Walking through the Tenderloin District in San Francisco with 30-year-resident Del Seymour, it’s easy to think that this historic neighborhood is one that’s been forgotten — one where the people in it had given up. But, he says, if you made that assumption, you’d be wrong.
Last week, I got to see just what Del meant when I went with a group of about 40 of my colleagues, led by our CEO Devin Wenig, to volunteer at GLIDE, an organization that has been serving San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents in the Tenderloin since the 1960s. GLIDE is known as one of the biggest social services providers in San Francisco, helping Tenderloin residents break the barriers of poverty and marginalization by simply giving them access to basic human needs — think food, shelter, clothing — and believing that everyone deserves a second chance.
While at GLIDE, our team served nearly 500 meals, helped create harm reduction kits and delivered 1,500 pairs of colorful socks collected in our San Jose offices. It’s a humbling tradition that we at eBay are so very proud to be a part of and serves as a reminder of just exactly who we are serving leading up to our annual charity lunch with Warren Buffet. This year marks the 18th year eBay has partnered with Warren Buffet through eBay for Charity to benefit GLIDE. To make the auction even more accessible, this year people can enter our sweepstakes for a chance to travel to San Francisco and experience the true miracles happening at GLIDE. Last year, we helped raise $3.4 million through the Buffett auction, which is equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the annual operating budget of GLIDE. We will know how much will be raised this year when the auction ends later today.
While the Power Lunch with Warren Buffet is one of our biggest and best known charity auctions, I’m proud to say that at its core, our eBay for Charity program helps our global community connect to many causes they care about, supporting thousands of charities everyday — local, regional and global.
eBay for Charity is also just one of the ways that eBay is driving positive global impact. We create opportunity for all through our platforms, connecting millions of buyers and sellers across the world—helping buyers find their version of perfect and providing sellers with access to global markets. Our platforms also act as an engine for a powerful circular economy, enabling products to find new homes, stay out of landfills and extend their useful lives.
Looking around GLIDE’s dining room, watching people hand each other extra apples, share slices of watermelon and offer up uneaten portions of chicken, I couldn’t help but think back to that morning’s tour and what Del said to our group really sunk in: This is far from a place where the people have given up. It’s a community that is resilient and strong, with residents who will share what little they do have because it’s just the right thing to do – and at the heart of it all is GLIDE.