A thriving economy doesn't insulate people from falling upon hard times in small town, South Dakota. Canton, recognized as a South Dakota Community of the Year in 2011, is seeing more families struggling financially. One woman, who's overcome the hardships of homelessness, is volunteering for a Canton non-profit, to provide a lift to others.
Glistening prom dresses are shining a spotlight on the plight of struggling families in Canton. The non-profit Love INC is hosting a sale this week of slightly-used prom dresses. Proceeds will go to Homes of Hope, a program that provides transitional housing to those who can't afford a place of their own.
"In the Canton area, we don't necessarily have a lot of people that are sleeping under benches, but what we do have is a lot of people that are living with other families because they have no place to be," Love INC of Greater Canton Executive Director Karen Brandes said.
Sheila Grate was one of those people. She became homeless after being diagnosed last year with the lung disease COPD. She credits Love INC for helping with rent at her new apartment.
"I think they are a blessing to the community and to people around, they've helped so many people," Grate said.
Grate says she'd still be homeless and hungry without the help from Love INC.
Now Grate is paying it forward by volunteering here at the Love INC Thrift Store, to help others who have fallen on hard times.
"It makes me feel like I'm ten miles tall. It makes me feel proud and happy, joyous. Just a joy fills me," Grate said.
Love INC could close a deal on a house for the Homes of Hope program as soon as Thursday.
The prom dress sale is also Thursday as well as on Presidents Day. For more information, click here