Nearly 200 Sandy and Draper women turn out for March’s Day of ServiceMay 08, 2023 12:54PM ● By Heather Lawrence
After two months of collecting donations, March 18 was spent assembling the things that were piled on the tables into reusable bags for care kits. (Don Wilhelmsen)
On March 18, nearly 200 women and girls ages 11 and older met at their church in the Hidden Valley neighborhood to assemble kits of donated goods and to sew blankets. The kits and blankets were donated to the local community. The charities chosen empower and assist women and families with basic needs.
“We collected a variety of items to create kits and other needed items for a couple of months before the event. It was a combination of self-care kits, hygiene kits, blankets, food and diapers,” said Joanne Hoopes, the chairperson for the Women’s Day of Service.
Service events took place across the valley that weekend, including food drives for the Utah Food Bank. The Women’s Day of Service in Sandy was sponsored by the Relief Society of the Sandy Hidden Valley Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“On the morning of the event, the tables at the church were piled high with all the supplies collected, ready to be assembled into reusable bags,” Hoopes said. Then the women and girls from Sandy and Draper got to work.
Volunteers worked on six different projects: diaper donations; food pantry kits for Canyons District schools; personal hygiene kits for the Utah Refugee Coalition and International Rescue Committee of Salt Lake; home cleaning kits for refugees and Almost There, LLC, a program that helps women transition out of prison; self-care kits for the organization Because He First Loved Us; and blankets donated to Hearts Knit Together.
After two hours, they had assembled 200 food kits, 100 hygiene kits, 100 cleaning kits and 200 self-care kits that were ready for distribution. They also sewed 40 blankets.
“The purpose of this activity was to help various refugee and other service organizations within the valley. We also enjoyed spending time with each other as we served,” Hoopes said.
It was important to the women that all the donations went to help the needs of local organizations. In 2021, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that 15 schools in the Canyons District have food pantries. The IRC of Salt Lake opened in 1994, and said that since then its ongoing efforts have helped resettle nearly 12,000 refugees in Utah.
The Hearts Knit Together website states it’s a Utah-based nonprofit that delivers “much needed personal items to those escaping domestic violence, sexual abuse or war.” The website for Because He First Loved Us calls itself a “relational ministry to refugee families seeking spiritual, educational, mental and practical needs through mentoring.”
Jan Williams is the Stake Relief Society president in the Hidden Valley Stake. She said everyone who participated that day made a difference. “It was a huge success. The women and girls who served that day left the event feeling like they had done some good in the world.” λ