Need your daily dose of feel-good news? Let me introduce you to Susan Willen of Somerset.

Five years ago, Willen was enjoying Christmas with her family. She looked around the room at all of the wonderful gifts and thought to herself, We are so fortunate. I think it’s time we help those that need it. She began asking her friends and family to grab an extra toiletry item or canned good on their shopping trips, and so began Willen’s “Boxes of Love.”

Courtesy Susan Willen

Her mission has grown exponentially since its start in 2016, and she has no intention of slowing down. Friends and family will drop items off at her house or she will pick them up, and Willen personally sorts through the items and brings them to the Sacred Heart food pantry in Fall River.

“I like bringing the donations there because you see the people you are helping," she told me.

Boxes of Love are typically donated around the holidays, but due to COVID-19, Willen saw that the need for items was greater than ever before. She began putting together her boxes this past summer and will continue to do so as long as the demand is there.

“The food pantry has close to 80 families that come in every week, and they need more than just food. Sometimes people don’t think to bring in feminine or hygiene products,” Willen explained, and she makes sure to supply what is needed in her boxes of love.

People in her life were eager to help, which led Willen to start the Boxes of Love Facebook group. She is able to list the items she is looking for and create an online community of selfless helpers that are making a difference on the SouthCoast.

If you would like to help with Boxes of Love, find Susan Willen on Facebook and join the cause.

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