WEST JORDAN -- The holidays can be a difficult time for kids in Utah's foster care system. But there's an easy way to help make their season a little brighter.
The Adoption Exchange is sponsoring a Sub for Santa program that aims to provide a little cheer for children in need.
From 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, shoppers at the West Jordan Smith's Marketplace at 1820 W. 90000 South can pick up a stocking and stuff it full of treats, toys and gifts for a child who would otherwise go without.
"You don't get to see your family. You don't get to be with your family. You don't get to have those traditions like most families do. Programs like Sub for Santa really help because they make it feel special."
"A lot of the kids don't have a place to go for the holidays," said Mindy Leonard with DCFS. "They end up staying with the foster care families who do a great job, but it also ends up being very difficult because they know it's not their permanent family. They don't have someone to give them gifts or provide things for the holidays."
Along with the stocking, the Adoption Exchange will provide a profile for a foster child in need of a Christmas. The items you purchase will go directly to that child.
Leonard hopes Utahns will use this opportunity to get into the holiday spirit.
"It's really great when the community can get involved and donate things for our kids," she said. "Clearly they don't get to give a big Christmas list and get the things on their lists like many kids in the valley do."
Something seemingly small can make a big impact on a child who otherwise wouldn't have anything to unwrap come Christmas morning.
"You don't get to see your family. You don't get to be with your family. You don't get to have those traditions like most families do," said Athena, who has been in the foster system for two years. "Programs like Sub for Santa really help because they make it feel special."
Those who wish to participate but can't make it to Smith's Wednesday can contact the Adoption Exchange to help.