‘Tis the season of joy and happiness. Well, at least that’s what commercials, songs, and society says to us. And, for many it is. But right along with the cup of cheer, they’re is a pound of stress.
It’s the day in which we focus not on ourselves, but on our community. The day in which we rally support for our cause: a community without child abuse.
Each holiday season, we decorate our walls, and ensure our telephone hotline is well staffed — because it’s the time of year we receive the most crisis calls. We turn our Playroom into a toy store to ensure every family can afford to have a festive and joyous holiday season, helping to reduce the stress during this already stressful time of year. The time of year we ask for your support.
It’s that spooky, ghostly, ghouling time of year. Booo!
It’s time to turn on your imagination and turn off the lights. To pull out the chest of miscellaneous hats and masks and start up the sewing machine. Halloween is a fun holiday for the whole family and a fantastic way to spend time with your family and neighbors. To me, it’s one of the greatest acts of community engagement we have each year.
Roxanna began slapping her hands against her legs. Quickly without any further prompting, the squirmy third graders settled and followed suit. Two slaps on the thighs, two pats on the head, two claps, all the while singing “Never Touch a Gun.” The class repeated the jingle several times before Roxanna moved the children on to discussing when it is, and when it’s not, appropriate to call 911. Roxanna is one of the Prevention Center’s community educators.
Each summer the kids are out of school, the fog (usually) rolls in along with thousands of tourists, and we all begin the hunt for fun new ways to spend our days. Luckily, in the Bay Area, there is no shortage of activities to get out the wiggles and induce the giggles. Here’s a list of my favorite free summertime activities (and a few I haven’t yet tried but hope to check off my list this summer).
I met Andrea my first day at the Prevention Center and since, she’s always been a bit of a lifeline for me (really, for everyone) because she knows everything that’s going on. If you have a question, she has the answer. From the start I was impressed by how superb she is at her job. Then I got to know her a bit better. Andrea’s one of those people that each time you learn more about her you’re both surprised and impressed. First you find out she’s an exercise instructor on the side, then you learn she wields a law degree, then she school’s you on hot sauce — this southerner knows her hot sauces and is seldom without her favorite, Crystal. Allow me to introduce you to Andrea Rush.
The Prevention Center runs on staff, volunteers, passion, and a lot of pastries. Everything from our 24/7 crisis hotline, the TALKLine, to our Tuesday night dinners, to our community events, are staffed by dedicated volunteers. They are phenomenal, and so is their leader, Lauren Dunford. Lauren recruits, manages, and trains our volunteers (amongst a host of other things) and she makes it look easy. I am proud to introduce you to my comrade in name, (the other) Lauren.
In the heart of an often over-looked (or unfortunately stereotyped) neighborhood, a school — a community — thrives. Tenderloin Community School (TCS) is at the forefront of education thanks to the teachers, social workers, and caretakers who fiercely care not just for the students but for their entire family. It’s school’s like TCS and social workers like Michael doing their part to keep kids safe, that will ultimately help us end child abuse in San Francisco. Here’s Michael.