The 9th Annual Community Christmas will be serving over 3,000 children from approximately 1,000 local families living in poverty on Saturday, December 15th, 2018. The event provides toys, winter essentials, and groceries to low-income families in the Davis and Weber county areas. While the parents “shop” for their kids at the event, the children play in the supervised Christmas carnival area. The event also connects the parents to partner agencies that provide programs and services throughout the year, to ultimately help them break the poverty cycle.

Every year thousands of children in our area wonder if Santa will visit their home. This year, the situation is even bleaker, because there are fewer agency resources throughout the valley. That leaves Ogden-Weber Community Action Partnership’s Community Christmas program as one of the only public and locally run Christmas assistance programs available to low-income families that are not already receiving Christmas assistance.

Community Christmas gives tickets to the Ogden School District, select Davis County schools, and various nonproPit agencies and churches in the two counties. These agencies then Pind the families that are in the most need not already receiving Christmas assistance.

Rudy, a grandfather of four children who attended the 2017 event, said, "My daughter has been struggling, but this event here is helping her tremendously. She’s really thankful for all the toys that she’s getting and the clothing for her kids, because they don’t have anything. The kids are going to be happy, they’re going to have toys for Christmas. So this is a blessing.”

"I didn’t think it would be this big,” said Kim, a grandparent in Ogden School District who attended the 2017 event. She said the way the event is organized and operated like a department store makes the experience feel even more inviting. "I think it’s neat, yeah it makes it more like you’re shopping for Christmas. It’s really fun. My three granddaughters, we have custody of them, so it was really nice for us to be able to get help like this for the holiday. I think it’s great that they’re doing it and thank you so much for the opportunity to take part in it.”

Community Christmas not only brings the magic and hope of Christmas into the children’s lives, but it helps their parents break the poverty cycle by introducing these families to the programs that can help them become more self-sufPicient. These programs give the families the help they need to better care for their families while they’re trying to better their situations.

“These gifts aren’t just about providing a fun toy & helping a child feel loved, it’s much bigger than that. When someone donates to Community Christmas they’re giving a child conPidence, stability and reassurance that everything is going to be ok. If a child doesn’t have a full belly, dry/warm feet, and clean underwear, it really damages their self-esteem, and hurts their ability to focus in school. It hurts their entire educational trajectory setting them on a path to stay in poverty. By providing these necessities along with a fun toy we give the child the best of both worlds – joy and peace... and isn’t that what Christmas is all about? ” Said Bonnie Randall, the event director.

Approximately 1,000 unpaid volunteers staff Community Christmas, and every penny raised for the event goes straight to the event and the families. Approximately 600 of those volunteers are teens providing the babysitting service at the Christmas Carnival. This event is a great opportunity for businesses, families, church groups and individuals to serve their neighbors this holiday season.

Families in need, not already receiving other assistance, can apply for tickets to the event by calling Karina Compean, the Family Services Coordinator 801 928-6815.

How Can You Help?

Community Christmas needs donations, both cash and in-kind donations such as: toys, warm clothing, shoes, boots. Winter gear, underwear, socks and groceries. In addition to the previously mentioned volunteers, they also need businesses to host Giving Trees. Giving Trees are Christmas trees displaying paper ornaments with the children’s needs on them. The businesses employees and patrons will select an ornament, shop for the child and the return the donations to the business where a volunteer will pick up the donations and bring them to the event for the parents to choose from. There is no cost for the business to participate.