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Coronavirus: How you can help Bay Area’s most vulnerable

With the coronavirus shelter-in-place order in effect in the Bay Area, readers are asking how they can help during this period. Many nonprofit community groups, charities, food banks and other organizations are anticipating a strain on their resources and are requesting financial donations to help them continue to provide services while other organizations still need healthy volunteers.

Here are organizations, by category, that need your donations and volunteer time. The Chronicle’s Season of Sharing Fund is also currently taking donations: 100 percent of the money raised goes directly to help the families and communities served.

Disability services

Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center: The mission of Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center is to provide recreational, vocational and educational opportunities for people with disabilities. Program staff may be available to visit your home and take your participant out for a brief walk.

Faith-affiliated organizations

Catholic Charities San Francisco: Catholic Charities partners with community, business and interfaith groups to reach those in need, including individuals and families experiencing homelessness, single parent families, people with HIV/AIDS, immigrants and seniors. Though associated with the San Francisco Archdiocese, they operate as an independent organization and do not directly contribute funds to the church.

What they need: Cash donations to support staff and essential workers. To donate visit:

Services offered: Catholic Charities is providing homelessness outreach and homeless prevention services. Their Center for Immigration Legal and Support Services remains open via phone at 415-972-1238. They are committed to working with seniors living on their own, and although programs have closed they are still providing twice-a-week food service where seniors can pick up groceries at OMI Senior Center at 65 Beverly St., San Francisco.

Glide: Glide is a 50-year-old church community and social services provider located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.

What they need: Cash donations. To donate visit:

Services offered: The Daily Free Meals program has been adjusted to utilize takeout containers to deliver hot meals three times daily. The walk-in center services, including shelter bed reservations, continue via a triage desk in the lobby to avoid congregating unsafely in the building. GLIDE’s Harm Reduction Services have paused offsite HIV/Hep C testing events due to health and safety in favor of one-on-one testing. The Syringe Access Services will continue. GLIDE Church’s celebration online continues Sundays at 9:00 & 11:00 a.m. through April.

Food banks and delivery services

Alameda County Community Food Bank: The organization supplies hundreds of thousands of meals to a variety of agencies — including soup kitchens, food pantries, child care centers and more — on a weekly basis. They’re in urgent need of volunteers to help them build Emergency Food Bags and prepare fresh produce.

Call Primrose: The organization is offering free groceries to any family/person in need in San Mateo County and will deliver.

Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program: The organization collects donated food from USDA, Safeway, Trader Joe’s and others, and distributes it to those in need in the Emeryville-Oakland area.

• To volunteer:

Food Runners: The organization delivers meals to neighborhood food programs. They need volunteers for the program to pick up perishable and prepared food from businesses and deliver it in vehicles directly to neighborhood food programs. The relay program provides enough food for more than 20,000 meals every week in San Francisco.

• To volunteer:

Hands on Bay Area:The organization has compiled a list of ways people can volunteer for community support, including food banks, food pantries, deliveries and more.

Meals on Wheels: The organization delivers about 7,200 meals a day to 3,600 residents, most of whom are over 60 and have difficulty leaving the house. They need donations to support their services.

• To donate:

Project Open Hand: The organization provides nutritious meals to the sick and vulnerable.

• To donate:

• To volunteer:

San Francisco-Marin Food Bank: The organization serves more than 141,000 people every week. The food bank, which relies on volunteers, has seen roughly half of its volunteers cancel shifts for March.

Second Harvest: The food bank provides food to more than 250,000 people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties every month. They need donations and volunteers to sort or distribute food.

Silicon Valley Strong: The organization was launched by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo as an initiative for those most hurt by the pandemic. They need donations and volunteers to help food security for the county’s residents — primarily seniors and medically vulnerable.

St. Anthony’s Foundation: The organization provides 2,400 meals a day and also provides people in need with clean clothing and addiction recovery services. They need one-time donations or monthly donations to help support their services.

• To donate:

Supply Bank: Functioning similar to a food bank, Supply Bank instead distributes other provisions, including baby wipes, diapers, etc. It partners with 450 different agencies throughout the Bay Area and elsewhere in the state and plans to stay open during the coronavirus epidemic.

• To donate:

• For more information on food banks in California, visit

Elder care

Institute on Aging: The organization offers a 24-hour friendship line for people 60 years and older, adults with disabilities and those feeling isolated. The number is 800-971-0016.

Little Brothers — Friends of the Elderly: The organization brings people together through programming that works to reduce isolation and loneliness among older adults. They need donors to sponsor care packages and volunteers to call elderly people in the community.

Oakland At Risk Match: The nonprofit pairs healthy young adults with low-risk factors for COVID-19 with an elder or immunocompromised member of the community who might need help over the next few weeks.

• To volunteer:

Volunteer: Essentials Delivery: This community initiative organizes volunteers to shop for and deliver essentials to an elderly and/or immunocompromised neighbor. They need healthy volunteers to be matched with a vulnerable member of the community.

• To volunteer: Start at this form

Homeless services

Coalition on Homelessness: The Coalition on Homelessness organizes homeless people and service providers to help create longtime solutions to homelessness, and also protect the human rights of the vulnerable who forced to stay on the streets.

• To donate:

Compass Family Services: The nonprofit offers services to homeless and at-risk families in the Bay Area. The COVID-19 Family Care emergency kit can be purchased for $500: $450 goes directly to one vulnerable family through digital gift cards for emergency supplies such as food, pharmacy needs, and cleaning products; $50 goes to maintaining emergency remote and in-person services for homeless and at-risk families.

• To donate a family care kit, start here

LGBTQ organizations

LGBTQ Center: The LGBTQ Center supports the needs of the LGBTQ community and allies through programming and by connecting people to a network of organizations. Information and referral services have moved online and mental health services and financial coaching have moved to a virtual format.

Queer Cultural Center: Queer Cultural Center is a multiracial community-building organization that fosters the artistic, economic and cultural development of San Francisco’s LGBTQ community.

GLBT Historical Society: For 35 years the GLBT Historical Society has been committed to the twin goals of preserving and sharing LGBTQ history through their archives and museum in the Castro.

Medical Services

American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region: The rise of the new coronavirus, in conjunction with the typical cold and influenza season, “has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply,” Red Cross officials said. “The number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further.”

• To donate blood:

UCSF Coronavirus Fund: The medical center is working rapidly to treat cases of COVID-19 and stop the spread of the infectious virus.

Mutual aid, children and other resources

Disability Justice Culture Club: The organization has put together a mutual aid project that will get help and supplies to the Bay Area’s most vulnerable. They need resources and healthy volunteers.

• To volunteer: Start at this form

East Bay Mutual Aid: The organization is organizing a group of volunteers for various services — meal preparation, childcare, running errands, pet-sitting, etc.

• To volunteer: Start at this form

San Mateo Volunteer Opportunities: The City of San Mateo is actively working with other cities and nonprofits to identify the needs of their communities. They need people to sign up for their Volunteer Interest List.

• To volunteer: Start at this survey

South Bay Mutual Aid: A coalition of community organizations — Serve the People San José, Silicon Valley DSA, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Anakbayan, Rapid Response Network, South Bay Community Land Trust —, community members and students who have been organizing a mutual aid fund to coordinate food and supply drop offs to people’s front doors.

• To volunteer: Start at this form

Supporting parents and their children: Many parents will be forced into full-time caregiving and home-schooling responsibilities during this time, as schools across the region may be shut down through the spring. If you have free time and are looking for work, reach out to your community about ways you can virtually tutor or support families who are looking for extra help. Tell folks about the resources that are available to them.

Services available: San Francisco officials are distrubuting 23,200 free pick-up meals daily, including breakfast and lunch, for all children 18 and younger from 9 to 10 a.m. For a list of sites, go to

Mental health

• Felton Institute San Francisco Suicide Prevention provides a 24-hour hotline for people experiencing mental health crises. 415-781-0500.

• Institute on Aging offers a 24-hour friendship line for people 60 years and older, adults with disabilities and those feeling isolated. 800-971-0016.

• Mental Health Association of San Francisco has a 24-hour peer-run line for nonemergency emotional support. 855-845-7415.

• Headspace meditation app has a library of guided meditations.

• Ten Percent Happier app offers guided meditations, coronavirus-focused sessions (free of charge) and a daily virus-focused livestream and Q&A.

• The Virus Anxiety website has daily mantras, write-in mental health questions and calming online distractions.

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