For years, students have gone on service trips for an alternative spring break. This year, 12 lucky students will be going to San Francisco to help at three different service sites focused on hunger and homelessness in a city setting.
Leading the group are Aaron Cochrane and Katrina Lungren. The two went on the service trip last year and decided they wanted to help again this year, driving in a university van down to San Francisco.
The first organization the group will volunteer with is the San Francisco Food Bank. Much like the Oregon Food Bank, the students will go to this site to help repackage, sort and shelve food to be sent out to nonprofit organizations, but on a much higher scale. The San Francisco Food Bank sorts and sends out almost 400 tons of food every week. According to their volunteer hours, it is enough work to have 63 full-time employees, putting that on a scale compared to the Oregon Food Bank which serves the whole state and parts of Washington, having volunteer hours that average to having about 56 full-time employees.
The second organization the group will be helping with is Project Open Hand. Based out of San Francisco since 1985, this organization helps serve food specifically to people in the area with serious illnesses and to seniors. This program has volunteers cook, grocery shop, package and deliver food to people in need. Project Open Hand has more than 7,000 clients.
The third organization the group will help with is the Glide Memorial Church. Currently they do a lunch in the park event where volunteers are given a Subway foot-long sandwich and share it with a homeless person in the community. The Glide Memorial Church offers several services to the homeless and was featured in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness,” starring Will Smith.
Several fundraisers are being done to help this trip to San Francisco, including one going on next week on Feb. 21 and 22. The group will be serving hot chocolate in the U.C. in exchange for a donation. In addition to fundraisers, several donations were made including $500 by former faculty member Byron Steiger, $600 from the president’s office, $600 from Dean Hayes, $300 from Director of the University Center & Student Activities Steve Klein and $600 from Vice President of Student Life Eva Krebs.
The group will be staying at the Dakota Hostel in downtown San Francisco.