As the season of giving approaches, many UVU families are in need of help to make this Christmas memorable.


This year UVU will be teaming up with the Utah County United Way to spread Christmas cheer by expanding their Sub-4-Santa program to give more families on campus a little Christmas miracle for the holidays.


A Sub-4-Santa program was initiated at UVU as poverty and financial difficulties became a more prevalent challenge for faculty and students on our campus. To meet the needs of our university family, UVU’s Volunteer & Service Learning Center began coordinating and facilitating a Sub-4-Santa program on campus in 2003 through United Way.


“Through programs and projects in the community, the Center works to increase social and cultural awareness, build a sense of community commitment, and extend meaningful educational opportunities that increase knowledge and enhance academic skill,” said Lindsay Goodrich, with AmeriCorps Vista at UVU. “Additionally, we focus on issues such as alleviating poverty through our AmeriCorps VISTA program and the Food Pantry.”


The program works by seeking out families who need assistance for the holidays and pairs them with “sponsors” who then buy two articles of clothing, two new toys for each child in the family, and a book. Sponsors can contact the parents to determine what the child is in need of, or would like for Christmas and usually will put in $50 to $100 a child. With help from many of UVU’s departments, clubs, organizations, etc., the Sub-4-Santa program is able to provide a Christmas for many who may otherwise not have one.


Families in need of assistance for the holidays must attend a mandatory workshop to determine if they qualify for help. A committee will look over applications to access how long a family has received help from the program, their financial situation and other such circumstances.


Those who are accepted are matched with sponsors who are asked to provide two new items of clothing, two new toys and a book for each child. Sponsors typically spend $50 to $100 per child and can contact the child’s parents to find out what the child needs or would like for Christmas. They will arrange a time prior to Dec. 14 to deliver the unwrapped gifts to parents, who then put them out for Christmas morning.


The success of this program is not at all possible without support and volunteers from students, faculty, and staff. Without volunteers, families would not receive the assistance they need during difficult times. The campus community is encouraged to help in this effort by sponsoring families. Although the center will not know the exact number of families in need this year until Nov. 9, those who would like to sponsor a family can visit, to register. UVU families who need help are strongly encouraged to apply so they can get the word out about the program.


“Sub-4-Santa is a crucial program to UVU, we have a “hidden” poverty demographic here – meaning that it is surprising how many students need assistance each year,” explained Goodrich.


Workshop dates:

(Each workshop will last about 45 minutes)

October 29 SC 206a    noon

October 31 LC 207      noon

November 1 LC 207     9:30am

November 2 LC 207     9:00 am

November 3 LC 207     10:00 am

(workshops offered in spanish)