For a group of Dartmouth College students, time spent away from campus this spring brought about a desire to make an impact while at home. So a model to support frontline workers was born. Fuel Our Heroes, a chapter-based crowdfunding initiative, is now fundraising to support local hospitals during COVID-19 in 14 different cities across the US and Canada.

Fuel Our Heroes SF, the local chapter spearheaded by Luke Rohlen and seven other Bay Area college students, is rooted in a long-standing family connection to Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG). The hospital and Solid Start, a program that integrates evidence-based support for pregnant individuals and their children aged 0-3, has benefited from the generous support of the Rohlen family for many years ensuring that the most vulnerable members of our community have access to the healthcare they need.

According to Luke, he has always felt a draw to give back. Building upon his family’s legacy of philanthropy, he ran an ultra-marathon (50 miles) last summer that raised $25,000 for the Stanford Neurosurgery Department after a family member required brain surgery. 

“In our family, there’s always been this idea that giving back is so important, whether saying thank you for holding open a door or raising money for the community we live in.”

Nearly halfway to the fundraising goal of $40,000, Luke and his team have quickly harnessed their personal networks of family and friends to spread the word about Fuel Our Heroes for the Bay Area.

“San Francisco is our home. It’s done a lot for us, and it’s time to give back in this time of need. We just want to help out the people who would help us.”

All funds from Fuel Our Heroes SF will directly support ZSFG through the ZSFG COVID-19 Fund.