UVU Faculty and Staff Sub for Santa this Holiday Season

Members of the campus community are stepping up to help provide gifts for families at UVU.


Take a milk-and-cookie break, big guy! Our holly, jolly UVU faculty and staff are subbing in for Santa this holiday season.

Once again, the UVU Center for Social Impact has partnered with United Way of Utah County to help children and families in our community receive gifts to put under their trees. Sponsors choose from 24 families on campus and are assigned to purchase two articles of clothing, two toys, and a book.

Amber Hendrickson, program director of impact partnerships for the Center for Social Impact, said that participation in the Sub for Santa program is integral to how UVU celebrates the holidays.

“We always have more sponsors than we have families, which shows the great heart that the UVU community has and how much we care for our community,” Hendrickson said. “Exceptional care is one of our values we tout here at UVU, and it’s heartwarming to see people with their own set of struggles volunteer to help their peers.”

Rachel Montalvo, program coordinator for the First-Generation Student Success Center, treasures the Sub for Santa program, having been a recipient of its generosity years ago. She got others in her department involved to sponsor a family.

“It’s important to give back,” Montalvo said. “I feel like people don’t give because they feel like they have to do a lot, so they feel intimidated and just forget it. You don’t have to be a rich person or have a lot of time to make a difference in a person’s life.”

Academic Advisor Shalece Nuttall was also a recipient of the program. Since then, she has been one of UVU’s most tenacious sponsors. Since 2008, she’s been rallying her fellow academic advisors from across campus to help provide gifts for children in Utah Valley. Nuttall has even resorted to performing over-the-top public antics to incentivize her colleagues to donate more.

“I told [my co-workers] for every $100 we donated this year, I would have a cream pie shoved in my face,” Nuttall said. “I had 19 cream pies thrown at the other academic advisors and me.”
Nuttall’s Fear Factor-esque stunts helped bring in over $2,300 for Sub for Santa. To reward the donors, Nuttall ate six chocolate-covered crickets. “I’ll make a complete fool of myself for a good cause. I love our students, and if there’s anything I can do to help them, I’m going to do it.”