United Way seeking books for needy children; volunteers also sought

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — United Way Dixie is rounding up volunteers to help give the gift of literacy to children in need this Christmas through its annual “Stories with Santa” holiday book drive.

This is the last week to donate or volunteer to help wrap books to distribute to children in low-income families in Washington County. Each child receiving assistance through Toys for Tots or KONY Coins for Kids will be given two or three new books to open on Christmas morning.

The goal is to provide gifts for children from low-income families to open on Christmas morning and help promote literacy to children who do not always have ready access to new books, which helps them to succeed academically.

“They don’t come as easy for them to gather and read, and so providing new books for Christmas is a good way to help build home libraries and support literacy in the home with these children,” United Way Dixie Executive Director Rebekah Pectol said.

Last year Stories with Santa successfully distributed approximately 12,000 new books to over 4,000 Washington County children in need. This year the program is expecting to reach similar numbers.

Volunteers are needed to help with book wrapping and building family book orders on Wednesday and Saturday. Seven volunteers are still needed on Wednesday from 5-8 p.m., and 12 volunteers are needed for each two-hour shift on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers can sign up to work at “Santa’s Book Warehouse” online, which is located at the Switchpoint Community Resource Center, 948 N. 1300 West, St. George.

The book drive is also in need of donations as 200 children are still in need of sponsors this Christmas. Monetary donations can be made online and books can be dropped of at United Way Dixie’s office at 948 N. 1300 East, St. George. Questions can be sent to info@unitedwaydixie.org.

They are also in need of Barnes & Noble gift cards or books ranging from $10-$20 for students aged 13-18 in either middle school or high school.

“I think it’s the spirit of giving during this meaningful time of year. Volunteering with us, we’re having fun and it’s all about the Christmas spirit, but we’re also fulfilling a very important need for our community by helping to wrap books and distribute them to these low-income children who are needing them,” Pectol said.

United Way Dixie provides support to 15 nonprofit community support partners including Dove Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Switchpoint and the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic of St. George through events such as Stories with Santa, the Fall Charity Scramble, Stuff the Bus, Ball Drop and the Skywest Mini Indy.

Email: mshoup@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @MikaylaShoup

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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