In a bid to inspire others to treat our city's homeless with more compassion and empathy, one Alexander Debelov wants to do something novel for his birthday this year: put a slice of pizza in each homeless San Franciscan's hands.
As reported by KRON4, the good-doer realized that he was surrounded by great things — sublime friends, a good family, a stable career — on his birthday this year, so there was no reason to clamber for more. Alas, instead of asking others to indulge him, Debelov opted for a more novel idea: give back to the disfranchised among us.
That plan? To dish out some 8,000 slices of pizza to San Francisco's hungy, a number representative of the homeless population in the city. (Though it’s worth mentioning more current figures and "night counts" put that number at 9,000 or more individuals.)
Today is my Birthday. My life is full of LOVE.— Alex Debelov (@adebelov1) January 21, 2020
But not everyone is as fortunate.
That’s why, I would like to gift a slice of pizza to every homeless person in San Francisco. That’s 8,000 slices or 1,000 pizzas.
Please support my wish here: https://t.co/SjRN3fOwtw
"I am the luckiest person alive," the glass-half-full man writes on the still-active GoFundMe page he created January 20th. As it stands right now, $5,500 has been given toward the cause, eclipsing his initial $5,000 goal.
"I have loving parents, best friends, amazing team and I LOVE the work that I get to do every day," he adds. "While for some this may be just another meal, for others this can be a miracle, hope for a brighter day, and belief that luck and love exist."
Debelov, too, is putting $2,500 of his own money toward the endeavor. He's broken down the logistics of his plan, as well as fundraising goals, below:
Your donation [will help] buy:
$5.99 – 1 pizza
$155 – 26 pizzas
$599 – 100 pizzas
$1000 – 167 pizzas
$2,500 – 415 pizzas (3320 slices)
$3,500 – 585 pizzas (4680 slices)
$6,000 – 1,001 pizzas (8,008 slices)
More than $6k – we will purchase blankets, socks, etc. on top of pizzas
According to the news outlet, he’s already delivered 150 pizzas in the Tenderloin District — between 4th and King, 6th and Bryant, and 16th and Mission. Debelov and his motley crew of do-gooders are planning on distributing the rest of the pizzas in the next 2-3 weeks.
Debelov and the fundraiser’s other team members — Gerard Gomilla and Nero Chen — say they still need more warm bodies to give out these slices; you can contact them directly on the GoFundMe page, if you're interested.
Per the Chronicle, it's estimated one out of every ten Bay Area residents goes hungry daily, a number climbing in tandem with an increasing homeless San Francisco. Consider donating either your time or nonperishables — or both — to our local food banks to help make a dent in the problem. Or, next time you have a bit of leftover food walking back from dinner, leave it atop a trash bin for someone less fortunate to enjoy.
Debelov is CEO of the legally-embattled, "rogue” electric scooter company, Go X. The business has been described as "next-level craziness,” having operated in SF without a city permit now for a year — and accruing $200,000 in citations.
But, hey, pizza!