Candy Cane Corner a seasonal shop with a charitable mission

Posted at 9:40 PM, Dec 06, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-06 23:40:01-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Christmas is around the corner, and while many people are out and about finding the perfect gift for their kids, others can't afford to buy any gifts.

But, three non-profit groups are working to help some families who are homeless have gifts for the holidays through the Candy Cane Corner store.

The store is open every year for just 23 days during December, with the sole purpose of bringing an uplifting holiday experience to families in need of a little help.

“New shoes, new clothing, new games, new small household appliances, so that mothers could choose for themselves and their families,” said Anne Burkholder of the YWCA of Utah.

Volunteers run the store and help families who are participating in programs with the YWCA, the Road Home and Volunteers of America.

“They get to come over with a staff member from each of those agencies and hand select new clothing and toys for their children for the holiday season,” said Celeste Eggert with the Road Home.

Kim Smart, who has volunteered since 2009, says the big pay-off is seeing the smiles on people's faces.

“I just think we are so fortunate, and there’s so many out there that can’t make ends meet or just are struggling, and I really want to do these things with my kids," Smart said.

Eggert said every donation is appreciated, and each donation gives families hope.

“I wish that the community and everybody who donated to Candy Cane Corner got to hear the gratitude from the clients like I do, but, truly the families that we serve are tremendously appreciative of this program and the store,” Eggert said.

Program coordinators say they have an especially great need for gifts suitable for teens. If you're interested in donating or volunteering, click here.