SALT LAKE CITY – Volunteers worked over the weekend to transform an empty space into a place where low-income and homeless families can “shop” for the holidays.
The Candy Cane Corner “store” provides a dignified, and empowering holiday shopping experience for those in need, and all of the items, from toys to clothes to housewares, have been donated.
According to a press release from the YWCA, the Candy Cane Corner is an effort coordinated by the YWCA Utah, the Road Home and Volunteers of America. The operation served more than 500 families with 1,200 children last year.
Volunteer Barb Gander said those who volunteer once often come back again.
“To watch a family come in, a parent or a pair of parents come in, and shop for their family and to have that interface with them and how excited they are and how grateful they are for the clothing, the toys, the housewares, if you just do it once, you'll be back to volunteer,” Gander said.
Candy Cane Corner is located at 1812 S Empire Road, Suite G, and the space was donated by Freeport West Industrial Properties. The store will be run by volunteers throughout the month of December.
Parents, accompanied by their case manager, choose from among the donated gifts for their children. In addition to the gifts, the group provides wrapping paper, ribbons and tape so those in need can have a complete holiday experience.
Organizers are seeking donations, including clothing, underwear, shoes and boots for all ages. They also need blankets and other household items. They are also hoping for non-violent toys and games for children and teens. Cash donations are also accepted. Donations can be dropped off between Dec. 2 and Dec. 23, Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more information, visit their website.