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Salt Lake City nonprofit needs help getting gifts for low-income families


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City nonprofit Neighborhood House needs your help giving Christmas gifts to people in need.

The organization offers care for children and adults during the day, at a sliding scale fee.

"We are a place where kids can come when they're not in school and their parents are working," said Jenn Bean, development and communications director for Neighborhood House.

The facility has a child care wing and an adult care area.

"We need to create an opportunity for people to come here during the day instead of being at home by themselves, and part of the care we offer is also very therapeutic for dementia and memory care," Bean said.

The deadline for Neighborhood House's annual Give a Gift campaign is this week, and they need more sponsors. People can sign up online to pay and shop for gifts that will benefit caregivers, families, adults and children.

The gifts must be delivered to Neighborhood House by Friday.

Bean said the campaign benefits more than 400 families. She said they need about 70 more sponsors.

"It is the generosity of the community that's helping these parents feel empowered to continue doing what they need to do every day on a daily basis, but also give care to that family as a whole unit," Bean said.

Bean said the facility's clients will receive their gifts on Dec. 16.

"(We) send the family home with the gifts and wrapping paper so they're empowered to be a part of the giving process for their family," she said.

The campaign benefits people like Jocelyn Martinez, who works at Neighborhood House.

"I was working in the preschool class and I've had families that would come with tears in their eyes thanking us for the presents," Martinez said.

She lives with her sister and 4-year-old nephew, Devin. He goes to Neighborhood House during the day while his mom and aunt are at work. Martinez's family will receive Christmas gifts, thanks to donations from the greater community.

"We couldn't thank them enough knowing that he will be able to receive presents, even though money is tight," she said.

Client Pennie Hopkins participates in the adult care services at the same facility.

"My favorite part is meeting new people and sometimes, that's scary to some people because we have new people that come in," she said.

She goes to exercise classes, meals and field trips with people who have become her friends. Hopkins said many of them aren't expecting gifts at Christmas.

"Let them be a believer, let them understand that the world wants to help them and that all they have to do is smile and say, 'Thank you,'" Hopkins said.

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