Strawberries for Smiles is a very simple idea. The gifting of healthy foods (strawberries, etc) plus useful goods (socks, etc) and encouraging words to those without homes in the Bay Area on your way to work.
Watch our tiny intro video to see how easy it is:
I moved to San Francisco in 2018, and was worried I might become desensitized to the homeless population here. Most Americans are just one medical emergency away from being broke. If this resonates with you, please join us in spreading a little hope to those less fortunate. -- Andrew. (the first box maker)
You may not always feel like giving money, but a gift box is a real message of hope. A friend who was homeless (now doing very well) explained three things homeless people lack that can be physically and physiologically even worse than lacking a roof:
- Healthy food - For someone without money, the cheapest foods are rubbish fast-foods - hence diabetes is prevalent amount the homeless. Strawberries are particularly high in vitamin C.
- Eye contact and touch - Most homeless people agree on the terrible long-lasting effects of people always avoiding eye contact, let alone the idea that someone might pat them on the shoulder and give them a gift.
- Achievable goals and hope - When the world gives up on you, the idea of setting goals is hard. But to dig yourself out, it's best to start with little steps, and encouragement from a friend. Inside each basket is a simple message or goal to achieve if one chooses.
And yes, there's the selfish side for me. Helping out someone in need... well it puts a spark at the beginning of your day. :)
For me, I'll deliver strawberries as I walk to work at Google in San Francisco! Anyone interested (just email me) I'd love to send the supplies to make their own boxes. :)
Packing for "loaves of love"
I personally won't give boxes out everyday (that gets expensive!), but I aim for at least two boxes a week, and I might be asking others to either consider making their own boxes or donating to my own operation. :)
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