Broadview-Orem Helps Subs for Santa

Published on January 14, 2014 by arothstein

For the past few years, the Broadview University-Orem has participated in the United Way Sub for Santa program, and this year was no exception. James Kelly, executive chairperson for the medical assistant program, initially donned the red hat and beard to get things rolling. Two families were quickly identified through the local United Way that could use some Broadview University-Orem Christmas help.

As plans proceeded, the role of jolly ol’ Saint Nick passed to Brent Clark, full-time general education instructor, who made assignments, organized buying committees, and set deadlines. Getting people into the Christmas spirit isn’t difficult this time of year, but with everything happening during finals week and graduation, the campus Christmas elves needed to be on task. All of the full-time faculty and staff got busy making Christmas happen for the children of these two families.

As the week progressed, Clark’s cubical transformed into the North Pole, filled with wrapped gifts. The Christmas spirit spread beyond staff and faculty to their families as well. Randy Johnson, director of career services, and his daughter drove off in their sleigh—cleverly disguised as a purple Scion—to make one boy’s Christmas wishes come true.

Tawnette Chapman, administrative assistant, and her husband braved the bitter Utah cold to find just the right gifts for another boy. Annie Critchfield, admissions representative, was introduced to the world of children’s toys as she searched for a Lalaloopsy doll wanted by one girl.

Even Clark’s youngest daughter Izzy put on her elf shoes and hat and helped by taking one of her Christmas gifts from under the tree and sliding it into one little girl’s stocking.

Reflecting on the actions of his five year-old daughter, Clark said “It’s the kids who truly make Christmas a special time. They embody what the season is all about.”

Then on December 21, Santa’s sleigh—now in the form of the Clark’s minivan—made its rounds to touch the lives and hearts of two families that didn’t think Christmas would happen for them. As the presents were dropped off, one family invited “Santa’s helpers” in to meet the children. The joy on the children’s faces and the tears in their parents’ eyes taught the real meaning of Christmas and reminds us all that it’s not the beard or the red hat that makes a Santa—it’s the willingness to give from your heart to those in need.


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