St. George store needs help to bring Christmas to hundreds of Native American children – St George News

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Buyers browse toys at Hurst Ace Hardware in St. George, Utah on November 23, 2016. Hurst Ace Hardware participates in an annual Paiute Children’s Toy Drive by offering discounts on merchandise purchased for the association. | File photo by Mike Cole, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – M&S Turquoise in St. George launched its annual “Shivwits Toy Drive” to benefit Native American families in southern Utah during the holiday season.

2016 File Photo of the Shivwits Toy Drive banner hanging from the window of M&S Turquoise, located at 53 E. St. George Blvd., St George, Utah November 23, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The effort to bring Christmas to the children and families living on the Shivwits reserve, as well as other Native American groups in the area, was led by Jim Sevy, co-owner of M&S Turquoise, a family business that includes a store. store located at 53 East St. George Blvd. in St. George, as well as a wholesale organization that distributes throughout the western United States.

The Shivwits toy drive started over 21 years ago when Glenn Rogers, Shivwits Band Councilor and Jewelry Finisher at M&S ​​Turquoise, saw a need for families on the reserve and asked for help, It was then that he went to Sevy, who saw the need and joined the effort without hesitation.

“We are in the Native American art business and saw the opportunity to help,” Sevy said. “We have seen an increase in community support and over the past few years we have been able to increase our donations to the Cedar and Kanosh Band of Paiutes. “

Last year, the toy drive raised $ 8,000 and delivered gifts to more than 300 Indigenous children and several dozen seniors, Sevy said. The program also received a boost when an influx of toys arrived; so much, in fact, that some have been selected and will be delivered to the children this year.

He said the program has been a success thanks to the generosity of the community, which “has come forward for these children every year.”

The program also had a recent delivery of toys donated by a local business, so at this point, Sevy said, what the program needs the most are cash donations that will be used to purchase gift cards for older children, aged 13-18, who often want something more specific, like electronics, clothes, etc.

2020 archive photo of Jim Sevy, M&S Turquoise co-owner and founder of Shivwits Toy Drive, poses with a Santa statue outside the M&S Turquoise store, St. George, Utah December 15, 2020 | Photo by Megan Webber, St. George News.

M&S also partners with Walmart and other stores that offer discounts on gift cards and other items for the toy drive, including Ben Franklin and Hurst Ace in St. George, companies that support the cause for years.

In addition to stocking Native American merchandise to support the Shivwits Group, they also help by offering significant discounts, allowing them to purchase even more toys to give to children. The remaining money is used to buy gifts for adults and the elderly and food for Christmas dinners.

Last year, they were also able to offer scholarships to several young adults attending Dixie State University, and they would like to do the same this holiday season, based on donations.

He added that the program was also focused on families hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sevy said 100% of all donations are used to purchase toys, purses, gift cards, etc.

“Every penny goes to help these children and their families,” he added.

Southern Utah is home to five Paiute groups, including the Cedar Band, Indian Peaks Band, Kanosh Band, Koosharem Band, and Shivwits Band. Of all of those who now live in Washington County, none have been here as long as the Paiutes Shivwits Band.

All freebies will be delivered on December 21st. From December 21 to 24, families from the Shivwits reserve will be able to drive to the community center and receive their gifts. Similar gift collections will be organized on the reserves of other tribes.

How to make a donation

If you would like to donate to this cause, drop off gifts or a monetary contribution at the M&S Turquoise Showroom located at 53 E. St. George Blvd. Donations can also be made through Venmo or over the phone by calling the store at 435-628-0393.

For more information, visit the store Facebook page Where website.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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