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John Daley ReportingThe United Way's Sub for Santa accepts donations to provide children with toys and clothes. This holiday season, contributions are falling well short of the need.
Sub for Santa got a very welcome holiday gift today, which will help them help a number of children. But like other charities, there is still a large demand for holiday season help. It’s a similar story at the Utah Food Bank. Donations are slow and the word is going out, they need help.
When it comes to helping this holiday season, the needs are great, whether at the Utah Food Bank or the United Way's Sub for Santa program, which signs up sponsors and contributions to provide a child with some money, a toy, warm clothes, socks and shoes. As of yesterday Sub for Santa had 800 unsponsored kids with time running out.
Jennifer Andrs, Sub for Santa, Yesterday: "What we're looking for is to just meet the needs that we have right now. Unfortunately the need is so great that we're having to close our doors today."
One gauge of the larger need--the Food Bank, which now serves 115,000 families a month. Over the past eight years the amount of food they're providing to families who need it has doubled from 10 million pounds a year to 22 million pounds, increasingly it's going to the working poor.
Jim Pugh, Executive Director, Utah Food Bank: "A lot of those are families that are living close to the edge, are living paycheck to paycheck. One incident comes up and they're not able to make it through. Either a car breaks down or they've get a sick kid and they've got a hospital bill they need to pay."
Pugh says last week the group was struggling with donations. Then word went out through the community and food started to pour in.
Jim Pugh, Executive Director, Utah Food Bank: "Candidly we need that. The needs are as high as they've ever been and we need a great year to help keep up with those needs."
Back at Sub for Santa contributions have also started jumping, including an $8,000 check from Low Book Sales, an independent car dealership that saw a Sub for Santa story in the paper. Their motivation?
Dave Nielson, Low Book Sales: “That children that needed a Christmas could get a Christmas.”
Jennifer Andrs, Sub for Santa: “This puts us well on our way towards meeting that goal of 800.”
Many people obviously need help, and many charitable organizations say holiday giving makes up a huge portion of their overall budget. If you'd like to help the Sub for Santa program, you can sign up at their website. A link is provided at the top of this story.