The firepie business store front with door open, various paper fliers posted on front picture window, and a black banner over the door and window with the "Firepie" name and flaming pizza logo in white block letters with orange accents
Firepie began as a pizza food truck at Cesar Chavez and Valencia streets and now has a brick-and-mortar location, too, at 3228 16th Street. Photo courtesy of Rick Richman.

Happy Thanksgiving from Mission Local! We have compiled a few events, happenings, and opportunities for the community as the holiday season descends.

Latino Task Force and Unidos en Salud testing, vaccination sites closed on Thanksgiving

The Latino Task Force and Unidos en Salud/United in Health partners encourage residents to do their part to “keep our community strong” and prevent a Covid-19 winter surge by getting tested prior to family gatherings over the holidays. While the testing and vaccine sites at 701 Alabama St. and 24th and Capp streets will be closed for Thanksgiving on Nov. 25, folks can still get rapid testing ahead of Thanksgiving gatherings (as well as get their covid vaccination and boosters) today at 24th and Capp streets. 

In case you missed it:

Pizza food truck gets a brick-and-mortar

The Mission-born Firepie pizza truck now has a brick-and-mortar location, too. The “next generation” company has operated its pizza truck at the corner of Cesar Chavez and Valencia streets since 2016, and you can now sample its wood-fired pizza inside the former Mozzeria (3228 16th Street). Founder Rick Richman highlighted Firepie’s exceptional delivery and cooking times (usually under 15 minutes and 90 seconds, respectively), and convenience of the new location for Dolores Park outings. “We also employ underserved local youths, have a superstar team, and pay them well,” he said. 

Firepie, “between fast casual and artisan”:

UCSF to support housing and minority-owned small businesses

UC San Francisco launched a community investment program last week to “address health equity through community economic support.” The pilot comes out of UCSF’s Anchor Institution Initiative, which was launched in 2019 to advance equity for underserved and under-resourced communities worldwide “starting from the city we call home.”

The program constitutes a three-year commitment to fund four area organizations. ASIAN, Inc. will get $1 million for start-up loans for housing projects, minority contractors, and lower income minority business owners. REDF Impact Investing Fund (RIIF) will also receive $1 million to offer short-term loans to employers of people who have experienced barriers to work, such as incarceration, homelessness and mental illness. Pacific Community Ventures in Oakland will be given $1.5 million to establish its Restorative Loan Fund for entrepreneurs typically excluded from traditional financial systems, and the San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund will receive $1.5 million for affordable housing and homelessness efforts in San Francisco and Oakland.

Jamestown Community Center celebrates 50 years

The Mission youth development organization Jamestown Community Center celebrates half a century of supporting low-income youth and families this year. Through sports, seasonal camps, the school-based Beacon Centers and more, Jamestown Community Center has worked to “enrich the lives of our underserved youth and their families to create healthier communities.” The center merged with Loco Bloco in 2018, the latter bringing arts programming and performance experience to the former’s academic enrichment and youth development programs. To celebrate its 50th birthday, Jamestown Community Center is sharing stories from impacted individuals and working to raise $150,000 by Jan. 10. Give to the next 50 years here

VOSS Gallery goes international

The Mission’s VOSS Gallery (3344 24th St.) will host a booth at SCOPE, the international contemporary art show in Florida. The booth (#EO13) will exhibit work by The Tracy Piper and Gale Hart. Both artists are at the vanguard of the New Contemporary genre. Ashley Voss, VOSS Gallery owner/director, noted in an email that the gallery’s all-female presence at SCOPE is unique in the art world; only 8 percent of 3,050 galleries in the Artsy database represent more women than men. “We’re at the forefront of a necessary cultural shift in the art market by encouraging collectors to invest in women in the arts,” she wrote. The show opens next Tuesday, Nov. 30, and VOSS Gallery will release additional works by Piper and Hart on Nov. 25. View the collection here

The Drawing Room invites artists to submit work about climate change

Bay Area artists are invited to submit work relevant to a forthcoming climate change exhibition, “Tides of Change,” at The Drawing Room (3260 23rd Street) by Jan. 3. Pieces should “reflect upon the histories and progression of our warming planet, the impacts on life due to temperature and sea level rise, and the current calls for action.” Considering the recent United Nations COP26 climate summit and ongoing activism, the exhibition organizers note how art “can impress upon us and appeal to our senses in a way that data and graphs often fail to.” Artists from San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties are eligible. The exhibition will be held between Jan. 15 and Feb. 26, 2022. Submit here.

In other opportunities for artists, the San Francisco Public Library artist-in-residence program accepts applications from artists of all disciplines through Dec. 3. Learn more here.

Giving Tuesday is Nov. 30

Giving Tuesday was founded on the idea that “everyone has something to give, and every act of generosity counts.” On Tuesday and beyond, there are plenty of ways to give back locally. Here are a few to get you started:

The Women’s Building’s Winter Community Drive accepts donations through Dec. 14. More details from last week’s neighborhood notes here.

A joint San Francisco Police Department and Walgreens toy drive started yesterday. Drop off new, unwrapped toys at any San Francisco Walgreens until Dec. 21, or make a donation via Venmo or GoFundMe (see event poster below). The San Francisco Police Department says 2,000 toys were donated last year. Sounds like a challenge! 

The San Francisco Public Library will repurpose old laptops to teach digital literacy to new computer users through February, 2022. They accept Chromebooks and Windows devices, and the donated laptops will be wiped and refurbished by Hewlett-Packard to be distributed through library programs to adults learning basic skills. Learn more about the easy donation process and locations here.

This list of philanthropic Bay Area and San Francisco-specific organizations highlights other worthy recipients of your time and money. 

To make a donation to the SFPD/Walgreens toy drive via Venmo or GoFundme, use the above QR codes.

For more neighborhood happenings, check our calendar.

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"Annie" is originally from Nebraska, where she found her calling to journalism as editor of her high school newsletter. Before returning to the field, she studied peace and political science in the Balkans, taught elementary and middle school, and worked as an epidemiologist during the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow her on Twitter @anlancheney.

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