TORRINGTON – An idea that sprouted during a brainstorming session between family members just a few short months ago has quickly become a nationwide movement – and it only continues to grow.
Last year, Lingle resident Shelly Duncan was shocked to discover approximately 20 to 40 Goshen County youth are considered homeless. As current president of the Wyoming Association of Realtors, she decided to make this cause her platform.
“I was just astounded,” she said of the statistic. “I thought, this is something that needs to be addressed. We need to talk about it.”
Duncan’s daughter-in-law Patty sells 31 brand bags and expressed a desire to hold a fundraiser. The two began brainstorming, and by November, Totes for Hope was born.
“We thought, you know, if you are a homeless teen and you have to figure out where you’re going to sleep from night to night, the hardest thing is how are you going to ask for toiletries?” Duncan said.
The Duncan women created a list, which eventually evolved to include shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, local resources guide, sunscreen, words of encouragement, comb/brush, first aid kit, gloves, gum, mints, hat, hand lotion, snacks, socks/thermal socks, and a gift card (for underwear and feminine hygiene products).
Patty made the decision to donate 100 percent of her 31 bag sales commission to purchase totes, while Shelly got to work raising awareness forthe project.