‘A wonderful, magical Christmas’: Spilsbury Mortuary now accepting Toys for Tots donations

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — As a challenging year comes to a close, Spilsbury Mortuary is seeking to ease the burden on struggling families during the holidays. Along these lines, they have once again partnered with the local chapter of Toys for Tots to help put a gift under the Christmas tree for every child in need. 

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New and unwrapped toys can be dropped off through Dec. 20 in the lobby of Spilsbury Mortuary at 110 S. Bluff St. in St. George. Gift cards are also accepted, along with books and items for older teenagers.

“This year, probably more than any year in the recent past, there is an urgent need to make sure the children in our community have a wonderful, magical Christmas,” said Connie Zdunich, community outreach coordinator for Spilsbury Mortuary. 

For many, 2020 has been filled with anxiety, isolation and fear of the unknown, and Zdunich said this uncertainty has not only affected adults but weighed heavily on children as well. School is different from anything they’ve experienced in the past. Masks, social distancing and remote learning have all taken a toll on the emotional health of kids while parents grapple with the financial impacts of the pandemic.   

Toys for Tots supported 4,481 children and distributed 16,787 toys throughout the St. George area last year. In 2018, the program donated 13,731 toys to 3,842 local kids. 

Zdunich said she hopes people will feel more compelled than ever to open their hearts and make a donation this holiday season. There is a great need in Washington County, she said, and few causes are more worthwhile. 

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“Many families are still out of work or working for a lesser wage to keep a roof over their heads and food on their tables,” she said, adding that their only options will be doing Christmas through Toys for Tots or not doing it at all.

“And I can’t stand to think about that,” Zdunich said. 

Toys for Tots is overseen by the United States Marine Corps Reserve and has put smiles on the faces of millions of kids nationwide since 1947. The team at Spilsbury Mortuary is proud to be part of the program again this year to help make a difference in the local community. 

For those who would prefer to contribute from home, monetary donations can be made online. Toys for Tots uses these funds in the Washington County area to meet needs when toy shortfalls are identified in certain age and gender groups. 

Families can also request to receive a toy through the Toys for Tots St. George website

Southern Utah’s children deserve a little spark of joy to make their Christmas morning merry and bright, Zdunich said – a bit of holiday magic to set the stage for a new year full of hope and happiness. 

“The joy that we see in children’s eyes on Christmas morning is one of the most heartwarming sights during the holidays,” she said. “Let us each try to make sure that those beautiful eyes are filled with wonder and excitement this Christmas.”

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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