“Compassion …is a mental attitude based on the wish for others to be free of their suffering and is associated with a sense of commitment, responsibility, and respect towards the other.” …The Dalai Lama

In today’s world, there are many opportunities to reach out to help others. Here are some of my favorite charities in San Francisco and beyond.

TNDC, San Francisco

TNDC Stage and Pool

Photo courtesy TNDC

The Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation’s mission is “to provide safe, affordable housing with support services to low income people in the Tenderloin community and be leader in making the neighborhood a better place to live.”

Currently, there are 4,000 children living in the Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco. The annual Celebrity Pool Toss party raises money for that program.

For more information about the TNDC Pool Toss, visit

North Beach Citizens, San Francisco

“North Beach Citizens strives to find effective solutions to homelessness by allowing our program to be driven by the evolving needs of our clients. We have measurable outcomes precisely because of our ability to tailor the program to our clients’ individual needs,” says Kristie Fairchild, Executive Director. For more information, visit

North Beach Citizens Dinner Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mary Risley, Ed Moose, Francis Coppola, Mary Etta Moose, Angela Alioto

Founding board member and film director Francis Ford Coppola has produced a fundraising dinner for the last 10 years in the basement of St. Peter and Paul’s Church. Here he is joined by San Franciscans Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Mary Risley, Ed Moose, Mary Etta Moose, and Angela Alioto.

Pets Lifeline, Sonoma

Pets Lifeline cat and dog

Photo courtesy of Pets Lifeline

Pets Lifeline was created as a no-kill animal shelter in Sonoma County in 1982. “At Pets Lifeline we keep busy sheltering, feeding and rehabilitating nearly 1,000 animals every year.” There are many ways to help our animal friends.

See the list of services at:

Friends for Youth, Redwood City

Friends for Youth, credit Darren Ferriera

Photo courtesy of Darren Ferriera

“Since 1979, Friends for Youth has been dedicated to changing the lives of  youth in need through the power of mentoring.”  Check out:

I am proud to say that I helped to create the original Friends for Youth program. In 1998, I suggested that the process of positive mentoring could be taught to others. The Friends For Youth Mentoring Institute has been spreading the word with training and materials. To learn more about how to start and maintain an excellent mentoring program, visit:

SANCHAT, Gilgil, Kenya


Photo courtesy of SANCHAT

As we sit in our homes, technology has brought the world to us. I hope we do not  ignore problems just because they are far away. Here is one special program that is helping children and their mothers in Kenya.

Founder Mary Coulson says, “Gilgil is a town 2 hours north of Nairobi, Kenya. Like many similar townships afflicted with poverty and the reality of starvation, some of the most vulnerable victims are young children, abandoned or orphaned, and left to fend for themselves on the streets.   SANCHAT offers hope and the chance to make something of their lives.”

To see more about how SANCHAT helps children, check out

And to learn about how a SANCHAT “fashion programme” can make a difference to mothers and their children, view this video.