KONY Coins for Kids gives Christmas to 1,600 local children; STGnews Videocast

ST. GEORGE — Hundreds of volunteers mobilized this week to ensure that thousands of Washington County children don’t go without a Christmas this holiday season. The effort was part of KONY Coins for Kids, a community-based charity that raises many thousands of dollars every year to purchase Christmas presents for children. Each year, KONY Coins for Kids not only raises the money to purchase the gifts, they also organize a massive community volunteer effort to purchase those presents from local retailers, wrap them, and deliver them under the tree.

KONY Coins for Kids is a project the began in 1990 when radio personality, Carl Lamar, with the help of others at KONY 99.5 FM, decided to raise money on his radio show to help a family in need. In their first year, back in 1990, Coins for Kids raised $2,500 to help buy presents for 10 area families. This year, volunteers raised nearly $95,000, providing Christmas for over 1,600 kids in Washington County.

“Pretty much everything we do for KONY Coins for Kids happens in 72 hours,” Lamar said. “Basically what we’re doing in three-days time is we’re shopping, wrapping, and delivering to about 1,600 kids. That’s a mammoth project.”

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Videocast by Michael Flynn, St. George News

KONY Coins for Kids is funded entirely by donations and staffed entirely by community volunteers.

“We’re not a government subsidized program,” Lamar said. “We have no grants, no Warren Buffets, no Bill Gates(es), no sugar daddies.”

Everything they use for the operation, from the wrapping paper and tape, to the space at the Dixie Center where the presents are sorted, wrapped, and staged for delivery is funded and accomplished through donations and volunteers.

This year, the Wade Family Foundation has donated five cars to KONY Coins for Kids, three of which will be gifted to families in need, while the two others are going to be used to raise funds to purchase additional toys, Lamar said. Auto technicians at the Stephen Wade Auto Center donated their time and expertise to refurbish the used cars for Coins for Kids.

The Wade Family Foundation and KONY Coins for Kids expect to announce the winners of the donated vehicles on Monday, Dec. 23rd.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

A small boy thanks Santa for filling the space under his Christmas tree with gifts from KONY Coins for Kids on Friday, Dec. 20. | Photo by Michael Flynn, St. George News

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  • San December 21, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    If you still want to help a family, call your local school…this is a great organization but they disallow families and children who can’t prove permanent residency or guardianship. The deadline for help has passed and a lot of kids are still not going to get anything for Christmas this year.

  • Roger Robinson December 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    This is such a great story/article on How people can come together to take and find the time to consider families that are not able to make their children’s Christmas.. Kudo’s to KONY and all that participated..

    • Michael Flynn December 21, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you, Roger! It was a lot of fun riding along with Santa last night!

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