1 of 3
Laura Seitz, Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Stacy Garcia and Bryan Aguilar visit Santa at the Columbus Center in South Salt Lake last weekend.

It's not every day you see men helping kids shop for new clothes, but these guys made an exception. That's because these Knights of Columbus want to make kids much warmer this winter.

Ray Lopez, state deputy with the Knights of Columbus said, "Some of them are coming out in blankets, some of them are coming out in just hoodies."

But when they left St. Vincent De Paul's, each child walked out with a coat.

The Catholic group was one of many that gave pre-Christmas aid to children and families.

The Knights are to give away another hundred coats Sunday in Wendover.

Before Christmas, some 600 families went to the Columbus Center in South Salt Lake to pick through piles of clothing and toys and gifts to put under the tree.

For some of the families, it was likely their one chance at a Christmas for their families," said Dr. Cesar Diaz with the Christmas Project.

Comment on this story

Donations to some charities, including the annual Sub for Santa project, declined this year, likely a reflection of the overall poor economy. When Diaz needed 3,000 toys, he had 900, he said. "

Adams says the hardest thing is, "How do you tell a kid there is no Christmas?"

Thousands of those who faced a meager Christmas were aided by groups or by individuals. who had been touched by the Christmas Spirit.

Santa began his labors in the area just after Thanksgiving and efforts were made to reach all of those who had needs.

e-mail: lprichard@ksl.com