5-year old Phoebe raises over $3,736 for San Francisco Food Bank!

Phoebe, with her fundraising box (Photo by Madeline Pfeiffer)

Phoebe, with her fundraising box (Photo by M. Pfeiffer)

For her pre-school public service project, a 5-year old named Phoebe was determined to help feed some of the 150,000 San Franciscans who are unsure where their next meal is coming from. So she started collecting empty cans to turn in for the recycling money. Her plan was to donate the proceeds to the San Francisco Food Bank.

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Phoebe with some of the cans she recycled (Photo by M. Pfeiffer)

She also created a hand-written plea for cash donations and distributed it to family, friends and pre-school alumni.

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Phoebe’s teacher, Kathleen, always asks each student to perform a public service project before graduation. Past graduates operated lemonade stands and donated their proceeds to the food bank, but Phoebe was the first to come up with the idea of recycling cans. Her goal was to raise $1,000.

Every Thursday, she would count her money and report to the San Francisco Food Bank’s Events and Food Drives team.

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Every Thursday, Phoebe counted the money she had raised (Photo by M. Pfeiffer)

A mention by San Francisco Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius helped spread the word about Phoebe’s efforts. Caring people dropped off bags of cans on the school’s steps and left envelopes of cash in the school’s mailbox.

Some of the money Phoebe raised (Photo by Madeline Pfeiffer)

Some of the money Phoebe raised (Photo by M. Pfeiffer)

In just a few weeks, Phoebe collected 4,497 cans and raised a total of $3,736.30!

On June 25, Phoebe and her teacher presented a special box that Phoebe created, stuffed with checks and cash, to Paul Ash, Executive Director of the San Francisco Food Bank at Phoebe’s pre-school. Two TV news crews and two websites turned out to document the event.

Phoebe presents the money she raised to Paul Ash

Phoebe presents the money she raised to Paul Ash

Paul presented Phoebe with a certificate of thanks from the food bank. As he said, “There are not many people your age – not many people of any age – that have made this sort of contribution to help other people. So on behalf of all those people who are going to have food on their table because of you, thank you very much.”

Phoebe with her certificate from the San Francisco Food Bank

Phoebe with her certificate from the San Francisco Food Bank

Because the San Francisco Food Bank can turn a $1 donation into $9 worth of food, the amount 5-year old Phoebe raised allows us to distribute $33,626.70 worth of groceries – enough for about 17,971 meals.

Sign Phoebe made about her final total

Sign Phoebe made about her final total

Here’s a video showing Phoebe, her teacher, Kathleen, and the presentation:

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10 Responses

  1. Fabulous & thank you. It is truly great coverage that you put together. I hope all this is helping the SF Food Bank.
    Kathleen

    • Kathleen, I was so inspired by little Phoebe’s efforts that I’m trying to organize a similar charity. I’m just a high school student and was at first reluctant to start my own charity project, but after seeing a preschool girl succeeding at it, I’m so motivated! But, I know she didn’t do it alone. I have tried to reach you by phone but I live in NY and due to the time difference, its been hard. May I please ask for you email so that I can communicate with you and ask a few questions about how to get a charity up and running?
      -Suah

  2. [...] out this blog post from the San Francisco Food Bank to learn more about Phoebe’s campaign and donate to the Phoebe Fund. Here’s a video that will [...]

  3. [...] she had collected 4,497 cans and raised a grand total of $3,736.30!  She donated all of it to the San Francisco Food Bank. Which can turn $1 into $9 worth of food.  Meaning Phoebe’s small fund provides enough [...]

  4. [...]  who has volunteered with Second Harvest for seven years; or marvel at the generosity of Phoebe, a five-year-old girl who raised $4,000 for the food bank as part of a pre-school project.   The powerful stories which make up the soul [...]

  5. [...] You can see Phoebe in action on the Food Feed Blog [...]

  6. [...] who has volunteered with Second Harvest for seven years; or marvel at the generosity of Phoebe, a five-year-old girl who raised $4,000 for the food bank as part of a pre-school project.   The powerful stories which make up the soul [...]

  7. Way to go Phoebe. What an inspiration. Just goes to show what a determined person can do. Even if she is only 5 years old.

  8. [...] she had collected 4,497 cans and raised a grand total of $3,736.30!  She donated all of it to the San Francisco Food Bank. Which can turn $1 into $9 worth of food.  Meaning Phoebe’s small fund provides enough [...]

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