Utah State University’s Inclusion Center is sponsoring its 11th Annual Sub for Santa program for USU student families in need.
Each year, student families who need assistance with funding holiday cheer are able to apply for help through this unique initiative in the Inclusion Center. Individuals can visit the Inclusion Center website to apply. The application asks for details such as monthly income, monthly expenses, a personal statement and each child’s holiday cheer need and wish list. This year’s sponsored families will have Santa Sacks delivered in an effort to keep individuals off campus due to COVID-19.
Sub for Santa, initially started by department and campus employees who wanted to do something for USU students, has evolved from a tree with a child and their wishes hanging in the office to a more robust program with sponsors and a committee to review the applications. The committee's purpose is to ensure students applying for assistance are actively taking classes, reviewing financial aid and expenses, and ensuring the application is specifically for their children.
Eleven years of Sub for Santa has been made possible through volunteers and donations. For those wanting to help, Sub for Santa is always looking for individuals or departments to make a financial donation or sponsor a child or family. The program appreciates the continuous contributions made each year from Dining Services, the Entrepreneurship Club and other departmental and individual sponsors. Individuals or departments can sign up to sponsor or donate on the Sub for Santa website by Dec. 11. Currently for 2020, the Inclusion Center has needs for 23 children from 11 different families.
The Sub for Santa committee has not had to turn families who qualify away in the past, but the funds are actively monitored to ensure widespread impact. Dorcee Winward, coordinator of Sub for Santa at USU, credits the work of sponsors and volunteers for their commitment to bringing holiday cheer to USU students who need it.
Winward said parents of participating children often send thank you notes to the Inclusion Center and stop into the office to show gratitude. In the season for giving thanks, Winward emphasized her appreciation for past and present volunteers and all of their continuous giving over the years to make fulfilling these families' needs possible. She shared a special thanks to Michelle Bogdan-Holt, director of the USU Inclusion Center, who is an advocate for staff and students every day and who supports critical initiatives such as Sub for Santa.
For any questions or concerns about Sub for Santa, contact email@example.com, 435-797-1729, or visit the Inclusion Center website.
Coordinator, Sub for Santa