At the Salvation Army shelter on Valencia Street last night, some hope was finally offered to tenants who were victims of the devastating fire at Mission and 22nd streets on January 28th. Zack Crockett had started a donation page to help the victims of this catastrophe, with the 27-year-old Mission resident later coming to MEDA to help garner more funds and to assist in the distribution of the monies.
This all came to fruition last night, with many tears being shed, emotions running high and families feeling supported by the community they have helped create and of which they wish to remain part.
Following is the text of MEDA Policy Manager Gabriel Medina’s introduction of Zack Crockett:
Good evening and welcome. My name is Gabriel Medina and I am the policy manager at the Mission Economic Development Agency, MEDA.
Like most of you, I stand before you tonight with mixed emotions.
The Mission suffered an incalculable loss the night of January 28th. Families lost their homes. Small businesses were displaced. One young man lost his life, and our thoughts go out tonight to the family of Mauricio Orellena back in El Salvador. Let’s have a moment of silence for Mauricio.
The now-shuttered building one block away, at Mission and 22nd streets, now stands as a symbol of the dire issues in our community. Where can people relocate in the Mission? How do we keep the Mission diverse . . . vibrant . . . and a place for all?
But out of bad can come some good. Tonight epitomizes that fact.
The night of the devastating fire, one young man, Zack Crockett, decided to make a difference. He went home and started a donation page, with the hope he could get $2,000 for the displaced tenants, who are gathered here tonight.
Well, that fund rose to over $180,000. Think about that for a moment.
These funds came from every part of the Mission community. Individual donors gave $5, $20, $50, $100 and up. Bake sales were held at schools. Local theaters passed around a hat. Fundraisers were held at bars and restaurants. The corporate world joined in. There were over 2,300 donors.
Zack came to MEDA once his fund had grown, and it has been our honor to become his partner, and friend, in this effort–an effort that exemplifies the community spirit MEDA has fostered in the Mission since our nonprofit starting working in the neighborhood over four decades ago.
They say it takes a village. But sometimes it takes one person to be the catalyst to harness the power of good in that village. For the village we all call the Mission, that person was Zack Crockett, and it is my honor to introduce him.”