Hands4Hope Collects Over 3,000 Clothing Items & Serves Local Foster and Kinship Families During 10th Annual Winter Boutique
Hands4Hope recently completed our 10th Annual Winter Boutique for Foster Families at El Dorado Hills Town Center, providing 442 individuals in need with warm winter clothing and blankets. 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 Youth Intern Pavitra Dobaria, reached out to 63 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, shelter children and families, as well as families with financial struggles from Folsom to Placerville.
Dobaria noted, “My favorite part of the project was the actual boutique and seeing people come in and shop, especially seeing people get so excited about the items they found.”
Over the course of the two weekends, the Winter Boutique was manned by over 91 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.
“My experience being on the Winter Boutique Committee was great; I loved getting to know all of the others on the committee, and planning the boutique with them was so fun. Being the intern taught me how to organize a group to get a task done, and really helped my leadership skills overall. Being a part of the Winter Boutique Committee was so much fun and a really great experience!” Dobaria concluded.
Our Winter Boutique Adult Lead, Madeleine Vadenais, stated, "This was my first year being the adult lead for the Winter Boutique and it was an incredibly heart warming experience to see all the youth work very hard turning an empty – and admittedly very funky - retail space into a beautifully decorated, warm environment for shopping. I can't tell you how many times I heard shoppers express their thanks to Hands4Hope and how this experience “Made their Christmas”. I especially remember spending about an hour with two lovely boys doing a craft while their mom shopped. The mother expressed to me that the clothes and toys received at the Winter Boutique would be their only Christmas gifts as she had recently lost her job. It was my pleasure to lead such an amazing project and to work with my amazing youth committee members. Thank you to everyone involved and I look forward to doing it again next year."
A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the 2019 Winter Boutique, including: El Dorado Hills Town Center; Serrano Associates; National Charity League, Rita Ferrero; Lyon Real Estate; Silva Valley Elementary; Marina Middle School; Brooks Elementary; Lakeview Elementary; Lake Forest; Intel; Girl Scout Troop 1203; New Morning Shelter; WIC; Lilliput, and all of the wonderful volunteers who prepared for and ran the Winter Boutique and the drives leading up to it.