This Valentine’s Day, the day meant more in BOSS than just flowers, candy, and dinner out with a significant other – several people in our community decided it could and should be a day to show love and kinship with friends and neighbors – including and especially, people in need.

“The community was so kind,” said Gwen Austin of BOSS, “when asked to help collect gifts for the women client/participants for Valentine’s Day who receive services from BOSS programs”. Black Pine Circle School is a long-time BOSS partner and community supporter. This Valentine’s Day they heeded the call for action and assistance. Black Pines Circle Community of Parents pooled resources and provided gift bags for women in BOSS programs. But, it didn’t stop there!

The BART Police Department coordinated a collection of donations from numerous small businesses in the East Bay! Some of the most notable are Jenn from Jenn’s Cupcakes, who provided mini cupcakes, Nikki from Behind the Sweets gave large cupcakes, Alex and Lanny from Cookie Proper baked assorted cookies, Emery Bonannella from SpangleMaker Studios created special inspirational necklaces! Michele, from the BART Police Department spearheaded the collections and even hand wrote personal Valentine’s Day cards for each recipient.

Gwen spoke about the collection of inspirational gifts, “We are so grateful and appreciate our relationships and partnerships with our wonderful community of angels”.

Feeling loved, feeling appreciated, feeling beautiful is an aspect of life that is often missing from the lives of women living without housing. These feelings are important as they help one feel seen, valid, and empowered members of society. When our community partners come together and do something so wonderful for so many women in our community, they are truly Turning Lives Around.


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