Please meet one of our wonderful volunteers, Tanya! Tanya started volunteering at SFC in February 2019, and has now become part of our dedicated Wednesday breakfast crew!
Please read on for our interview with Tanya!
How long have you volunteered at SFC?
One year (!!!)
How did you find out about the Center?
Google Maps! I looked up “soup kitchens near me” and the closest happened to be St. Francis ☺
Will you share with us your background?
The school I went to—and later taught at—planted the seed of community service in all of its students. I’m deeply grateful to be in a position in my life where I can incorporate service into my weekly schedule, and for my middle and high school for instilling these values in me at an early age.
Volunteering at St. Francis gives me hope, not only for our ability to protect the environment and assist people experiencing homelessness, but for human beings’ capacity for goodness and change.
Why here at SFC?
I had volunteered a few times at Glide Soup Kitchen in San Francisco as a teenager and always felt positive about the experience. Serving meals and reallocating food resources is one of the most sustainable ways to solve food waste and hunger, two of the issues that frustrate me the most (mostly due to how easily solvable they are on a grassroots level). Volunteering at St. Francis gives me hope, not only for our ability to protect the environment and assist people experiencing homelessness, but for human beings’ capacity for goodness and change.
What is your favorite part about volunteering?
My favorite part about volunteering at St. Francis is knowing that everyone who walks through that front door has the potential to be known and to be cared for. The people at St. Francis gave me kindness at a time when others did not, and I see and value that same kindness shared with all the guests, volunteers, staff, and extended members of the St. Francis community.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to teach and to learn—I take language and circus classes, and teach flying trapeze on the Santa Monica Pier. Other than that I like to read, write (poetry and nonfiction), cook new recipes, ride the metro, and bike my way across Los Angeles.
Have you had any impactful experiences or memories while volunteering at SFC that you would like to share?
One of the small joys of volunteering at St. Francis is when I see a guest at Wednesday breakfast who tells me they saw me biking around town somewhere that week (I have a very distinctive helmet). The SFC community only drives home what I’ve come to know about Los Angeles—big city, small world!
What is your hope for the future of SFCLA & our community?
It’s twofold, right? On the one hand, I hope that SFCLA can grow and be able to provide food and support to more Angelenos experiencing homelessness. On the other hand, the hope is that St. Francis doesn’t have to grow—that we can solve the homelessness crisis so soup kitchens, advocates, and other resource centers are no longer needed.
Thanks for serving hope with us, Tanya!
We are searching for volunteers to be part of our weekly Thursday programs crew!
If you are interested, or want more info, please contact Danielle, email@example.com or 213.747.5347 x 111.