ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- It's just one meal, but to the U.S. Coast Guard personnel stationed in Alameda, a simple gesture from their neighbors at the Ballena Bay Yacht Club means a lot.
"Food, I didn't eat too much this weekend," said Nathan Knight, in his blue Coast Guard uniform. "They're kind of rationing it out, so."
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"This has been dire straits for some of our people," said Adrienne Weissman, part of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. "I'm not going to sugar coat it, it's been tough, but an event like this really brings people's spirits up."
"Right now they're struggling." said Ballena Bay Yacht Club Commodor Cindy Wagner. "Many of them are unable to pay for their gas, their food, or their rent, their mortgage or their daycare and we thought we could do just a little something to make their day a little bit better."
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One man brought a fistful of $25 Target gift cards. John Vidano is married to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.
"We went 50/50 on it," said Vidano. "We brought eight gift cards and we might be doing it every week now that they say they're going to be do this on a weekly basis."
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A few miles away at the Oakland International Airport, employees of Southwest Airlines invited officers and agents from the Transportation Security Administration to their barbecue, one in memory of the airline's late founder Herb Kelleher.
"I can't tell you how much it means to our officers, when you wake up sometimes, literally at 1:30 in the morning and you know how much you're appreciated," explained David Von Damm, Federal Security Director for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, "like the folks at Southwest are showing us today, it just means a world of difference."
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