Christmas is a time when our thoughts turn to giving. We want to share what we have with others and bring joy and comfort to those for whom the holidays may be a challenging time. At the same time, it can be hard to know what we can do that will have an impact. We want to do more than just send goods from a distance. We want to be good neighbors, build relationships and be supportive partners and allies to groups in our community.
The Grace Cathedral Community Preschool is organizing two drives this holiday season that will significantly impact the lives of people in our community. The preschool is holding:
- A toy drive: All of the requested toys have been given to us – thank you!
- A food and hygiene kit drive: Essential items are sought for fifty food and hygiene kits. These will go to a) Community Preschool families in need and b) GLIDE, to be given to individuals and families in need in the Tenderloin and “Tendernob” areas.
These two drives reflect the outlook of the cathedral’s Community Preschool and its brilliant director Loren Smith, who is leading the initiative. The requested toys highlight the preschool’s deeply thoughtful celebration of diversity and the importance it places on every child’s emotional development. The drive for food and hygiene kits demonstrates the preschool’s philosophy of supporting and caring for the community within which it is situated and draws its students from. As Loren Smith writes:
Through this drive, my vision is to raise awareness about the individuals within our preschool community and surrounding communities that are in dire need and encourage everyone to get involved in supporting them. My hope is for all members of the congregation to see the value and impact in being a resource of support in this community.
My goal as a leader has always been to offer quality education to children, but over the years, I’ve learned that to support a child, it starts with educating and supporting the entire family. Children and families need to be supported on a deeper level with their basic needs. Our preschool focuses on educating children about emotional literacy, a valuable skill that they will need to carry with them through life. The toys that we are asking for support our mission to bridge the gap between home and school and provide families with the tools that we use at school at home.
When we can look within our own community for support and resources, that is when we know there is power in shared values, community, and numbers. No matter the size of the donation, we are grateful for the contributions you are willing to make to support the children and families at the preschool.
It’s a privilege to amplify this project led by one of the most inclusive, diverse and equitable communities in San Francisco: our preschool. Loren tells me that preschool families will be involved in packing food and hygiene kits for GLIDE. This reflects the work of this remarkable organization, where all members learn how to care for each other and are invested in the flourishing of their community.
This project is also being supported by our Congregation Council, which continues to work tirelessly and thoughtfully for projects that let our neighbors know we see them and love them.
The Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and Congregation Council are delighted to add its names to those of Cathedral clergy and staff supporting the 2022 Holiday Drives of the Community Preschool. We’d be so grateful if you would consider adding your support too!
We are asking that all goods arrive by Sunday, December 11. Please read on for how to contribute!
You can contribute to one of our drives:
Food and Hygiene Kit Drive:
Please select item(s) from this wish list and select “Steph McNally’s Gift Registry Address” at checkout.
By sending in a purchase from another vendor:
Please send toys, food, and hygiene kit items like those on the above wish lists to:
Steph McNally, 1100 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
You can deliver purchases during office hours, Monday to Friday, to Grace Cathedral reception, addressed to Steph McNally.
Alternatively, on Sundays from November 13, please place items in a specially-marked bin in the Dining Room at Coffee Hour after the 8:30 or 11 am Choral Eucharists.