Locals volunteer to sub for Santa – Effort helps with hundreds of Christmas wishes

Nancy Dexter, left, and Sue Johnson help distribute Toys for Tots/Sub for Santa donations Dec. 12, in Richfield. This year’s effort provided assistance to more than 600 people for the holiday season.

The Sub for Santa/Toys for Tots program was able to help hundreds of local families this year, according to Shara Bastian, manager of The Volunteer Connection.

“We have helped over 600 people, have had over 600 toys donated, and have had $3,900 donated from local businesses,” Bastian said. “The donations we get from the community and businesses help to buy clothes and we have clothes donated by the community to give out to people in need.”

Toys for Tots is a campaign organized through the U.S. Marine Corps. The Volunteer Connection helps administer it in the Six County area. While the Toys for Tots program can only help with toys, Sub For Santa can help with toys, clothes and other essentials, which is why the Volunteer Connection runs with both programs during the holiday season.

The effort wasn’t just helpful for the families, but also for those who volunteered to help.

Nancy Dexter and Sue Johnson, both volunteers, said volunteering for the Sub for Santa program helped them get into the Christmas spirit.

“This is the first year for me,” Dexter said. She and Johnson helped distribute the donations earlier this month.

Families fill out papers, and organizers then organized toys and put them in bags for the families to pickup. 

The Volunteer Connection is organized through the Six County Association of Governments. It is designed to help connect people who want to give service to their community with opportunities to do so. All volunteers are asked to log their hours so they can be tracked.

For more information about the Volunteer Connection, contact Bastian at (435) 893-0735, or drop by its office in the Sevier County Administration Building at 250 North Main in Richfield.

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