Sub for Santa

Mary has two children, but will only be with one of them this Christmas.

Mary's 5 year old daughter lives with her parents in Ecuador, and she has not seen them for three years. Because her 2-year-old son is afflicted with many health problems due to Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which include delayed growth and development, intellectual disability and seizures, she has to stay in the United States away from the rest of her family so that he can get the medical help he needs.

“Every day for us is a challenge,” Mary said. “But I feel so blessed that, even living a life with a tight economy, we try to go ahead, and always God puts people in our life.”

Some of those people are those involved with the Sub for Santa program, Mary said, so that her child can have something new for Christmas.

Mary only buys items for her son at yard sales, for which she is grateful, but she would love for him to have some new items.

Mary is a student at Utah Valley University, but had to drop two of her classes this past semester because of her son’s long hospital stays. Still, she hopes to continue her education.

Her son loves toys with music and lights. He loves to listen to music and his mother singing to him. He loves to play in water, and during good weather, he enjoys going to parks, lying down on the grass and listening to the sounds of birds and looking at people.

Mary would also like some clothes for her daughter so that she can send them to her in Ecuador.

All names of Sub for Santa participants have been changed. To help a family like this one, call the Sub for Santa hot line at 801-356-6300 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or visit

To follow more families like this in the Sub for Santa program, visit

Laura Giles is a long-time correspondent for the Daily Herald, an educator for Alpine School District and a community member living in Pleasant Grove. She can be contacted at