In 20 years of operation, At The Crossroads has had thousands of amazing volunteers walk through our doors to support our work with San Francisco’s most disconnected homeless youth. Out of all of our community members, one stands out from the rest, Avner Lapovsky. A founding Board Member, donor, fundraiser, and volunteer, Avner has been with At The Crossroads for over 17 years. In that time, he has been one of our biggest champions and has helped us with everything from outreach prep nights, to newsletter mailings, to promoting our organization, to raising a lot of money for our work. Above and beyond all of his support of ATC, Avner has put unsurpassed energy and enthusiasm into sharing our mission with everyone and anyone he meets. He has connected ATC with more than 250 new donors and volunteers in his many years of service and he is constantly recruiting potential board and staff members.
“I love the reaction of a person that’s never heard of our organization when I tell them that we’re actually connecting on the streets of the city with homeless youth and building relationships … And so I’ve almost made it a daily game. Who am I going to pick today to hear the story? And every day the universe sends someone to listen to the story.” -Avner, Former Board Member and supporter
A passionate fundraiser, Avner has come up with many creative ways to raise money for our work with homeless youth. For his 50th and 60th birthdays, he rented out Beach Blanket Babylon and filled the house with friends and family, donating all proceeds to ATC. In 2003, he raised $20,000; in 2013, he raised $30,000. He also participated for many years in our annual peer-to-peer fundraiser, the I Think I Can Campaign, coming up with clever stunts and challenges to involve his community with our organization and raise funds. In 2009, he sang songs from Fiddler on the Roof at an open mic night, raising over $5,000—there is nothing Avner won’t do to support our work. Over the course of 18 years, he has helped raise at least $500,000, helping to sustain our work with homeless youth on the streets of San Francisco.
Avner also has a personal connection to our work. When he was a pre-teen, he was sent to the United States from Israel because of his asthma. He moved to Colorado to live with extended family and was otherwise all alone. Avner describes that but for the kindness of strangers, he likely would have ended up on the streets. For him, At The Crossroads’ unconditional support is critical to helping young homeless people build outstanding lives.
Listen as Avner describes how he has incorporated ATC into his daily life and finds new supporters for ATC every single day.