Realtors buy $20K in gifts for Wood River Valley children

Stephanie Reed was one of 50 volunteers spending the day shopping for warm clothes at Target. (KMVT)
Stephanie Reed was one of 50 volunteers spending the day shopping for warm clothes at Target. (KMVT)(KMVT)
Published: Dec. 5, 2019 at 5:16 PM MST
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Hundreds of children in the Wood River Valley will be getting warm clothes for Christmas, thanks to the Sun Valley Realtors Give Foundation.

Fifty volunteers spent the day Thursday, and $20,000 at Target, buying clothes and shoes for more than 500 kids. It's all part of the foundation's holiday baskets program.

The program started in 2003, and has helped thousands of families and children in the Wood River Valley.

Brandee Smith, the executive director for SVRG explained how they raise the funds.

“We work throughout the year," Smith said. "This is our big program of the year, so we work year round. We do a big fundraiser. In the summer we do a golf tournament, and then we do different fundraisers throughout the year and also just get donations from the community, it really takes a village."

Smith explained how the families are chosen.

“We reach out to anywhere you would go for social services in the Wood River Valley, we reach out to those organizations so they can know who they can apply and when they can apply," Smith said. "And then those families, they come in and they tell us exactly what their children need and what they want for the holidays. So they tell us they want a blue snow coat, so that's what we shop for."

Once everything is bought, they head back to Hailey.

“We go back to the community campus in Hailey and we put together a bag for each kid, so they get their warm clothing item, and then they get a gift of their choice, then a book and a toothbrush,” Smith said.

When the parents come to pick up the bags, they will also be given all the food needed for a big holiday dinner as well — an example of how the Christmas spirit not only inspires smiles, but makes lasting memories.

“You know, it's such a special time of year and you want to make sure that those kids are waking up on Christmas morning to presents and gifts under the tree,” Smith said.

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