Pillows for Puppies had two missions this year at the San Francisco Valentine’s Day Pillow Fight: Donating pillows to charity, and cleaning Justin Herman Plaza to make the pillow fight self-sustaining!
We collected and donated 200 pillows to the Sisters of Mercy, who distributed them to their low-income housing residents today. Thank you for the kind donations, pillow fighters!
We also coordinated 30 volunteers who stayed until 10:30pm cleaning the plaza, along with dozens of crowd-sourced helpers who were happy to fill a bag with fluff before heading home. We filled 150 big trash bags with the stuffing from burst pillows and left much less work for the city employees. We left a very light smattering of feathers, rather than the usual 4-6 inches of fluff, feathers, and empty pillowcases. Next year we’re bringing power washers of our own - that’s all there was left to do!
Our volunteers reduced the event cost for the city from $35,000 in 2010 to $3,500 in 2011, according to numbers provided by Gloria Chan of the DPW. This ninety percent reduction is due to our amazing volunteers and the participation of pillow fighters in cleaning up after themselves when offered trash bags and loving encouragement to pick up.
Here is Justin Herman Plaza mid-fight, ankle-deep in fluff and discarded pillows. This is the condition it’s been left in previously, which is a bit ridiculous. (Courtesy bapnoyndamix)
This is Justin Herman Plaza after we finished, before the power washing was done by the Parks Department:
And some of our volunteers in action! (I didn’t take many pictures because I was cleaning, too!)
The Department of Public Works, the Parks Department, and the local Police Department were happy to see us and let us borrow brooms and rakes to speed up our clean up. Thank you, Departments!
The fountain had been drained for regular maintenance and was not clogged this year, which was a major source of damage in previous years. Hopefully it’s drained each year!
What a great evening! Thanks for having us San Francisco. We’ll see you again!