Gifts of the Heart Exchange is an organization that helps student families by providing needed household items such as baby gear, clothing, toys, and home goods. This event is made possible by the charitable donations provided by Kid-to-Kid and the general public. Donations are collected by BYU graduate student volunteers from Kid-to-Kid in Lehi daily, after which they are sorted and taken to a storage unit. Three times a year, these items are transported to a local church building where they are organized to ensure accessibility on the day of the event. Over 200 volunteer hours are put into each event where 600-800 students attend and find free items that they need for their families. The remainder of the donations not collected by students are then given to charities such as Helping Hands and Utah foster care. Gifts of the Heart Exchange aims to provide household items for students and those in need. With student income generally being low, we have seen many lives touched by this program.
What do I need to bring?
Something to carry your items in. A rolling suitcase, blue ikea bag, laundry basket, etc.
Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
You must be a currently enrolled college student with a student ID or the spouse of a currently enrolled college student with their student ID. Your children are welcome to join you, but please keep them with you at all times.
Can I give donations to Gifts of the Heart Exchange?
Donations from the public will be accepted on FRIDAYS before the event. We are also accepting donations of black trash bags for Kid-to-Kid to help facilitate their donations
Can I line up early?
Doors will open at the designated hour, but you may line up prior to the doors opening if you desire. Please be courteous, stay in line (if it is cold, you can leave a place holder i.e. what you're carrying your items in, and wait in your car, but you must remain in the parking lot) and do not save spots for other people.
Gothe Committee Heads
Two years ago when my husband and I were undergraduates at BYU, we were pregnant with our first daughter. At the time we could barely make the rent, pay for school, and food. We had no idea how we were going to pay for everything that comes with having a baby. That was when we were invited by my sister and another grad student to go to The Gift of the Heart Exchange. We went into it having no idea what to expect and left with relief and deep gratitude. I remember walking out of the church building with eyes almost filled with tears of gratitude for such a blessing we had received. I remember turning to my husband and telling him, “One day I would love to be a part of something like this that blesses so many people's lives.” Fast forward two years and I found myself back at BYU with my husband now going for his MBA. On the first night, I found out that the MBA students' wives were in charge of GOTHE. I knew I had to jump on it and help out right away because I knew the impact it had on others' lives.
A few weekends ago I finally got to be a part of my first event as a volunteer and my heart was full. I felt so lucky to be apart of something so wonderful and was amazed at just how much clothes were donated from KID to KID. It was inspiring. And even more inspiring were the amazing other women there volunteering their time to make it all work out. Their giving spirit was contagious.
When the actual event came. My family was once again blessed from all the donations. My son finally had clothes that fit him. I got Sunday shoes for my little girl whose shoes were all too small and starting to hurt. I got a car seat for my son that replaced the expired one we had so that my son could be safer. That and much more.
Then I got to stay and watch the real magic when all the people who were much needer than I came. I could feel the excitement and gratitude. I invited fellow student wives to the event and saw their excitement and joy. My 39-week pregnant friend came and laughed with happiness as we gathered some clothes for her sweet baby boy coming so soon. It was such an amazing experience and I can't wait to be apart of it again and tell everyone about the next event coming up so that more can be blessed in the way I was a few weeks ago, or how I, my sister, and friends families were blessed by it years ago.
My name is Jessica Salmon. My husband is a second-year MBA student. Honestly last year I wasn't involved in GOTHE and really had no idea what it was. As a busy mom of five, I was trying to just focus on survival and pare out the unnecessary so I didn't go to an event until the last one of the year. I was overwhelmed with what an amazing organization it is and how many lives are blessed because of it! I also loved how it takes so many people to make each GOTHE event become a success. I love being a part of GOTHE and love spreading the word to others about it.