By Nick Singer, Account Coordinator
The daily life of a communications professional can be so overwhelming that one sometimes forgets about the real struggles going on within our own community (San Francisco in LCI’s case).
From its great foodie scene and a growing population of intelligent, forward-thinking young people who are filling the City’s many tech-related jobs, San Francisco is blessed. However, San Francisco is masterfully ignoring its systematic homeless problems that have existed here my entire life. The reality of homelessness is a difficult subject to tackle or talk about – so much so that San Franciscans have become hardened to it as a self-defense mechanism to not have to deal with or think about it.
I am guilty of this apathetic feeling, as well. As I walk to work from a downtown BART station every day and see lots of homeless people camped out and living on the streets, my mind is in another place. I rarely stop to think about the true context of the situation – that a person who is hungry and needs shelter is instead sleeping on the street. A real human with feelings, emotions and a life story.
LCI recently signed up to volunteer at the Curry Senior Center on behalf of our non-profit client, Project Open Hand. Located in the northern tip of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, the Center feeds hundreds of homeless seniors who don’t have the means to get a meal on their own.
It was refreshing to be present, in the moment and focused on helping real people instead of the status quo of simply walking by and looking the other way.
As we interacted with and fed these appreciative and charismatic seniors, I could see something light up in many of them: they had stories and wisdom to share. They needed something beyond just a meal — this was a place where they could engage with other people…laughing together, watching movies together, eating a warm and nutritious meal…and being a part of the community.
It struck me that, as PR professionals, we should interact within our communities as part of our professional duties. How can someone “keep their ear to the ground” if they’re rushing past everything and purposely trying to avoid interaction? The insight was eye opening and made me thankful for the family and friends I have – and the agency I work for. It also made me realize that we all need to stop and think about the problems and issues confronting us every day, rather than rush by them and pretend they don’t make an impact.
In what ways have you recently made a positive impact in your community? Leave a comment below or email Nick at [email protected] to share your story.