Volunteers wrapping for a good cause at University Place

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Habitat for Humanity of Utah County needs volunteers to wrap presents. Funds raised from wrapping presents will go toward a home the agency is building in Provo for a family of five.

For the last 10 years, Habitat for Humanity of Utah County has been raising money every Christmas season by wrapping gifts at Provo Towne Centre. They’re back on duty starting Saturday, but in a new place.

This year Habitat wrappers will be at University Place in Orem. And instead of being in the middle of a hallway, wrappers will be stationed inside a store space — the old See’s Candy location, near the kid’s play area.

Provo Towne Centre is making some changes and University Place had space, so it was a good time to change locations, said Kena Jo Mathews, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Utah County. Wrappers will be on duty for seven days, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., starting Saturday, Dec. 16. The wrapped gifts cost between $1 and $6, and include a box, ribbon and tag.

Mathews said the Habitat staff puts everything together, and people and companies donate most of the supplies either through gift cards or wrapping paper. Then volunteers — eight to 10 per shift, with three shifts per day — do the wrapping. All proceeds go to a home the agency is building in Provo for a family of five.

Mathews said she wasn’t sure how busy they would be because they’re in a new location. At Provo Towne Centre, the wrapping booth was busiest on Sundays. But University Place is closed on Sunday. Christmas Eve also was a big day, but that’s a Sunday this year so they won’t be wrapping.

“We’re expecting to be busier but we’re not really sure,” she said. Saturday, Dec. 23 will probably be the busiest day for volunteer wrappers.

The agency has raised between $1,500 and $2,000 each year wrapping gifts, Mathews said.

If you want to volunteer to wrap, go to habitatuc.org or contact LeAnn Hillam at (801) 368-2250 or leann@habitatuc.org.

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Amie Rose has more than 14 years of experience writing and editing at newspapers in Utah and New Mexico. She graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She lives in Utah Valley with her husband, toddler and crazy dog.

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