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Murray Journal

100 children get clothes shopping gift for winter

Dec 02, 2022 03:09PM ● By Shaun Delliskave

By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]

Christmas came early to 100 kids from the Murray School District. On Saturday, Nov. 12, Ken Garff Automotive employees partnered with Reach Out Today to bus in 100 kids from Title I schools and take them on a shopping spree at Kohl’s.

Each student came with a list of necessities their parents helped them make. Then, Ken Garff employees took them through the store and bought the items on their list to make it a memorable experience for the kids. The Jazz Bear and dancers joined in as well as some of the Jazz players’ significant others.

According to Ken Garff’s press release, “Employees and Reach Out Today are passionate about giving back to the community, especially during the holiday season. Partnering together, they want students in Title 1 schools who may feel invisible to be visible and to know that they matter, too, and are not overlooked, even though they may not have money to buy clothes and necessities.”

Reach Out Today, a Utah nonprofit organization, addresses the needs of some of Utah’s most vulnerable families. In addition, the nonprofit organization searches for gaps in care for children and families.

They provide food kits and arrange services for needy school district children, such as haircuts. Also, the nonprofit assembles “Family First Kits” that contain items customized to a child and other things to help the family create memories together, such as gift cards to a restaurant or recreation center.

Initially, the nonprofit started providing clothing and hygiene packs to students in the Ogden School District. However, they broadened their mission when they learned that many students didn’t have access to essential items like soap and shampoo.

Ken Garff’s “We’re Hear for You” initiative, which began as a two-month project at the beginning of the pandemic to serve community members in need, partnered with Reach Out Today.

In a statement from their press release, “Ken Garff employees loved the service so much that they all agreed to continue, now more than two and a half years later.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our employees to work together to help students in need of clothes and necessities,” Ken Garff Community Partnership and Events Manager Emma Checketts said. “Our employees love serving our communities, and we’re going to continue the ‘We’re Hear for You’ program to help others.”

The “We’re Hear for You” website states, “Listening is behind everything we do at Ken Garff. And when we say ‘We Hear You,’ we’re not just talking to the customers that come into our dealerships, we’re talking to our entire community. Giving back has been an integral part of this company, which is why we created the ‘We’re Hear for You’ program.

“In the spring of 2020, we realized that there was a huge opportunity for us to do even more. Many local businesses, families, and other organizations needed support to get through those uncertain times. Our dealerships and our corporate office got to work, purchasing items from those businesses, and donating them to families, teachers, first responders, and more. But this was just the beginning of the ‘We’re Hear for You’ program. Since then, we’ve kept the momentum going, working on multiple projects at a time, whether it’s revitalizing a community center, providing meals and household items for local families in need, buying supplies for teachers, and much more.”

Reach Out Today relies on donations of money or items to make the Family First Kits. In addition to helping school districts, Reach Out Today supports children entering or leaving foster care, which can be hard on kids.

Reach Out Today accepts donations through Venmo: @ReachOutToday.