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SALT LAKE CITY — Most every child knows what they want for Christmas. But this year, many students in the Granite School District may not get much.
"Last year we gave over 600 (gifts), but this year we're anticipating 1,200 or more (requests)," said Brent Severe, executive director of the Granite Education Foundation.
There is a huge need. People I don't think realize how great the need is right in their own backyard.
–Brent Severe, Granite Education Foundation
Every year, the Sub for Santa program through the Granite Education Foundation has met the needs of all the students within its district. But this year, they just don't simply have the resources.
"There is a huge need," Severe said. "People I don't think realize how great the need is right in their own backyard."
The Granite School District covers 300 square miles in the Salt Lake Valley, and half of the students within the district are on free or reduced lunch.
Even though supplies are dwindling, volunteers are busy assembling the Sub for Santa gift bags with blankets, books, crayons, and packages — but those are running low too.
"I wish you could see the faces of the kids as they're receiving gifts," said George Theodore, a counselor at Lincoln Elementary School in Salt Lake City.
When the gift bags are full, they're brought to schools like Lincoln Elementary, where the need is great. Theodore says this time of year many students have a difficult time.
"We see a lot of kids that kind of fall apart and we wonder why. (It's) because there is a lot of disappointment as well," he said. "If they don't have the Sub for Santa program, they'll most likely wake up to an empty house. They won't have gifts."
The Granite Education Foundation is asking for your help so every student in need has something under the tree Christmas morning. If you would like to get involved or donate, contact the foundation at 385-646-GIVE (4483).