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This month GLIDE celebrates the 20th anniversary of the eBay Auction for Power Lunch with Warren Buffett. This exciting annual effort raises funds for GLIDE’s comprehensive programs benefitting some of the most in-need and marginalized San Franciscans. It also represents a special relationship that has only grown stronger with the years—one that includes Mr. Buffett, who first came to GLIDE at the invitation of his late wife Susie Buffett, and also our friends at eBay.

“There’s plenty of good things to do in the world with money,” notes Mr. Buffett of his longstanding commitment to the auction and his endorsement of GLIDE’s programs and services. “The one thing I can do is I can give them a 100% guarantee, so this is one of them.”

Regarding GLIDE’s work on behalf of San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents, Mr. Buffett remains as passionate as ever.

“You offer them the chance to find out what’s within them that hasn’t yet surfaced. That can start with things as basic as food, but it goes beyond that. If you can help somebody be something better than they thought they were or that the world told them they were, that’s the ultimate accomplishment in life.”

The following is an excerpt (lightly edited for readability) of Karen’s chat with Warren Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska, on April 4. You can also watch the interview here. GLIDE’s community is blessed to have friends like Warren Buffett and eBay, and we thank them for their stalwart commitment to GLIDE’s mission and the diverse and beautiful communities we serve.

Karen Hanrahan: It’s the 20th anniversary of the auction. You have so generously supported this legendary effort for two decades. This is a very special partnership to GLIDE. It’s not just Warren Buffett and GLIDE, it’s also eBay and now a growing circle of winners who’ve become part of the GLIDE family. This partnership has really allowed GLIDE to lift even more people out of desperate circumstances. It’s allowed GLIDE to innovate on the front lines of poverty. It has really fundamentally changed the lives of the people that we serve, and it’s a special relationship for us.

When you think back over the past two decades, what are some of the experiences you’ve had and people you’ve met that really stand out?

Warren Buffett: Well, it’s been nothing but good. We’ve raised money, but I’ve had a good time. I’ve met a lot of very interesting people from all over the world. . . . The one universal characteristic is that they have a good time, and they feel they’ve got their money’s worth. But the most important thing is they feel that that money is going to be put to very good uses. . . . And it translates into human beings finding that there is hope in life.

KH: I was brought to GLIDE to help it evolve, to help GLIDE grow, and to really build on the legacy that Cecil and Jan have built for over 50 years.

WB: I was skeptical going in [to GLIDE the first time]. Susie told me about this wonderful organization, this wonderful man, the wonderful things they were doing and everything. But when I saw it! You know, I like backing the right people.

KH: At GLIDE, we know we couldn’t do this auction without eBay. They’ve got an ethos and a commitment to philanthropy. They’ve been an incredible partner.

WB: Well, it’s been so successful. We were raising $25,000 a year by talking to just a few people. And as soon as we went on eBay, we essentially were talking to the whole world. Now we raise in the millions every year.

KH: The winners and eBay, they’re investing in GLIDE’s legacy. We spend money on the people. And everyone has our clients at the front of their minds.

WB: I talked to a couple of the top executives at eBay over the years and they feel really, really good about their participation through GLIDE. There’s nothing like backing winners, and helping people become winners.

 

 

Watch the full interview. 

In August, 2017 GLIDE introduced two full-time Meals Navigators to the Daily Free Meals program, which is GLIDE’s largest and longest running program, offering meals three times daily to all in need or some 750,000 meals a year. Pamela Brown and Diane Truong help connect people in our community to other services at and beyond GLIDE. Pamela specializes in assisting people with disabilities, while Diane offers English-Cantonese translation to our many Cantonese-speaking community members.
Continue reading “Meet Diane and Pamela: GLIDE’s Meals Navigators”

Karen Hanrahan on Warren Buffett, a unique GLIDE tradition, and the power of community

Tonight, we count down to one of the most unusual and powerful fundraisers any nonprofit might aspire to: the eBay for Charity Auction for Power Lunch with Warren Buffett. The story of how it came to be is often told and dear to us, since it starts with a much loved and missed member of GLIDE’s congregation and community named Susie Buffett, who took it upon herself to introduce a certain relation named Warren to the place that she had come to believe in so passionately. Her introduction worked. To the no-nonsense investor whose success has made him a household name, GLIDE was the real deal. And he has lent his name and time to the cause ever since. We asked GLIDE’s President and CEO Karen Hanrahan for her perspective on this singular tradition.
Continue reading “Pulling Together”

let's end family homelessness
Every Sunday in January, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at GLIDE. To sign up, call (415) 674-6080 or email GLIDE’s Advocacy Manager, Ben, at BL@glide.org
According to the 2017 Point in Time Count, there are still nearly 200 homeless families with children in San Francisco. In a city as wealthy as ours, there is no reason why children and their parents should worry about where they will rest their heads at night.

In the New Year, we will need volunteers like you to join GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice in collecting signatures to help End Family Homelessness.
Continue reading “Eye on the Ball: Let’s End Family Homelessness”

A Closer Look at GLIDE’s Legacy Gala partner Bob’s Steak & Chop House

The GLIDE Legacy Gala may have come and gone but who says the inspiration needs to end? Not us! The Legacy Committee wants to keep the good going and has connected with some of our partners to learn more about what ‘giving back’ means to them and why they decided to participate in the Gala. First up is Bob’s Steak & Chop House with Chef Thomas Rhodes. Check out our Q&A below but be warned: this will definitely inspire you in more ways than one, and you may just be craving a good steak after reading it.
—The GLIDE Legacy Committee
Continue reading “The Bay Area Gives Back”

As members of GLIDE’s HIV & Hep C Harm Reduction Programs, the Hepatitis C navigators and I get the pleasure of being part of the City of San Francisco’s End Hep C SF initiative. End Hep C SF is a multi-sector collective-impact initiative that includes various service providers and community members working towards the elimination of hepatitis C in San Francisco. As a collective, we meet regularly in different work groups to find creative ways to increase testing and linkage to hepatitis C care, improve research and surveillance on hepatitis C prevalence, increase prevention and education efforts in the community, and increase hepatitis C treatment access to all hepatitis C–positive people in San Francisco.
Continue reading “"Tales from the Cured": Ending Hepatitis C in San Francisco”

I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them. — Diane Arbus
San Francisco is the land of invisible people—the homeless, the needy, the users, the ill, the marginalized, the undocumented. People who not only fall through society’s cracks, but who are ignored (or worse) by the middle and upper class residents of this city. Photography has long been used to tell stories of those unseen. It is a flexible tool that crosses both cultural and linguistic barriers, and thus is able to tell the stories of many different people, to many different people.
Continue reading “Photovoice – A Tool for Community Empowerment and Advocacy”