Thanksgiving is a hard time for the lonely and the hungry. The San Francisco Food Bank is in one of its busiest time of the year. Turning on my computer I received an announcement that from now until midnight on the 25th, Visa will match every gift up to $25,000. In other words, when we donate, our gift will go twice as far. Click here for donation form.
Please consider helping. In Judaism, the number 18 corresponds with the word chai, meaning life. When you give $18, Visa will ensure that it is a double-chai, offering twice as much food and comfort at this special time of the year.
When the SF Hillel staff and students volunteered recently, we met a truck driver who is now working for the food bank. His story is similar to Assistant warehouse manager Al White, who is the backbone of the Food Bank’s warehouse operations. In his twelve years at the Food Bank, Al has rarely missed a day of work — and his dedication means that the Food bank to send 88,000 meals out the door every day.
Over to you, Al.
There are many people in difficult circumstances, who for one reason or another, are out of a job, but want to work hard. I know because I used to be there. But I was given a chance.
Several years ago, after a bout of bad luck, I was on General Assistance, the City’s cash aid program. To qualify for this program, though, I had to work, so I volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank. It was a good choice. I was treated with respect and realized I could make a place for myself while making a difference. My first job was to mop the floors. But I had worked as a carpenter for 25 years, so I knew how to work hard. I was soon hired on as a driver and then worked my way up to the receiving coordinator. Now, twelve years later, I’m the assistant warehouse manager.
Happy Turkey Day, fortunate and hungry alike
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at www.alonshalev.com