ARC of Utah Bringing Christmas to Those with Disabilities

ARC of Utah Bringing Christmas to Those with Disabilities


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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingFor 15-years a non-profit group called the ARC of Utah has been bringing Christmas to people with disabilities. The group wants to make sure those with little or no family have gifts to open this holiday.

ARC of Utah Bringing Christmas to Those with Disabilities

Employees at AchieveGlobal in Draper are getting ready for Christmas. But they're not wrapping gifts for each other, they're sponsoring 20 individuals they don't know through a program called Labor of Love.

Kevin French, AchieveGlobal: "It's not Christmas if you can't help somebody."

The presents are going to people with disabilities who may not otherwise receive Christmas gifts, like Jeff Hansen who has cerebral palsy and lives in a group home.

Brenda Holland, Jeff's Group Home Manager, TURN Community Services: "When he came to us, he didn't have a whole lot to begin with because he came to us from a crisis home."

Along with clothing, last year Jeff received art supplies and videos, which he loved.

ARC of Utah Bringing Christmas to Those with Disabilities

Brenda Holland: "If it weren't for Labor of Love, it would probably be a lot of things that he needed, rather than some fun things like the markers and the movies, and the things we can't always afford."

The ARC of Utah runs the Labor of Love program.

Deborah Bowman, Program Director, The ARC of Utah: "We just feel like people should be able to celebrate the holidays just like anyone else does."

Joanne Coppin agrees, which is why she's spent the last three months knitting and crocheting one-of-a-kind hats, scarves and booties for the program.

Joanne Coppin: "A cap will always make you feel warm and cozy, so I thought, well, that's a good way to help someone feel loved at Christmastime."

So far she's made about 80 items in all different colors. The ARC of Utah appreciates the donations and so do the recipients.

Debra Bowman: "They don't need much and they are so grateful for what they get."

So far, businesses and individuals have bought gifts for around 40 people, but the Arc of Utah is hoping to help around 100. The organization says each donor's "Labor of Love" is an irreplaceable gift for those who receive it.

Donors and sponsors usually spend 75 to 100 dollars on each individual.

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