When Boxes of Love started out we provided gift boxes that included personal care items,
underwear, protein bars a positive note with a saying to people living on the street. We
contacted smaller communities and realized a “Box of Love” was not only needed but a
necessity. So we set out to expand and that’s where our “Days of Caring” Free Shopping Day
has taken us. By providing basic needs that are unobtainable due to lack of income, or low
income. Our cause brings to the community what cannot be provided by the programs or
lack of programs available in the area. A good example of this is our volunteer hairdressers
who work to provide lice checks, hair washing and hair cuts. No place that we are aware of
provides this for free. Shelter by providing tents and sleeping bags, because shelters are
either full or unavailable in these areas. Cooking and food items, they can take with them
instead of traveling to another area. We also rehab bicycles to supply transportation.
Stacy Bergeron began Boxes of Love for the Homeless November of 2018. In her words, "We started taking PJ to swimming lessons in Manchester, NH. As the days grew shorter I noticed many folks on the street huddled to keep warm. Initially I averted my eyes as I walked past them, feeling helpless, awkward and a little ashamed...if that makes sense. Eventually I decided I would keep hand warmers, water bottles and granola bars in my car, and hand them out if I saw someone in need. One late afternoon, I saw a man huddled up and shivering as the cold seeped through the sleeping bag he had wrapped himself in. I asked him if he might be able to use the 3 items. It was then that something happened...he looked me in the eyes. What I saw and felt moved me deeply. I wanted...I actually needed to do more."
With the help of some friends, Stacy built 20 boxes to hand out to the homeless population in Manchester, NH. She decided to take some pictures of everything she put in the boxes
and shared her story and an amazon wish list on Facebook. She shared her post with her
friend from Junior High School Bernadette Trafton. Bernadette began sharing the post everywhere and the donations began pouring in from people who knew they wanted to do something to help. After a few conversations about creating a facebook page to do even more to help the cause, Stacy and Bernadette formed a partnership on January 8, 2019 with the hope that through them, a lot of people could
receive these gifts of love. Since then, it's been a whirlwind of activity. We decided to be a non profit, which simply means, we collect items and distribute them. People can be assured
when they donate, their donation will go directly into the hands of those who need it the
most. In January 2020 we became a 501 (c)3. We have an all volunteer board and have
become “Many Hands Make Light Work” to continue expanding the vision.
Bernadette's mother, who everyone called "Oma" always said to get things done quickly everyone should pitch in and "Many hands make light work". We've kept this sentiment as part of our mission and welcome helping hands from volunteers, board members and community partners.