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Emily W. Jensen: Bringing hope with hope kits

OGDEN, Utah — Razors, lip gloss, women's hygiene products, shower gels, hair spray, gum and body sprays filled the donation boxes at Time Out for Women.

"It's the first year Time Out for Women has put these hope kits together," explained staff member Amanda Poll. "And it's amazing!"

At each stop of the 2010 Time Out for Women tour, donated items will be assembled into "hope kits" and then given to local women's charities. In Ogden, the hope kits will be provided to the local YCC (Your Community Connection).

__IMAGE1__"It's not just the necessities," said Mary Moore, TOFW production manager, gesturing toward the body spray, "its stuff to make them smell good, to feel good. It's to give women confidence."

Time Out for Women participants worked together during the lunch break to assemble the hope kits.

"Come on both sides of the table, grab a bag, put a label on it and put one item from each box inside," Moore directed to the line of women coming into the room.

Sirkka Coxey received a hygiene kit back when she lived in Finland. Coxey exclaimed as she finished assembling one, "I think it's marvelous!"

"I think it's great, a great opportunity, especially after Mariama Kallon's talk," Dorene Lloyd, a participant from South Ogden, said.

Raelyn Burton, a participant from North Ogden, agreed, "After I listened to Mariama Kallon, it put everything into perspective. I will never look at hygiene kits the same way again. It shows how precious everything is and we can never give up hope, never!"

As the line of women snaked longer another staff member called, "if you want to keep going, (through the line over again) you can!"

And many did. After lunch, Laurel Christensen, TOFW director, announced that instead of the hoped-for 150-200 hope kits, "because of your ridiculously generous donations, we put together 360 kits!"

For more info on the Time Out For Women 2010 Infinite Hope Tour events, see Time Out For Women.

E-mail: ejensen@desnews.com