Iron County Holiday Assistance Program Helping Local Families
Maybe you have seen an Angel Tree around town. If you are wondering what that is about, Pam Branin with the Community Engagement Center at Southern Utah University has your answer. “The Iron County Holiday Assistance is currently available, it's online, and it can be accessed at suu.edu/community,” Branin told us when she joined us on the radio show.
The Angel Trees are a part of the Iron County Holiday Assistance program. In partnership with Toys for Tots, the program provides Christmas gifts for children age 0-17 (18 if the child is still in high school) for families in our community who need help during the holiday season.
Applications for assistance for this year are open now. Persons applying will be asked information about the age and gender of the children they are seeking assistance for. Applicants will also be asked to indicate which schools are attended by their student aged children.
After the application is filled out, Branin explained the process that follows. “Once the application is filled out, we will start notifying people if they are approved and their assigned pick up date.” Notifications will be made the week before Thanksgiving, and the gift pick up will happen between December 4th and December 8th.
The program is asking that applications to receive priority pick up dates to be submitted by November 20th. Applications will be accepted through December 3rd, but applications received after November 20th won't pick up gifts until the week of December 11th through the 15th.
The Holiday Assistance program relies completely on donations, and Branin told us that the community always steps up. “We have an extremely generous community, both in donating gifts and in volunteering.” Donations of new, unwrapped gift items and new or gently used coats can be dropped off at either State Bank location, the Enoch or Cedar City office buildings, or the SUU Community Engagement Center, SUU Sharwan Smith Student Center, room 120.
And those Angel Trees around town are tagged with suggestions for gift ideas based on age and gender.
And for those looking to volunteer to help get the gifts out, there are plenty of options. “We'll need a lot of volunteer help as we do the load in and set up at the Iron County Armory building,” she told us. The National Guard always offers “great support.”
Volunteers are also needed to help with gift distribution the week of December 4th through December 8th.
Branin observed, “It really is a labor of love done by the community. It really is people in our community coming together to make it happen.”
Listen to our discussion with Pam below.
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