Gunnison students leading out in Sub for Santa program
By Max Higbee
Dec. 21, 2017
GUNNISON—Gunnison Valley schools are leading the charge to provide Christmas to 100 children in the area who would otherwise be unable to afford it.
The valley’s Sub 4 Santa program is headed up by Melissa Judy and the Student Council at Gunnison Valley High School, for which she is the faculty advisor.
Judy explained that they will try to fill certain necessities for each child: new pants, a new shirt, underwear, socks, and shoes. Then, if the child has any specific needs, like a winter coat or boots, they will get that for them as well. Of course, they also get the child a fun toy.
“The elementary, middle, and high schools are all collecting things, and each school does it a bit differently,” she says. “Here at the high school, each 3B class [third period on B days] is assigned two or three children, and given their lists.”
The class has two weeks to bring in all the things on that list, after which anything that doesn’t get donated by students is bought using the money collected through the annual Santa Run.
The Santa Run is a yearly 5K held in conjunction with the Gunnison City Christmas festivities, the weekend following Thanksgiving. Each runner pays $15, and businesses pay $25 to have their logos appear on the official race t-shirts, which are distributed to the runners, along with a Santa hat. All of the proceeds go to support the local Sub 4 Santa’s efforts.
The schools coordinate with each other and mayors across the valley to make sure that those with needs are found and served. They work together to make sure nobody is double served and nobody should be missed.
“Families will reach out to us often asking us about somebody they know who is in need,” Judy says, “and we can tell them if we’ve got them covered or not, and maybe help them find how best they can help out.”
This year’s efforts are in the home stretch—the volunteers went shopping on Monday to gather the last of the gifts, and then wrapped them on Tuesday. The holiday items will be distributed either today or tomorrow.