Granite Granite School District Sharehouse helps Utah refugees
Apr 15, 2020 04:38PM
By Bill Hardesty
Bags of non-food items are waiting for a social worker to pick up from the Granite School District Sharehouse. (Bill Hardesty/City Journals)
By Bill Hardesty | [email protected]
In a portable classroom to the north of Lincoln Elementary school is the Sharehouse, a non-food pantry for refugees sponsored by the Office of Educational Equity of the Granite School District. Because of funding, this program is currently only available to refugees.
Like all the refugee programs of the Granite School District, the Sharehouse is committed to helping parents help their children.
The Sharehouse is run by dedicated volunteers and is always looking for more.
“I love what I do,” said Kim Swain, the Sharehouse manager.
The Sharehouse is stocked with items like laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, baby diapers, feminine hygiene products, hygiene kits and toilet paper.
There are three ways to obtain supplies from the Sharehouse. The first is by attending classes at a community center. The teacher will provide a slip to the parent who turns it in for one item.
The second way is through a licensed social worker. Often, these social workers will contact the Sharehouse with specific group needs. The products requested are bundled together in reusable sacks for easier distribution.
The third way is through community outreach. In early February, the Sharehouse participated in a valentine party at a refugee center. They didn't only supply non-food items, but also valentines for the children to give to their classmates.
On Thursdays, they have a free table of overstock or seasonal items.
“The Sharehouse promotes independence,” Swain said.
While people can drop off product donations at the Sharehouse, another popular way to contribute is through Amazon.
The Granite School District partners with the Utah Refugee Connection (URC) to have a registry on Amazon.
On Amazon, search the wedding register for URC Connection. Like any other registry, gift ideas are listed. However, in this case, refugee needs, or the needs of refugee programs are listed.
Some are small items like four volleyballs or 36 soccer balls. Some specific clothing needs are listed along with other sports equipment.
As of this writing, there is a need for 22 Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seats for $69.99 each or 118 Dream On Me Zodiak Portable Playard for $44.99 each.
Two items refugee families needed were recently purchased—a lightweight double stroller and a convenience stroller.
“It was amazing. We posted the need for the stroller and within days, the stroller arrived,” Swain said.
Just buy another
Another way that donors are using Amazon is when they are buying items for their families, they simply order another for the Sharehouse and have them ship to Granite School District, Office of Educational Equity, 2500 South State, SLC, Utah 84115.
“The number of packages really varies. Around the holidays we have a significantly more packages donated. We ask for car seats and strollers at Mother’s Day time, which is relatable for many of the donors, so there’s a good turnout in May as well,” Madeleine Clark-Aud, Community Centers coordinator of Services Educational Equity, said.
While most donations come from local residents, they do receive donations from out of state from people who have ties to community such as grandparents trying to help grandchildren.