How ROCK is making a difference for youth in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On this Day of Giving, all of us at ABC7 and our parent company, Disney, are hoping you'll consider support for nonprofit organizations that make our communities stronger. ABC7 News reporter David Louie has a long-standing relationship with a group in San Francisco that focuses on improving the lives of young people.

Here's why he supports R.O.C.K.

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The youth program R.O.C.K., or Real Options for City Kids, had real challenges this year. It had to re-invent its summer camp program and make it virtual. I've supported R.O.C.K. for over a decade because of all it does for young people in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley, a low-income community which counts on R.O.C.K. for after-school, recreational and enrichment programs.

The pandemic also caused R.O.C.K. to celebrate its 26th anniversary with a virtual fundraiser two weeks ago, a format with unknown appeal but with high expectations. As an honorary board member, I was asked to serve as emcee.

"Wow, that was an incredible opening," said Louie as the virtual event's opening title sequence ended.

The response was enthusiastic. A dollar-matching pledge from a foundation was a big help. Still, more is needed.

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"Our budget doesn't change," said executive director Curt Yagi. "Our needs are still there, and so we just have to do all we can to raise funds."

The remarkable thing about R.O.C.K. is how it has changed lives, providing the kind of support that makes a difference in the lives of young people. Over the years, they've achieved so much, going to college, becoming skilled trades people and returning to R.O.C.K. as staff or volunteers.

"Just seeing the kids that I knew when they were in second grade or younger, and now they're adults, and they're successful and healthy and remember me. And R.O.C.K.," said Yagi.

And that's why I support R.O.C.K. and other nonprofits that make our community stronger. You can support R.O.C.K., too, by making a donation on its website.
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