Christmas dreams to needy children: Kony Coins for Kids accepting applications, seeking volunteers

File photo from 2015 shows Mrs. Claus taking charge during gift delivery for Kony Coins for Kids event at the Dixie Center St. George, Utah, Dec. 18, 2015| Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The holiday season is close at hand, and KONY’s Coins for Kids is once again getting geared up to help members of the community. The holiday charity, which supplies gifts to children of families in need, is accepting applications starting Nov. 27 and running until Dec. 1.

This 2016 file photo shows hundreds of volunteers wrapping thousands of gifts at the Dixie Center St. George, Utah, Dec. 15, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Donations are welcome at any point, as well as volunteer help starting Dec. 18.

Kony’s Coins for Kids is a nonprofit organization that provides Christmas presents for less fortunate children in Washington County. All of the money raised is spent on the children. There are no administrative costs or paid staff; everyone working with Coins for Kids is a volunteer and all donations are completely tax deductible.

The money raised for this effort comes directly from the community in the form of individual donations as well as corporate donations.

In 2016, Coins for Kids registered and qualified 1,393 children in 482 families, many of whom were “adopted” by other organizations and families that provided Christmas. The most children adopted out was in 2009, when the program registered 2,527 children in 953 families, of which 444 children in 188 families were picked up by outside groups.

Eligibility

Only needy children ages 1-17 in Washington County are eligible, and only one application per family will be accepted. Intentional duplicate applications or intent to defraud the charity will cause elimination from the program. Families who have participated in the program three times are not eligible to apply for assistance.

Approved applications are given to various charities that desire to provide Christmas gifts for children.

Gifts for the kids vary depending on the which program is matched with which children, and due to the large number of applicants, the program does not provide computers, stereos, X-boxes, Ipads and other expensive requests. Gifts can be exchanged after Christmas for different sizes or colors, but they may not be redeemed for cash.

Applications for assistance for children must include a written and signed recommendation from one of the following:

Applicants can then take the completed recommendation letter to the application center at the Washington County School District Woodward School building on Tabernacle Street, room 101 in St. George.

Hours are as follows:

  • Monday, Nov. 27 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Nov. 28-30 — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 1 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Childcare is not provided so please don’t bring children into the application center.

Recipients will also be asked for the following:

  • Photo ID and proof of residency in Washington County.
    • If the ID does not show the applicant’s current address, proof of residency can be obtained through supplying a utility bill, insurance bill, credit card bill or bank statement.
  • Children’s birth certificates of each child showing linkage to parents.
    • Court documents if child is in the custody of someone other than a parent.
  • A letter from referring organization.

Donations

Coins for Kids is dependent solely upon charitable contributions, which are tax deductible. Donations can be made at any Coins for Kids box location throughout the county; on the Coins for Kids website using credit card or Paypal; or dropped off at the Canyon Media Studios at 3143 South 840 East in St. George (across from Bloomington Hills Elementary).

New unwrapped toys priced at $15 minimum can be dropped off at many of the elementary schools or any of the Marines’ “Toys for Tots” toy collection containers. Locations can be found here.

Volunteer opportunities *

Setup and sorting

Setup and sorting of gifts will take place Dec. 18 at the Dixie Center St. George, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, starting at 9 a.m.

Preshopping and shopping

Preshopping will take place on Dec. 19 at the Dixie Center St. George starting at 8 a.m., followed by  the shopping at the Bloomington Walmart at 5 p.m., when hundreds of shoppers are needed. Children are welcome to accompany their parents, and all shoppers will receive a clipboard with the name of a family to shop for. Be sure to wear warm clothing, including a jacket as volunteers line up outside of the store along with dozens of others before the official start.

This 2015 file photo shows more than 10,000 toys, clothes, shoes and other gift items wrapped for Kony Coins for Kids, St. George, Utah, Dec. 17, 2015|Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Wrapping

Wrapping will take place Dec. 20 from 8 a.m. until finished at the Dixie Center St. George. Help is also needed in this area. All wrappers are asked to bring a roll or two of wrapping paper if they can, and scissors and tape will be provided.

Donations of Scotch tape, scissors, clipboards, name tags and ribbon are always welcome.

* There is no need to sign up or register for any of the above opportunities. Anyone who wants to volunteer can just show up.

Toy deliveries

On Dec. 21 from 4-9 p.m. Santas and Santa’s helpers are needed at the Dixie Center St. George for toy delivery. Anyone volunteering as Santa is asked to bring their own suit if they have one. If not, suits are available for a small refundable deposit. Additional trucks or vans are also always needed.

Registration is required for those who wish to participate as a Santa for deliveries. Contact Hal at 435-632-0439 to register.

Deliveries of the gifts by Santa will be made only to the home where the children reside between the hours of 4 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21.

More information on Coins for Kids can be found on the website and Facebook page.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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