Photo Courtesy St. Anthony Foundation
Earlier this week, I participated in an eye-opening tour in San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood -- an area with a large population of homeless and poverty-stricken families and individuals.
The tour was guided by economist and writer Priya Kothari. Throughout our walk accompanied by fellow travelers, Priya demonstrated expert knowledge in the local culture and the innovative efforts to provide assistance to the community.
Following the tour, we participated in a three-hour shift at St. Anthony's Dining Room, a nonprofit social service organization serving an upwards of 2,400 meals daily. We even joined the head chef for lunch to enjoy the very food we were serving.
I do not have enough words to express how amazing this adventure was. From the compelling sights of The Tenderloin to the awes of the incredibly efficient operation at St. Anthony's, witnessing the outpouring of love from the community was heartwarming.
I spent time running trays, wiping down tables, and serving bread, but the most memorable moment was serving a tray to a young lady who, holding back tears, responded with, "God bless. Y'all are so good to me."
If you find yourself in San Francisco and are interested in taking Priya's tour and volunteering at St. Anthony's for a few hours, definitely sign up for Priya's AirBnB experience!
I happen to be on a 5-week business trip in the Bay Area, but even if you're on vacation and want to try something different, I highly recommend this experience. You will not be disappointed.
- Maxwell Bentley