This year’s Winter Boutique Planning Committee did a fantastic job rolling with the uncertainty of putting on a pop-up shop during a pandemic, with an ever changing set of guidelines. The committee, led by Winter Boutique youth intern Nivi Sudhir Kumar, was dedicated to serving those in need while keeping safe - with face masks, temperature checks, and hand sanitizing. The Boutique was open for four days with extended hours to allow for a more socially distant shopping experience. Simone Caruthers, the decorations and set up chair, took the lead in designing the boutique to look like a Winter Wonderland, with twinkle lights, an inflatable polar bear, and handmade penguins created by committee members. Grace Brasil, the marketing chair,led her group in marketing the boutique to agencies in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties. Ria Kale and Meghna Sehrawat took on the behind the scenes role of creating and monitoring all the service opportunities for volunteers.
The Warm and Fuzzy Drive to benefit this year’s boutique collected over 5,800 warm clothing items and was led by our Hands4Hope Youth Intern, Elise Taylor. In addition, 169 no-sew, handmade blankets were made in the safety of the volunteer’s homes instead of the annual Blanket Making Party that Hands4Hope hosts. Visitors to the boutique had the opportunity to shop for all members of their family and were able to pick between 7 and 10 items per family member. This year the Winter Boutique benefited 151 families with a total of 703 individuals served. The items not distributed at this year’s event were donated to nine of Hands4Hope - Youth Making A Difference’s partner agencies in the community, including The Upper Room, Green Valley Community Church, Hope House, Placerville Union School District, and Sister Nora’s Place.