The young people we meet often have to make tough choices with limited resources. Choices like: if I buy these groceries today, will I have enough for the bus to make to class? Or, if it’s winter break and I can’t rely on a meal at school, where will I find my next meal?
Gift cards help us meet young people where they are at.
The cards offer young people invaluable flexibility to do things like add minutes to their cellphone so they can contact their case manager, or purchase a needed household item as they move into their first apartment. Gift cards can also prevent an unexpected expense from becoming a larger crisis, like not being able to afford a bus ticket for a job interview or have enough medicine to heal a cold.
Gift cards help young people with their unique needs.
A client staying in our Adolescent Shelter recently needed a pair of shoes. Our Basement Boutique, a shop where young people can pick up needed items, has most sizes for young people to choose from—but this young persons’ shoe size was missing.
“My feet are really big. I’m a size 13 and most places don’t have my size. YouthCare helped me with a gift card to find sneakers that fit me.”
Gift cards fill in critical gaps.
YouthCare is fortunate to have supportive neighbors and members in the community who generously donate needed items. At times, there are gaps for specific needs a young person may have. Gift cards help to fill that critical gap. Here are a few examples:
- A Ross gift card recently helped a young person move into their new apartment. They needed a shower curtain liner to fit their tub size!
- A Fred Meyer gift card helped a young person buy a polo and slacks for their new job. Gift cards help us ensure young people are prepared for their first day of work!
Gift cards are incentives for young people working toward their goals.
YouthCare’s program staff frequently request gift cards to reward young people for completing goals and milestones. Receiving a gift card to pick out school supplies or clothing as an incentive helps young people feel prepared and excited to return to work or school.
Did you receive a gift card during the holidays that you don’t need?
Gift cards are needed to support youth who are navigating through tough times. Please consider donating your unused gift cards from the holidays to help homeless youth! You can also order from our Amazon wish list —cards are shipped directly to us!
Below, we list our most commonly requested cards—and why they are so helpful in moving young people toward lasting stability:
General stores (these have the most flexibility!):
- Fred Meyer
Grocery (increments of $50 provide groceries for a week or more!):
- Fred Meyer
Entertainment & experiences (these provide welcome relief for young people to relax and socialize, or can be used an incentive in programs!):
- Movie gift certificates
- Zoo tickets
- Art or museum tickets
- Bowling gift cards
Restaurants (for a quick, hot meal):
- Fast food chains
Clothing & shoes (for a much-needed pair of shoes or collared shirt for a job interview!):
- Forever 21
- J.C. Penney
Personal care (for ethnic hair care products that are always in short supply, or for OTC meds for ailments!):
- Sally Beauty
- Bartell Drugs
If you have any questions regarding gift cards, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.