“Tell Me What LOVE Is”

By: Lillian Mark, GLIDE program team member since 2004

This year I celebrate 10 years on GLIDE staff not including the 3 semesters I spent here as an intern prior. During my tenure at GLIDE the people in my life and the people I meet have had many questions: Did you always know you wanted to help people? Why would you choose to do this? Why would you choose to work there? What makes you stay? My response to those questions change as I am changed by this place every day.

151005 Advocacy at City Hall 2014 -- Lillian Mark

John Powell, GLIDE Security Staff, shares a 20-year journey with GLIDE and he says “When you come to GLIDE, you’re always going to come out with something, maybe a piece of fried chicken, no matter what you’re going in for you’re going to come out with something better than what you went in with.” Ten years ago I came to GLIDE seeking community and justice. I wanted to be a part of a legacy, a mission, a body of people that believed in justice and acted on those beliefs valiantly. I found all of those things, but more importantly, I found LOVE. GLIDE has changed how I understand and hold LOVE; it is greater, deeper and more daring than I have ever known.

Ana Guillen, GLIDE Walk-In Center Manager, was sitting at one of the workstations in the Center wearing two hats: attending to her managerial administrative duties while providing coverage for staff out sick. A client approached her and pushed a document towards her and said “Type this.” In the moment she was taken aback by the abruptness and forcefulness of the request, especially given the myriad of tasks before her. Nonetheless, she typed up the documented, printed it, and handed it back to him. He held it in his hands, looked up at her and says “This is LOVE. Here, this, this is LOVE. I have a job, but I come here for shelter and I come here to eat. This is LOVE.”

I sat in a Women’s Center drop-in support group the other morning. One of the women who had spent many months homeless previously handed staff a plastic bag and said “This is a shirt. It’s for Ms. Kathy. It’s a bigger size and I know she needs bigger sizes.” I was humbled. Many times when we look in at a community like GLIDE’s, we think about scarcity. While this may be true for food security, access to quality health care, affordable housing, and workforce opportunities, there is another story that is unfolding here – from one woman to another who knows what it feels like to walk in her shoes, there is LOVE and bountifulness, and there is still room to be generous even when we ourselves may not have enough.

The LOVE we receive in this very moment gives us strength and hope for the next moment.
It lets us know that people see us, hear us and care about us.
It restores our faith in ourselves and others.It lets us know that we are worthy.

This incredible basic, human need is what GLIDE has always provided.

It cannot be measured by tools made by men and women, but I know it is here because I feel it deeply, and it has changed me forever.

And this is why I am still here.

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Do you care about building community and advancing social justice in San Francisco? Are you searching for ways to serve and advocate for our city's most vulnerable people? The GLIDE Legacy Committee is recruiting new members through November 3! .
Join a group of motivated young professionals who are committed to GLIDE's mission to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. To apply or request more info, please send your resume and a statement of interest to Moses Ike and Kevin Pong via youngprofessionals@glide.org .
We look forward to hearing from you! #unconditionallove #community @glidesflegacy @wyattmm @brentongieser @amygardner9 @lauranthom @like_theres_no_tamara @krayjay_ @msemmyhelene @sublimerubbish @alissagrier @just_faffing @sldowd Check our homepage for a message of hope and recovery from GLIDE's leadership team. Link in profile. #northbayfires #recovery #disasterrelief #wednesdaywisdom TOMORROW, 2:00 pm, Freedom Hall: Join the GLIDE community for a free performance by Golden Thread Productions of "Oh My Sweet Land." Check out our interview with the director, Torange Yeghiazarian, to learn about this moving and timely story and why she chose GLIDE as a venue (link in profile)! Following the performance, there will be home-cooked Syrian food and community conversation. All are welcome! 
#sftheatre #bayareaarts #realtalk #community #discussion #syrianconflict #middleeast #refugeecrisis @cuttingball @zendesk @tndcsf @stanthonysf @projectopenhand @counterpulse @odcikin Did you know that October is #domesticviolenceawarenessmonth? Stay tuned for news on how GLIDE recognizes and addresses this important issue. #repost from @anewyearsrevolution  #takeastand

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