Youngster throws holiday bash for families
Many children are formulating their Christmas wish list long before December every year, some with more elaborate needs and others just hoping they'll have food, maybe some new clothes, and that Santa Claus will be able to find them on Christmas Eve, no matter where they may find shelter.
Jackson Clark, 10, made it his holiday mission to give kids less fortunate than himself a good Christmas.
On Sunday, Dec. 17, Jackson, with the help of some friends and his mother, Trisha, hosted a Christmas party for children from struggling families.
"When I was his age, I was excited to be outside, climbing trees," Trisha Clark noted. "Not helping homeless people. I've never seen a 10-year-old so enthused about helping other people."
The party included a hot meal, pictures with Santa Claus, toys for all in attendance and carols sung by members of the Sandy High School choir, and was held at Kidd's Island Teriyaki in Sandy.
"I'm just glad I could help Jackson by providing a space for his party," restaurant co-owner David Kidd said.
"I love all of the presents and what the community did," added Valerie Gillum, event volunteer and mother of Kidd Island Teriyaki owners. "It's pretty incredible."
Most families who came to the party found out about the event through Trisha's social media campaign and contacted her personally to gain an invitation.
"I think it's awesome," mother Angelina Trump said. "It's heartwarming and really sweet."
Angelina's 1-year-old daughter Alivia was a big fan of receiving gifts directly from Santa himself.
"I think she just likes it all," Angelina said of her daughter. "She likes the excitement, and she loves being around other kids. We try to make the best out of everything with the small things we have."
Children of all ages enjoyed the event, and the Sandy Fire Department even made an appearance for the children.
"Everyone who came to the party — parents and kids — seemed really grateful," Trisha said. "The Christmas party was better than we expected."
"It was a good party because all of the kids looked happy," Jackson Clark said.