Our New Year begins with full hearts thanks to the giving spirit of neighbors and friends who became “heroes of the holidays” at Homeward Bound of Marin.
The season started to look bountiful in early December when we received the first delivery of goodies for 450 men, women and children who reside in Homeward Bound’s 14 programs. Every day seemed to bring a new manifestation of thoughtfulness from people in the community.
Here are a few of the heroes who made a difference for our residents this year:
Mill Valley Middle School -- Parents and students have organized holiday gift drives for Homeward Bound of Marin and other nonprofits for several years with great success. This year, the kids and families outdid themselves by delivering 200 colorful gift bags with treats like chocolate and helpful items like socks or scarves. Their efforts ensured that all the residents at Mill Street Center, New Beginnings Center and other adult programs received a little something special!
Marin Kids Giving Back – This group of Novato teens and families organized by Teresa Bozin and Holly Choy has undertaken a holiday project for three years. Nate Bozin, Teresa’s son, also became acquainted with Homeward Bound while fulfilling community service hours for Marin Catholic High School. Their project this year showed great things can fit in small boxes – a package that looked just big enough for a pair of mittens brimmed with gift cards and checks. We thank them on behalf of all the residents who benefited from their support!
Girl Scout Troop #31067 – Enterprising seventh-graders created a community project to support Homeward Bound. They reached out to Marin Coffee Roasters at Ignacio Plaza, which gladly agreed to host a “giving tree.” Each ornament assigned a gift for Homeward Bound; every customer who chose one got a free cup of fresh coffee. Their efforts resulted in a delivery of blankets and new pillows as well as useful items for residents leaving for their own housing.
Elan Fitness Center – They have tough muscles but warm hearts at Elan Fitness in San Anselmo, where proprietor LaRaye Houston and her mom invited Homeward Bound to decorate a “giving tree" that fulfilled wishes from dozens of Homeward Bound families. Club members love the project, LaRaye Houston says, and they’ve pledged to make wishes come true again next year.
St. Vincent de Paul High School – The Community Concerns Club gathers students who come up with ways to support various nonprofits and Homeward Bound feels grateful to be among their beneficiaries. Members arrived just before Christmas with a carload of new blankets – 125 in all. These students really put “warm wishes” into action for our residents!