UC Berkeley Trade Up Project

Class project turns into special donation for BOSS housing!

“As part of the “Global Startup” class at UC Berkeley, taught by Ken Singer, students had a week to trade items (with strangers) and the team who ended with the most valuable item would win. All teams started with a little box and it was up to them to shape the meaning of value.

For students Gabriela Cibils (Pargauay) and Victoria Landeau (France), value went beyond money. Helping someone in need became their goal, and the social media campaign “14 Trades for Shelter” was born.

After the first trade -the little box for a porcelain cup- the two entrepreneurs headed to the streets of Downtown Berkeley in search for more. To their surprise, they ran into someone who was moving out of town and needed a new place for their couch. The stranger was happy to participate, and traded the cup for the couch.  

As awareness grew quickly on social media, the message especially resonated with another UC Berkeley student, who traded the couch for a twin size bed frame, mattress, and blanket. Landeau and Cibils’ final object, then, was the picture of the bed being picked up by BOSS staff for use in a BOSS program for the homeless!

– Written by Gabriela Cibils”

Thank you Victoria and Gabriela for thinking about BOSS and using the class project opportunity to provide value for someone in real life! The bed was picked up by BOSS staff Jeff McElroy who delivered it to our Meekland House program in Hayward, which provides permanent supportive housing to transition age youth (18-24).

If you have items to donate, please contact Gwen Austin, Community Builder and Development Associate, at gaustin@self-sufficiency.org or 510.649.1930 x 1001.