Holiday Spirit, On The Go!

Tree at Rosa decorated
Rosa Parks House tree!

At holiday time, many people approach BOSS to see how they can help those in need have warm and enjoyable holidays, with gifts and joy despite their hardships. This is just one example of someone going the extra mile to share love and holiday spirit!

A few years ago, a woman named Laura Lippay approached BOSS to see if there was anything she could for the less fortunate in our community. Her employer, Yahoo!, sponsored employees to donate time and energy in “Random Acts of Kindness”.

Every year since, Laura has collected donations and brought Christmas trees to the families in our shelters, with the help of her friends and family. This year she also brought new socks, bedding, and other items needed in BOSS programs.

Christmas is especially difficult for homeless families with children. Not only is it cold and rainy (some years more than others) but with no tree and no gifts it can be a very sad day for parents and children alike. Some of the individuals in BOSS programs haven’t had a happy Christmas in a very long time.

BOSS is so grateful to Laura and her entire support team for all she does for the people living in our residence programs. She is truly Turning Lives Around and bringing joy and laughter to everyone around her. Thank you, Laura!

Neither rain nor sleet nor 2nd floors will keep Laura's tree deliverers from their destination!
Tree delivery!

And thank you to everyone in our community who has been so incredibly generous, donating gifts, warm clothing, blankets, and much more – the Family Giving Tree, Lend A Hand Foundation, St. Paul’s Episcopal School families, Prospect Sierra families, Head Royce School families, ISMRM, Gardenia, and Barbara Cohen, plus many others…

We will post a complete list of donors after the holidays!

Extra special thanks to Gwen Austin, BOSS Development Associate, Gift Drive Supervisor, and Santa’s Elf Extraordinaire!

Laura posted this on her Facebook page after this years delivery of happiness:

“Boy you guys really came through this year.. I was worried when we were only at $350 but we ended up matching last year’s amount at just over $1000 to bring warm clothes and gift cards for eateries and Christmas trees, decorations and a few toys to families who couldn’t afford to have them on their own this year. One woman (whose pic I still need to get) is pregnant, has a little daughter, and never had a Christmas tree in her life. Everyone was so excited – hopefully I’ve got some more pics coming.

Thank you thank you thank you to Steve Martin for volunteering to drive and hauling all these trees around, and to everyone who donated this year: Rand DeRuiter, Dave Rohrer, Delphine Duerr, Francis Lippay, Maggie Corrow, Larry A. Corrow, Heather Quintal, Jarrett Corroww, Joshua Ziering, Michael Cottam, Pete Meyers, Laurie Piotrowski, Joshua Piotrowski, Shannon Moore, Stephanie, Rob Snell, Stephen Lippay, @ToddSullivan, @TomAnthony, Lei Mendiola, and @HanaB!

Laura (far right) with one of the tree recipient families' kids and their babysitting grandma
Laura (far right) with tree recipients!

And thank you to Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency™ (BOSS) for doing this all day every day, year round.

If you are interested in donating new socks, towels, toiletries, blankets/bedding, or any other goods that are needed year-round, please reach out to Gwen Austin at or (510) 649-1930 x 223.

Cash donations can be made here or by mail to 2065 Kittredge St., Ste. E, Berkeley, CA 94704. Please ask your employer if they do gift matching, or employee sponsoring programs for work with local non-profits.

It is truly the gift that keeps giving – sharing love, compassion, and life-changing service.

Have safe holidays and a wonderful 2015, from all of us at BOSS!