in this 1954 documentary...

42 Million Meals Served Since 1950

Today marks a major milestone for St. Anthony’s: 42 million meals served with dignity & respect in our Dining Room. We like to say that the measure of a great city is how it treats its most vulnerable residents. Thank you, San Francisco, for supporting us through 65 years of ‪hope served daily. “St. Anthony’s makes me feel like someone loves me. That someone cares. Out here that’s very hard to find. It’s a family—and I always come home to family.” Check out ABC 7’s coverage...

Saving Change to Change Lives

9-year-old Lucky saved his change for a year to give his grandma a special birthday gift. Knowing she’s a long-time St. Anthony’s supporter, he decided to make a donation to us in her honor. And boy did that change add up. Attached to a handmade card that read “This is for the people with no food or shelter” was a hundred dollar bill. Lucky’s grandma brought him in to present the gift, so we took him him on a tour to see how his money would go to help those in need: food, clothing, counseling, technology training, medical care, housing assistance, and a whole lot more. His mom shared that the next day he was still thinking about his trip to the Tenderloin—that is was so wonderful and impactful for him to see how his gift was going to be used. Happy birthday, Grandma, and a huge thank you to Lucky for saving change to change...

“God Draws with Crooked Lines”

Each year St. Anthony’s celebrates our founder, Father (Fr.) Alfred Boeddeker, by giving an award in his name to those who carry out his mission to “feed, heal, shelter, clothe, and lift the hearts of those in need.” This year, the award will honor Fr. John Hardin, OFM, a man who followed Fr. Alfred by becoming a Franciscan and by serving hope daily at St. Anthony’s. As Executive Director, Fr. John helped reshape St. Anthony’s programs to fit changing needs in a changing economy. He helped prepare the organization for the demands of the 21st century by replacing our deteriorated original building with two new, more efficient ones. He has been noted for connecting emotionally with our guests, and for his Franciscan qualities of personalism and joy. John Hardin graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in mathematics and was successful in the transportation business before entering the Franciscans. On his first trip overseas, John was eating dinner at the Floating Restaurant in Hong Kong harbor when he looked out and saw a group of boat people coming in from Vietnam. “The nickel dropped. I was having a great time and not worrying about anything, and here were these people who had barely survived a very dangerous journey to escape Vietnam and certainly did not know where they were going to get their next meal.” Once at home, he went to a retreat center and met the Franciscans for the first time. He has now been in the order for thirty-five years. Fr. John lived at St. Boniface with Fr. Alfred from 1986 to 1991. “Alfred’s motto was:...

Fully Invested

Priya, a dedicated volunteer in our Dining Room, is also a professional economist. When she arrived in the US in the spring of 2014 she was shocked by the poverty and inequity she witnessed in San Francisco: “You can’t NOT see it!” Within two months of her arrival, Priya began volunteering at St. Anthony’s. In addition to the Dining Room, she’s also volunteered in our Free Clothing Program, at our annual Curbside Donation Drives, and most recently—in our Emergency Winter Shelter. Indeed, how can anyone not see how people are struggling to survive? Nevertheless, a painfully obvious poverty is too often ignored or viewed as an eyesore to be swept away. Priya has a website dedicated to revealing “the Hidden America”, but “there’s only so much one can do by reading and writing. You need to get out and meet people.” And therein lies the hope. While speaking with Executive Director Barry Stenger, Priya says she was struck by something he said: “We don’t give people dignity… Dignity is intrinsic, but because of the challenges so many of our guests have been through, the sense of their own dignity can be deeply buried. What we do is try to restore that intrinsic dignity.” “Hope served daily” is the restoration of dignity Priya experiences when volunteering. “Really, it’s just the simple things—smiling, knowing and saying someone’s name, really listening to someone, remembering something they said and following up on that the next time you see them.” She too is served hope daily by “their indomitable spirit! When I ask someone how they are the answer is nearly always: ‘I’m blessed!’...

Super Bowl Kicks Off with Smiles at St. Anthony’s

Super Bowl Sunday kicked off with smiles at St. Anthony’s. Thanks to a generous donor, homeless veterans Orrin and Larry—one ex-Army, the other ex-Marines—headed to the big game with full VIP access, riding in style with a car service from the Tenderloin to Levi’s Stadium. This effort was made possible thanks to the generous efforts of our Dining Room volunteer John Fitzgerald, who found our veterans; PrimeSport, who provided VIP passes; David Raih, a coach for the Green Bay Packers; and Chris Raih of Zambezi who brought it all together. Cheers to Orrin and Larry’s super Sunday—let us work to make the rest of the year feel just as special for our underserved and overlooked brothers and...