Hands4Hope recently completed our 9th Annual Winter Boutique at Town Center, providing 340 individuals in need with warm winter clothing. The boutique, held the first two weekends in December, was organized and hosted by a youth-led committee who coordinated every aspect of the event from clothing collection and set up, to decor and music.
To spread the word about this event, the Winter Boutique Committee, led by Winter Boutique Intern Taylor Smith, reached out to 58 local schools, churches, social service agencies, and nonprofits. The committee’s goal was to have these organizations share information about the Boutique with the families and individuals who would benefit most from this event and encourage them to attend. Beneficiaries included local foster and kinship families, Camp Fire victims, and families in need from Folsom to Placerville.
Over the course of the two weekends, the Winter Boutique was manned by over 40 youth and adult volunteers who greeted attendees, helped find clothing in particular sizes, organized and cleaned the boutique space, and entertained children while their parents shopped.
Following the event, we spoke to one of the Winter Boutique Committee Members, Meghna Sehrawat, and asked her about her experience being on the committee; her responses were truly inspiring.
What was your experience with being on the Winter Boutique Committee?
Working on the Winter Boutique was very different from anything I’ve ever done. To speak truthfully, it was the most delightful and euphoric experience I've ever had the pleasure of partaking in. The whole process of creating something with my mind and bare hands, which ultimately benefited others, was an indescribable, captivating feeling.
What was your favorite part of the project?
One of my favorite parts was the outcome. Everything began with a small group discussing and debating hypothetical ideas, which eventually transformed into a real, exquisite boutique. With dedication and spirited passion, the committee's labor and efforts were rewarded with the smiling, jubilant faces of those who stepped through the door. To see genuine joy and thankfulness radiate from customers because of our own, personal endeavour was the most delightful experience of all.
What did you learn from being a part of the committee?
Practically, I learned how to market, talk, and address other companies and schools. I learned how to communicate with my fellow committee members about concerns and ideas. Throughout the entire process, I was subsciously taught about the community. Often times, the difficulty and struggle surrounding us daily is unknown and rarely thought of. Through Winter Boutique, I was gifted with the opportunity to assist those in need, as well as learn about and give back to my community.
Anything else you'd like to share about the whole project/committee/event?
The Winter Boutique gave me cause, a cause that I became devoted to and heavily involved with. I never felt as if I was a part of the community, but being a member on the Winter Boutique Committee changed my thoughts immensely. Crafting something truly greater than yourself with those around you is a distinct emotion; captivating, joyous, and enchanting. I hope that wherever I go, I will be able to host my own Winter Boutique and experience what I felt as a committee member.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the 2018 Winter Boutique, including: El Dorado Hills Town Center; Serrano Associates; Foothills Methodist Church; Hard90 Baseball; Allstate Insurance; Girl Scout Troop 1203; Delta Valley Volleyball Team; AllyKat; National Charity League, Rita Ferrero; Lyon Real Estate; Ladies Heritage Group; Silva Valley Elementary; William Brooks Elementary; Lakeview Elementary; Rolling Hills Middle School; Camerado Springs Middle School; EDHUSD Virtual Academy; Carl Sundahl Elementary; Blanche Sprentz Elementary, and all of the wonderful volunteers who prepared for and ran the event.