Not Just Another Saturday

“And to think this started as just any other Saturday!”

That’s what “Mony” said through tears of joy as she looked around at her newly furnished apartment.

Thanks to Univeristy of CA Office of the President Operations team, Saturday was anything BUT “any other Saturday.”

After a month and a half of tirelessly collecting items and fundraising, they were able to bless two hardworking single moms fleeing violence, with the home of their dreams!

Family #1

“This cannot be my apartment. It’s too much. It just cannot be where I live!”

For a year and half “Anna” has been living in shelters with her three young children under 6. Her new apartment was empty except for blow up mattresses when we arrived.

Before: Anna's bedroom
Before: Dining Room
Before: Anna's daughter's room.

Anna’s kids made this sign to welcome us as we loaded in furniture, beds, washer/dryer, dishes, pots and pans, toys and more!

Volunteers unload the truck.
Our youngest volunteers help organize books.
Setting up beds.

In order to keep the family safe, we cannot show their faces. But trust us when we say, there were many tears, excited children and one very relieved mom!

After: Living room
After: Anna's daughter's room.
After: Anna's bedroom.
After: Kitchen
After: Dining room and living room.
After: Anna's son's bedroom.


This was “Mony’s” apartment when we arrived. The place is small and there is almost no room for storage. Mony works 12 hours days. Mony and her daughter only had one bed between them and every night someone slept on the floor.

Before: The only bed Mony and her daughter had.

Our volunteers dove right in helping organize and store all of their things.

When “Mony” walked in, the first thing she said was “Oh my God! This is just what I needed. Thank you. Thank you!”.

Mony seeing her new home for the first time.
Living room.
Mony's bedroom.
Dining room.

And there was one more surprise that made this “not like any other Saturday.” Her daughter Rhianna LOVES basketball. She says “it is her life.”

A volunteer heard that and brought a special friend to meet Rhianna – Cal basketball alum and current WNBA star, Brittany Boyd was hiding in the kitchen

Rhianna immediately recognized Brittany and was literally frozen in shock.

When asked what she was going to do with the ball, Rhianna said, “Sleep with it!”

WNBA star, Brittany Boyd surprises Rhianna who loves basketball.

Thank you

Thank you UCOP Operations Team for your hard work, heart and dedication to help these families. Both now have a place they can call home and are one step closer to safety and success for their families. This was definitely NOT “just any other Saturday!”


With gratitude,

Donna and Chris

Grateful Gatherings, Founders

The University of CA Office of the President Operations Team
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