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The Sanpete Messenger

Toys for Tots makes Christmas merry for 250 families

North Sanpete High School Assistant Principal Jeff Ericksen (front) with student body officers (L-R) Cooper Rosenlund, activity agent; Ty Bailey, vice president; Makade Talbot, president; and Anna Staker, secretary, on bikes that were donated to the countywide Sub for Santa/Toys for Tots program.

 

Toys for Tots makes Christmas

merry for 250 families

 

Line into Exhibit Building lasts all day
as volunteers help parents select gifts

 

By Max Higbee

Staff writer

Dec. 14, 2017

 

EPHRAIM—Hundreds of needy parents came to the Sanpete County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building and went home with gifts for their children Saturday as the countywide Sub for Santa/ Toys for Tots program staged its annual distribution event.

“The process of gathering donations and volunteers has been wonderful,” said chairwoman Kay Jensen, who has headed the program for the past five years. “We’ve been getting donations since Christmas ended last year, and we’ve got fantastic volunteers here from all sorts of different walks of life.”

Local donations were bolstered by a grant from the U.S. Marines’ national Toys 4 Tots program.

Assisting family members in filling out paperwork and selecting gifts were volunteers from the community and missionaries from the LDS church. According to Jensen, more than 800 kids in an estimated 250 needy families received gifts from program.

“I got here at 8:30 (in the morning). We didn’t even open until 9, and we already had a line from the door to the street, and we’ve had a line like that all day long,” said Shawnee Sagers, Jensen’s granddaughter and one of the volunteers.

“It’s awesome to see (the parents’) change in demeanor from ‘It’s cold, I don’t know if this is really worth it’ to when they leave and they just have this look like, ‘Okay, now my family gets to have Christmas.’”

The spirit of the occasion was obviously contagious, she said. “There were a few people in line who said, ‘Could we come help, could we volunteer, even though we’re getting in, can we just come and help get people through the line?’ It’s neat to see everybody kind of come together.”

Jensen would like to thank the Sanpete County Fair Board for letting Sub for Santa/Toys for Tots use the Exhibition Building and all of the donors volunteers and donors making this year’s Sub for Santa/Toys for Tots happen.