With Christmas so close, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do at the last minute to help make life better for Utahns struggling with homelessness and other challenges.
There is. Volunteers of America Utah is grateful for all the donations of money and goods it’s received this holiday season to support the nonprofit’s shelters, outreach to people living on the streets, treatment for substance abuse and mental health issues and youth mentoring, its leaders said. But if you still want to give:
“At the very last minute, we need underwear,” said Cathleen Sparrow, VOA Utah’s chief development officer. “We go through 10,000 pairs of underwear a year.”
The organization also needs coats, hats, scarves, gloves, boots, socks, warm clothing, thermal underwear, sleeping bags and tarps. The items that aren’t given away by the time warm weather arrives are stockpiled so VOA can be ready in October when temperatures start dropping.
Underwear, which is needed for children and adults, must be new. Other donations can be new or gently used.
Also on the holiday registry are household goods, hygiene items, school supplies, craft items, bicycle locks, bus tokens and gift cards.
“After Christmas is the best time to pick up your charitable items,” Sparrow said. “There are tons of sales.”
In addition, shopping might be less stressful after the holidays with family gift-giving done. It can be a time to be grateful for what you have and to do something for someone else, Sparrow said.
All donations can be delivered to the sorting facility at the Youth Resource Center, 888 S. 400 West, Salt Lake City.
For volunteer opportunities, go to https://www.voaut.org/volunteer.