Volunteer Spotlight: Welland Lau

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Welland Lau and his collapsible bike are familiar sights at Sunday Streets events. He is one of Sunday Streets most dedicated volunteers and has worked as a route rabbit or volunteer captain at every event so far this season! We caught up with Welland to learn more about his experiences volunteering with Sunday Streets.
How did you first become involved as a Sunday Streets volunteer? 
Searching for something to do in the city, I checked out the Sunday Streets website for future events dates and saw that volunteers were needed. I felt that since I took took part in a couple of events that I would sign up to help out. Ever since that first event I volunteered in 2013 I have continuously volunteered at Sunday Streets.
What is your most memorable Sunday Streets experience?
It would have to be the first event that I volunteered for in 2013 at the Embarcadero as an intersection monitor. The intersection was slightly busy, but not too busy, great PCO (city traffic enforcement officer) to work with, perfect weather, good people watching vantage.
What is one tip you have for other Sunday Streets volunteers? 
Make sure to have fun!

Sunday Streets in the Richmond! (w. Interview with Joy Ravelli of Purusha Yoga)

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
-popularly misattributed to Mark Twain.

 

July in San Francisco challenges the assumption of an eternally sunny California coast. As the Sunday Streets team unloaded equipment from our trucks at 9 AM, the steady wind ran through the tent, clouds overhead, giving the morning a cool breeze and gray pallet common to western San Francisco in the summertime. Our map board, made of snappable plastic, cracked and bent over in the morning wind, no match for nature.

Yet, by 11 AM, a large and diverse crowd, full of neighborhood families with children, filled Arguello Boulevard, recently opened for the day for people to reclaim without the danger of cars zooming by. For the first half of  the day, the Farmers Market on Clement Street drew crowds shopping for their weekly produce – as well as hungry Sunday Streets volunteers…

Of course, many residents found themselves walking over to Arguello from Clement to check out such unique and unexpected attractions as an elementary school rock band…

 

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…and a child-centric series of ballet performances…

 

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…but in spite of the relative cold, physical activities predominated on the street.

 

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One highlight for me was Purusha Yoga, a community-minded yoga studio focused on promoting equitable access to yoga education, including free yoga programs in outdoor locations throughout San Francisco, such as Golden Gate Park, and a non-profit branch, the Purusha Seva Project, which works to bring yoga classes to at-risk communities in the Bay Area. I had the fortune of corresponding with Joy Ravelli, who helped shape Purusha Yoga into the neighborhood institution it currently is – in order to ask her some questions about the marriage of yoga and Sunday Streets.

 

PB: How did Purusha Yoga get its start?

JR: Purusha Yoga was a branch of my original business which was called health in motion. I added the yoga school first. I needed more yoga teachers for my fitness and multi modality health programs. We provide classes to corporations, colleges and businesses. I needed people that could teach all levels and demographics. I realized there was a lack of qualified teachers. Once I started the school I realized many of the grads wanted more opportunities for community and to teach under served and at risk populations.

PB: What makes Purusha Yoga different from other studios?

JR: The Purusha studio offers a community space. It serves the west side of the city. We have several places to hang out, have a cup of tea and meet up. Purusha serves a wide variety of every day people. We have classes that offer fitness, Zumba, gentle yoga, yoga dance, yin and vinyasa. We have classes for all ages and stages of life. We also offer Thai body work, and private yoga therapy.

PB: How did Purusha come to get involved with Sunday Streets?

JR: Our mission is to serve our community and introduce more people to yoga, movement and health. Sunday Streets is a perfect compliment to our other free classes like free yoga in Golden Gate Park weekly.We show up with more people and get the kids moving as well as adults.

PB: How did the Purusha Seva Project take shape?

JR: Well it is morphing still. I wanted to bring yoga health and movement to partner organizations such as schools, jails, shelters. I think the traditional yoga studio in America is lacking diversity in its population that it serves. I am excited to share yoga with someone who can really benefit from its profound yet simple practices.

PB: I’ve been hearing about your Yoga in the Park classes. Given your interest in teaching yoga in very public, accessible spaces, what do you think the importance of healthy, accessible public space is to activities and communities like yoga?

JR: I think it’s vital and extremely important. Our cities, families and greater community thrives when we can come together as healthy individuals and share some fun movement, music and nature.

PB: What are some of your favorite things about Sunday Streets?

JR: I love meeting friends I have not seen for a while. I love meeting new people outside in such a fun and engaging atmosphere. It is a fabulous atmosphere for expression through yoga dance and play.

 

Before I left Purusha, I got a few action shots of students and trainers moving through another Sunday afternoon round of sun salutations:

 

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By the end of the afternoon, the clouds broke and the sun finally became visible over the intersection of Arguello and Clement. The Shan-Yee Poon Ballet School was finishing its last performance, a stunning, vividly costumed and staged street-side duet between a thin, nimble East Asian young boy and a pale, small, graceful little girl, running swift, delicate circles around each other, wowing the crowd. A half-hour later, the kids, and the crowd along with them, have vanished – and Arguello is back to its usual stream of traffic.

It might have taken the sun until 4 to come out, but that’s San Francisco weather for you. As for the Richmond, cold summers didn’t stand a chance against the allure of an open street to come play in.

IMG_2429    …just ask that kid.

Volunteer Movie Night!

Join us for a screening of “Sister Act”sisteract

Last month was so much fun, we decided to do it again.

What: Join us to watch a movie while doing some simple volunteer tasks, enjoying refreshments, and good company!

Where: Livable City Offices, 433 Natoma St

When: Wednesday July 30, 6 pm to 8 pm

RSVP below, so we’ll be sure to have enough popcorn!

Survey Says… Sunday Streets inspires people to be physically active!

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Last month, volunteers at Sunday Streets in Golden Gate Park and the Great Highway collected surveys from over 100 participants to learn more about what Sunday Streets means to them.

While the answers seem obvious, it’s great to have them verified with numbers.

Here are a few highlights:

  • 2/3 of people were more active that day because they attended Sunday Streets.
  • 63% of people have been inspired to be more physically active in their everyday life.
  • People bike, walk, and skate at Sunday Streets with friends and family because its fun, free, safe. The love the activities and programming, the feeling of community, and exploring the neighborhood.

GGP Summary_Page_1Click here for a full summary of the preliminary results.

 

 

 

We will be collecting surveys at Sunday Streets throughout the year. If you fill out the survey, we’ll enter you in a raffle for a $100 give card to Sports Basement. Look for volunteers and staff in the orange and green t-shirts at the Sunday Streets information booths.

Join the survey team! Volunteer to help us collect surveys and you’ll get all the perks of being a Sunday Streets volunteer – stylish t-shirt, free lunch, and a great time at Sunday Streets. Shifts are flexible and are short so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy all that Sunday Streets has to offer before or after your shift. Email volunteer@livablecity.org to sign up.

Volunteer Perk: Free Coffee at Sunday Streets Richmond!

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Volunteering with Sunday Streets just keeps getting better!  Morning shift volunteers at this weekend’s Richmond event will be treated to free coffee from Cumaica! Many thanks to Cumaica Coffee for supporting Sunday Streets’ dedicated volunteers.

 

Sunday Streets Community Meetings in the Mission! / Reuniones de Comunidad Sunday Streets en la Mision!

Sunday Streets is coming to 18th and Valencia Streets in the Mission on Sunday, August 24th! Want to be a part of shaping the event? Are you a business or organization that wants to partner with us? Do you live in the community and have questions, suggestions or concerns? Join us at El Cafetazo (3087 16th St, San Francisco, CA, between Mission and Valencia) on July 15th and 29th and on August 13 to discuss how to ensure the best Sunday Streets yet!

For further questions, please feel free to email pablo@livablecity.org. (English/Spanish)

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Sunday Streets viene en rumbo a las calles 18 y Valencia en la Misión el Domingo, 24 de agosto! ¿Quieres ser parte de la conformación del evento? ¿Eres una empresa o organización que quiera colaborar con nosotros? ¿Vives en la comunidad y tienes preguntas, sugerencias o inquietudes? Únete a nosotros en El Cafetazo (3087 16th St, San Francisco, CA, entre Misión y Valencia) el 15 de julio y el 29 y el 13 de agosto para discutir como crear el mejor evento de esta temporada!
Si tiene más preguntas, por favor siéntase libre de mandar un correo electrónico a pablo@livablecity.org. (Inglés / Español)

Join our Volunteer Friendraising Campaign!

DSC_0405What’s more fun than volunteering at Sunday Streets? Volunteering with a friend! Many of you have already invited friends and family members to volunteer with you at Sunday Streets. As you know, shifts are short, so you have plenty of time to enjoy the open streets together before and after your shift, and, you each get that tasty lunch and stylish t-shirt!

For the next four weeks, we want to see how many friends you can raise for Sunday Streets. The volunteer who recruits the most friends to volunteer will receive a $25 gift card to Sports Basement.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • sign up for a volunteer shift for you and a friend – when you sign up using the online form, just mark the total number of volunteers (1, 2, or more!) and list their names in the notes section.
  • forward this email and encourage your friends to signup on their own, tell them to mention you in the notes section on the signup form.
  • invite your friends to our Sunday Streets event on Facebook

Sunday Streets Community Meetings in the Richmond District!

Sunday Streets is returning once more to the Richmond District on Sunday, July 13th! If you’re interested in helping to shape the event, we’re having Community Meetings at the Richmond Police Station (461 6th Ave.) on Tuesday, June 24th and Wednesday, July 2nd at 6 PM.

 Come share any concerns or ideas you may have to make the event as successful as possible for everyone!

Volunteer Movie Night!

Join us for a screening of “Mrs. Doubtfire”220px-Mrs_Doubtfire

What: Join us to watch the quintessentially San Francisco movie “Mrs. Doubtfire” while doing some simple volunteer tasks, enjoying refreshments, and good company!

Where: Livable City Offices, 433 Natoma St, Dial 011 on the door keypad and we’ll buzz you in

When: Wednesday June 18, 6 pm to 8 pm

RSVP below, so we’ll be sure to have enough popcorn!

Soda Free Sunday – Rethink Your Drink!

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Did you know that sugary drinks are the largest single source of added sweeteners in American’s diet? Soda and sugary beverage consumption is a critical risk factor for many chronic diseases. That is why decreasing consumption of sugary drinks has been a priority for Shape Up SF since 2008, when they led the first Soda Free Summer, in addition to playing a lead role in developing the very first Sunday Streets. Since then, Shape Up has led the development of Drink Water Said the Otter and raised awareness about the negative impacts of sugary drinks on health. Rethink Your Drink is the banner name for all of Shape Up SF’s campaigns related to sugar-sweetened drinks: Soda Free Summer, “Drink Water!” Said the Otter and the new Choose Healthy Drinks campaign.

Shape Up’s Choose Healthy Drinks campaign is being implemented in collaboration with San Francisco Bay Area Counties to increase awareness about how much sugar we drink and it’s harmful effects on our health. Though many people are unaware of these risks, the science is clear – drinking even one sugary drink a day is associated with dental diseases and cavities, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In an effort to prevent chronic diseases, Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma Counties are working together to encourage residents to choose healthier options like water instead of sugary drinks.