The sweetest Valentine’s Day gift in San Francisco this year may have already been given out. A kind-hearted project called the Love Ride rode through the streets on Sunday, February 12, distributing care packages to any homeless people they saw. This was the first Love Ride in San Francisco, though the event has been happening for the last four years in Venice Beach and this year the combined cities’ riders handed out 450 care packages to people living on the streets.
These weren’t just any care packages, they were specifically designed for the needs of the homeless population. Love Ride care packages included snacks, new socks, Wet Wipes, Q-Tips, lip balm, knit beanie hats, and other items that are particularly practical for homeless individuals.
The care packages themselves were assembled in Los Angeles, and driven up to the Bay Area the morning of the ride. “They decided to prep the bags [in Los Angeles] because they have so many people down there and we don’t have a home base in San Francisco yet,” Love Ride SF organizer Michael-Ann Sowick tells SF Weekly.
Some small business with a special commitment to homelessness solutions donated their products. Feminine hygiene company Conscious Period donated hundreds of free tampons and panty liners, and soap manufacturer Maxwell’s Soaps kicked down as many bars of free soap as part its ongoing efforts the help the homeless.
“Every time we sell a bar of soap we donate one back to the homeless,” Maxwell’s Soaps founder and CEO Max Willmore tells SF Weekly. “As I sell soap I donate. Primarily, I work with [mobile shower nonprofit] Lava Mae. They bring the showers, I bring the soap.”
Sunday’s Love Ride San Francisco kicked off three days of Love Rides nationwide, with additional Love Ride events in Venice Beach and Miami.