Volunteers Unite To Fill 1,000 Stockings For Troubled, At-Risk Youth

Dec 11, 2020, 5:17 PM | Updated: Dec 5, 2022, 11:20 pm

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and while this year will be different with the pandemic, the spirit of Christmas is just as palpable in one Utah County home where a handful of volunteers have come together to make sure at-risk youth aren’t forgotten.

Like many homes this time of year, Hollie Baxter’s living room is bursting with candy, toys, and stockings. But while most people fill stockings for their loved ones, the gifts in Hollie’s home are for complete strangers.

“I feel like they really need the love,” said Baxter.

For six years, Hollie has spent the months leading up to Christmas collecting basic supplies for troubled and at-risk youth across the state.

At any given time, Baxter said 1,000 youth are served.

“There’s people right here in Utah that don’t even get a Christmas present. It breaks my heart, and the stories that I’ve heard are just so sad,” said Hollie. “Some of these kids have never had a birthday cake, let alone a Christmas stocking — things that I take for granted.”

Baxter said the pandemic has made things especially challenging.

“The BYU Women’s conference usually donates about 500 stockings, and since there was no gatherings, they didn’t get that help,” she said. “In October, I called the coordinator to ask how many stockings they needed; she told me that haven’t gotten any donations because of COVID.”

So Hollie rolled up her sleeves and quadrupled her goal.

“I never once thought twice about reaching that goal,” she said. “I just knew that if I can do 200, I can do 1,000.”

Each stocking — which is stuffed with essentials like toiletries, gloves, and socks, as well as some candy and a small toy — costs about $10 to make.

“Some of the teens are in centers, others are in group homes and sometimes they just need their own toothbrush,” Baxter said.

Hollie isn’t alone. A small army of volunteers like Michelle Cannon have rallied around her.

Baxter said several local businesses, families, and friends have pitched in with donations, big and small.

“I had a woman give me $10 and I knew that was all she had, but she wanted to help,” she said.

Stockings filled with love for a child in need.

“Obviously, there is a place in my heart for this and I just love it,” said Hollie.

Hollie said they’re really close to reaching their goal, adding that any extra donations go towards next year’s Christmas stockings.

Additional information can be found at the group’s Facebook page.

KSL 5 TV Live

Coronavirus: Stronger Together

This photo provided by Pfizer in September 2023 shows single-dose vials of the company's updated CO...

Lauran Neergaard, AP Medical Writer

US approves updated COVID vaccines to rev up protection this fall

U.S. regulators have approved updated COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, shots aimed at revving up protection this fall and winter.

10 days ago

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...

Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.

12 months ago

Only 50% of Utans are vaccinated and cases are surging because of the Omicron variant BA.5. FILE PH...

Jed Boal

BA.5 variant driving new surge of Utah COVID-19 cases

President Joe Biden’s positive Covid case Thursday was a sober reminder that Utah is not done fending off COVID-19 in many communities.

1 year ago

Utah COVID testing site. Getty images...

Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

New mobile COVID-19 testing sites open in Utah

With the summer travel season underway and a steady stream of people still testing positive for COVID-19, Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.

1 year ago

The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19...

Ashley Moser, KSL TV

Hospital ceremony honors survivors, healthcare heroes as U.S. hits one million COVID-19 deaths

The lawn of Timpanogos Regional Hospital was adorned with flags to honor the lives lost to COVID-19, those who survived it, and the caregivers and healthcare workers who cared for the sick.

1 year ago


Debbie Worthen, KSL TV

Utah County couple gives Minky Couture blankets to medical team at Utah Valley Hospital

Russell Greene doesn't call himself a COVID-19 survivor, he calls himself a COVID-19 miracle. His family thanked medical workers for saving his life.

2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

rodeo contestant on a saddle bronc...


Get Ready for the Days of ‘47 Rodeo!

The Days of '47 Rodeo is a series of events everyone in the family can enjoy, with world-class rodeo contestants vying for the gold medal.

Electric LED Lightbulb Change In Light At Home...

Lighting Design

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Lighting

This guide explores indicators that suggest it’s time for a lighting upgrade with tips to make an informed decision when you’re ready to buy. 

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Volunteers Unite To Fill 1,000 Stockings For Troubled, At-Risk Youth