Interfaith volunteer project delivers Christmas to seniors, refugees

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SALT LAKE CITY — While lot of children go to bed on Christmas Eve anxiously anticipating what kinds of presents they’ll unwrap the next morning, plenty of other children wonder if they’ll get anything at all.

Jesse Card was one of hundreds of volunteers Sunday filling boxes with presents for those who might not have anything else to open on Christmas.

“It’s huge for my kids,” Card said, referring to volunteering. “It’s one of the biggest things we look forward to around Christmas time.”

The group of volunteers met at West High School and filled boxes with cans of soup, fruit, blankets and a few other items. They plan to deliver the boxes on Christmas morning to homebound seniors and refugees — some celebrating Christmas for the first time.

“These are literally newly minted Americans that have been here anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years,” said Scott Klepper, who helped organize the effort. “It’s very gratifying and satisfying.”

Interestingly enough, the group putting the boxes together doesn’t even celebrate Christmas. They're Jewish and Muslim individuals with the Shalom Salaam Tikkun-Olan project under the National Council of Jewish Women Utah Chapter.

And although they don’t celebrate Christmas, they understand how important the holiday is to others.

“It’s not our holiday, per se, but we still can get into the spirit of Christmas and giving and a goodwill towards our fellow man,” Klepper said.

At a time when the world seems to be as divided as ever, Klepper believes acts of kindness are necessary.

“Repairing the world through acts, good acts of kindness and good deeds, and that’s part of what we do here,” he said.

The group will be delivering roughly 600 boxes to seniors and hope to have enough for 500 refugee families this year.


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Alex Cabrero
Alex Cabrero has been reporting for KSL-TV for nearly two decades. He has covered a variety of stories over the years from a variety of places, but he particularly enjoys sharing stories that show what's good in the world.


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