University News

Give Back This Holiday Season with the Iron County Holiday Assistance Program

Published: November 26, 2018 | Author: Andrew Brown | Category: Community Outreach

Cedar City main street with Christmas lightsThe Iron County Holiday Assistance (ICHA) program is gearing up for the 2018 holiday season and is currently accepting donations. Monetary donations can be made online, and individuals over 18 can also sign up to help with gift distribution from December 4th to 8th.

The Holiday Assistance program has existed for many years. It was originally coordinated by the Iron County Care and Share, but is now organized by the Southern Utah University Community Engagement Center.  The Holiday Assistance program provides gifts for more than 1,200 children and meals for close to 500 families and senior citizens. The program also serves as a central coordinating organization, working with other local assistance organizations, like Toys for Tots and Shop With a Cop, to ensure local resources can be distributed further.

“The generosity of both the program and the people made me feel hope I hadn’t felt in a long time,” said an anonymous holiday assistance recipient. “For some people the holidays are tough, stressful, and lonely. The warmth and love I received was truly a Christmas miracle.”

The Holiday Assistance program relies on the generous donations of  individuals, families and businesses to help everyone in Iron County have a merry Christmas. ICHA has put up more than 30 Angel Trees around the county. Each tree has tags that list gift donations that are needed as well as instructions on how to donate.

In the past, the Utah Food Bank has supplied nearly 400 turkeys to provide holiday meals for families and seniors in need. However, they are no longer able to provide these, and there is a critical need for more donations of frozen turkeys and hams. Turkeys and hams can be dropped off at the Iron County Care and Share.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys, clothing and stocking stuffers for children age 0-17 are also needed, as well as new and gently used coats. Gift items can be can be dropped off at the SUU Community Engagement Center, or the Cedar City and Enoch City buildings.

The SUU Community Engagement Center will also be hosting a Sub for Santa event on November 30th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the SUU student center. Everyone in the community is welcome to bring their children to see Santa, have complementary hot chocolate and decorate christmas cards. Attendees are invited to donate a stocking stuffer or make a monetary donation to support the holiday assistance program.

“Thanks to this program, I was excited about Christmas again for the first time in years,” said the anonymous holiday assistance recipient. “It changed from one of the darkest times of my life, to one of the brightest. I will never forget that Christmas or the smile on my children’s faces when they got to open their presents. It was the most precious gift I have ever received.”

Make a donation or contact Pam Branin, Iron County Holiday Assistance Coordinator, to see how you can help, 435-865-8340 or braninp@suu.edu.

Tags: Cedar City

Contact Information:

Rachelle Hughes, assistant director of public relations
435-586-5400
rachellehughes@suu.edu