San Francisco Fleet Week in October celebrated the Bay Area naval tradition and honored the women and men serving in our armed forces.
St. Anthony’s was honored to host service members for a special day of Fleet Week volunteering again this year, continuing an annual tradition. Fleet Week’s 2018 day of service began with our Justice Education orientation, which highlights the history and characteristics of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood as well as the homeless, low-income, and vulnerable populations that St. Anthony’s programs serve. After the presentation concluded, the Fleet Week volunteers made their way to our Dining Room and Free Clothing Program to begin their volunteering shifts.
Br. Thomas, who volunteers weekly at St. Anthony’s, spoke to us about how volunteering at St. Anthony’s has changed his relationship to people who are homeless.
“Being a friar makes it really easy to have one’s own world and to live in that world. Volunteering forces me to step out of that bubble. Homelessness is no longer just a word or a concept when I come here, rather it has a face and a name and it is someone that I know—and that roots me into the larger picture. That is part of my larger take away from volunteering here—“I am here to help the homeless”, has become “I am here to help Antonio”, it is about real people, and that is grounding.”
“It’s comforting to know that you can walk away from St. Anthony’s and trust that these people will be getting a meal. It’s a huge burden lifted.”
In July, a group of San Francisco Giants’ Wives and their families visited our Free Clothing Program to give out 50 Project Night Night gift bags and volunteer with our youngest guests.
Our giveaway was truly one for the books—the Giants’ Wives came with loving smiles, open arms, and a bounty of basic nighttime essentials.
“What stood out the most was the experience of receiving such thoughtful gifts from such influential people in our community. Our guests wanted to get their pictures taken with the Giants’ Wives, they wanted to talk with them, share photos of their family, and connect beyond the donations,” said Jenna Fiore, Free Clothing Program Assistant Manager.
The Giants’ Wives were overjoyed with the opportunity to help our community members in need and to provide them with items that they can put to good use.
Giant’s wife Amanda said, “I feel it’s important to give back to the community. We have been very blessed and it’s important to pay it forward. It’s a small thing, but I hope it puts a smile on the faces of the children.”
Our Free Clothing Program serves 150 children, women, and men per day, providing fresh, clean clothing at no cost. If you’d like to learn more about this program, watch a short clip or sign up for a volunteer shift!
Happy Friday! In celebration of the upcoming weekend we asked our volunteers to participate in a #FridayFeeling activity. The challenge: In one word, describe how volunteering at St. Anthony’s makes you feel. Here’s what they said:
Blessed, Loved, Valued, Fulfilled, Amazed, Humbled, Grateful, Appreciated, Affected, Moved, Reflective.
We were so excited to hear these powerful responses, and to feel so much love from our volunteers!
Each year, thousands of volunteers come through our doors to serve meals, sort clothes, offer tech training, and more to vulnerable San Franciscans. St. Anthony’s offers a variety of general, skilled, group, and corporate volunteer opportunities in our Dining Room, Free Clothing Program, and Tech Lab.
If you’d like to get involved with our community and volunteer with us, log in or create an account.
Christmas is a time of festivities and appreciation of family, friends, and life’s blessings. At St. Anthony’s, we try to make sure our guests feel connected and contented over the holidays too.
Our Christmas celebration brings our tight-knit community together – here, everyone is welcome to join our table and eat a delicious meal in a warm, dignified environment.
This year we teamed up with the Indiana Hoosiers football squad to pass out gifts, serve meals, and share stories with our guests. Christmas lunch this year included chicken, ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potato pie, and hot chocolate.
One of our guests, Leah, said, “At St. Anthony’s, Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s like your family doing something for you because they know you don’t have a lot of money.”
Thank you to everyone who helped make this celebration possible for our guests!
Shoutout to our Young Professionals Council for bringing 25 volunteers together to help us prepare for our best #BackToSchool Day ever.
The group helped transform our Community Room into a special shopping experience for nearly 200 low-income students who will join us tomorrow to pick out brand new backpacks, school supplies, books, tops, bottoms, coats, socks, shoes, underwear, and $50 Old Navy gift cards.
We hope every child leaves here feeling like their future’s so bright, they’ve gotta wear shades.
Check out photos from the event here.
For info or to get involved with our YPC, email heySAYPC@gmail.com.