Local volunteers team up to help less-fortunate families in Utah celebrate Christmas

Posted at 6:13 PM, Dec 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-19 23:33:37-05

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Saturday, the Underserved Global Humanitarian Services hosted a Christmas day for families in need. Each family received all the necessities they’ll need to have Christmas this year.

It’s a volunteer-based program, and families donate their time and efforts to provide Christmas for other families who are not as fortunate.

“It’s heartwarming to see how excited they are to get some Christmas,” said Coordinator Beverly Astin.

The Underserved Global Humanitarian Project gives to families in need every year. Most are refugees, but some are struggling to make ends meet.

“They get two toys per child, clothing, a coat, and the family gets a food card so they can go and buy what they need for Christmas,” Astin said.

Host families volunteer to adopt a family, and they give them everything they need to celebrate the holiday.

“I imagine their faces on Christmas morning, their kids, when this is all they get,” said Jennifer Dyer, a volunteer with the organization. “So I hope that it’s enough, and I hope that it’s good.”

Families receiving donations say their hearts are touched, and they’re grateful to be getting the necessities that will get them through the year.

“It helps my family, because we get a lot of stuff like clothes, and we get new shoes to wear in the snow,” said Kito Feza, a refugee from Sierra Leone, Africa.

Volunteers say it’s great to give back.

“It’s not so much about giving stuff, or even what it is, as much as it’s just feeling the love for them and helping them settle in and feel that they’re welcome,” said volunteer Michelle Larsen.

They hope their efforts will bring joy to their little ones on Christmas morning.

“They don’t even have enough to feed their kids every day,” Dyer said. “So it means a lot knowing that our little bit can help somebody else and these beautiful families that are here today.”

The Underserved Global Humanitarian effort is always looking for more volunteers and donations. They take donations throughout the year. For more information, call Dr. Cesar Diaz, president of Underserved Global Humanitarian Services, at (801) 548-1473 or e-mail him at