The St. Anthony Foundation recently honored the University of San Francisco for its continued commitment to serving the community and to educating students about responsible citizenship.
The Fr. Alfred Boeddeker Award—the only award given out by St. Anthony’s—honors people and groups that have similar values as the organization and who have partnered with the nonprofit. St. Anthony’s provides the poor with a variety of services, including shelter, housing, meals, medical care, clothing and furniture, and rehabilitation services. USF’s ongoing support, said St. Anthony’s leaders, has made those programs better while teaching students about relevant issues and how to become advocates for changing the system.
“The strong relationship between the two institutions really allows us to work together to have an experience that is enriching for the students and also for our guests and the community,” said Angelina Cahalan, St. Anthony’s justice education coordinator.
USF has partnered with St. Anthony’s for more than 20 years. University Ministry, for example, has taken students on a weekly basis to the organization to help with the women’s shelter, monthly grocery distribution, and the dining room. Law students have volunteered with St. Anthony’s, as have nursing students who take blood pressure readings and medical histories at St. Anthony’s free medical clinic.
Additionally, St. Anthony’s welcomes students from at least a dozen different service-learning courses, said Cahalan. St. Anthony’s works with USF to match course content with the needs of its 11 direct service programs. Examples of class projects have included voter registration, advocacy work, and curriculum creation.
USF President Stephen A. Privett, S.J. said that while universities and direct service agencies such as St. Anthony’s each play different, yet complementary roles, society is best served when the two work together.
“St. Anthony’s and USF together, and only together, educate USF faculty and students to the needs, challenges, and hopes of the poor in San Francisco,” said Fr. Privett. “We are grateful to St. Anthony’s for a partnership that has benefited both of our institutions and, most importantly, the least of our brothers and sisters without resources.”