St. Anthony's Foundation serves hope along with a hot meal in SF this Christmas

Melanie Woodrow Image
Tuesday, December 26, 2023
St. Anthony's Foundation serves hope in SF this Christmas
St. Anthony's Foundation in the Tenderloin served 1,500 meals to guests Christmas Day.

SAN FRANCSICO (KGO) -- St. Anthony's Foundation in the Tenderloin served 1,500 meals to guests Christmas day.

For 73 years St. Anthony's Foundation has been serving guests a hot meal on Christmas, and for 20 years the Wasserman family has been volunteering to help.

"This is Josh, and he was seven when we started doing this," said Sharon Wasserman.

"It's a very important part of our tradition. It taught me at a very early age the importance of working community service into your life and your schedule," said her son, Josh Wasserman.

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Allison Wasserman, now 32 and living in Los Angeles, travels back to San Francisco to volunteer every year.

"I honestly, like, I can't remember not doing it," she said.

"We love the mission, and the message, and yeah, we could be doing anything, but we get up, and this is what we do, now it's part of our tradition," said Sharon Wasserman.

"Just trying to help other people instead of staying home and unwrapping presents or whatever," said Steven Wasserman.

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"This is a great opportunity for us to connect with our community, connect with our guests and serve them a warm meal but at the same time serve them a smile as well," said St. Anthony's Foundation Interim CEO Bryan Young.

Christopher Harris appreciated being able to spend his Christmas there.

"I have no family here. They're all back on the east coast, and this is a blessing, just to have a hot meal on Christmas Day," Harris said.

The difference St. Anthony's makes extends beyond the holidays.

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David Wheat says he used to sleep outside St. Anthony's -- addicted to crystal meth and with nothing left. Nine months ago he changed his life with their help.

"My life is so much better now. It's so much better without it," Wheat said.

Now he works at St. Anthony's in guest services.

"I was finally ready to change. I was at my wits end. I had no hope left," Wheat said.

Hope -- what St. Anthony's is serving every day, along with chicken, vegetables and whole lot of brownies this Christmas.

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