This holiday season, the Iron County Holiday Assistance Program is making sure families in need get presents for their children. Since Monday, Dec. 6, volunteers have gathered at the Utah National Guard Armory to help organize and distribute holiday presents to families in need for the holiday season.
The program provides children from ages 0-17 and 18 if they are still in high school with gifts and holiday meal boxes. Community members donated to the program throughout the fall season and registered volunteers assist with distributing the donations.
Each registered child receives $50 in gifts and books as well as two stockings full of toys. The presents range from small, medium to large and each child indicates their interests to be matched with their perfect gift. Registered families also receive two family board games.
In previous years, families were invited to browse from the selection of donated gifts and pick what they wanted.
“We can’t let all the families in because of COVID,” volunteer and Southern Utah University English Professor Lisa Arter said. “Now families are instructed to stay in their cars and volunteers will deliver their bagged gifts.”
Each volunteer working throughout this last week picked out the gifts for the families and their children. They were given sheets with the families name and each person’s interest in order to select the most appropriate gift.
The families poured in throughout the week collecting their gifts from Wednesday through Friday. Arter said that the program is still in need of volunteers to finish out the week, especially those who can speak Spanish.
“It’s so amazing helping these families out,” Arter said. “If people have some free time they should come down and help us out.”
Arter and other volunteers said that the families express overwhelming gratitude for the gifts they receive from the program. To find out about volunteering, check out the Iron County Holiday Assistance Program’s website.
Article and photos by Danielle Meuret