On my second day at Weidner I participated in an awesome event called Weidner Cares. Every year each Weidner region chooses a local charity or person in need and finds a way to create a positive impact. This year the Utah region chose to help a lady named Casey. Casey has been in the business of helping others for majority of her life and has helped start many crucial charities in the Salt Lake City area. Her current venture is running a thrift store named Cross Roads. The thriving store sits on a run-down neighborhood in Salt Lake City. Although Cross Roads has been up and running for the past 27 years, it has received little help in that time and looked nearly the same as it did in 1991.

The business survives mainly off donations that come in daily, and have many customers that rely on the store for survival. Their target customers are those in a low income bracket that are struggling to stay afloat. Although there is a lot of business that comes through the doors, I was surprised by the pricing system that the store goes by. When you buy one item at the shop, you get 9 items free. This shocked me and raised a bunch of question in my head, the most prominent being: How does the shop stay open? -It is very evident that Casey runs this store out of the goodness of her heart and not for profit.

When we walked into the shop it was filled floor to ceiling with clothes, dishes, pillows and blankets. All items that are crucial to survive, but it was obvious that there was not enough help for the amount of work and organization that needed to be done.

The Utah team came together to completely gut the shop and renovate it. We cleaned the entire store, put a fresh coat of paint of the exterior, painted the walls and rebuilt what was broken. The following day some more volunteers came back to scrub the floors and put all the merchandise back in the store.

The project as a whole was extremely eye opening. In eight hours, the Utah team was able to forever change Casey’s life and transform her business. Although it was already a popular destination to shop in the neighborhood, it is now a much cleaner more organized version of itself. I hope that this small act of kindness will make Casey’s life easier and positively impact those who shop there. It was a lot of work, but a great way to be welcomed to Utah!

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