Ham for the Holidays at St. Anthony Foundation

Free Dining Room in San Francisco challenges Bay Area Community to donate 500 hams for their 25th Annual Curbside Donation Program

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With rising food costs and increased anxiety about the implications of the impending fiscal cliff, St. Anthony Foundation remains hopeful that people will continue in the tradition of dropping off donations to their 25th annual Curbside Donation Drive

Organizers of the drive emphasize that the most helpful items this year would be hams, pantry items, socks, and monetary donations.

For 25 years, the Curbside Donation Drive at St. Anthony's has embodied a spirit of unconditional generosity.  "The heart of the holidays is not waiting in line at a retail store on Black Friday; it is channeling the sacred gift of giving to others.  For so many individuals and families, the act of dropping off a donation at St. Anthony's makes that gift tangible," remarked Stenger.  Volunteers clad in bright red jackets will be on hand from Saturday, December 22nd through Monday, December 24th to greet donors who drive up to St. Anthony's temporary Dining Room at 150 Golden Gate Avenue.

Interim Executive Director Barry Stenger commented, "We were astounded by people's generosity during the Thanksgiving Holiday.  We set a goal to raise 1,000 turkeys and we surpassed that goal by 33%.  Individuals, families, and businesses around the Bay Area went the extra mile this year to ensure guests who eat in our Dining Room enjoyed a bountiful meal."  As the days before Christmas become darker and fewer, St. Anthony Foundation will once again look towards its faithful supporters with the goal of collecting 500 hams for Christmas.

The holiday season at St. Anthony's is a time to broker San Francisco's native generosity with the needs of its poorest people.  Hundreds of volunteers embody the spirit of the holidays through their willingness to serve others.  They serve thousands of hot meals, spend hours knitting home-made hats and scarves, and wrap thousands of gifts to be given away on Christmas Day. 

Likewise, people who turn to St. Anthony's for help embody the same sense of community and hope for a better world.  20% of guests who eat at St. Anthony's have served as veterans in the United States military.  Isolated seniors, who struggle to make ends meet on a fixed income, provide community for each other and for the volunteers, staff, and donors.  Longtime volunteer Evelyn Melanson proclaimed, "I do this because I always get more than I receive.  The people who come to St. Anthony's are some of the kindest people I have ever met."

For more than 60 years, St. Anthony's has offered a gateway out of poverty through a network of life-sustaining services. By addressing immediate needs such as hunger and clothing, as well as long term needs such as employment, drug and alcohol recovery, and physical and mental health, St. Anthony's supports people in need as they pursue training, work, sobriety, and purpose. St. Anthony's does not rely on federal, state, or local government support. We are entirely funded by private donations.  For more information, visit www.stanthonysf.org or like St. Anthony Foundation on Facebook.

SOURCE St. Anthony Foundation



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