Sometimes it seems like the world has gone mad. Between a terrifying presidential race, heartbreaking stories of systemic racism and police brutality, and daily acts of violence against women and girls, it can all seem too overwhelming. In moments like this, some of us ask ourselves “What can I do?” “How can I make a difference?” “Does it even matter?”
And in these moments, I find my sanity, and my purpose, in being surrounded by wonderful people who care. Just being in the presence of these deep and kind hearts helps me rediscover hope. As Mr. Rogers once said “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” I have found deep joy in my life surrounding myself with such profound “helpers.”
By day I am proud to be a part of an organization that, with co-founders Rev. Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, has spoken out, worked and struggled against hate, exploitation, violence and dehumanization for over five decades. The GLIDE Foundation has been part of every major social movement in San Francisco, from the Black Panthers to the Hookers Convention, to LGBTQ movements, to the SF State Protests. Every day, I walk in the doors and witness the power of unconditional love. We serve the city’s poor and marginalized, those who have been pushed to the outer margins of society. Sometimes days at work are hard. We witness a lot of pain. But every day, I also witness miracles. The beauty and transformation of looking someone in the eye, and telling them “I care. I see you.” I have seen these simple moments save lives. Being here has saved my own life.
By night, I am on the Board of Directors of a little ragtag group you might have heard of called Sol SIsters, Inc. Sol Sisters, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to holistic health services in order to enrich, empower, and evolve women of all backgrounds. I am blessed to have been embraced by this group of passionate, talented, world-changing women. Together we have accomplished things I never thought possible. We have served women and girls at St. Vincent de Paul, GLIDE, Hilltop High School, and MISSSEY just to name a few. We have organized health festivals, mental health workshops, and financial literacy classes. And we cannot wait to do more! The friendships that I have with these women - not just the Board, but our wide network of volunteers and supporters - inspires me and brings me joy.
Sometimes folks ask me why I do so much. “When do you have fun?” And to those folks, I say, this is what gives me LIFE! I get to be with incredible people, have wild ideas, make sh*t happen, and, most definitely, party! This month I would like to invite you to join me not just at one, but TWO happy hours for a cause:
On October 20th, join your Sol Sisters at a happy hour fundraiser at Harlot. DJ D-Sharp will be spinning, and all ticket sales will go to benefit our upcoming partnership with USF to provide a day of college access workshops to under-resourced youth. Get your tickets here!
On October 22, GLIDE’s Legacy Committee, our Young Professionals network, will be hosting a Happy Hour at Jackalope from 6-9 PM. Legacy Committee members will be pouring your drinks as guest bartenders and ALL tips will be donated to GLIDE. Click “going” on our Facebook invite here!
I sincerely hope you will join us at these events. But even if you don’t, I encourage you to go out and find your own group of “helpers” to join. I hope that it will help you find your own breath of sanity in a mad, mad world.
- Eden Chan