Founded in 1938, Deseret Industries is now in its 75th year of helping individuals become more self-reliant.
The Church currently operates 42 Deseret Industries thrift shops in seven western states.
The thrift stores are not only a place to donate or purchase used clothing, furniture, electronics and other items. All of the work that goes into sorting, cleaning, pricing and displaying is also a way to help individuals become self-reliant and learn skills that will benefit them in future employment.
One example of such is Edana Gama.
When Edana was 12 years old, civil war broke out in her home country of Sudan. She witnessed her parents killed and suffered two years of captivity.
Then five years ago she came to Utah with one of her children, a daughter who was born with a cleft palate and other medical conditions. The little girl was treated for the medical conditions in Utah.
Edana found hope at the Deseret Industries. Although English was a struggle, she was able to make up for it through hard work. She maintained a positive attitude.
Edana came to Deseret Industries with a desire to work in housekeeping at a hospital. When she started working at Deseret Industries, she participated in the English-as-a-Second-Language program.
As part of the program, she attended English classes 20 hours per week and worked 20 hours per week. This was difficult for her at times, but she always strived to do her best.
An opportunity became available for a position in housekeeping at a local hospital. She applied for and received the position.
Today, Edana says she is thankful for all that Deseret Industries did to help her achieve her dreams and support her family. — Welfare Services