YOTO’s Mini Mall

YOTO’s Mini Mall is a place students can come to access all the basic needs items their parents would normally have provided for them, had they been able. Basically, they can come in and “shop” for free! It’s also where students come to get guidance and support from YOTO staff and access the many services YOTO provides.

Non COVID Mini Mall FAQ

  • The Mini Mall building is located at 1642 N Alvernon, next to the two-story office building at 1660 N Alvernon that most people recognize as YOTO’s office.
  • The items provided to students at the Mini Mall – food, hygiene products, school supplies, and more – are almost 100% donated by members of the community!
  • We have a list of items that YOU can help us collect for students!
    • In contrast, here are some of the items folks ask about that we DO NOT ACCEPT: clothing, used linens and towels, furniture, electronics, household items (dishes, cutlery, pans, etc.) or travel-sized toiletries (like the ones you get at hotels).
  • Everything at the Mini Mall is free to YOTO youth!


  • Because of the logistic difficulty of getting physical supplies out to students while schools are closed, we’re currently encouraging our supporters to make financial contributions rather than donate items.
  • Supplies continue to go out to students, but we have opted for providing extra financial support when possible due to the difficulty of connecting with youth outside of school.
  • YOTO’s offices, including the Mini Mall, are currently NOT open to drop-in visitors.

Donations of Mini Mall supplies can still be made, but we’ve established some pretty rigorous procedures so that we can keep you and our students safe! See below!

YOTO’s Mini Mall donation process during COVID-19

In an effort to keep YOTO students, staff, and YOU safe, please follow our updated Mini Mall donation process below!

We’re so appreciative of everything our community has given to our students and we’re grateful for every effort at helping them. During this very challenging, changing, and unpredictable time, however, we’re asking folks to stick to a pretty tight protocol to make sure our kids get what they need most. Thank you in advance for your understanding!

1. What do YOTO youth need? Here’s a list of items our students need most!

Because of COVID-19, students will not be able to go inside the Mini Mall for the foreseeable future. Instead, we are using a combination of prepackaged bags and online ordering via the student portal to fill student requests. Consequently, it’s imperative that we stock the items our kids need most. That’s why we’re asking our YOTO Family members to stick to the items listed. 

2. Drop off your donations by appointment only!

Please contact Rachel Pollack, our lovely Development & Marketing Coordinator, to arrange a time when you can come in and drop off your donations Rachel can be reached by email at [email protected]. For the foreseeable future, YOTO will only be accepting donations on MONDAYS.

3. We value our safety, your safety, and our students’ safety. Masks required!

4. If you want to go the extra mile…

Normally, our amazing YOTO volunteers organize and stock all our Mini Mall inventory. But again, because we love them and value their safety, we’ve asked them to stay home. As such, all the inventory work will be done by our staff. If you really want to be awesome, we’d ask you to sort your items based on like items (e.g. food together; hygiene items together; and household products together). This will save our staff lots of time!


Thank you so much for supporting YOTO youth during this challenging time!