Sub for Santa

A Lehi family of seven is struggling this Christmas after unexpectedly being told they had to move from their Provo home.

Elena’s family moved in August after being told this summer their landlord’s health was doing poorly, his family intended to sell the property they rented and they had 60 days to find a new place to live. The land was sold after the landlord died.

“Around here, it’s not that easy to find a place to live,” Elena said.

They searched throughout Provo and Orem to find a place to live. They have previously lived with family in Orem and Provo, and had lived in Provo for six years.

Moving also came with the many expenses that come along with it.

“Thank goodness I had family here because otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” Elena said.

They faced difficulty finding a three-bedroom apartment they could afford. Elena said they looked at and applied for housing across Provo before moving into an apartment in Lehi.

This year, her 8-year-old son was also diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. They’ve been able to have help with paying for treatment for him.

“Thank goodness we have [Wasatch Mental Health] because without that I wouldn’t be able to do therapy sessions,” Elena said.

Elena’s five children, ranging in age from 3 to 11 years old, need pants and winter clothing for Christmas. She said one son has large holes in his pants from playing.

The children are also interested in drawing and coloring. Her sons are interested in Nerf guns and her daughters like to play dress up and put on makeup.

They found the United Way of Utah County’s Sub for Santa program after learning about it from the children’s’ school.

She said they’re thankful for what they do have.

“Everyone is happy and we are all just grateful we have a place to live where they can be warm and happy,” Elena said.

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

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