This year, as part of our Thanksgiving celebrations in our San Francisco office, we organized a canned food drive benefitting St. Anthony’s. After collecting over 500 cans, two members of our team planned to drop the proceeds from the drive off, as well as a couple boxes of retired Zendesk swag – t-shirts and mugs – to be donated. All in all, we headed out the doors for the three-block walk with a massive cart of nine boxes precariously stacked above our heads.
The walk is short but requires crossing Market St. – a main artery in the city for buses, trolleys, cars and thousands of pedestrians each day. As we pushed our cart across the intersection, we cleared the dreaded first train track easily. Keeping up our momentum for the second track, we were not so lucky this time. The cart slammed to a halt with a loud thud, as the front wheel lodged into the tracks. The top two boxes full of cans of corn, green beans, and other veggies immediately flew through the air and crashed down to the pavement, rolling all over Market St. In an attempt to get the cart unstuck, we jerked it backwards, which freed the cart, but knocked off the remaining boxes in the process.
With boxes, t-shirts, jars and cans spread out all over Market St., traffic halted, and our team of two quickly scrambled to gather everything. Before we fully knew it though, there were over a half dozen people helping. A local business owner, young teens, people waiting for busses, a police officer, and neighborhood folks all rushed to help. It was only a matter of minutes before everything was cleaned and people were helping us finish crossing the street. All in all, we successfully delivered every box to St. Anthony’s and only lost a jar of pickles in the process!
When reflecting on this adventure, it reminded us exactly why we love being a part of this community. People from all walks of life quickly came together without blinking an eye to help. What should have shut down traffic for some time, took five minutes to clean due to the help that we received from our neighbors. It was clear that with a community like ours, a setback like this is truly no big dill!