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Great Neighbors: Kris Bolander and Sara Loveland

By Staff Writer
Published On: Nov 05 2013 06:37:27 PM CST

Two friends help homeless women with a book.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Idaho -

No matter how well you're insured, we're basically one step away from bankruptcy if we have a major medical emergency.

That's what happened to Kris Bolander. One big medical setback, tons of medical bills and she found herself homeless.

She's back on her feet now, but can't shake the nightmare of knowing how many homeless women are out there, so she's doing something to help

"I went through the homeless shelter and stayed with friends, and then ended up not having any place to stay," said Kris.

A situation like that could make a person bitter. Instead, it's made Kris determined to help homeless women. She came up with an idea, and called her best friend since high school, Sara Loveland.

"She just told me she me to take pictures of roses and dandelions," said Sara.

She assumed it was for decoration. But Kris had something different in mind: a book about self-esteem because when you're homeless self-esteem levels plummet.

"It's about how we have different people in life, and there are some of those people that don't fit in and they're never going to fit in and we all know they don't fit in,” said Kris.

“And a lot of times, they feel really bad about themselves.”

With Sara's photos and Kris' writing, the book explains why every one is special.

"When you have this garden of flowers, you have all these little yellow flowers that know they're beautiful, and they're all alike, so they know that they fit in,” said Kris. “And then you have one red flower, and everybody says … 'That one doesn't belong. It's different. It's not like us. It can't be here. 'And that flower feels bad sometimes.”

But, “when you back up and look at the picture, you have a rose in dandelions,” Kris said.

"I just really feel we need to reach out to everybody because everyone is important,” said Sara.

"And they don't realize that it's the group that's the problem, not them,” said Kris.

The friends give all the proceeds from their no-profit company, Petals of Crimson, to help homeless women. They're currently on a second book.

Sara and Kris also gave 90 postcards like this to ministers and hospice workers in the area. They in turn gave them to folks who just needed some flowers to brighten their day.
If you're interested in buying a book, go to petals of crimson.wordpress.com.

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