In 1985, San Francisco grandmother and retired food-service worker, Ruth Brinker, watched as her closest friends suffered from the arduous effects of AIDs. Wanting to make a positive impact, Ruth realized how she could help. She began preparing meals for seven of her critically ill neighbors, and out of the seemingly simple call to "feed your neighbor,” Project Open Hand was born.
Ruth's vision continues as the driving force behind the community service organization. Project Open Hand now prepares and serves 2,500 meals and distributes 200 bags of groceries per day, expanding their reach to not only patients living with HIV/AIDS, but also seniors and people with other critical illnesses including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes across San Francisco and Alameda Counties. Employing the help of over 125 volunteers every single day, they heed their mission to engage and nourish the community by providing meals with love to the sick and elderly. In 2015, they delivered almost one million meals, as they carried their meals and their message to neighbors. Through the birth of Project Open Hand, the love of a grandmother living in San Francisco encourages a stronger and healthier community, inspiring hope, and changing lives.
While during Project Open Hand’s humble beginning, meals were prepared in Ruth's own small kitchen. Today, the organization has partnered with nutritionists, maintains a greenhouse and hosts city-wide events, such as its upcoming Taste of the City. Their website features testimonials from patients, whose smiles and laughter are contagious as the project itself, infiltrating the hearts of those who hear about the amazing work being done by the organization. As a platform connecting worthy causes to audiences and volunteers throughout our area, we at DiveIn, are energized by the enthusiasm and heartwarming stories being created through the awe-inspiring services that Project Hand offers San Francisco residents, and are excited to be working with such a meaningful organization. Connecting with Project Open Hand invites an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
Dive In! Get Involved with Project Open Hand:
For years, Project Open Hand has been bringing love to the table of friends and neighbors in need. They rely heavily on a growing number of volunteers to carry out this call of duty every day. With the ever-increasing recipients to whom they provide services, the need for volunteers sharing their enthusiasm is a continuous one. They offer a variety of ways to get involved and be a part of their movement of hope to those who are interested in helping. Here are just a few ways that you can get involved with Project Open Hand:
• Senior Meal Program: Create an inviting atmosphere for elderly visitors at one of 22 dining rooms by volunteering to serve meals with a smile.
• Grocery Center / Warehouse: Help pack, sort and stock groceries in the warehouse.
• Morning Kitchen Shift: Come be a part of preparing nutritious meals to be served to the community.
• Meal Delivery: Volunteers are welcome to fill out an application to deliver meals, both walking and driving.
These opportunities and more are waiting for people that want to join the Project Open Hand team of action. Go to https://www.openhand.org/volunteer to learn more on how you can get started.