Holiday Market donations from 2022. Local residents and small businesses filled the shelves of our annual Holiday Market with gifts for the women and children we serve.
Each December, YWCA Dayton creates a pop-up store just for the women and children we work with, who can then pick out holiday gifts for no charge to give to loved ones.
However, this was the first year that YWCA Dayton didn’t receive any donations for the market from large retail chains. And yet, the Holiday Market was full of toys, clothes, household items and more thanks to an outpouring of donations from the local community.
One of those community supporters that made the market possible is Kathleen Hotmer, owner of Pink Moon Goods in Dayton. Hotmer for several years now has been donating 10% of sales for a week around the holidays and this year — her first year at her new brick-and-mortar store — she was able to raise around $600 through that pledge. She took the proceeds of the fundraiser and bought self-care items from other local businesses, stretching the local impact of those dollars even further. Children living in the domestic violence shelter were able to give pick out and give those items as gifts to their moms and family.
Hotmer said it is important for her that YWCA Dayton clients have quality donations to chose from at the market — not cheap or old donations that the donors wouldn’t buy for themselves or their own families.
“I have been in the system and I remember going through a pile of clothes and trying to find something that I liked and it was just a bunch of of junk that nobody wanted,” she said. “I want to find nice things for the ladies. I want them to walk in that room and be like ‘Oh, I want that.’ And I think that ultimately that’s why I enjoy donating: because I want there to be gifts that the ladies and their families are excited about.”
The market was opened the week of Dec. 11 and more than 100 people were served between clients living in our domestic violence shelters, women living in our permanent supportive housing, and women and families in our other housing programs.
Felicity Nolder, YWCA Dayton community relations coordinator, said when preparing for the market, the gifts overwhelmed the donation area in her office and then filled an entire storage closet she used for overflow. She also noted that many community members gave the gift of their time by helping run the market and serving clients who were shopping.
“It was the local Dayton community and the individuals who showed up and showed out for our Holiday Market, between donating and offering their time volunteering,” she said.