On December 13th, tech workers throughout San Francisco gave back to the community at One City Gives: Holiday Day of Action for Seniors in the Tenderloin, hosted by sf.citi and Meals on Wheels San Francisco.
The morning started bright and early at Onedome San Francisco, where volunteers gathered to wrap gifts, write holiday cards, and hear supportive remarks from several of San Francisco’s political, tech, and community leaders. Assemblymember David Chiu thanked all of the day’s participants for “taking a stance” to show “we actually care about folks, and we care about folks who are hungry.” District 6 Supervisor-elect Matt Haney and Meals on Wheels San Francisco Board Member José Allen also offered words of encouragement to nearly 150 employees from the city’s top tech companies before they set out to distribute holiday gifts to over 700 seniors in the Tenderloin.
All of you, I know, care deeply about the people in this city and want to see us do better. The first huge step—and I know this isn’t the first step for most of you—is to bring some compassion, and some joy, and some connection when you’re out there today.
–Supervisor-Elect Matt Haney, District 6
Max Levchin, Founder and CEO of Affirm, and sf.citi Executive Director Jennifer Stojkovic highlighted how One City Gives feeds into a long tradition of giving back and giving locally by San Francisco’s technology community.
At Affirm, one of our core values is “it’s on us,” meaning we don’t pass the buck and ensure we’re working to leave everything better than we found it. As a longtime resident of San Francisco, I have seen how the different waves of tech have impacted the city, and I believe there’s still room to be more involved. I’m excited to see the work sf.citi is doing to build a bridge between the tech industry and the community we live in.
–Max Levchin, Founder and CEO, Affirm
Although tech is often depicted as disengaged in the city, in just a few days, we registered over 150 volunteers from tech companies all over the city to participate in One City Gives—a clear demonstration of tech’s commitment to serving our community and building up our city.
–Jennifer Stojkovic, Executive Director, sf.citi
SPREADING THE SPIRIT OF GIVING IN THE HEART OF SAN FRANCISCO
Breaking into small groups, the day’s tech volunteers, as well as Supervisor-elect Haney, traveled through the Tenderloin to deliver holiday gifts and cards to recipients of Meals on Wheels San Francisco services. As José Allen emphasized in his remarks, many of the seniors receiving holiday gifts will spend the holidays alone, and are particularly susceptible to loneliness, depression, and injuries. That is why our volunteers were charged not just with spreading some much-needed holiday cheer, but also to report back on the living conditions of those they visit to ensure the neighborhood’s seniors are given the support and care they require.
For those who participated in One City Gives, the day was both emotional and uplifting. Many had their first glimpses of single occupancy residencies (SROs), where they witnessed the heartbreaking effects of income inequality on our city. Beyond the crumbling paint and cramped living quarters, however, our volunteers also saw signs of hope. An employee from Affirm described a “really endearing” woman who welcomed him into her unit. She had been working on a painting to gift to Meals on Wheels San Francisco for everything they had done for her.
This was a powerful event. I can’t tell you how proud I was to see more than a hundred people from tech show up on a cold December morning to walk through tenderloin and bring a little Christmas cheer to some of our neighbors who need it most. Hats off to sf.citi for putting together a volunteer event that really put human contact first. This is what the holidays are supposed to be all about.
-One City Gives Volunteer
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
One City Gives was made possible with the support of AdRoll, EAT Club, LinkedIn, Okta, Waymo, and Onedome San Francisco. The event is also part of the sf.citi One City Forum event series, a quarterly gathering that brings sf.citi members, nonprofit leaders, and the broader San Francisco community together to meet, connect, and learn.
KEEP ON GIVING
It was inspiring to see such amazing participation from all of our sf.citi members and volunteers, without whom the day’s deliveries would not have happened. Employees from Postmates alone made 35 deliveries. We encourage all of you to keep giving locally, and our co-host Meals on Wheels San Francisco offers many more opportunities. Take a look at their website to make a monetary contribution and discover other ways to volunteer.
ONE CITY GIVES PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS
All photos courtesy of Daniel Bahmani.