|Sacred sleep at St. Boniface. Photo by Brent Ward.|
In my early 20s I decided that it was important for me to live alone but the only place I could afford to do that was in San Francisco's infamous Tenderloin. The Tenderloin is a tiny neighborhood known for its abnormally, disproportionately high amount of bars and liquor stores, pimps and hos, dealers and addicts, and public urination. It is also the home for people who contend with sometimes lengthy periods of homelessness. While San Francisco is a relatively temperate place to be out in the elements and the threat of freezing to death is nonexistent, sleeping outside remains a dangerous undertaking. Whether because of potential threat of bodily harm or theft of their few personal possessions, those experiencing homelessness rarely get a peaceful night's rest. In response to this, 10 years ago St. Boniface Neighborhood Center and Church created the Gubbio Project, and began opening their doors during the day to provide the homeless with a place to get some restful, sacred sleep. In addition, they also offer "availability of clean, safe restrooms; toiletries; weekly free haircuts; blankets; socks; monthly HIV testing; weekly community meal for 35-50 guests; and a listening ear." If you are as moved and inspired by their work as I am, please consider volunteering or donating to the project.
Me Siento Nuevo
|Peruvian yoga flow.|
|Michelle with her happy students.|
I was first introduced to Michelle Welsch through her smart, insightful writing on Medium. After grad school, Michelle quit everything and headed out to Nepal where she volunteered teaching English and had her life path altered forever. Nepal experiences lengthy, daily power outages between October and July which make basic functioning feel more like Little House on the Nepalese Prairie and less like 2014. Michelle is raising money to build a solar system in the community where she volunteered that will help bring consistent, needed light and heat to a school and a local monastery. There are 13 days left in the campaign and it is within $2,000 of the $8,000 goal- a modest sum considering the positive impact that it will have for the community. If you are a champion of renewable energy, Nepal and/or adorable kiddos, throw some money at this awesome project. There are even perks for specific donation amounts and Michelle will send you periodic updates on the project progress.
Stay tuned next week as I continue my quest to make more beauty in the world by supporting good, life giving work.