BY TOM BUSSELBERG
BOUNTIFUL – As miraculous as Santa is, he just can’t be everywhere.
That’s why the Bountiful Community Food Pantry is asking for Santa’s helpers to assist with its Sub for Santa program again this year.
The pantry refers to them as Santas for short.
“We match up a Santa with a family so that the recipients receive some personalized attention. They meet with the parents and children,” said Lorna Koci, executive director of the Bountiful Food Pantry.
A short Christmas list and letter (written to Santa, of course) is received from each child by the Santas, Koci explained.
Santas can come from all kinds of situations: they can be a single person, couple or family, a church group, business associates, or a neighborhood or civic club.
About 125 combinations of Santas are involved. They range some businesses providing Santas for several children to 13 at the Utah Cardiology Center.
“A lot of people say they’re all going to go together as a neighborhood and do this. It’s community building,” Koci said.
Donors appreciate being able to make a physical and emotional connection with those they are helping, she said.
“They get to meet them, have a real, personal opportunity to take them the gifts,” Koci said.
“There are not many times when donors can do that in today’s world,” what with TV campaigns that promote giving money to aid the hungry or needy in distance places, Koci said.
The pantry hopes to have all Santas signed up by the end of this month. Those interested may call the pantry at 801-299-8464, email Service@bountiulfoodpantry.org, visit the pantry at 480 E. 150 North, behind Bountiful Community Church; write to P.O. Box 38, Bountiful, UT 84011.
Last year, 349 children were assisted by Santas.