By ROMAN HILDEBRANDT
The United Way and many Utah Valley organizations are preparing to bring Christmas cheer to families who will need help for the holidays.
Sub-for-Santa is an annual service opportunity that matches needy families with willing volunteers.
The volunteers can either donate gifts by themselves or raise funds to provide two new outfits, a toy and a book for each child in the assigned family, according to Lindsay Allen a United Way Volunteer Center intern.
“Sub-for-Santa is a program that works to help people who find themselves in a bad way when Christmas comes,” Allen said.
BYUSA is doing its part to help sign up “Santas” from among the student population.
Kim Schrank, program director for BYUSA’s Sub-for-Santa, said, “We get groups of students who get gifts together and deliver them to the family.”
The groups can be made up from wards, clubs, friends or the “Santas” can be individuals.
“The purpose is to get as many students involved as possible,” Schrank said.
Sponsors are encouraged to contact their assigned family and find out children’s ages, clothes sizes and Christmas wishes. The sponsors are asked to purchase gifts rather than give money, Allen said.
Families, who feel they need help for the season, sign up for their own private St. Nick at workshops put on by the United Way.
The workshops, called Make-It Take-It classes, started this month and continue through December 17. A news release from the United Way said the meetings focus on teaching parents self-sufficiency.
Other workshops teach families how to make inexpensive gifts, create fun holiday traditions and budget holiday funds.
“These classes are extremely helpful for the participants,” Said Mollianne Buhn, Sub-for-Santa coordinator. “Recipient families realize that Christmas does not have to cost a lot of money to be memorable.”
The BYU Sub-for-Santa program is scheduled to hold a meeting on November 18 at 7 p.m. in 2170 JKHB.
Sub-for-Santa organizers encourages anyone who feels he or she would like to share the blessings of Christmas with others to attend the meeting and become a Santa Clause.