USS accepting donations for 'Hope for the Holidays'
By Emily Rushton
If you’re thinking about donating to a charity this holiday season, consider choosing Hope for the Holidays, a charity event coordinated by University Support Services (USS).
USS organizes an event like this every year in December – they’ve done a food drive and donated to families in need at the University of Utah hospital in the past – and this year, they’re teaming up with House of Hope, a non-profit organization in Utah that provides residence, day treatment, intensive outpatient, and outpatient substance use disorder treatment for women, pregnant women, and mothers with children.
Jenny Fowler, administrative secretary, and Jan Lovett, information services consultant, are organizing the donations this year. Basic needs such as new clothing, shoes, and personal hygiene items are in high demand.
“Most of these women will come from jail, right to the facility,” said Lovett. “And they have nothing. They don’t have a toothbrush. They don’t have toothpaste. They literally have nothing.”
In many cases, the women have just as great of a need for their children, too – babies, toddlers, and older children who need basic items like clothing to stay warm through the winter.
“One of my favorite things about this [organization] is that they let the families stay together,” said Fowler. “So their children can stay with them at the facility so that they’re not separated.”
“I think for me, the real eye opener was that most of these women and children don’t have family who care anymore, or they’ve given up on them, and they’re just out on their own,” said Lovett. “They have to learn new life skills.”
House of Hope provides the environment for the women to get back on their feet and learn those skills, but relies heavily on donations to continue operating – and that’s where Fowler and Lovett hope to make a difference.
“If we can encourage everyone to just talk about it a little more, I think we’ll have greater success,” said Lovett.
USS is currently accepting donations for House of Hope through Friday, December 12 – a basic list of needs includes (all new) socks, shoes, pens, paper, planners, personal hygiene items, toddler clothing, mittens, hats, scarves, soaps and shampoos, but a more detailed list of needs is available upon request. You can also donate cash or checks (made payable to House of Hope). Contact Jenny Fowler or Jan Lovett for details.