Gifts In-Kind – Where do your donations end up?
Giving back is simple. It starts with a decision to just lend a helping hand to someone in need.
Maybe you saw a story on the news saying that a local charity was low on food donations so you started collecting cans of soup from family and friends to help restock the shelves. Or maybe you finally outgrew a beloved, comfy hoodie and you just wanted to pass it along to keep someone else warm. Whatever your reason for taking the step to donate, we’re really glad you did!
Here at YESS, the two most common types of donations we are gifted with are what we call “monetary donations” and “in kind donations.” Monetary donations are just that – donations in the form of cash, cheque, or an online process. In kind items, on the other hand, are donations of tangible goods – like food, clothing, toiletries, or gifts for the kids to enjoy, like a video game.
So what exactly happens to these donations after they are dropped off at YESS?
The process begins with our facilities team. They carefully sort all of the items, going through boxes of food, bags of donations, and trunks full of stuff. Our facilities team sees everything from boxes of socks and deodorant, to strange items like cans of paint and leg braces.
Things like toothbrushes, deodorant, makeup, personal hygiene products, razors, soap, and clothing make their way to our donation room. Many kids come to us with only the clothes on their backs. These kids will visit the donation room and carefully flip through hangers of donated clothing. Some will need an entire set of clean clothes, others may just need a dressy shirt for a job interview.
Food donations are sorted by our kitchen team, who decide what items need to be used right away and what can go in the fridge or freezer and added to the menu later in the week. Food is then transported to one of our three buildings – our Whyte Avenue building, which houses our Nexus Emergency Shelter and Graham’s Place; the Armoury Resource Centre, where our daytime programming takes place; or to Shanoa’s place, our residential home in west Edmonton. Things like cereal, soup, pasta, canned meat, jams, crackers, granola bars, sauces, and other snacks end up on our pantry shelves. Perishable items like milk and meat end up in one of our oversized fridges or freezers.
And what exactly happened to that can of chicken soup you dropped off?
It was warmed up and placed in the ice cold hands of a youth who had nothing but tattered mittens to wear on the harsh winter streets, and with it came nourishment, comfort, and strength.
You can be assured that every donation, big and small, is loved and appreciated at YESS.
~ written by Rayanne Forbes