On the evening of January 26th, Hamlin 8th graders Sophie and Mikayla joined a record number 768 volunteers as part of San Francisco’s 2017 Point-In-Time Homeless Count. The last homeless count in San Francisco was completed in 2015 and tallied 6,686 people living on the streets. Results from this year are expected to be slightly higher and will be made public in the coming weeks.
Point-In-Time Counts are unduplicated 1-night estimates of both sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. The 1-night counts are conducted by Continuums of Care nationwide and occur during the last week in January of each year. The count helps us understand the issues and experience of homelessness and is meant to be a snapshot of homelessness on a single day. The Point in time Count is also required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The information gathered in this count directly affects the amount of funds each community receives from the Federal Government.
Today, four altruistic Hamlin 8th graders prepared 150 hygiene kits supporting the work of Simply the Basics.
The Mission of Simply the Basics is to provide for individuals, organizations, and communities their most basic needs with dignity so that they can focus on bigger goals. We simply remove barriers, allowing people to have the opportunity to achieve.
The goals of Simply the Basics include:
-improving the overall health and wellbeing of low income families and people experiencing homelessness
-facilitating the operations of nonprofit organizations by securing and managing their in-kind donation process, allowing them to focus their time on clients
Hamlin students worked diligently to make sure that each kit had toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, socks, razors, tampons, and pads (among other items). The hygiene kits were then delivered to the Gubbio Project and St. Anthony’s.
Watch the video below to see the girls in action:
To learn more about Simply the Basics please visit: http://www.simplythebasics.org/
Special thanks to the founder of Simply the Basics, Meghan Freebeck for her inspiration and time.
Guest post by Hamlin 8th grader, Maya P.
Recently, I had a chance to read with young children at Hamilton Families, a transitional housing center. At Hamilton, families looking for housing are provided with a living space and community while they are in search of a new place to live. Currently, there are 12 families living there, but that number changes frequently as families find new homes. The program “Read With Me” lets kids my age read with younger kids at the center.
Sometimes the youngest members of our Hamlin community show us the way to serve others and give to those with less financial resources.
Since the age of 4, Saaya has asked questions about homeless people. “How do they eat? Where do they sleep?” She began with these questions while searching for solutions. With an innate and intuitive understanding, Saaya felt empathy for homeless individuals observing, “people need food to eat.” Her first answer was to take food from her house directly to homeless people.
Given her desire to act, Saaya’s parents began searching for volunteer and service options. In 2015, they discovered the Bay Area chapter of the International Basket Brigade.
The altruistic work of the Basket Brigade is:
Inspired by the world renown Anthony Robbins’ “call to action” and motivated by the the efforts of our friends at the Anthony Robbins Foundation, our team is focused on bringing holiday meals full of hope to families in need in the San Francisco Peninsula area. Dedicated to creating positive change for hundreds of families during Thanksgiving, the SF Basket Brigade provides Thanksgiving Day gift baskets to local families in need.
This year Saaya was determined to help feed as many people as she could. Her parents created a video where she explains what the Basket Brigade does and why people need food. Originally her parents thought Saaya would perhaps raise $500, but in just two weeks she obtained $2300 in donations for food baskets. The money will help 57 families enjoy Thanksgiving meals this holiday season. Saaya’s caring message clearly resonated with donors. The Hamlin community is very proud that she is addressing a challenge of our time by helping to alleviate hunger during the holidays.
You can watch Saaya’s video here: https://fundly.com/basket-brigade
To learn more about the SF Peninsula Basket Brigade, please visit: http://www.sfpbasketbrigade.com/
To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his (or her) country. -George Washington
For many years the Hamlin School has worked to support literacy in San Francisco by conducting the Literary Lion Book Drive. Over the last couple of weeks a dedicated group of students and parents have been collecting, counting, and sorting books. The books will go to Hamilton Families, The San Francisco Education Fund, and the Children’s Book Project. Leading the charge are 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who work during lunch and recess and are supported by Hamlin parents Kana Muraki, Diana Young, and Kathy Shepherd.
Organizers anticipate that Hamlin will collect close to 3,000 gently used books. The donated books are received with great appreciation. In the past, Hamilton Families has gifted the books to individual children who are experiencing homelessness. The San Francisco Education Fund plans to distribute some of the books to teachers at Bessie Carmichael School for use during guided reading instruction. The Children’s Book Project maintains a warehouse full of books that are available for teachers, social workers and others who work directly with underserved children in San Francisco.
The book drive runs through November 18th. Please put your books for donation in the baskets near the reception areas of either McKinney or Stanwood.
Indigo speaks about why this work is so important:
To learn more about Hamilton Families, the San Francisco Education Fund, and the Children’s Book Project, please visit: https://hamiltonfamilies.org/ http://sfedfund.org/ http://www.childrensbookproject.org/
On October 26th we celebrated Diwali with joy and vibrant energy. Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, and means “row of lights.” It is a time to rejoice in the triumph of light over darkness and is embraced by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. The holiday begins on October 30th and will last five days.
In honor of Diwali the entrances to Hamlin were decorated with rangolis as a sign of welcome with hopes of bringing good luck to visitors. Marigolds were also displayed to signify good over evil. For lunch our kitchen prepared a Diwali-inspired menu of lentil soup, chicken biryani, raita, and roasted cauliflower.
Do you ever wonder what happens to the meatloaf that doesn’t get eaten in the cafeteria? The answer is Food Runners, a non-profit that has been relaying extra meals to hungry San Franciscans for the past 30 years. Food Runners regularly provides roughly 5,000 meals a day by delivering food that would have otherwise gone to waste.
We are in our fifth year working with this altruistic volunteer-powered organization. “The mission of Food Runners is to help alleviate hunger in San Francisco, to help prevent waste and to help create community.”
The Hamlin campus recently became just a little bit more green thanks to the efforts of a group of committed students, teachers, and parents. Led by the newest version of the Green Team, the Environmental Ambassador Club turned part of the lair into a bonafide garden. The EAC members meet every Thursday and serve as ambassadors relaying messages to their peers during assemblies, while also sharing opportunities to spearhead environmental projects at school.
On September 27th, five altruistic Hamlin 8th graders volunteered at a Lava Mae “Pop-Up Care Village.” On the last Tuesday of every month, Lava Mae takes their services to the people, or “guests” (as they are called), demonstrating radical hospitality right in front of the Main Library in downtown San Francisco. Unique to Lava Mae is their mobile shower system. On the day we went an estimated 60 people were able to take showers. This opportunity to get clean provides uplift and a means to preserve human dignity.
On September 20th, the 7th grade volunteered at the SF-Marin Food Bank and participated in a Hunger 101 simulation. As more and more people struggle to make ends meet, the need for the SF-Marin Food Bank has grown in recent years. On a weekly basis 30,000 families are fed from the SF-Marin Food bank through 450 Bay Area community partners.