BrightTALK Gives Back: Our GLIDE Volunteer Experience
Last week, I was thrilled to participate in BrightTALK’s volunteer event at GLIDE, San Francisco’s well-known provider of free meals for the city’s hungry, poor and homeless.
It was a pleasure connecting with the GLIDE staff, serving lunches and enjoying good conversation with patrons made for a memorable experience.
Our BrightTALK volunteers started our day at the Tenderloin Museum where we were led on a historical walking tour of the neighborhood by resident Billy Priest.
It was impressive to see the sense of community residing in an area with a such a vibrant history. Muhammad Ali trained in a boxing ring in one of their hotels, jazz icons Miles Davis, Billie Holliday, and Thelonious Monk performed at the Blackhawk Jazz Club and rockers the Grateful Dead and Santana recorded albums at Wally Heider Studios.
We ended the tour at Glide Memorial Church, joining volunteers from other organizations to prepare and serve up some delicious lunches. By 11:30, a line of families, seniors, veterans and others in need had formed for the lunch service, and before we knew it, we’d served 448 meals!
“It was awesome to work with an organization like GLIDE who helps people every day in our community. Being able to help someone by providing something as simple as a hot meal in a safe environment was both a humbling and eye-opening experience,” said David Heflin, a sales development representative at BrightTALK.
GLIDE Memorial Church has been providing three meals a day to San Francisco’s needy since 1969. The church estimates that it serves 850,000 free meals per year, along with providing affordable housing and healthcare services. GLIDE prides itself on being a radically inclusive, just and loving community working together to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.
“There’s more culture and complexity in the Tenderloin than I ever realized; more than anyone could study in a lifetime (much less a few hours). By introducing ourselves to some of the city’s oldest residents, we found a greater understanding of where SF has been — and a better idea of where it will be going. Personally, I hope to learn more about this community as the city changes,” said Shane McGraw, operations support team lead at BrightTALK.
It takes more than 60 volunteers every day to serve the San Francisco community, and GLIDE makes it easy to join in the effort. Visit www.glide.org for more information.