Sub for Santa looking for volunteers

The non-profit Sub for Santa program hopes to help nearly 1,500 needy children with gifts this Christmas, said director Connie Bodily, but now the program is almost out of sponsors and may have to refer needy children to the back-up Shopko “Sharing Tree” if new sponsors don’t volunteer before Dec. 9. “We’re nearly right on track, but we’re going to run out of sponsors soon,” Bodily said. In the Sub for Santa program, volunteers shop for as many kids as they can afford, buying one “want” item and one “need” item totaling roughly $75 for each child, to help fill out Christmas for poor families. Sub for Santa is entirely community supported without state or federal grants, Bodily said. The program allows families with incomes of up to 125 percent of federal poverty level to apply for help, which works out to a monthly income of $1,518 for a single parent with one child, or $2,297 per month for a family of four, Bodily said. Bodily and her small staff of volunteers have much work to do before they organize and distribute the thousands of gifts during the week of Dec. 10-15, including taking and checking applications from families, assigning shoppers to appropriate children, and organizing the gifts into roughly equal amounts for children in each family so that none are spoiled or left out. It’s a challenging job and takes many hours of her time, said Bodily, who works part-time as a file clerk for Cache County School District. “It gets kind of crazy doing both,” she said. “It’s been like this since the middle of October.” Sponsors who would like to volunteer to shop for needy children can call the Sub for Santa office at 435-752-6315 before Dec. 9. People may also take a name from the ShopKo “Sharing Tree” and leave the gift with the Sub for Santa volunteer at the store to be distributed later. The “Sharing Tree” remains up until Dec. 15, Bodily said. Parents who want to apply for help can find applications at many locations around the valley including libraries, food banks, and government offices. The final day applications will be accepted is Dec. 4, Bodily said.

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