On Tuesday September 20th at Raphael House in San Francisco, the joint Aramark, LifeWorks and British American Business Council Task Force held its 2016 “Aramark Building Community (ABC)” Day. Raphael House is a safe, 5-story shelter for families who have become homeless as a result of economic hardship. For 45 years, Raphael House has helped families gain financial independence and move into stable housing, with an 85% success rate, thereby breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for nearly 20,000 families and counting.
Over 80 volunteers, split into seven teams, tackled projects throughout Raphael House that had been in serious need of attention. Volunteers completely transformed many rooms in the house with a fresh coat of paint including the Toddler Room, Teen Room, Mental Health Office, Solarium meeting space, and Laundry Room. There was a complete transformation of a space that was once an apartment for live-in interns into a functional storage space and staff lounge.
The fence surrounding the rooftop which had previously been painted multiple shades of brown, was completely covered in one uniform color of paint. A team of volunteers planted new herbs in the rooftop garden that were handpicked by the Head Chef for use in the kitchen. The 250+ books that were donated on behalf of ABC Day were carefully organized in the Adult and Children’s Library. Volunteers also set up for the Aramark Health and Wellness Fair, a separate event made possible by a grant from the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. In all, 12 spaces in the house were revitalized and the work done by volunteers accounted for over 600 hours of employee time!
Simon J. Elliot, Director of Business Development at LifeWorks Restaurant Group, spearheaded the ABC Day along with an organizing committee and leadership team, all of whom joined in and supported the various projects going on at Raphael House. Andrew Whittaker, new H.M. Consul General to San Francisco, painted and swept the rooftop garden, and we were honored to have him join us. 2020 Productions videotaped and interviewed volunteers and staff, and a video will be available soon.
Over $70,000 was raised in cash donations, grants and support for Raphael House, in addition to the invaluable and very generous donations of services and products including:
- Translation Services thanks to Cyracom
- Conference Call services thanks to LoopUp
- Thanksgiving Turkeys thanks to Aramark Refreshment Services
- Library Books, Dining Room Art, FitBits, Herbs for the Garden, stress relief balls and Yoga Mats thanks to Aramark Building Community
- Healthy Eating Cook Books from The American Heart Association
- Back Packs, Bedding and Linen thanks to Aramark Uniform Services
- A Year of Coffee & Tea supply thanks to Peets Coffee & Tea, and
- Family Field Trip Tickets to SF’s favorite family attractions thanks to Stephanie Elliot.
Thank you for all of your help and support in making this the most successful Aramark Building Community Day yet! Thank you to the British American Business Council for your partnership and support! Thank you to Aramark and ABC Day! Additional donations sought for the remainder of the year include: Books for the library, Clipper Cards and mobility, Family Fun Days, and Laptops. If you’d like to donate or learn more, please visitwww.raphaelhouse.org. You and your family are invited to come tour Raphael House on Saturday, October 22nd, from 10 am to 2 pm, and see the wonderful work that is being done for families, transforming their lives and giving them a brighter future!