Utah Foster Care offices are absolutely bustling with the hum of the holidays! Every day, somewhere in Utah, people are going above and beyond to provide presents for children and teens in foster care.
Giving Trees have been up at businesses and stores since November, where children small and not-so-small have placed their wishes on glistening ornaments. Individuals have taken one or several ornaments from the tree, while some companies have taken 50 ornaments. And now…….they are dropping off the gifts they have bought at our Murray and Ogden locations.
Earlier in the week, the youth group from East Millcreek 2nd Ward brought in gifts as part of its holiday project. Staffers at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality gleefully used a hand truck to bring in their presents.
Way up north in Logan, holiday shoppers encounter Giving Trees or other donation opportunities at Gia’s Italian Restaurant; The Beehive Grill; The Center Street Grill; The Sportsman Shop; Edwards Furniture; The Stork Landing and The Anniversary Inn.
Today, employees from Intermountain Health Care will be sorting through donations and wrapping presents. In Woods Cross, an Eagle Scout who was adopted from foster care, picked up a boatload of gifts from ____, all wrapped and decked out with a bonus toothbrush and toothpaste!
Our staff are excitedly matching up children with gift givers and combing the stores to fulfill kids’ wishes with cash donations.
“I continue to be amazed at how much Christmas spirit people have,” says our own dynamo, Tina Porter, who can only be described as a whirling dervish this time of year. Tina handles all Giving Tree donations for the Salt Lake Valley Region. “Just when I think I have gotten all the calls from people wanting to help, a group walks in with a check or a stack of hand-made blankets.
Even families who no longer foster children are showing their gratitude. Former foster dad Jason Kim and his colleague Trudy Wilson presented a donation check from their employer, ALS Laboratory Group.