Holiday Central: Your guide to helping those in need during the holiday season
Published: November 22, 2012 09:12AM
Updated: December 17, 2012 02:30PM
Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune West Valley City Police officer Devin Novara picks a name from the West Valley City Giving Tree at Valley Fair Mall. Volunteers can choose a name and the mall's customer service staff will provide a list of the child’s needs and holiday wishes. Shoppers are asked to provide the unwrapped gifts before Dec. 15.

Here’s your weekly roundup of what local cities, schools and other community groups are doing to spread holiday cheer and promote a spirit of giving during the holiday season. The Salt Lake Tribune will publish an updated listing online each Thursday during the holiday season at, with new events for the week and an ongoing list for events — such as food drives or donation drop-offs — that don’t have a deadline. To submit your event for consideration e-mail Melinda Rogers, Communities Editor, at


10th Annual Refugee & First Generation Holiday Essentials Giving Day

Location • Lutheran Social Service of Utah offices, 4392 South 900 East, Salt Lake City

Description • LSS of Utah needs donations for its annual Giving Day project. Beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, children and adults from 1,400 families will receive hygiene kits, blankets, warm clothing, toys, books and other gifts at its offices.

Items can be dropped off at the offices from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, through Dec. 11. Parking is available to the left of the building. Volunteers are also needed for a cleaning effort the next day.

Donors so far include A-1 Pioneer Moving Company, American Express Center for Community Development, LDS Charities, Linus Project, Patagonia, Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Foods Corporation, Utah Food Bank, Utah Lutheran Conference, Volunteers in America Red Rock Reading Program and individual families.

Help for Hurricane Sandy victims

Location • Safe Haven Private Vaults, 8675 S. 700 East, Sandy, 801-569-3000; and Lake City Custom Homes, 65 N. 300 East, American Fork, 801-499-1545

Description • A team of Utah entrepreneurs is collecting cash, blankets, clothes, diapers, canned goods and toys for delivery to families who were affected by the recent East Coast hurricane. The goods will be transported by trucks, while volunteers will fly there to deliver items thanks to the commitment of a national airline. To donate cash, visit

Coat drive for the Volunteers of America Homeless Youth Outreach Center

Location • Fresh Boutique, 870 E. 900 S., Salt Lake City

Description • Fresh Boutique wants to provide 100 new or gently used jackets to the VOA Homeless Youth Outreach Center by Dec. 22. The boutique is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Toy and clothing drive by the University of Utah College of Nursing

Location • College of Nursing, 10 S. 2000 East, Salt Lake City

Description • The University of Utah College of Nursing is collecting toys and clothing, hoping to support 1,000 Wasatch Front children with the Family Support Center. Items can be dropped off at the college from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday until Dec. 7. An angel tree in the college has tags with wishes from children. Checks need to be addressed to Santas Little Helpers and a donation form is available at the college for tax purposes.

The center suggests donating new children’s underwear and socks, pull-up diapers, scooters, skateboards, bikes (new or used), art supplies, doodle boards, dry erase boards, play dough and sports balls. Also appreciated are cleaning supplies, wipes, blankets, clothing in all sizes, warm clothing, pajamas, bandages, Children’s Tylenol and Motrin. More information is available at

United Way Young Leaders Collection for Guadalupe School and PAL Boxing Center

Location • Enterprise Rent-a-Car locations

Description • United Way of Salt Lake’s Young Leaders are collecting items for the children at Guadalupe School and the PAL Boxing Center. Donations can be dropped off at Enterprise Rent-a-Car locations through Dec. 10. Donations can also be made via credit card online or by hosting a donation drive at your office. For Enterprise locations and other information, visit

Forgotten Patient Christmas Project

Location • Utah State Hospital, 1300 E. Center St., Provo

Description • Help provide Christmas gifts for patients at the Utah State Hospital. Sponsors are given a name and information about a specific patient, allowing them to provide much needed items. If you are interested in taking a name or finding out more, please contact Shawna Peterson at 801-344-4254 or at

Elderly Utahns in the care of the Office of Public Guardian

Description • Elderly Utahns who live in nursing homes throughout Utah need a little holiday cheer, according to the Office of Public Guardian. Their needs are simple: sweats, hats, slippers, robes, shirts, pajamas and twin bedding items. The adults especially appreciate soft fleece blankets to keep the chill off their laps. Items are needed for men and women, in medium, large and extra-large sizes. Gift cards are also helpful. For more information, contact the office at 801-538-8255.


EMI Health, Murray

Volunteers from EMI Health delivered clothing to more than 100 children at Monroe Elementary School in West Valley City in November as part of the Assistance League of Salt Lake City’s Operation School Bell program. Each child received a coat, jeans, socks and underwear, among other items. Each year more than 5,000 preschool, elementary and junior high children in Salt Lake, Granite, Murray, Jordan and Park City school districts return to the classroom with new parkas, jeans, sweatshirts, shirts, underwear, socks and shoes because of Operation School Bell.

Molina Healthcare

The company donated 200 turkeys to two local food banks, while the Salt Lake City’s Urban Indian Center and Draper’s Adventure Church in Draper hosted Thanksgiving dinner giveaways for families in need.

University Credit Union Shoe Distribution

University Credit Union’s annual Warm the Soles program will hold a shoe distribution party at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Sugarhouse Dec. 6 from 5-6:30 p.m. The credit union will also hold additional distributions at Redwood Elementary School Dec. 12, from 4-6:30 p.m. and the Capitol West Boys and Girls Club Dec. 13, 5-6 p.m.

Juan Diego High School

Juan Diego High School students delivered and handed out presents at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Hall, 437 W. 200 South in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. to low-income and homeless children through Catholic Community Services Gift of the Drummer program. CCS provided Christmas to more than 900 refugee, low-income, and homeless children this year. Juan Diego High “adopted” 65 children through the Gift of the Drummer program and donated personal and much needed clothing items and gifts to them.