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Volunteer Tommy Yu: IT Expert Gives Back to St. Anthony’s Tech Lab

April 27, 2023

April is Global Volunteer Month, a time to celebrate everyone who is working to make a positive difference in their communities. This month, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the heartbeat of St. Anthony’s, our incredible volunteers. We want to recognize the 4,000+ volunteers we depend on annually to make our work possible uplifting those most in need 365 days a year.

Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in San Mateo and have always been interested in technology from an early age. I enjoy building my own computers and helping my family and friends with their tech issues. I turned that into a career in public service, having worked in local government IT for the past 17 years, supporting technology for public safety and local services for the community. I’ve worked in all different levels of IT. I started from help desk, desktop support, fixing computers, and moved my way up to an analyst, and worked on servers and networking. I’m now an IT manager for a City in the South Bay.

What made you start volunteering?
I wanted to look for opportunities to give back to the community. In my past, I’ve always been fortunate with my experiences and my career, and I wanted to give back where there’s a need with my skillsets in technology and IT to people who could need support. It could be basic things – set up an email account, help them with their resume, or any kind of research.

After I moved to San Francisco, I was looking for local opportunities, and that’s where I found St. Anthony’s Tech Lab, and so far, it’s met my goals to serve different communities and communities in need.

What keeps you volunteering at St. Anthony’s?
Bridging the digital divide and doing my part in serving the community. Understanding the people who live here, the kind of issues they have in terms of technology, and it helps in my career as well – working in local government, we serve the residents of that community – and seeing people of different levels; what kind of issues they have with technology, are they gaining the right resources, do they have access to information, and seeing what kind of challenges there are in San Francisco that might relate to other cities. I can see first hand what works and bring back ideas to make improvements.

“It definitely has given me a better appreciation of the challenges, and it’s given me more empathy and understanding for the people of all walks of life who live in the city and the struggles they deal with everyday.”

Tommy Yu

How has volunteering impacted you?
It definitely has given me a better appreciation of the challenges, and it’s given me more empathy and understanding for the people of all walks of life who live in the city and the struggles they deal with everyday. It makes me think about what I’ve taken for granted and recognizing that not everyone is as fortunate. 

Of St. Anthony’s Five Values (Community, Gratitude, Healing, Personalism, Justice), is there one that stands out most to you?
Community and gratitude are big for me. Through most of my life, my family was fortunate enough that we didn’t face the housing or food insecurity challenges that we see prevalent in San Francisco and other communities. Having that gratitude and being able to give back…(I’m) being a technical resource for people who need it. It’s been a humbling experience for me.

St. Anthony Foundation offers several volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups. St. Anthony’s Tech Lab offers volunteer opportunities at 150 Golden Gate Avenue, 3rd Floor. For more information about the Tech Lab Support Specialist volunteer position and to apply, click HERE. For more information about volunteering, click the link HERE, and to view volunteer opportunities throughout the foundation, click HERE.

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