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Bringing the Past Forward

Being a hero doesn't mean you're invincible, it just means you're brave enough

to stand up and do what's needed.

Percy Jackson

What does it mean to create a lasting legacy? It is a question whose answer we continue to pursue as we work to shape and scope Red String’s Jeff Adachi Legacy Project (JALP). 

Red String collaborates with charities throughout California and Washington providing grants to local charities working with under-served youth to improve educational outcomes, assisting low-income families reach self-sufficiency, and caring for home-bound elderly persons.  Jeff’s unexpected death in February 2019 and the subsequent community outpouring were the inspirations behind creating the Legacy Project.

Not all heroes wear capes, but Jeff did

The Foundation utilizes the Project to help focus and align it’s efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area to carry forward Jeff’s commitment to community and his ideals and vision for a more just and equitable San Francisco.

Jeff served as the Public Defender of the City and County of San Francisco before his untimely death in 2019. He was a leader in the movement to shine a light on racial injustice, both by engaging the community and lending his office’s support toward community advocacy and service, educational, and work training programs to address inequities and improve outcomes.

Selecting the right partner charities is an essential part of Red String's work. Before a charity is accepted for a grant, our staff performs in-depth reviews and engagements with each candidate charity to ensure the charity and grant project aligns with our mission, values, and program criteria. Since our inception in 2020, Red String has distributed grants of over $45K to JALP charities and more than $150K overall.

"We are extremely proud to be working with our current JALP partner charities, Sunset Youth Services, City Surf Project, and the MAGIC programs." says Stan Adachi, founder of Red String. "Each is making a lasting impact in the lives of youth and families in the most under-served and poorest communities in San Francisco."

"I hope Jeff is looking down upon us with great pride." Stan adds.

But, creating a lasting legacy has been a challenge, especially one belonging to a larger than life personality as Jeff's. When establishing the JALP, we had hopes of tapping into the community's support for Jeff and build a movement to help carry forward Jeff's ideals and commitment to San Francisco, but we have yet to create the buzz we would like.

We have more work to do.

First, we need to create a greater presence in San Francisco. To do this, we hope to attract and recruit more local volunteers who have an affinity with carrying forward Jeff's ideals, who align with our mission and core values, and has the time and energy to help us shape and grow the program. Human capital is the greatest asset for any organization, especially for an all-volunteer non-profit like Red String. Anyone who might be interested in volunteering and would like more information please email us at

Second, in philanthropy, size matters. Currently, Red String is a small private foundation which limits the amount and types of impact we can have with our partner charities and within communities. In 2023, Red String shifted its grant strategy to focus on improving outcomes by increasing grant sizes, but this also meant reevaluating and reducing the number of partner charities. Growth is the key to eliminate this Either-Or situation, but achieving such growth takes time. By working to expand our outreach, galvanize action toward our mission, and spread awareness, we hope to attract others to our cause.

Last, we need to build better brand recognition and awareness. One of the difficulties we have had is associating Red String with the JALP and its efforts to carry forward Jeff's ideals. We had hoped that creating the Jeff Adachi Legacy Project as a secondary brand would help distinguish the JALP and better explain how it connects to Red String's overall mission, but more work is needed to promote and gain exposure of the project.

As we celebrate and honor Jeff on this fifth anniversary since his passing, we remain steadfastly committed to the JALP and carrying forward Jeff’s ideals and spirit not only in San Francisco, but in everything we do at Red String.

Please join us on Thursday, February 22 and take a brief moment to remember and honor Jeff and all that he meant to you.

2022 JALP Video:

(to be continued)


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