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Utah nonprofits face setback this holiday season, looking for help to fulfill Christmas wishes for kids

A brown reindeer plush toy sitting on a chair
Tim Gouw

To make this holiday season as magical as it can be for kids around Utah, several families and nonprofit organizations are looking for extra help to fulfill their Christmas wishes.

According to several nonprofit organizations like Santa’s Secret Gift Shop and Cache Valley Toys for Tots, this year has been very difficult when it comes to a decrease in volunteer work as well as inflation directly affecting rent, gas, and grocery prices making it so that former volunteers are now those in need.

Santa’s Secret Gift Shop volunteer Laura Van Noy says that this year has been especially slower than usual due to them being behind on the amount of gifts they’ve worked on when compared to previous years. Other organizations are experiencing similar setbacks as Toys for Tots Cache Valley Coordinator Melanie Sweet says that last year, each child was able to receive four stocking stuffers, but that number has been cut in half this year.

Sweet says that Toys for Tots is a deeply personal organization to her since she’s benefitted from the program before. Following a divorce with her husband, Sweet was doing her best to give her kids a proper Christmas and these types of organizations helped her out tremendously.

Both Sweet and Van Noy say that if anybody can spare even just a small amount, it will help the end goal of putting a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.