Yes Salt Lake City, There is a Santa Claus
I spent part of this afternoon volunteering with my networking group at the Road Home, a local charity committed to help people overcome homelessness. It’s something I’ve always thought about, or talked about doing, but never done before. Thanks to Corey and Erin to organizing and getting about a dozen people down there to help out.
The amount of donations coming in was overwhelming. In the two hour period we were there, I saw three 14 foot trucks full of donations be emptied. The Road Home is a little bit different than other charities and they have a very specific use for the items they receive. For the people they serve, they try to use only new items, but have had to make an exception this year on coats and outerwear because of a shortage of donations.
Used items are sent to Deseret Industries where they earn a credit to provide furniture to the families and individuals they serve. Unfortunately some items like “sample size” toiletries can’t be used at the Road Home. Besides the Fiscal Networking group, the two prominent groups that turned out while we were there included a large contingent from the Brighton High football and lacrosse teams who managed to empty those trucks in just a few minutes each time they rolled up to the loading dock. The Salt City Roller Girls made up another contingent that helped out immensely.
It was heartwarming to see so many donations of various types coming in these trucks. Some people donated brand new coats, toiletries and blankets. Others even wrapped their donations in wrapping paper. Sadly, the wrapping has to be ripped off to identify the contents, so please just donate the item in the future. Our group was in the back of the building the entire time, so we didn’t quite realize the trucks full of donations were being filled from the front of the building because of a huge media drive. It wasn’t until Santa himself came through that I realized economy be damned, there are a lot of generous people in Salt Lake City.
Homelessness is a huge problem and more people than ever before are dying because of it. We all have limited resources and have to pick carefully where we donate our money or time. It’s easy to have charity on our mind this time of year, but what about March, or July when donations dry up? Charity has to be a mindset. Let’s give back a little to our community and make it a better place to live, work and do business.