Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Annual Winter Boutique provided warm clothing, blankets and shoes to 143 families in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties
Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference hosted its 12th Annual Warm and Fuzzy Drive and Winter Boutique earlier this month at El Dorado Hills Town Center, serving over 140 struggling families. Through the incredible generosity of the community, over 5,000 warm clothing items were collected and 120 no-sew blankets were made.
Visitors to the Winter Boutique had the opportunity to shop for free for all members of their families. This year 143 families visited the Boutique, with a total of 543 individuals being served. The items that were not distributed at this year’s event were donated to Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference’s partner agencies in the community, including Green Valley Community Church, Loaves and Fishes, Sister Nora's Place, New Beginnings, White Rock Village, Aspire Outfitters, Black Oak Mine District, Teen Success, Inc, The Center for Violence Free Relationships, Independence High School and Caldor Fire Distribution event.
The Winter Boutique is coordinated and staffed by youth participants and volunteers, and is stocked with items from the Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference Warm and Fuzzy Drive, which was organized and run by Youth Intern Liv Craine from Oak Ridge High School. The no-sew, handmade blankets were made by volunteers in the safety of their homes, instead of being made at the annual Blanket Making Party that Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference hosts, due to the continuation of the pandemic.
Because last year’s Winter Boutique Planning Committee did a fantastic job navigating through a pandemic, with an ever changing set of guidelines, this year’s committee was able to do the same much more easily. The committee, led by Winter Boutique youth committee chair Mishti Shah who was mentored by youth leader Nivi Sudhir Kumar, was dedicated to serving those in need, especially those affected by the Caldor fires and Covid-19. The Winter Boutique was open for the first two weekends in December.
Mishti stated, “It was amazing to see the happiness on people’s faces as they selected items not only for themselves, but also for family members for the holiday season. It was amazing to see our planning and sorting efforts come together and have such a huge impact towards families in need.”
Maya Moss, the Decorations and Set-up Chair, took the lead in designing the boutique to look like Candy Cane Land with red and white streamers and snowflake decorations. Grace Brasil, the Marketing Chair, led her group in marketing the boutique to agencies in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties. Mahee Haswani took on the behind the scenes roles of creating and monitoring all the service opportunities for volunteers. All played a key role in the success of the 2021 Winter Boutique.