After nearly 24 hours of travel, seven members of the GLIDE community arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, where they would spend almost two weeks in service at Ray of Hope's clinic, community center, and school.
Ray of Hope, just like GLIDE, provides services to the marginalized. Their work stems from a belief that we are all interconnected and share universal human values, which when cultivated, have the power to transform the global community.
People that benefit from their services are not unlike those we serve here in San Francisco – communities that have no voice, whose needs often go unseen and unmet. From children who have endured unspeakable suffering and abuse, to those seeking medical attention for HIV, Ray of Hope shares GLIDE's belief in the power of unconditional love.
GLIDE's Ray of Hope Team spent months fundraising and preparing for a trip that would transform their lives beyond their imaginations. This year's team included a diverse array of members – from a former Assistant District Attorney to a man displaced after Hurricane Katrina and current resident at 149 Mason Street Studios, the team represented the spectrum of GLIDE's family and a common call to service.
Ray of Hope: GLIDE in Africa
Throughout their time in Africa, the team members were consistently moved by the generosity and hospitality of the people of Nairobi. Pastor Karen Oliveto recalls, "We experienced unbelievable generosity from those who have so little. They shared their food (of which they have so little) and hospitality joyously with us."
Ray of Hope's lead teacher, Evelyn, explains this deeply imbedded generosity, "I teach my children that even when it seems like we have so little to eat, there is always enough to give to someone else. When we give, even so little, we get so much more back."
Of the lessons learned by GLIDE's Ray of Hope Team, what Evelyn describes shines brightest. Pastor Oliveto reflects, "Whether at Ray of Hope Learning Center in Nairobi or serving a meal at GLIDE, when we commit ourselves to the well-being of others through service, something changes in us: we feel part of something greater than ourselves, we feel a deeper connection to others as we realize that what we do in this world really does matter. We can make a difference."
Graze the Roof: Keep the Garden Growing!
Graze the Roof, GLIDE's edible rooftop garden, needs your help! This wonderful volunteer run garden in the heart of the Tenderloin has contributed so much to GLIDE's community. Graze the Roof is a perfect example of inexpensive and bountiful container gardening, a perfect fit for urban communities such as ours.
Since its inception, Graze the Roof has become an important resource to the GLIDE community – it is used as a teaching tool in our Family Youth and Childcare Center (FYCC) curriculum, the harvest is used in nutrition and cooking classes in our Family Resource Center, and several pounds of fresh vegetables are integrated into our Daily Free Meals Program.
Graze the Roof also invites the GLIDE community into discussions of nutrition and food justice, important conversations from which the poor are often excluded.
Graze the Roof has reached a fragile point in its history. "We are about to exhaust the money allotted to keep the project going, so we are reaching out to our community to help keep Graze the Roof growing," says Lindsey Goldberg, Project Manager and Garden Educator.
Using the power of the internet and social media, Lindsey has launched a fundraising page through indiegogo.com, a web-based crowdfunding solution. "It doesn't take much money to sustain the garden and manage the layers of educational programming, about $18,000 per year," Lindsay shares.
Graze the Roof's indiegogo campaign runs through the remainder of September, with a goal to raise the entire $18,000.
To contribute to this wonderful project and to learn more about Graze the Roof, click here.
FYCC: Fundraiser for Expressive Arts
In 2010, GLIDE's Family Youth and Childcare Center (FYCC) began a partnership with the California Institute of Integral Studies' (CIIS) Expressive Arts Therapy department. CIIS students and alumni began working with FYCC staff, youth, and families by facilitating arts-based retreats, running expressive arts groups for children in grades three through five, counseling teens, and leading a dance group for Moms.
CIIS's expressive arts therapy students and alumni aim to build compassionate, supportive and culturally sensitive relationships with participants. Participants use expressive arts to explore emotional, social, spiritual and relational issues, and identify strengths.
CIIS's partnership with FYCC has been so successful that they will soon expand their collaboration to include GLIDE's Women Center. The Women's Center addresses the unique needs of women in vulnerable communities experiencing domestic violence. Women are empowered through daily support groups and social activities, including healing through song with their Negro Spirituals Program. The addition of expressive arts therapy will add tremendously to their current offerings.
"Our students have gained so much from the chance to work alongside FYCC's amazing teachers in providing much needed arts-focused groups and counseling sessions for FYCC's children and families," says Shoshana Simons, CIIS Expressive Arts Therapy Program Chair.
To help fund the partnership, CIIS is hosting an evening of Social Revelry, Silent Auction, and Performances on Saturday, September 29th. The auction will feature artwork, photography lessons, yoga classes, a weekend trip to Napa and more. Performances include CIIS students and alumni, and a multimedia arts presentation by the children of FYCC.
To RSVP for the event, click here.
GHS: Diabetes Care Success
GLIDE Health Services (GHS) has made great strides in their efforts to address diabetes in our community. GHS patients are predominantly homeless or low income, racially diverse and a population that has great health disparities who would otherwise go without health care. Despite the obstacles, GHS has helped their patients in maintaining their health, particularly for those living with diabetes. GHS's ultimate hope for their diabetic patients is that they feel empowered to take control of the disease, rather than letting it control the quality of their lives.
Diabetes is particularly prevalent in our communities as GHS Clinic Manager, Karen Hill, explains, "Diabetes occurs in our community for many reasons. The quality of available food, ability to exercise, stress management, too much sugar and availability of consistent health care are the main reasons."
In a recent evaluation, the average blood sugar level of a GHS diabetes patient is at 7.4, in line with the national benchmark. A blood sugar level value of 7.4 in a community such as GLIDE's, is an enormous accomplishment. Karen explains, "Blood sugar is very difficult to control for people that are not experiencing the challenges that many of our clients must face on a daily basis. We have participants that are homeless, struggling with behavioral health problems and severe financial constraints."
Karen continues, "These extraordinary results demonstrate that group visits, pharmacy support, the best available medications, mental health services, Wellness Center education activities and the wrap-around collaborative services at GLIDE are essential to the overall success of the work in the clinic and patient care."
For almost 30 years, over $41 million has been raised to help fight childhood illness, cancer and HIV/AIDS at Macy's Glamorama, formerly known as Macy's Passport. Join the Glam mob this year in Minneapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco for the most spectacular fashion show, after party and philanthropic event of the year! This year's event will be held on September 14, 2012 at the SHN Orpheum Theatre and the theme is "The British Invasion: The Music Then. The Fashion Now." featuring performances by Robin Thicke and starring Karmin. Plus, Macy's iHeart Radio Rising Star Winners Megan and Liz! Fashion presented by Bar III, Calvin Klein, Material Girl, Sean John, Tommy Hilfiger!
As you purchase your ticket, please select The GLIDE Foundation as your primary beneficiary!
includes VIP Premier Performance Show Seat, Admission to VIP After Party at California Market Center / Asian Art Museum, and Program Acknowledgement (if tickets are purchased by August 1st).
$500 Ticket Ticket includes Premier Performance Seat, Admission to VIP After Party at California Market Center / Asian Art Museum, and Program Acknowledgement (if tickets are purchased by August 1st)
$250 Ticket Ticket includes Performance Seat, Admission to VIP After Party at California Market Center / Asian Art Museum, and Program Acknowledgement (if tickets are purchased by August 1st)
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS for Performance Only are available for $79/$129. Contact SHN at 1-888-SHN-1799 or visit http://www.shnsf.com/.