San Francisco Friends School has many community partnerships that we hold dear, including with The Gubbio Project and St. Francis of Assisi. Often, the organizations we work with are locally-minded, with outreach focused on the Mission and San Francisco. At the Crossroads (or ATC) is one such organization that we at SFFS feel proud and grateful to partner with. ATC works with youth experiencing homelessness, giving them the support they need to access resources, build healthy lives, and achieve their goals. At the outset of the school year, Friends gathers backpacks and back-to-school gift cards for At the Crossroads in our opening year drive. These donations help ATC to support the young people they serve as they prepare for a new school year.
Says Guybe Slangen, the Director of Community Engagement at Friends: "Our partnership with ATC goes back about a decade, when they were our neighbors at 333 Valencia St. It's been a wonderful partnership - they have helped teach us about the issues and challenges these youth face, as well as what we can do to make an impact, be it through candy, backpacks, or greeting those on the streets with a smile and a hello. We look forward to many more years of supporting their efforts and we're grateful for the important work they do."
This week, we are collecting fun-sized candy for ATC to share with their clients in celebration of Halloween—and also of fun. At the Crossroads explains: "Our work is bolstered by the fact that we hand out a variety of snacks, not just the standard fare found at soup kitchens and shelters. Food distributed to the homeless population is usually geared toward things other than fun; the fact that we sprinkle candy and other treats into our mostly healthy options sends the message that we’re trying not just to help these young people survive, but to be happy and have pleasurable things in life. Handing out the candy packs really helps us bring clients into the fold, and build trust with our youth. Only at that point do these kids really let us in, allowing us to help them move forward in life. And don't worry, we hand out toothbrushes and toothpaste as well." If you have candy donations for ATC, please bring them to school and feed them to our famous Candy Monster, located in the lobby near our reception desk. To learn more about our candy drive, please click here.
And if you'd like to learn more about the work that ATC does each and every day with San Francisco youth, please click here. Thank you!