During the month of May, GLIDE celebrates Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage. In this story, we highlight the Glidettes, a delightful group of Asian-identifying seniors and performers who embody GLIDE’s mission to create a loving and inclusive community. 

“For me, dancing is beautiful,” said Li Sucui, “It opens my heart like a flower, and it makes me happy.” At a spry 73, Li is a founding member of the Tenderloin Glidettes that come together each week to share in the delights of dance and song. Comprised mostly of GLIDE’s elder clients, the ensemble has garnered a reputation in the neighborhood for their spirited performances of both traditional Chinese dances and Western jigs. After an extended hiatus during the pandemic, the group is eagerly returning to in-person community events. 

Known in the community for their endearing dance and song, the Glidettes are eager to resume performances after two years of pandemic isolation.

The Glidettes formed four years ago out of a series of monthly “senior socials” held at Freedom Hall and led by Client Advocate, Tina Huang. “When I started working for GLIDE, I always fantasized about organizing a group that would represent Chinese culture,” said Tina. “I wanted to feature dancing – Not only traditional, like Chinese Lion, but also feature types from Western culture.” Hailing from Guangdong, just outside of Hong Kong, Tina came with her family to the United States in 1993. Six years ago, Tina came to learn about GLIDE and started as a volunteer.  

GLIDE serves a diverse community, with those who identify as Asian and Pacific Islander making up 16% of our clientele. Tina’s knowledge of Taishanese, the principal language of the Yue Chinese, comes in handy in connecting with clients. “When I came to GLIDE, and saw the homeless outside, it was difficult for me. But I really wanted to do something and be of service. I am always thinking about how much more our city can do to help those who are less fortunate and faced with tough times in their life,” said Tina. 

Tina, pictured left, dances with Li, center, at a senior luncheon in 2017.

Li, also from Guangdong, has been a resident of the Tenderloin for the past eight years, having arrived in the United States more than two decades ago. GLIDE first came to Li’s attention in 2016 when she visited 330 Ellis Street for breakfast as part of GLIDE’s Daily Free Meals program. She later ventured inside GLIDE and observed a group of seniors playing Bingo; she felt drawn to the welcoming environment and inspired to cultivate deeper connections with the community. She met up with both Tina Huang and Meals Navigator Diane Truong and the idea of having a senior group for dancing and singing was born.  

Li took part in traditional Chinese dance back in Taishan and, like Tina, she wanted the group to expand its repertoire by learning movements from other cultures. “We worked together to create this group dynamic that was not only respectful of safety but used slow movements so everyone could take part. YouTube was a great teacher,” Li chuckled. One of the oldest Glidettes, Menyi Wong (87) has her son ship over dance outfits so that the group can dress up for performances. 

The Glidettes returned to in-person events in April, putting on a special performance at the Tenderloin Sunday Streets.

The Glidettes have performed at various city functions over the years and while the pandemic may have slowed down their schedule of appearances, the group recently returned to the stage in full GLIDE orange regalia for the Tenderloin Sunday Streets event in April. For the Glidettes, a resounding theme of happiness permeates among the group and it is the reason they keep coming together. “It improves our quality of life. It feels good, both mentally and physically,” said Tina. “And when we dance and sing, we are in our moment of joy.”      

In honor of Ramadan coming to an end, GLIDE Communications Associate, Humera Shaikh, and her sister, Fayeeza, share one of their favorite Ramadan recipes – Potato puff pastries!

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar and is observed by Muslims all over the world. It is a sacred month of fasting, worship, charity and community. The purpose of fasting is to practice gratitude and to cultivate empathy for the less fortunate. Eid al-Fitr, which translates to “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” marks the end of Ramadan. It is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. Eid is an occasion for special prayers, family visits, gift-giving and charity.

Eid Mubarak to everyone who is celebrating!

GLIDE Voices is honoring Ramadan; we asked Humera Shaikh, Social Media & Communications Associate, what does Ramadan mean for you?

“Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in the Islamic calendar. It’s also the month where the first revelations of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who is the prophet and founder of Islam. During this month, Muslims fast for thirty days, from sunrise to sunset. It starts with a pre-dawn meal before sunrise, called suhur, and then it ends at sunset with a meal called iftar. Eid al-Fitr is the celebration after the thirty days of fasting. It’s a celebration where you get together with your community or your family, and you celebrate with your loved ones.  

When a lot of people think of Ramadan, they think about it as a month where Muslims abstain from eating and drinking. But it’s so much more than that. It is a month of spiritual reflection, worship, and charity. When I was young, I never really understood why we, as Muslims, fasted during the month. I was always that kid who was complaining about being hungry and counting down the hours until iftar. It wasn’t until I got older that I experienced the true significance of the month. 

For me, the month is really about empathy. I think that’s a huge takeaway – empathy for those who are suffering. When I’m fasting for these hours of the day, at the end of it, I get to break my fast. I think of the people who don’t have food and water and how they must feel. It makes you empathize with people and feel grateful for what you have. I wish more people knew about that spiritual side of Ramadan, that it isn’t just a month of abstaining from food and water. It’s a month that’s so beautiful – I think it’s so beautiful that billions of Muslims all over the world are coming back to their roots and re-grounding themselves.”

Humera Shaikh, Social Media & Communications Associate

GLIDE and eBay Present the Grand Finale 

“Power of One” Charity Auction Lunch with American legend Warren Buffett

April 25, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – GLIDE and eBay are pleased to present the grand finale of the Power of One Charity Auction Lunch with Warren Buffett.  Bidding will open on Sunday, June 12 at 7:30pm PDT.  After a two-year pandemic hiatus, this one-of-a-kind event is back in 2022, with the winning bidder having an opportunity to not only make history, but to spend an unforgettable afternoon with American legend Warren Buffett and build on GLIDE’s enduring legacy of impact.

Conceived by the late Susie Buffett,  the Power of One Charity Auction Lunch was launched in 2000 and initially raised $25,000. In 2003 and at Warren Buffet’s suggestion, the auction moved to eBay and since then has raised more than $34 million to support GLIDE.   All proceeds from Power of One Charity Auction Lunch go toward GLIDE’s transformative programs and services that lift people out of poverty, hunger, and homelessness, and advance equity through systems change. 

“GLIDE is recognized nationally as a leading center for equity and impact, dedicated to transforming lives. Warren Buffett’s friendship and generosity over the past 22 years have been invaluable in deepening GLIDE’s impact on the systems that drive poverty and inequity,” said GLIDE President and CEO Karen Hanrahan. “We are honored and deeply grateful for his unwavering support of GLIDE’s mission over the past two decades and his legacy will have a lasting positive impact on GLIDE and the clients we serve.” 

Since 2008, winning bids have exceeded $1M, and have helped GLIDE extend its reach and deepen its impact.  A cornerstone organization in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, GLIDE’s services have expanded to meet the challenges of the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased opioid overdoses and widening income disparity.  

GLIDE continues to move forward and is implementing a large-scale plan with evidence-based solutions that help more people in need exit crises into stability and onto pathways out of poverty. These innovative initiatives include expanded integrated mobile services to extend GLIDE’s reach into underserved communities and ensure more women and families of color get the support to make sustainable changes in their lives. Focused on impact and combating systems that foster inequity, GLIDE is influencing institutions of power, advancing policies and investments that break cycles of intergenerational poverty and homelessness, and enabling people to thrive for good.  

The Power of One Charity Auction Lunch launched on eBay in 2003, at the urging of Mr. Buffett who knew the marketplace had the power to attract bidders from all over the world. Since then, eBay has helped raise more than $34 million over the course of 20 lunches. eBay for Charity is one of the world’s largest charitable platforms, enabling eBay’s global community of 147 millions buyers to support the causes that matter most to them. 

“Every day, eBay connects people and builds communities in order to create economic opportunity for all,” said eBay’s CEO, Jamie Iannone. “eBay for Charity was created to pioneer a bold new model of charitable giving on one of the world’s largest marketplaces. Since its inception, through the generosity of our community, we’ve helped thousands of organizations around the world raise more than $1.1 billion on our platform. With Warren Buffett’s final Power Lunch we anticipate another record-setting auction with all proceeds supporting GLIDE – an organization that aligns with our mission and values by empowering people, promoting equality and creating economic opportunity.”

Bidding for this year’s Power of One Charity Auction Lunch begins at 7:30 pm PDT on June 12, 2022 and ends at 7:30 pm PDT on June 17, 2022.  Bidding starts at $25,000 and all bidders must be pre-qualified prior to the start of the event. To pre-qualify, visit: eBay.com/GLIDE.  Two billboards to announce the grand finale event went up today in Omaha in advance of the Berkshire & Hathaway annual shareholder’s meeting on April 30th. 

Winning bidders and up to seven of their guests dine at one of Mr. Buffett’s favorite restaurants – Smith & Wollensky in NYC.  As host of the annual Power of One Charity Auction Lunch, Alan Stillman, founder of Smith & Wollensky, has generously donated tens of thousands of dollars to the event. The restaurant has been called “the quintessential New York steakhouse” by Gourmet Magazine and “the steakhouse to end all arguments” by The New York Times.

For more information about the grand finale of the Power of One Charity Auction Lunch with Warren Buffett , please contact GLIDE at (415) 674-6060Buffett@GLIDE.org,  or visit eBay.com/GLIDE. For more information about GLIDE please visit GLIDE.org.

About GLIDE:
For nearly six decades spanning political, economic and cultural changes, GLIDE has served as a social justice movement, social service provider and spiritual community dedicated to strengthening communities and transforming lives.   GLIDE is a nationally-recognized center for equity, dedicated to fighting systemic injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis, and transforming lives. Through our integrated comprehensive services, advocacy initiatives, and inclusive community, we empower individuals, families, and children to achieve stability and thrive. GLIDE is on the forefront of addressing some of society’s most pressing issues, including  poverty, housing and homelessness, and racial and social justice.

About eBay for Charity
eBay for Charity enables members of the eBay community to connect with and support their favorite charities when they buy or sell in the U.S. and abroad. Sellers can donate up to 100 percent of the proceeds to a charity of their choice, while buyers can add a donation to their purchase during checkout. To date, more than $1.1 billion dollars has been raised for charity by the eBay community, and the program is on-track to raise an additional $600 million by 2025. Visit www.eBayforCharity.org for more information.

About eBay
eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) is a global commerce leader that connects people and builds communities to create economic opportunity for all. Our technology empowers millions of buyers and sellers in more than 190 markets around the world, providing everyone the opportunity to grow and thrive. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. In 2021, eBay enabled over $87 billion of gross merchandise volume. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.

Denise Lamott, for GLIDE
(415) 381–8793, Denise@DeniseLamottPR.com

Michael McAlpin, for GLIDE
(415) 674-6016, mmcalpin@glide.org

Evelyn Kha, for eBay
(408) 284-9804, ekha@ebay.com

GLIDE Voices is honoring Passover; we asked Rabbi Michael Lezak, what does Passover mean to you?     

“Passover might be the best Jewish story, because it’s a story of hope. It’s a story of finding the deep courage to look head on at pain, to know that pain does not last forever. It can be transformed, can be transformed by God, or it can be transformed by human beings. We see it on a daily basis, how we at GLIDE transform people’s lives. 

In the Torah, which is the Jewish Bible, we read many stories. One of the central stories there is about how the Israelites, the Jewish people, were enslaved in Egypt for over 400 years. They were enslaved by a series of leaders that were called Pharaoh. The Hebrew word for Egypt is Mizraim, and it means a narrow or squeezed place. When you are enslaved, you cannot make any choices, you are hurt physically, you have no time off. So, I think about that ‘being squeezed’ notion. I have never been enslaved, but mythically, my people have been, and every year at Passover we retell the story. We live the story. We eat the story. We share meals that make that story come to life. 

Passover is an eight-day festival. We clean our houses fervently before. We take any leavened products, any baked goods out of the house and we only eat flat bread that we call matzo. Matzo is the bread of poverty in the Passover story book, which is called the Haggadah. It is the bread we eat for Passover because when we were running away from Pharaoh, we didn’t have time to let our bread rise. So, for eight days in a row, my kids, my family, and my community eat this bread that we ate when we were running out of Egypt. It is a reminder you came from brutality; your people were born out of an experience that forged you as a people, an experience that was brutal and intense. 

36 times in the Torah, it says, ‘Remember, you were a stranger in a strange land.’ So, to my mind, it’s like, ‘Don’t ever forget you came from that horrific place,’ which fuels me into looking to people living in dire straits today and saying, ‘What can I do to help?’ And one of the main answers is GLIDE. GLIDE helps, as does the Jewish community. I want to be a part of that. I’m at GLIDE in many reasons because of the Passover story, because the force of grabbing liberation is a story I wanted to tell and wanted to be a part of.” 

Rabbi Michael Lezak

GLIDE Voices is honoring Ramadan; we asked Guled Muse, Community Engagement Manager, what does Ramadan mean to you?    

“Ramadan is very transformative.  It is a way to honor the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and to honor the first revelations of Quran scripture. It’s a way to feel spiritually connected to the rest of the Muslim community and those who don’t have anything.  

Ramadan, to me, is about revival, it’s about reflection, and it’s about reciprocity. After being able to fast for 30 days, it pushes a reset button to your whole mind frame on how you see life. It also shows what determination can do and it helps me really reflect on my shortcomings, but also the state of the world. Oftentimes, when you suppress yourself from eating or drinking, you reach that moment of survival where the only person you’re thinking about is yourself. For me to get my mind away from that, I think about others and think about others who are suffering. There are many parts of the world where people are not even able to break their fast but still have to oblige this sacred obligation. It makes me count my blessings. 

If there’s one important thing that I wish people knew about Ramadan, is the sense of community that you get when you break your fast with a fellow man. It’ll be somebody you don’t even know. You don’t know what their life is, you don’t know what their social status is or how much money they make or where they’re at, but in the house of God, you’re able to break bread with your brother and that’s all you see him as. And that’s a level of community and empathy that I wish people really understood. 

I would love to just share this Ayat. An Ayat is a revelation, a divine revelation. And the thing is, it’s a divine revelation to let you know that higher power exists. It doesn’t only pertain to description. It’s “verily with every hardship comes ease.” So, for everyone doing this work, especially when you feel down and out, just know that there’s wisdom, there’s beauty in it. Anybody working at GLIDE, we all know that this work is hard. But for every hardship comes true ease, that’s in the Quran.” 

Guled Muse, Community Engagement Manager

This week, GLIDE is honoring National Volunteer Week by celebrating our amazing volunteers! We are kicking the week off with a spotlight on Andy Shapiro, who has been volunteering at GLIDE for over two years. Tune in below as Andy recalls his first volunteer shift at GLIDE, what he loves about volunteering, and what it’s like to be apart of the GLIDE community.

We are so grateful for our volunteers and their impact. Thank you, Andy, for all that you do and making a difference in our community! To learn how you can get involved with GLIDE, visit our Volunteer page.

GLIDE joins with many in the Bay Area and those across the nation in mourning the passing of Richard Blum. GLIDE President & CEO Karen Hanrahan and GLIDE Co-Founder Reverend Cecil Williams remember the life and spirit of Richard:

“A truly remarkable individual, Richard was a change agent for radical inclusiveness, a social justice advocate, a former GLIDE Board member, and a longtime member and supporter of our community. We are deeply saddened by his loss.”

“A San Francisco business executive, philanthropist, and partner of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, for decades Richard was a steadfast champion of GLIDE’s work to help more people off the streets into stability and transform systems to enable equity for all and bring lasting change, not only to this city but to the world.

GLIDE holds his family close to our hearts, and we offer them our love, prayers, and support during this difficult time.”

Dear Friends,

I am excited to share some good news about GLIDE for the coming year! While we’ve been innovating and adapting during COVID-19, we’ve also been making headway on our plans to deepen and expand GLIDE’s impact and provide sustainable solutions to the growing challenges facing San Francisco. Below are a few highlights of what’s coming up in 2022:  

  • Doubling our Reach Across San Francisco.  GLIDE is planning to expand its reach by bringing integrated services to under-resourced neighborhoods across San Francisco to help more people off the streets for good. We will increase our mobile fleet of vans, pop-up service hubs, and community-based partnerships to bring expanded services, referrals, and linkages to South of Market (SOMA), Potrero Hill, Bayview Hunters Point and more areas of the Tenderloin. For both families and individuals, we will provide essential stabilizing services and resources to address immediate needs as well as those needs inherent in building stable, healthy lives, avoiding homelessness and building pathways out of poverty. 

  • Modernizing our Facilities. GLIDE’s longstanding leadership in the Tenderloin and our commitment to provide hope and solutions for the community remain a top priority. To deepen our impact in the Tenderloin and across the city, we have begun exploring opportunities to upgrade our outdated headquarters at 330 Ellis. This month, we will submit a Real Estate Preliminary Project Assessment (PPA) to the City of San Francisco to examine the feasibility of upgrading our building into a new community services hub. This will allow us to remain an anchor in the Tenderloin with expanded service space in an enhanced, equitable, and more modern facility. This is a preliminary step to explore the feasibility of a multi-year development process with collective community input. (Visit our FAQ page for more details.)

  • Updating GLIDE’s Governance Structure. GLIDE has established a new structure that separates the governance and management of the GLIDE Foundation from Glide Memorial Church. GLIDE Foundation has updated its non-profit legal status to a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation to reflect the foundation’s longstanding – and growing – body of work on direct services, systems change and equity. Glide Memorial Church is now a legal subsidiary of GLIDE Foundation and designated as a non-profit religious corporation with its own board of directors. While we continue to operate with many shared values, this distinction between GLIDE Foundation and Glide Memorial Church provides long-needed clarity for our community and aligns with best practices on separation of religious from non-religious activities. (Visit our FAQ page for more details.)

  • Expanding Equity & Inclusion Programming. This year, to expand our efforts to evolve and influence institutions of power, we’re planning another transformative Justice Pilgrimage to Alabama. We begin the journey with a curated experience by GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice to open eyes and minds to our collective history of slavery and its modern manifestations. This sojourn adds forceful testimony to how racism is woven throughout our country via oppressive and unjust systems, policies, and laws – as well as within business models and practices. Along with our empathy-building programs with police, district attorneys, and healthcare workers, these initiatives create change agents who – upon returning to their professional alliances – drive more progress towards equity and inclusion. 

From expanded integrated services to modernizing outdated facilities and governance structures to transformative racial justice work, these innovative efforts reflect how we are building the next generation of GLIDE. We remain rooted in our values and are steadfastly committed to helping more people off the streets, out of poverty, and bringing lasting change to our city. 

I look forward to keeping you updated and engaged as a supporter and thought partner as GLIDE progresses. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with ideas and questions in the coming months.   

In solidarity, 

Karen J. Hanrahan 
President & CEO, GLIDE

GLIDE Voices is honoring Black History Month; we asked Senecca Vaughn, Women’s Center Peer Advocate, what does Black History Month mean for you?    

Senecca holding up her Africa pendant necklace

“Black History Month used to be a week back in the ’50s and ’60s. I am happy we do have at least a month out of the year in which we are recognized and acknowledged for all of our accomplishments, because this country would not be what it was without Black people, period. 

My grandmother was born in 1928 in Mobile, Alabama. When she was young, she saw her family’s farm taken from her. Her and my uncle had a horse, the family had horses and farm animals. And she said she watched the white folks come and take the land from them. I often wish I would’ve known exactly where that land was because I’d try to go fight for it in some way, shape or form. My grandmother raised 11 kids during Jim Crow. Those were the laws that kept Black people from having full, equal rights. You know, you’d have two schools, but the white schools had the better everything. Black folks barely had a book to share, kept people from buying, kept us from voting properly, just pretty much the same fundamental systematic racism that we have today. It’s just back then it was more outright, blatant.  

I feel like the more things change, the more they stay the same. One thing I do love is that I can fight back. My grandmother, I guess she didn’t feel like she could have. And even growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, I saw her kind of just, keep her head down and do what she was told when it came to the white establishment. I told myself, I’m not doing that, because I feel like you fought and your people fought, and your ancestors and great grandparents fought so that I wouldn’t have to do that. Now, the voice may go unheard still, but it definitely goes unheard if you don’t speak up. So, I believe in speaking up now. 

Being Black in America is a beautiful disaster. It is dope to be Black, but it’s also dangerous and it’s scary. In my lifetime, I didn’t think I would have to worry about getting shot walking down the street, or I never thought I’d see a cop and see danger, as opposed to safety. But one thing I can and will do, I will speak up for myself. I don’t have to keep my head down. I’m not going to dim my light because it’s too bright for you.” 

Senecca Vaughn, Women’s Center Peer Advocate