Meet Sunday Streets Volunteer: Matthew Evans

This month’s volunteer spotlight is Matthew Evans. He’s a long-time Intersection Monitor and loves to people watch. Read his story below and learn why he volunteers.

Be like Matt and sign up at SundayStreetsSF.com/Volunteer

matt evans

How long have you been volunteering? 
I have volunteered with Sunday Streets since 2013.

Why do you volunteer at Sunday Streets? 
I found myself dancing with an outdoor Zumba instructor during Sunday Streets Mission and I knew I was hooked on the event. I like to volunteer so it seemed like a natural fit to start volunteering with Sunday Streets.

What keeps you coming back?
I love to people-watch in San Francisco and there’s no better place to do it than at Sunday Streets. It’s a great group of people that shows up for these events. The staff, volunteer crew, and all of the attendees are fun and interesting people.

I also walk San Francisco every day and I’m happy to help promote the slower pace. It’s nice to be able to add value to the pedestrian scene while I enjoy it by lending a few hours of my time to Sunday Streets.

How did you first hear about Sunday Streets? 
I stumbled upon the Mission event while I was out walking Valencia.

What’s your most inspiring story from volunteering?
Each time I volunteer I find myself standing in an unfamiliar place with unfamiliar people and having a great time. It’s a welcome reminder that there is still plenty of San Francisco left to be discovered and enjoyed. That is what I find most inspiring and it happens often.

Tell us something we don’t already know about yourself
I can wiggle my ears.

Any advice or last comments you’d like to share about volunteerism 

My advice: Volunteer to do the things that you already enjoy doing. It’s a good way to promote those experiences for others and a great way to get more out of those experiences for yourself!

 

Transforming Streets into Public Space for People

While you’re walking down Valencia Street this Sunday, you may notice something different. In front of a restaurant where cars usually park, there are tables, chairs, and a succulent garden. In front of an art studio, there’s an outdoor art installation. In front of a school, there’s an interactive science project. This isn’t just for Sunday Streets, this is every day. Valencia Street hosts nine of over 50 parklets in San Francisco. Parklets transform one or two on-street parking spaces into spaces for people, and are a popular initiative of the Pavement to Parks program.

San Francisco’s streets and public rights-of-way make up 25% of the city’s land area; more space than all the public parks combined. The Pavement to Parks program seeks to test the possibilities of converting excess road space into new pedestrian spaces like plazas, living alleys, and parklets.

While Pavement to Parks explores opportunities to create permanent transformations, there are a variety of ways to repurpose streets intermittently. Sunday Streets uses miles of streets to create recreational space for people to get out and be active. On a smaller scale, Play Streets can transform just one or two blocks into a safe place for kids to play in the streets like they used to. Block parties use neighborhood streets as a place for community gathering and celebration. In New York, Weekend Walks activate commercial corridors with arts and crafts, music, outdoor dining, and youth programming.

Want to transform and activate your street into a more inviting place? Check out the sfbetterstreets.org website, your one stop shop for ideas and resources. Shoot us an email at sundaystreets@livablecity.org. We’d love to hear and share what you’re up to.

Meet Sunday Streets Volunteer: Bill Kane

This month’s volunteer spotlight is Bill Kane. Read his story below and see how Sunday Streets has positively impacted his life.

Be like Bill! Sign up at SundayStreetsSF.com/Volunteer.

Bill Kane peace sign

How long have you been a volunteer with Sunday  Streets?
“My 1st event was in 2012, so for about 3 years now.”

How did you first hear about Sunday Streets?
“When I first came to the Bay area I explored all the neighborhoods by walking around the City. On one trip I stumbled on an event in the Mission District, stopped by the info booth and asked about what was going on. I then signed up to get info on the next events.”

Why do you volunteer at Sunday Streets?
“As a kid I would hang out with all the neighborhood kids at night. Thats what we did, hung out and played in the streets. I get some of that same feeling now at the Sunday Streets events. Each neighborhood offers a different perspective on the City of San Francisco. Its so diverse. Sunday Streets simply became another way to explore the richness of the neighborhoods and the people who live there. I found myself becoming more engaged in what went on. I feel now as though I became a native here.”

What do you love about Sunday Streets? What keeps you coming back to volunteer?
“Again its the diversity of the city, where the events occur, engaging with the people you meet, not only other Sunday Streets volunteers but the other partners who make Sunday Streets work.

Engaging with those who come out to enjoy the day by themselves, with their kids. The occasional tourists who stops, chats, wishes they had similar events where they live. Never knowing who you are going to meet, and in some cases being surprised by people you have met previously.

In one instance, last year during the Embarcedero event, I had a young woman staring at me in a crowd of people waiting to cross the Street. She looked familiar, but appeared to be part of a larger group of Chinese tourists. Once crossed, I noticed she was staring at me again. I then realized it was someone I met once in a Starbucks, at that time a Junior at Berkeley. I had offered her some career advice as a Senior and ended up with the startup Pinterest.  I got so excited seeing her, we screamed above the roar of the cars. Its a lasting memory in my life, and made possible by volunteering that day.

So engaging is the key word. Engaging in life, in ways that wouldn’t be available to me before.

This City has so much to offer. As an East Coaster, I know there is no other place where I can get out and enjoy the sunshine, the weather. Having lived in NY, with all its beauty, the humidity will dampen any day outside in its different Seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall.

I have driven across the country now 6 times in the last 7 years. I have seen the beauty of America, its richness, I know the value in being here and just enjoying life. Sunday Streets is a great way to do it locally in these neighborhoods events.”

Which positions have you volunteered for at events? What’s your favorite volunteer position?
“I always choose to be an intersection monitor. It was the best way for me to enjoy myself initially. As you know, if necessary I’d stick around and volunteer the rest of the day for other things that needed to be done. I became a Volunteer Captain this year and also continued to Volunteer at Intersections. I offered to Photograph the events but realized there were others engaged in doing that so Ill catch a picture here and there and let those out focused on it do it and contribute.”

Any advice or comments you’d like to share about Sunday Streets?
“My first event I was placed at Mission and 24th Street. Those lights changed real quick and you really had to pay attention. At one point I was approached by a photographer for the Chronicle, she interviewed me, and then took my picture.Tthe back of my head. There I was, the back of my head on their web site.

But I shared that picture on my facebook page. My friends all around the world got a chance to see how my life had changed since moving from NY.

I really enjoy Sunday Streets, Ive worn my volunteer t-shirt all across the Country. People ask, “Hey whats Sunday Streets?” Locally I always tell people, “If you’re looking for something cool to do, come on out and play in the streets. Here’s the next event, check out the Facebook page.” I have also come across our program partners who patrol some of the busier intersections in the off season. During Xmas I ran into one fellow I shared an intersection with on South Van Ness when the Giants were losing to the Washington Nationals and hopes of the Series were fading. So we caught up on the SF Giants World Series win.

At this point I’m looking forward to the next event on May 10, Mothers Day in the Mission. Another season underway, I had a great time down on the Embarcadero for the season opener not only as a volunteer, but now as a Captain as well. I certainly have favorite events, the Mission usually ranks on top, with the Embarcadero, Western Addition, The Tenderloin rounding out the events.

These experiences and chapters in my life would have not happened if I had not initially volunteered at Sunday Streets. You see, you never know what will happen once you do it.”

Be like Bill! Sign up at SundayStreetsSF.com/Volunteer.

The Importance Of Volunteering With Your Family

In today’s hectic world, families are finding other ways to spend time together. One way to do this is by volunteering as a whole! Research has shown that family volunteering strengthens them by learning about social issues and provides a new perspective on the world. It provides positive role models and passes on family values to children. Volunteering is our civic responsibility, which contributes new learning experiences and development of new skills for both children and adults. It increases interpersonal communication and best of all provides quality time for the family to spend together.

Sunday Streets offer these special volunteer opportunities that make time for a collective activity. We promote living a healthy lifestyle and being physically active, encouraging people to walk, bike or skate, and foster and strengthen communities. Sunday Streets is just one of many organizations people should volunteer for. Volunteering can give each family member a chance to shine as an individual as well as a team. It has the reward of showing each other something rarely seen by staying at home.

So the next time you’re puzzled over how to spend time with your family, pay it forward and volunteer! It’s one of the best ways to spend quality time with one another while giving back to your community. It’s fun and free and you’ll learn so much from your experiences.

Learn more about volunteering and sign up for a shift at SundayStreetsSF.com/Volunteer, or email volunteer[at]livablecity.org.

 

Volunteer Pledge Results

As we finished our season kickoff at the Embarcadero on Sunday March 8, we concluded our Sunday Streets Volunteer Pledge. The pledge was made to show the city of San Francisco how many lovers and supporters we have to make our 2015 season a triumph. We truly couldn’t make any of these events happen without the contribution from our spectacular volunteers!

If you were wondering how many volunteers and hours they pledged, here are the results. We received responses from 61 volunteers, pledging 670 hours for 2015. That is amazing! We definitely plan on picking up more volunteers along the way.

Thank you so much to all those who signed our volunteer pledge! If you pledged to volunteer at our next event in the Bayview/Dogpatch, please sign up now! We’re looking forward to seeing you on April 12!

Meet the new Sunday Streets Event Staff!

We are so excited to welcome our 2015 Event Staff to the team. They will be at all eight Sunday Streets events, so look for them at the information booths to say hello!

Jessica Brown,  Event Staff
JessicaBrown
Jessica first volunteered with Sunday Streets in 2010 and has been with us every year since, acting as a volunteer captain in 2012 and 2014. She has been involved with various sustainable city and transportation justice organizations including Walk SF and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and acting on the Community Advisory Committee of the San Francisco Transportation Plan 2040.  She received her MSW from San Francisco State University, and has worked as a social worker with the SF Department of Public Health for the last five years. Her favorite Sunday Streets moments include seeing a wedding celebration on the route, being at Glide’s Rev. Cecil Williams street naming in the Tenderloin, and watching the Thriller dance on roller skates!

 

Michael Carri, Event Staff
MikeCarriGovInaug2015
Michael joined Sunday Streets in 2015. A resident of San Francisco for 10 years, he has let the city leave it’s footprint on him from sea to shining bay. As a member of the city’s running community, he enjoys moving and shaking his way around town in ways both literal and figurative. Whether working with organizations for sustainability, economic justice, or public health, he likes to spend his days both thinking and acting locally.

 

Karen Gauss,  Event Staff

KarenGaussBW

Karen Gauss joined the Sunday streets team in February, 2015 as one of our event staff. She is passionate about public spaces and likes to see them used for a variety of healthy activities in lieu of the auto-domination we see too often. A bay area gal from Milpitas, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Language Studies from UC-Santa Cruz, a master’s in Social Science-Global Studies from the University of Michigan-Flint, and a master’s in Urban Planning from Texas A&M University. She is well-traveled, and an avid average cyclist for everyday trips.

Stan ParkfordEvent Staff
StanParker
Stan Parkford is a graduate of Urban Studies & Planning at SF State University, and is passionate about sustainable and active transportation. He has previously volunteered and intern’d at the SF Bicycle Coalition, and contributes to Streetsblog SF. He enjoys long walks through the city, a great sunny bike ride, intelligent and meaningful conversation, out-of-ordinary puns, and writing his thoughts about cities on his Twitter and personal blog. He is a big lover of public spaces and their effect on community, so he joins the Sunday Streets event staff with excitement, enthusiasm, and a readiness to have some fun!

 

Bret PutnamEvent Staff
Bret Golden Horn
Bret Putnam is a Bay Area native who has spent much of his professional career as a photographer, specializing in cuisine and portraiture. He has also worked as a teacher, newspaper reporter, in social services, and for the U.S. Census Bureau. He has lived in Italy, China, and Costa Rica. Bret is an avid bicyclist and urban hiker. He also enjoys fly fishing, organic gardening, and following the Giants. Bret lives in the Mission District with Freddy, a two-year-old Dalmatian/Australian cattle dog.

2015 Bayview and Dogpatch Sunday Streets Community Meetings

Join us at any upcoming community meetings to share any last concerns or ideas you have for the Bayview and Dogpatch Sunday Streets on April 12, 2015. Community input is essential and appreciated as we work together to make this year’s Sunday Streets the best yet!

Wednesday, February 25th, 1 p.m. – 2p.m.
Bayview Hunters Point YMCA
1601 Lane Street

Wednesday, March 11th, 1 p.m. – 2p.m.
Bayview Hunters Point YMCA
1601 Lane Street

Wednesday, March 11th, 6 p.m. – 7p.m.
Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom
2245 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Monday, March 16th, 6 p.m. – 7p.m.
Auntie April’s
4618 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94124

Monday, March 23rd, 6 p.m. – 7p.m.
Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom
2245 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

Thursday, April 2nd, 6 p.m. – 7p.m.
Auntie April’s
4618 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94124

Please RSVP by clicking here. Interested but can’t attend? Email SundayStreets@LivableCity.org to share your comments or for more information.

Looking for Volunteers from the Bayview!

Talking the Walk: Using Photo and Voice Technology to Describe  Open Streets Neighborhoods

Hello, my name is Susan Zieff and I am a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at San Francisco State University. I am conducting research on neighborhood environments and physical activity in San Francisco. I am inviting you to participate because you live in or near the Bayview neighborhood.

I would like to invite your participation in this research by taking three walks with us in your neighborhood. Each walk takes approximately 30 minutes. We will use a small computer so that you can take photos and also talk about what you see. After each walk, I will ask you to take a survey for about 10 minutes.

The walks will take place on April 5, 12, and 19 between 11a.m. and 4p.m. To participate, I am asking you to complete all 3 walks. Each participant who completes the 3 walks will receive $15.00 and a water bottle and t-shirt from Sunday Streets.

If you have any questions or would like to participate in the research, I can be reached at susangz@sfsu.edu or 415.531.8329.

 

 

 

What’s new for volunteers in 2015?

I hope you’re as excited as we are for another season of Sunday Streets. The 2015 schedule of events has been announced, if you haven’t already, be sure to save the dates on your calendar.Each year we make a few adjustments to try to improve your volunteer experience. Here are a few things you may notice that are a little different this year:

Volunteer manual: Whether you volunteer at every event or just once a year, the new and improved Volunteer Manual has all of the information you need to know to make your volunteer experience as fun and meaningful as possible.

Sign up forms
: You can now sign up for any volunteer shift this year. Visit any of the following pages to sign up for specific volunteer shifts, volunteer movie nightneighborhood outreachsignpostingMarch 8 EmbarcaderoApril 12 Bayview/DogpatchMay 10 MissionJune 14 SunsetJuly 12 TenderloinAugust 16 ExcelsiorSeptember 13 Western AdditionOctober 18 Mission.
Or simply visit SundaysSreetsSF.com/volunteer-upcoming to see all upcoming volunteer opportunities for the next 2 or 3 months.
Event Volunteer Shifts
  • Setup Crew and Breakdown Crew: To make set up and break down at the end of the day a little smoother, we’ve brought back the setup shift and added a breakdown shift. these shifts are great for volunteers who have a bike and are comfortable with a little manual labor.
  • Shift times: Please note the changes in shift times when you sign up. All shifts are still just 2.5 hours so you have plenty of time to explore all of Sunday Streets before and after your shift.
  • What happened to the Route Rabbit shift? Route rabbit duties have been incorporated into the setup crew, breakdown crew, and volunteer captain positions.
  • Volunteer Captains: Shifts are now just 4 hours, so you can volunteer in a leadership role, and still have free time to explore all that Sunday Streets has to offer. Volunteer captains commit to volunteering for at least 4 events during the year, and receive additional training. Interested? Sign up by February 17.

Volunteer check-in booths: In the past, we had two booths at each event for both volunteer-check-in and outreach activities. This year, there will still be two main volunteer check-in locations on each route, but there will be two booths there instead of one. One booth will serve as the volunteer check-in/check-out station. The other booth will be the hub of Sunday Streets information and outreach. We hope this will improve both activities. Look for the “Volunteer Check-in” Sign and those familiar orange and green shirts to know you’re in the right place.

Volunteer Movie Nights - These were such a success last year, that we’ve scheduled them for the entire 2015 Season. 4th Wednesday of the month, join us for a couple of hours of socializing, snacking, movie watching – oh yeah and a little bit of work. We’ll be preparing materials for each upcoming event.
Neighborhood Outreach - We’re working to do more and more to notify and invite neighbors to attend Sunday Streets. To make neighborhood outreach shifts more fun and more convenient, we’ve scheduled them for Saturday mid-mornings. Join us for a couple of hours to deliver posters and flyers, and we’ll celebrate our accomplishments at the end of the shift with a snack at a neighborhood cafe.
Perks and Appreciation
  • Every little bit counts: We want to show you that we appreciate each and every thing you do for Sunday Streets. Whether you spend 3 hours doing outreach, 2 hours preparing signs, or 2.5 hours monitoring an intersection, it all adds up. So, at the end of the season, we’ll add up all of the hours you volunteered with Sunday Streets, and give you a special appreciation gift.
  • Volunteer Raffle: While we love all our volunteers, we hold a special place in our hearts for people who volunteer at events time and again. After volunteering for 3 events, you’ll get one raffle entry for each event you volunteer. Volunteers will be entered in a chance to win a special Sunday Streets gift! The drawing will take place at the end of the season.
  • Visit SundayStreetsSF.com/volunteer-perks for details.
New Staff! We’re thrilled to have Joelle Burila on board as a full time Volunteer Coordinator this year. She joined Sunday Street as an intern last year and won us over with her energy and enthusiasm. Learn more bout Joelle on our staff page and look for emails from her in your inbox!
Of course, not everything has changed. Here are a few things you can still count on:
  • great volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups and people of all ages
  • stylish volunteer t-shirt
  • tasty lunch for event volunteer shifts
  • the undying appreciation and thanks from all of us here at Sunday Streets and thousands of San Franciscans!
We’ve got a great year ahead of us. I hope you’ll sign up for shift, or sign the volunteer pledge and commit to supporting Sunday Streets again this year.

Recruiting Volunteer Captains

supervolunteer

We’re now recruiting passionate and energetic Sunday Streets fans to join the growing Sunday Streets team as Volunteer Captains for the 2015 Season. Volunteer Captains are our Ninjas of all trades, from set-up to outreach to break-down, they help us make Sunday Streets run smoothly.

Duties & Responsibilities:  Sunday Streets Volunteer Captains help Sunday Streets staff lead and manage volunteers on a portion of the Sunday Streets route. Either by manning one of the information and outreach booths, or by monitoring a portion of the route by bike, they help troubleshoot any issues that arise throughout the day to ensure everyone has a safe and fun time at Sunday Streets. Volunteer Captains serve in one of two roles:

Information and Outreach Booth Volunteer Captain

  • Lead outreach efforts to solicit new volunteers, donors, and supporters and sell merchandise
  • Answer questions regarding the event
  • Support Sunday Streets staff and lead small teams of volunteers at the booth.

Route Monitor Volunteer Captain

  • Lead small teams of volunteers to set up and/or break down the event. This includes moving barricades and hanging/removing event signage.
  • Monitor a portion of the route during event to: provide support to volunteers, escort vehicles that may need to drive on the street, ensure all barricades and equipment remain place.

Volunteer Captains are expected to:

  • Volunteer for a 4-hour shift during at least four Sunday Streets events between March and October, 2015. Shifts are 9:15am-1:15pm or 1-5pm.
  • Attend a volunteer captain training.
  • Support Sunday Streets staff and volunteers.
  • Help communicate and troubleshoot any hiccups that occur throughout the day.
  • Spread Sunday Streets joy and enthusiasm to ensure all volunteers and participants have an amazing experience at Sunday Streets.

Qualifications & Requirements:

  • Have volunteered at Sunday Streets before.
  • Able to bring and ride your bike (required for route monitor captains only, encouraged for booth captains)

Benefits:

  • Gain outreach, volunteer management, event management, and general non-profit experience.
  • Work with amazing staff and volunteers.
  • Undying appreciation from thousands of San Franciscans who love Sunday Streets.
  • Sunday Streets sweatshirt, messenger bag, or other nifty appreciation gift.
  • That warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get from knowing you helped make Sunday Streets possible.

To Apply:  Complete the brief Volunteer Captain Application form.

Contact Information: Please feel free to contact us for additional information or questions at volunteer@livablecity.org. For more information about Sunday Streets and other volunteer roles and tasks, visit SundayStreetsSF.com/Volunteer.

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