Volunteers are an integral part of the BGCSF community. Our volunteer program invites individuals and companies to contribute their time and talent to empower San Francisco youth. During this past year, our volunteers stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we faced the public health crisis of a lifetime.
Pre-pandemic, volunteers supported our Clubhouses in a multitude of ways: as sports coaches, tutors, college-prep advisors, builders, beautification experts, artists, cooking teachers, coding teachers, admin support, and positive role models. Collectively, they contributed more than 3,200 hours of service during the first half of the fiscal year.
Although our in-person volunteer program halted when the first shelter-in-place order was announced on March 16, 2020, our volunteers continued to make a vital impact. When PPE supplies were scarce in the early days of the pandemic, volunteers donated hundreds of hand-made masks and face shields to protect our BGCSF staff and youth members.
Since our volunteer program relaunched on April 29, 2020, volunteers have assisted our food distribution efforts at the Excelsior Clubhouse, tackled building projects at Camp Mendocino, conducted mock interviews, and reviewed college essays. In person and online, volunteers served as homework helpers, ESL teachers, Youth of the Year coaches, and career exposure facilitators to support our youth. Volunteers have made a critical difference in our mission to address learning loss and provide youth with social-emotional connections during this particularly challenging time. At Camp, volunteers kept critical projects moving forward, so Camp is ready to operate as soon as health conditions allow.
Our volunteers make a vital impact in the lives of our members and our organization as a whole. The coming months remain uncertain, but we know this incredible group of volunteers is ready to tackle any and all challenges. On behalf of the entire organization, thank you BGCSF volunteers! We appreciate you!
“I have loved working with the Clubs – it is so invigorating and energizing to work with all the creative, perseverant, and brilliant youth. The kids that I've tutored bring fresh perspectives and experiences, and I learn from them every time I volunteer. ” – James Peng (Five-year Columbia Park Clubhouse Volunteer Tutor)
We began our partnership with children’s apparel company FabKids in December 2019, when members of their team volunteered at the Columbia Park Clubhouse. This partnership has since expanded to support the Clubs in a number of ways – and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support.
As we first confronted the pandemic in early March 2020, the FabKids team immediately stepped up, donating masks to staff and youth at a time when PPE was scarce. FabKids also committed to donating a portion of their mask sales to support the Club’s COVID Response Fund. On Giving Tuesday, they donated 100% of net profits from mask sales to our organization!
As we pivoted to increase our virtual programming, FabKids was one of the first companies to volunteer, hosting a Virtual Career Exposure for BGSCF teens. Since then, FabKids employee Dominique Yoder has joined BGCSF’s NextGen Leadership Council, where she continues to support Club members personally and professionally.
We are so grateful to FabKids for volunteering in new and creative ways at a time when in-person volunteering was not possible – and for providing critical financial assistance in a year when traditional fundraising was severely limited. Their partnership has been invaluable during this difficult time, and we look forward to many more years of collaboration!
“Our partnership has been a rewarding experience thanks to the hardworking team at BGCSF. We hope to volunteer in person again in the future, but are proud to support the Clubs and community in other ways, including donations and virtual career chats.” - Fabkids
NextGen Leadership Council
The NextGen Leadership Council is a group of active and generous young professionals who share our mission to support and empower Bay Area youth. This dedicated group is BGCSF’s next generation of leaders, advocates, volunteers, and donors. Under the leadership of NextGen Co-Chairs Dennis Mahoney and Kristen Stotts and the Steering Committee, BGCSF’s NextGen Leadership Council stepped up in big ways throughout 2020.
In the first half of the fiscal year, NextGen supported our Halloween 5k Walk/Run (October 2019) and helped plan our beloved Kids Night Out event. Although Kids Night Out and the NextGen Gala afterparty were canceled due to the pandemic, the council pivoted swiftly to launch a series of engaging virtual events that drew attendees from all over the country. At a time when our community and many others around the country were under strict stay-at-home orders, NextGen’s virtual events gave people a chance to connect when they needed it most.
Between March and December 2020, the council hosted 10 virtual fundraising events that secured more than 600 gifts for the organization and brought in many new supporters. During FY20, the council exceeded its annual fundraising goal, collectively raising $167,371. Council members also volunteered hundreds of hours, working directly with youth and staff. We’re incredibly grateful for all their efforts and look forward to their continued partnership as we look to lead pandemic recovery efforts in our communities.
To learn more about BGCSF’s NextGen Leadership Council, please contact Carter Ashforth (firstname.lastname@example.org), Volunteer & Corporate Outreach Manager.
“From the start, it’s been incredible to watch NextGen grow and evolve, and to see the impact this group has had on the youth and the organization. As co-chairs for the past two years, it’s been humbling to support the talented staff of BGCSF as they’ve tackled challenges big and small, and to watch the members grow and thrive.” - Kristin Stotts & Dennis Mahoney, Next-Gen Co-Chairs
Over 50 years ago, former Club members Bud Karp, Gino Westcott, and Leroy Sims met for lunch and ended up forming a group of volunteer tradesmen to build and maintain Camp Mendocino for future generations of Bay Area youth. Having benefited from their time at Camp themselves, these trailblazers recognized the importance of the Camp experience for our members and knew that keeping Camp Mendocino in pristine condition was no easy task. Today, this dedicated group of 25 volunteers – known as the Purple Kumquats – along with affiliated volunteers who support their work, continue to donate their time, talent, and resources to Camp Mendocino.
While following health and safety guidelines, the Purple Kumquats have continued to improve Camp throughout the pandemic, ensuring that Camp will be ready to open for kids as soon as possible. They renovated two restrooms, upgraded sections of the electrical system, added hydro power, installed a 26kW Kubota generator, built new stairs, added new doors, laid new floors, assembled new camper bunk beds, and project-managed the construction of six new cabins.
Thanks to the Purple Kumquats’ generously donated time and resources, Camp Mendocino will be more beautiful than ever when we’re able to open for campers again. We are grateful for their dedication to Camp Mendocino and the community as a whole.
BGCSF is currently offering free support and training to Black-serving and Black-led individuals and organizations participating in The Dream Keeper Initiative, a citywide effort launched in 2021 to reinvest $120 million over two years into San Francisco’s diverse Black communities.
April is Arab American Heritage Month and I am excited to both reflect on what this month means to me personally and share how BGCSF and Camp Mendocino engage Arab youth and their families.
We are pleased to highlight a member of our Senior Leadership Team, Erin Gutierrez. Erin has served the BGCSF community for 15 years. Her experience spans multiple roles across the organization and provides a powerful and unique perspective on the holistic impact of BGCSF.