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April 1, 2020


Dear Sunset Youth Services Friends and Family,

We know how disorienting this season is for our own families, the youth we serve, and our communities. There’s so much out of our control and yet laughter, song, and hugs (the social-distancing variety) are what we regularly dish out as we strive to keep our young people grounded in relationships and love.

Frustrated by home confinement? No problem, we’ve got a song for that. 


Need help feeding your family? We’ll make a delivery and give a social-distancing hug. 


Having trouble connecting with your probation officer because you’re sheltering in place and don’t have a phone? We’ll wait outside the apartment building until someone lets us in, and then talk through the door to help you navigate the situation.

There’s so much we can accomplish with a bit of creativity and time, but putting on a benefit gala with catered dinner and live band in the midst of a pandemic is not one of them. With the shelter-in-place order we’ve had to make the very difficult decision to cancel our Annual Sunset by the Bay fundraiser at the Bently Reserve and trust our giving community to help us make up the shortfall. In its place we're hosting "Live from the Living Room"––our virtual gala! Mark your calendars for May 1st at 7pm and join us on FB Live to meet these critical needs.


As you know, the needs of San Francisco’s vulnerable youth and families are greater than ever––many anticipate layoffs, lack access to good food, are contending with chaotic home environments, and are struggling to keep kids safe while cooped up at home. We need your help to raise $88,000 to meet our gala goal and sustain essential services to youth and families who have no financial buffer and few other resources. 


Every gift made to this critical appeal–up to $30,000–will be matched dollar-for-dollar through a generous donation. We hope we can rely on your support.


If you read our Response to COVID-19, you know that although we’re mostly sheltering in place, we are actively addressing the most urgent needs of our youth community. Relationships and crisis response are our highest priority.

We’re working with the new Juvenile Probation Chief, Katy Weinstein Miller, to address the needs of young people who are currently in detention. As a member of the Sunset Family Resource Center (FRC), we’re also meeting with the city’s other 25 family resource centers to organize service provision in an evolving landscape in which domestic violence is on the rise and city funding priorities are changing.


In the meantime our Justice Services, Workforce Development, Digital Arts and Technology, Family Support, and Healing Arts teams are meeting regularly to discuss and deploy creative interventions, virtual support groups, job coaching sessions online, and regular check-ins for overwhelmed families and anxious young people for whom social distancing is amplifying isolation and disconnection.

Please make your donation today to ensure uninterrupted services to our youth and families who most urgently need them.

With great hope,

Dawn Stueckle

Executive Director

P.S. Donate online or by phone 415-710-0495. We're happy to help with a corporate match or bequest, and answer any questions.

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