Dozens of volunteers work tirelessly at Helen’s Hope Chest, Mesa United Way’s free clothing, school supply, book and clothing “store” for foster children. It’s a rewarding, enriching experience, and they love to share stories.

One volunteer related a story about a teenage girl who told her about an experience at school after she and her two sisters had visited Helen’s for clothing. “She said many of her friends came up to her to compliment on how great she looked in her new clothes. She was so proud that she is spreading the word about Helen’s Hope Chest in the hope that more people will donate to us. This young teen was grinning from ear to ear about her wonderful experience!”

Another volunteer related her experience when a Girl Scout troop came in to donate and asked for a tour. “They asked a lot of good questions and seemed to have fun learning all about Helen’s Hope Chest. One of the leaders was particularly affected by what we do. Her children are adopted but originally came from the foster system. She was so touched by our organization and everything we do for foster families.

“Though she no longer qualifies for services, she wants to continue to help. After the tour, she said she was going to encourage the troop to run a donation drive for us, as well as encourage her own children to donate. She was so thankful for our services, and I told her we couldn’t do what we do if it weren’t for wonderful people like her.”

Another: “Today I helped two teenage boys during their appointment. They were from a foster home and it was their first time at Helen’s Hope Chest. The boys were self-sufficient and pretty reserved during the appointment. Finally when the appointment was over one of the boys, 16 years old, stated: ‘This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You guys just keep giving us stuff.’ It was great to see the small difference we made in that boy’s life.”

And another: “One little client was having a wonderful time choosing items. She especially enjoyed getting an item from the birthday room for a sibling who was not along. She came out of the room beaming and said, ‘This is the best day ever!'”