How big an area does it take to hold 12,000 pounds of clothing? Roxanne Webb of Hercules can tell you that a good-size Hercules warehouse is now filled with the results of the Corporate Volunteer Council's recent clothing drive.
As trucks from Mountain Fuel Supply Co. (a Questar subsidiary), US WEST Communications, Utah Power & Light and Fred Meyer Corp. gathered donations from CVC members, the early estimates of 2 or 3 tons were quickly revised. Some 6 tons of clothing were donated for needy people.Rita Inoway, Director of the Voluntary Action Center that operates in conjunction with the CVC, said that over 3,000 individuals will be helped this winter. One recipient organization will be the Salt Lake County Shelter Program, which provides emergency care for an estimated 1,200 children each year who are temporarily removed from parental custody because of neglect or abuse. The YWCA Women in Jeopardy Program will also receive donations to aid with the care of abused women and their children.
Women trying to reach financial independence will also be aided through the Self Sufficiency Programs of the Salt Lake City Housing Authority and the Salt Lake County Housing Authority. These programs help provide low-cost housing to those involved in job training programs and higher education. For single mothers heading households, clothing their children for school and colder weather is often an overwhelming task. This year, some of those clothing worries will be answered by the donations now being sorted in the Hercules warehouse.
Any clothing not given to these programs will be donated to Crossroads Thrift Store and St. Vincent De Paul Center with the understanding that the clothing will not be sold, but will be given to needy people.
The efforts of the clothing drive were given a big boost when the newest member of the CVC, Fred Meyer, donated $50,000 worth of new clothing and household items, including shoes and socks. Other Salt Lake businesses hosting in-house clothing drives were: Citibank, the Deseret News, Hercules, Unisys, Intermountain Health Care, Northwest Pipeline, Questar, Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, US WEST Communications and Salt Lake City Corp.
For Deseret News employees, the best part of the clothing drive happened entirely by chance. After reading a clothing drive message about a youth who couldn't remember having a pair of shoes not worn previously by someone else, a collection was begun that soon totaled enough to take the young person shopping for a school wardrobe. Deseret News writers Marnie Funk and Elaine Jarvik took the delighted youth on a shopping trip at ZCMI (the store made the clothing and shoes available at cost).
Jan Bates, chairman of the CVC, said the group will follow up the clothing collection with an October canned food drive to replenish the depleted shelves of local food banks.