Keith McCord ReportingThis is a busy week for charity groups and volunteers. Their holiday fund-raising activities have reached their peak, and now it's time to deliver the goods-- everything from bread to bikes!
From St. George to Brigham City and all points in-between, it's a time for giving. Thousands of Utah volunteers have been busy for weeks, collecting and wrapping gifts, donating and bagging food; trying to make the holidays a bit brighter for those in need.
For the past 14-years, the "Coins for Kids" program in St. George has done just that. It's an all-volunteer effort. After determining how many children need gifts-- about 2,000 this year-- the volunteers get busy collecting, wrapping, and then delivering. 65-volunteer Santa's made the rounds. The program had a goal of $85,000 this year; the volunteers raised $117,000!
Carl Lamar, Pres. KONY Charities: “I don’t think there’s anyone who beats this community for giving of themselves.”
In Salt Lake today it was busy too. The Crossroads Urban Center held its annual Christmas Dinner Giveaway. More than 2,000 people dropped by to pick up a turkey and a bag of food to prepare a traditional Christmas meal.
Across town, the United Way was busy handing out donated items from its "Sub-For-Santa" drive. Nearly 1700 children were able to receive gifts.
Jennifer Andrs, United Way of Salt Lake: "For our staff it's been extremely heartwarming to be able to be here today and actually hand gifts to families who are really in need."
There were a few other meaningful donations too. Up North an Airmed Crew from the University of Utah flew in to deliver $1,000 to the family of a retired Ogden firefighter who's battling brain cancer. And the Utah Automobile Dealers Association gave another $10,000 to the Utah Highway Patrol to help with Drunk Driving Patrols during the holidays.
And about 50 employees from ATK Thiokol helped provide a turkey dinner and Christmas program to homeless and low-income families at the Marshall White Center today.
Whether it's toys or checks, these organizations want to remind everyone that charitable giving is not just for the holidays.
Pamela Atkinson, Community Advocate: "We just need people to think "after" Christmas. They need to start thinking once a month, I need to give to the food bank and to the other nonprofit agencies that are serving both the low income and the homeless people."
The needs are great in Utah and it's nice to see so many who are trying to help.