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Wanted: Home for the holidays for Candy Cane Corner

Volunteer Bobby Harrington sorts clothing and toys at Candy Cane Corner in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. This year the program is seeking a new home for the holidays.
Volunteer Bobby Harrington sorts clothing and toys at Candy Cane Corner in Salt Lake City on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013. This year the program is seeking a new home for the holidays.
Ravell Call, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — WANTED: Temporary use of 10,000 square feet of space to host Candy Cane Corner, a holiday store that assists families of the Road Home, Volunteers of America-Utah and YWCA Utah.

The storefront allows clients of the three nonprofit agencies to shop for holiday toys and clothing for their children using vouchers. Last year, the store served more than 2,000 individuals, mostly children.

Unfortunately, the donated space the partners had planned to used this season is no longer available because the building is being sold.

Organizers are asking the community for the gift of space from the end of November through early January. Restrooms and electrical power are needed, but partners can cover utility costs. The store is scheduled to open Dec. 1.

Because all three agencies operate in Salt Lake City, it would helpful to find space in the city, but all offers of help will be considered, said Celeste Eggert, spokeswoman for the Road Home, which shelters, houses and provides case management to families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

"Candy Cane Corner ensures every child in our agency programs will have a Christmas," Eggert said.

This is the 19th year of the program, which started with the goal of providing families "a more dignified, empowering and equitable way to receive help for the holidays," she said.

Caseworkers drive clients to the store, where families select gifts. Each family receives a voucher so they all receive the same amount of items.

"I think what's so important about Candy Cane Corner and why we've done it as many years as we've done it, it allows the parent to hand select new toys and clothing for their kids just as they would if they weren't living in the shelter. I think that's incredibly empowering for our population at a time in their lives when they don't feel empowered," Eggert said.

Anyone with available space is urged to contact Eggert at the Road Home as soon as possible at 801-359-4142 or ceggert@theroadhome.org.