SF Event Archive 

April 29th, 2000

The plan was to Help-The-Homeless.

And we did do that. But we also helped ourselves.

When we share laughter, there's twice the fun;
When we share success, we've surpassed what we've done.
When we share problems, there's half the pain;
When we share tears, a rainbow follows rain.
If we share a smile, that's when our love shows.
If we share a hug, that's when our love grows.
And what draws us closer and makes us all care,
Is not what we have but the things we share.

From beginning to end, the day was full of the kind of experiences that make giving such a satisfying and important part of our lives. Whether it was catching the glow from the teamwork of putting together over 250 bag lunches with our friends and colleagues, or seeing how deeply the people we met on the streets appreciated our generosity and conversation, the day was memorable and wonderful. But the spirit of sharing started even before we got there:

Congratulations! I am so proud of this organization [...] I want you to know that I owe CharityFocus from the bottom of my heart; I have been given an Internship opportunity (web designing), based on my experience with CharityFocus. [...] I want to dedicate my first pay check (even though its small) to CharitFocus. I know that money is no measure to the time I want to spend in the service of others. But, I really want to do this. [...] Also I want this money to go the homeless people of SF. I will be grateful if this money could be spent on the April 29th event.

We got together on April 29th morning at 10 am under the excuse of celebrating the first year of CharityFocus. But the real reason was to continue to make the change within ourselves, grown in compassion and at the same time, help others grow.

We started the day at 10 AM. About 35 of us, fully pumped-up and inspired to help, took on the kitchen to make bagged lunches!

In less than an hour, we packed 250 lunches -- one vegetarian, Subway-style sandwich, one home-made compassionate oatmeal cookie, bottled water, and a banana.

We got the floors dirty,

used up lots of produce,

and shared many laughs.

We took our humble service to the streets, shared what we could, and did our best to be instruments of peace, hope and compassion.

When we came back, we shared stories:

"i feel like i may have given them a meal that kept them full for a few hours, but what they gave me in exchange was immeasurable. just wanted to thank you for giving me a chance to participate in an activity that no doubt has altered my frame of mind."

And in the end ...

"When I woke up this morning my plans were changed as I needed to take my mom grocery shopping and help my dad move. I was truly bummed out on not being able to help the homeless.

Later in the day I realized that the idea behind Help-The-Homeless was not only about feeding the homeless but it was about giving yourself to others. It is the spirit of giving that matters.

Even though I was not able to be on the streets of San Francisco feeding the homeless, I am glad to have been there in the spirit by giving myself to what lies in front of me."

Read about the experience of a volunteer.