SHIVWITS RESERVATION — M & S Turquoise has launched its 16th annual Shivwits Toy Drive to benefit families in need who live on the Shivwits Indian Reservation. Donations will be accepted now through Christmas. Gifts will be handed out at the Shivwits Band of Paiutes annual Christmas party on Dec. 21.
The Shivwits Toy Drive was started 16 years ago when Glenn Rogers, Shivwits Band councilman and jewelry finisher at M & S Turquoise, saw a need for families on the reservation and asked for help, said Jim Sevy, part owner of M & S Turquoise, located at 53 East St. George Blvd. in St. George.
“We are in the Native American art business and saw the opportunity to help,” Sevy said. “We have seen an increase of support from the community and, over the last few years, we have been able to expand our donations to the Kanosh Band of Paiutes.”
For Rogers, who grew up on the Shivwits Indian Reservation, being able to hand out presents to the kids means a great deal.
“I didn’t get toys when I was kid. We would get a bag of oranges or some other food because that is what we needed: food,” Rogers said. “Being able to give a child a toy helps them to learn new things – even if it is just learning how to put batteries in a toy to make it work.”
The Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah identifies the families in need and any leftover funds will be used to buy turkeys and hams to distribute among families.
The Christmas party is a very emotional event, Rogers said.
“When the kids open their gifts they smile and laugh and they appreciate it,” Rogers said. “A lot of the parents cry when they see their kids’ faces. Receiving a gift helps the kids gain self-esteem and gives them a future.”
How to donate
If you would like to donate for this cause, drop gifts or monetary contribution off at M & S Turquoise Showroom, 53 East St. George Blvd. Or, donations may be made by phone: 435-628-0393.
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