By Nicholas Whitson, Evaluations Project Leader
Growing up in San Diego I’ve had a little grudge against the 49ers since they beat the San Diego Chargers in the 1995 Super Bowl. So when I was asked if I would like to attend a 49ers game I was a little reluctant. Nevertheless, I showed up early and piled into a car with my fellow corps and staff members eager to help City Year with the school supply drive.
As we got closer to Candlestick Park we found ourselves in a parade of yellow and red 49er’s flags. We all gasped when we saw a child lean out of a truck window and pump his fist at us in excitement. We were in red and yellow, on the 49ers turf, and were about to be part of something larger.
Brandon, the 49ers Foundation Community Relations Manager, came by and talked to us about how it was a beautiful day at Candlestick Park. I was in full uniform, khakis, Timberlands and a red bomber perfect to represent City Year AND the 49ers.. I stood near an empty box labeled school supply donations and I called out in a shaky voice, “accepting donations for school supplies!” as waves of people walked passed me like I was a ghost. I had started sweating though my undershirt when I caught the eye of an older couple reaching into their bag. They pulled out a shopping bag full of brand new pens, notebooks and erasers. They wished me luck as they left to go find their seats. This was the snow ball that started the avalanche. I teamed up with Aarika, a City Year staff member, and suddenly our voices were loud and our donation envelope was overflowing.
When the drive was over we were invited to come in and watch the game. 49ers running back Kendall Hunter even scored a touchdown as soon as we found our seats. This sealed up all the excitement I felt from collecting school supplies. For our students new school supplies make them excited about learning. Our student’s academic progress this year can be greatly attributable to the 49ers attention and contributions and I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for the continued support.