Supporting our neighbors
The Public Purpose Committee strives to assist local families impacted most by the pandemic
Rachel Benson, Chair of the Public Purpose Committee
January 10, 2021
The impact of the SFS community’s efforts in support of our neighbors during this time has been significant. Even before the school year began, many SFS parents/guardians reached out to ask the important question on so many of our minds since the beginning of the pandemic: “How can we help our neighbors who are struggling?” The inequities that exist in our city and beyond have become even more acute and apparent, and our community took action!
Beginning in September, the Public Purpose Committee (PPC) reached out to two of our local public schools, Hillcrest Elementary (K-5th grades in the Portola) and Paul Revere Elementary (PreK-8th grades in Bernal Heights), to ask how we could help. The most urgent needs were getting groceries to food-insecure families who had relied on the schools’ food pantries for their weekly essentials. Together with the schools, we created a system for SFS families to sign-up and deliver groceries to those in need.
Now in its eleventh week, the food delivery programs continue to go strong. Thus far, 66 SFS families have delivered an incredible 782 bags of groceries to food-insecure families.
Our SFS community continued to show its heart and commitment to helping our neighbors through a number of drives during the fall semester.
In October, we provided more than 75 backpacks and many needed school supplies that were given to children of families experiencing homelessness through our relationship with Compass Family Services.
In November, the SFS community collected and distributed hygiene and cleaning supplies. Hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer, hand soap, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, cleaning sprays as well as packs of diapers, wipes, paper towels, toilet paper, and cloth masks were provided along with the groceries to Paul Revere Elementary families in need.
Most recently, in December, the PPC supported the 2nd Grade Book Drive. Students collected more than 400 books of a wide range of reading levels and languages. More than 200 of those books were given to Paul Revere families. The remaining 200 books were donated to the Excelsior Boys & Girls Clubhouse where learning hubs have been established to support higher-needs students and children of essential workers.
Families 4 Families
In its third year, the Families 4 Families initiative continues to provide family education and opportunities for service learning and leadership for SFS students. This year the PPC has chosen to focus on the theme of food insecurity. While this is an enormous and multi-faceted issue, the PPC will hone in on some of the areas that directly affect our city and the surrounding Bay Area.
As we get further into the 2021-22 school year, the PPC and Family Association (FA) will host a Family Education event to learn about food insecurity. We invite a panel of speakers from non-profit organizations, government agencies, and businesses involved in these issues. Later in the spring, the PPC and FA will host its third annual “Weekend of Service,” providing opportunities to volunteer together with a number of organizations working to address food insecurity in San Francisco.
There’s a lot of important and meaningful work ahead for us in 2021 and we look forward to bringing opportunities to our SFS community, connecting more deeply with our neighborhood and city-at-large, augmenting the efforts of SFS’s service learning curriculum, and supporting our student leaders in their ideas and actions!
DRIVERS FOR FOOD DELIVERY NEEDED! If you are interested in participating in food delivery and/or other Public Purpose Committee efforts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted January 13, 2021