Mesa United Way started collecting new and used clothing for children in foster care after state budget cuts drastically reduced the clothing allowance down to about $12 per month in 2009.
Helen's Hope Chest helps foster children with their basic needs such as clothing, school supplies, books and toys. It is named in honor of the spirit of a woman who was a foster child for many years but was never adopted.
Helen's Hope Chest gives children a similar experience to shopping in a consignment store.
Although most of the clothing is gently used, children in foster care have the opportunity to select what colors and styles they like.
Helen's Hope Chest memorializes the life of Helen Paula Simmons, a former foster child who managed to raise a family of her own despite difficult circumstances.
Helen and her brother, Walter, were foster children in the 1930's. They lived with the same foster parents for years but were never adopted. Click here to read the full story.
Simmons passed away in June 2009. Helen's Hope Chest honors her memory with a place where children in foster care will have their own "store" where they can pick out whatever they need at no cost.
Helen's family was looking for a way to memorialize Helen Simmons and believes their mom would be proud of Helen's Hope Chest.
About the Location
Helen's Hope Chest is located at 546 N. Stapley Drive in Mesa. Different rooms accommodate the basic needs of infants, toddlers, children, teens and young adults.
Rooms also are dedicated to gifts and toys for special occasions, sports equipment, school uniforms and supplies, basic toiletries, and books.