Books open up new worlds to the reader — especially important for our kids after their experiencing nine months of shelter-in-place distance learning from home. For the past several years, the holiday season has meant it was time for the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN) book giveaway at lead agency MEDA’s Plaza Adelante neighborhood center, with the goal of distribution of much-needed items for the season. With COVID-19 still in our midst, MPN and valued partners knew they had to pivot. The result? A reimagined “Sixth Annual Holiday Book Giveaway” still took place last Friday, much to the delight of low-income Latino and immigrant families.

In-kind donations of books
First up was the garnering of in-kind donations of books, with 1,600 collected. There were stories about emotions, especially critical during the stressful crisis. Books celebrating  immigrant neighborhoods, such as the beloved “Mi Papi has a Motorcycle.” And many more books popular with our kids young and old.

A trio of donors — all part of the annual event for the prior five years — again stepped up to the plate. Tandem, Partners in Early Learning contributed 800 books, while Children’s Book Project donated 500 and the San Francisco Public Library added 100 more to the total. There were even some books donated by community members and friends of MPN staff. Additionally, this year featured a generous donation from San Francisco philanthropist Leagrey Dimond, whose laudable efforts during the pandemic have already translated to on-the-ground support to best help families weather the economic crisis (blog). Ms. Dimond has always loved books; she even owned a popular bookstore in the city for many years. Knowing of the need, Ms. Dimond made an in-kind donation of 175 books for our kids, so that they could have presents for the holidays.

In addition to books, gift bags included numerous age-appropriate items: board games, such as vocabulary cards; memorization tools;  puzzles; school supplies, ranging from crayons to colored pencils to notepads; and holiday baking kits for high schoolers. For the parents, Ms. Dimond again came through, acting as liaison for the sub-granting of 200 personal-care kits from The Hispanic Star, part of a Procter & Gamble program through nonprofit ALAS.

Second was logistics: This meant figuring how to safely disburse 189 gift bags, with the bulk in the 94110 and 94103 ZIP codes that comprise MPN’s footprint. Other MPN families lived outside the footprint, but had kids attending schools in the Mission. In all, seven delivery routes were delineated. Staff were able to catch a glimpse of where families are hunkering down during the pandemic, from visiting neighborhoods that have been historically neglected of resources to new affordable developments housing some of our MPN families who are fortunate enough to have won the City’s below-market-rate (BMR) apartment lottery.

To determine recipients, family success coaches identified five to 10 families most in need — families with whom they engage at the nine MPN schools, Felton Family Developmental Center and 13 family child care sites that provide 120 infant/toddler and preschool-age children quality care and education. Staff registered each family by identifying the number of children in the household and their age/grade.

The socially distanced idea was for masked team members to ring bells and drop off the gift bags at the doorstep. No easy task, with 305 kids excitedly waiting on the routes and with only a two-hour delivery window. Thanks to District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen’s staffers, who were a great help with the distribution of the bags.

The good news this year was the San Francisco Public Library additional donation of 200 books earmarked for students at Cesar Chavez Elementary School for their annual read-a-thon, whereby students can win prizes for the most books read over the winter break. Parents safely picked up these books at the school, with grade levels from kindergarten to fifth grade and titles in both English and Spanish. 

Not letting the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic deter them, the MPN team was honored to still be able to help our families in need during this season of giving. 

As the gift bags were delivered, parents and kids alike beamed with delight: A true present not just for these families, but for the MPN team itself.

Read More

You’re invited to be a “Part of the Promise” this year, as we collectively work improve the lives of our students.

It’s easy. Just donate to a cause in the Mission in lieu of purchasing gifts, or ask your friends and family to make your holiday gift a tax-deductible donation.

There are many impactful Mission-based organizations providing access to critical services and information for families, and public schools serving as bilingual hubs for the community.

Immediate classroom and school needs
If you’re interested in directly donating to a classroom or school, we are excited to announce a few ways that you can support Mission students to close out the year.

Various projects are up on Donors Choose — a website that allow you to enhance the everyday learning experience for our Mission students by funding specific projects. Donations, of all sizes, help teachers get the supplies they need for the upcoming second semester.

Here’s a list so that you can find a project that taps into your educational passion and meets a community need.

Elementary School Projects

Secondary School Projects

*these projects expire before Jan. 1

A little or a lot. Give your time. Gain a community.
Prefer to donate your time as you get more involved in the community in the New Year? Resolve to help students reach their learning goals next semester.

At Cesar Chavez Elementary School, located at Shotwell and 23rd streets, Reading Partners will train you on building specific literacy skills and pair you up with a student to read with each week. Sam and Megan did so and changed their own perspective as a neighbor, while providing invaluable support to accelerate a student’s learning. Join our team! Take a few minutes to sign up for a training so that you can get started when students return from the winter break.

Alternatively, the San Francisco Education Fund clears volunteers to get involved at Everett Middle School and O’Connell High School. There are top-priority opportunities to support students’ growth in math at both schools — especially Algebra for high school freshmen. Get started by attending an orientation in person or online, and give yourself a few weeks to brush up on your math skills before getting in the classroom.

For more information about how you can support the academic success of our students in the Mission District, contact the Mission Promise Neighborhood: (866) 379-7758;

Welcome to the community, and thank you for being “Part of the Promise!”


About Mission Promise Neighborhood

The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

Read More

2567-11182016_vol-doubledutch-turkey-giveaway-2016-social-media-images_blogEveryone’s got a long shopping list for this Thursday’s Thanksgiving meal, but for some that list cannot easily be met … if at all.

The habitually underresourced sometimes cannot fit the added expense of this holiday meal into their tight budget. This is true of a number of Mission Promise Neighborhood families, with household incomes less than half that of the median of expensive San Francisco.

The good news is that 57 Mission Promise Neighborhood families now have the complete meal of turkey with all the trimmings, thanks to tech company DoubleDutch. That business’ philanthrophy was coupled with a donation of 25 turkeys from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS).

“We’ve had families asking if we were going to give out turkeys this year, since Mission Promise Neighborhood has done so in the past. It’s great that DoubleDutch and MONS stepped up to help out and make these families’ holidays special,” explains Mission Promise Neighborhood Family Success Coach Manager Amelia M. Martinéz C.

Today’s recipients were chosen two ways. One way was via nomination by family success coaches, who work in four Mission schools – and at partner agencies — and are well aware of families most in need. Additionally, MEDA staff gave the names of clients they serve who might need assistance this holiday (MEDA is the lead agency of the Mission Promise Neighborhood education initiative.) This list included nine Mission Techies, a young adult program creating a pipeline for diversity in tech.

DoubleDutch donated the money to buy the 13- to 15-pound turkeys, which Mission Promise Neighborhood then purchased. The company also asked staff to donate sides, with everything from cranberry sauce and gravy to stuffing and green beans available for families.

DoubleDutch, which has a marketing platform to increase engagement at live events, also sent out two volunteers, J.J. Arnold and Claire Sands, to help with distribution of the food items. Sands even donned a turkey outfit, much to the delight of the youngsters on hand.

It was greatly appreciated that these hard-working DoubleDutch employees took time out of their busy schedules. After all, DoubleDutch was recently ranked the 95th fastest-growing company in North America, on Deloitte’s 2016 Technology Fast 500 – no easy feat.

DoubleDutch especially wanted to help the community this year, considering the shift in political climate. That’s why the company’s Nicole Infiesta organized today’s event.

A huge thanks to DoubleDutch: you’ve made some Mission Promise Neighborhood families’ holidays memorable. As one of the recipients, Melissa, stated, “I’m very happy! My family of six will have a great meal this year.”


About Mission Promise Neighborhood

The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

Read More

1655-08212015_WFD-Basic Digital Literacy-Blog
It takes a big effort to bridge the digital divide in the low-income community. It takes a strategy for community outreach. It takes a team of staff and volunteers to teach the classes.

It also takes computers.

That’s why the recent in-kind donation of 50 PC desktops and two projectors from the University of San Francisco (USF) will take MEDA’s Digital Opportunity Center up a notch. A big notch.

MEDA serves as the lead agency for the Mission Promise Neighborhood.

It seems USF was retiring some computers, but they were still in fine shape and could be put to use. That’s when MEDA’s Workforce Development Program Manager Orrian Willis received an email from USF’s Office of Diversity Engagement and Community Outreach, informing him of the opportunity.

So MEDA Development Officer Alberto Galindo reached out to his alma mater to see if Plaza Adelante could be the new home for these computing devices, with the hope of helping families living in the Mission Promise Neighborhood footprint.

“Having attended USF, I knew that the university is defined by the Jesuit tradition of social justice and commitment to service-learning. These values are shared by the Mission Promise Neighborhood, which is working toward creating a more humane and just world through our commitment to equity and inclusion. These values are exemplified through MPN partner programs that empower underrepresented communities to become financially self-sufficient,” states Galindo.

Besides replacing the aging computer’s in the Digital Opportunity Center at Plaza Adelante, MEDA’s free Mission Techies program will use some of the devices. This program takes 17- to 24-year-olds on the path to a career in tech. These young adults will now use the equipment to optimize their learning while part of the program.

Leo Sosa, technology training coordinator, sees the need to bridge the digital divide every day. He knows how important this donation is to the low-income community. His day-to-day experience is backed up by a Mission Promise Neighborhood Survey (page 23) which uncovered the startling fact that 46 percent of families did not have a home computer with internet access.

This is the tech center of the word: San Francisco. This in the center of the tech center of the word: the Mission.

Explains Mission Promise Neighborhood Director Raquel Donoso of the impact of this generous USF donation: “Many of our families do not have access to a computing device at home. This is an obstacle for family economic success and student achievement, which go hand in hand. On behalf of the Mission Promise Neighborhood. The community cannot thank USF enough for their generous donation.”


About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working, and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

Read More



(415) 569-2699
2301 Mission Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94110

Get the latest news and information on
what’s happening in your neighborhood.