eBay for Charity

Serving Up Hope And Hot Food in San Francisco

By: Claire Dixon, VP Global Comms and Global Impact

On a recent, warm Spring day in San Francisco, we got to see firsthand the impact of our eBay for Charity program, which over the years has helped our global community to connect to causes they care about.

Del Seymour has been calling the Tenderloin home for over 30 years now.

Like so many residents of the historic but troubled San Francisco neighborhood, for some of those years, Del slept rough.

These days, he’s back on his feet – self-employed and standing tall in a pinstripe suit with a silk handkerchief and a fedora. Del’s giving a tour of the Tenderloin to eBay employees volunteering with GLIDE, an organization serving San Francisco’s poor, homeless and most vulnerable residents. But he hasn’t forgotten how it feels to be invisible in the place you call home. 

"These are mothers and brothers and daughters and sons just like you and me; they're just a little broken at the moment,” he says. 

"These are mothers and brothers and daughters and sons just like you and me; they're just a little broken at the moment,” he says.

“Remember this is their neighborhood and you are walking through their bedroom so look them in the eye and greet them as you would a neighbor." 

Since the 1960s, GLIDE has been helping people like Del break the cycles of poverty and marginalization by providing basic services including food, shelter, childcare, healthcare, legal assistance – along with hope and hot chicken dishes. It serves up 2,000 meals a day, 364 days a year, as well as a place to rest their feet, and someone who will greet them with a smile.

This year, for the 17th year, GLIDE is offering people the chance to bid on eBay for the chance to have  lunch with Warren Buffett.

The Power Lunch with Warren Buffett is one of our biggest and best-known charity initiatives – in total, the auction has raised $20 million, including over $2.3 million last year -- but it’s just one of many ways in which we are working to create a better form of commerce.

Since the very beginning eBay’s purpose of creating opportunity through Connected Commerce has been embedded in everything we do. We are committed to using our platform and technology to spark positive change – and rallying our customers to support their favorite charitable causes is one way we achieve this.

eBay for Charity has helped thousands of organizations around the world raise millions through our platform. We enable tens of thousands of charities to sell for free, and allow consumers to both buy and sell to benefit their favorite charities. In the last five years, over 15 million people either bought or sold something on eBay for charity. 

We help charities in a variety of ways: from hosting celebrity auctions for non-profits, to enabling millions of buyers to give at checkout to their favorite charity -- whether it’s an international disaster relief fund or their local dog shelter.

We also allow eBay sellers to donate a portion or all of the proceeds of a sale to support a charity of their choice. The seller receives fee credits to match the donation and can use their eBay sales as tax credits. And that’s not the only way they benefit - we’ve also found that buyers are more likely to take action on listings that benefit charity.

In total, $650 million has been raised by eBay for Charity users globally supporting thousands of charitable organizations.

And this week we have a chance to help Del and his neighbors in the Tenderloin.

A few weeks ago, this cause became a little bit more real for me as I had the very special experience of serving lunch, alongside eBay colleagues, at GLIDE.

I struck lucky with the handout of tasks, and got to be the ‘hot-sauce lady’, giving me the chance to meet and talk to most of GLIDE's customers as I offered them the chili sauce.

Claire w Hot Sauce

I learnt some like their sauce on the chicken, some like it on the side, some like it over everything, and some not at all. But most importantly, it underlined for me in the most simple and human of ways that no matter where life may take you and how your circumstances may change, we are all idiosyncratic individuals, and all deserving of understanding and respect.

And sauce just the way you want it.

Bid on your chance for lunch with Warren Buffett on ebay.com/glide.