San Francisco First Lady Jennifer Seibel Newsom and Sharon Stone recently joined Compass Community Services to raise funds to benefit homeless families at their annual fundraiser, Spring Forward.
Hundreds gathered at the Julia Morgan Ballroom to learn about the devastating effects that poverty and homelessness have on parents and children. The luncheon raised more than $120,000 dollars to support Compass programs.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom delivered the event’s keynote address. She held back tears at one point, as she spoke of her own experience visiting Compass’ Tenderloin Childcare Center (TLC). “I don’t know why that makes me emotional. Maybe because I’m pregnant,” she joked, which received a round of applause.
“TLC is an oasis in the middle of the Tenderloin. Toddlers and preschoolers from homeless and very low-income families are supervised and cared for in a stable and loving environment,” said Newsom.
Spring Forward guests also had the opportunity to hear directly from Compass clients. Robin Holliman, a mother who spent nearly a year sleeping in a nook on Market Street with her teenage son, was featured in a short film that gave an intimate view into the life of a family who had overcome homelessness. She spoke at the event after the film was shown.
Actress Sharon Stone closed the program with a passionate speech (the full text is here) reminding the audience that needs and hopes of a homeless family are not very different from any other. She urged people to give generously to the organization, despite the bad economy.
“We’re tightening our belts and we’re scared, but you know what, we still have fantastic shoes,” she said. “When we have so much less, we still have so much more than so many.”
“We understand that these are difficult times and we appreciate the loyalty and support of our community,” said Compass Community Services Board President, Melissa Huml. “The generosity of our individual supporters and corporate sponsors has been amazing. Their donations go a long way to help those in need right here at home in San Francisco.”
Erica Kisch (left), Executive Director of Compass, presented the Compass Commuity Award to Nancy Sheftel-Gomes and John, of HaMotzi, a group from Congregation Sherith Israel that provides meals to families staying at the Compass emergency shelter.
The event was also presented with generous contributions from Credit Suisse, Wells Fargo, The McKenzie Foundation of San Francisco, Congregation Sherith Israel, Crecera Finance Company, Daoro, Zydel and Holland, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and Mutual of America.