Deseret News
For some Utah families, this year's Christmas will only come through the charitable giving of others.

SALT LAKE CITY — For some Utah families, this year's Christmas will only come through the charitable giving of others.

Matt and Marisol (names have been changed) have four young boys. One was born with a type of congenital lung malformation and requires constant care and supervision. Matt lost his job because he was often at his son's hospital bedside monitoring a breathing machine. Matt is looking for another job but his son will likely remain in the hospital until age 3. The family survives thanks to Marisol's 30-hours-a-week income from a job at a bakery. Their biggest need this year is a dining room table and chairs.

Misty has legal guardianship of her best friend's children while the mother deals with a divorce after years of physical and mental abuse. Their father has never allowed them to have Christmas. Meanwhile, Misty has her own problems. She had to stop working after she was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, a brain condition with symptoms similar to a tumor. She also has diabetes and needs knee surgery. Medical bills and loss of income have left finances tight.

Melissa and Allen have six children and she's s now pregnant with twins. She's considered high risk and can't work. Allen works full time on a commission basis, but their budget is stressed due to a variety of problems. The ceiling caved in in one of their children's bedrooms. Another child appears to have symptoms of Bell's palsy. With mounting medical costs and urgent home repairs, the family could use a helping hand during this holiday season.

Fortunately, there's a way you can help these and other Utah families to have some relief and joy at Christmas.

As in previous years, the Salvation Army and the Deseret News are working together to sponsor two programs and generate support for Utah families in need.

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The first program is called "Adopt-a-Family" and allows people to sponsor gifts for each family member, including the parents, and provide food for Christmas dinner. For more information on this program, click here.

The second program is called "Children's Christmas." Sponsors provide gifts for siblings in a family and the parents are optional. Patrons are asked to consider special needs such as a coat or shoes. For more details, click here.

The deadline to register is Wednesday, Dec. 5. Gifts are due by Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 2 p.m.

To "Adopt-a-Family" or give a "Children's Christmas," visit