December 11, 2019

Dear Santa | From UAN

Now that we're deep into the holiday season, we decided to come together as a team to send our letters to Santa this year. Have you gotten yours in the mail yet? What are YOU asking for?

My Christmas wish this year is for all kids to have a great experience in program each day, even if it’s a hard one.

We’d love to invite you and a team of your elves to attend our Behavior Management Institute this January! You know better than anyone that youth behavioral needs have evolved over the years. (More like centuries, am I right?) Let Dr. Aaron Fischer and his team of experts help you brush up on your skills! If you can make it, please apply ASAP since we’ll need to arrange special parking accommodations for your sleigh. 
Merry Christmas!
Amberley & Emilie
P.S. We know it didn’t work out last year, but would you and Mrs. Claus be available to present at Northern Recharge this year?

This year, please help me give the joy of the resource library to all afterschool programs in Utah. We both know how busy the holidays can be at school and this gift will surely help folks plan the remainder of the year. I know your elves visit our shelves often and that you’re the guy who can help spread the word. 
Happy Holly Days!

As you know, the afterschool programs in Utah work hard to provide high-quality afterschool programs for thousands of kids everyday (I’m sure each of the afterschool leaders are on your nice list!). I would really love for all programs to have enough funding to continue this important work! 
You’re the best!

I know you and your elves work so hard each and every year to answer the wishes of millions of children throughout the world. If it’s not too much to ask I would like to voice one more wish. I wish that every child in Utah can continue to have access to high-quality afterschool programs and that these programs can continue to receive funding, professional development for program staff, and resources for children to have meaningful experiences each and every day they attend program. Thank you, Santa, for all that you do and we’ll be sure to leave some snacks for you and your reindeer when you visit UAN! 

You are so great at spreading joy to kids everywhere.  I’d like to ask for another means of doing that exact thing.  My Christmas wish for afterschool this year is to increase general engagement: community, legislators, and school-day staff.  By doing so, I think we can expand the smile time from just the holiday season to an all-year event. Thanks, Santa.
With love,

I know this is your busiest time of year, but could I ask for just one Christmas wish? It would be wonderful to see all of Utah’s kids to receive the gift of a quality afterschool program! They can learn so much and make new friends and get much-needed support and love after school.
Thanks for all you do, Santa!

I hope this year is the funkiest, grooviest, most exciting time for all the young ones out there. The holiday season is always a bringer of joy, but I hope that these young people can find joy all throughout their year and are able to share it with those who need it. You know I don’t ask for much, but I want to make sure our people are taken care of! For those people who work in programs, the people who give all of their heart and emotion into what they do, for those who go home and think about the stories they experienced throughout their day; let them find the strength to continue striving and giving their all each and every day. - AG

Did you know that in 2019 afterschool programs reportedly used roughly 4,000,000 bandaids? That works out to around 100 bandaids per youth, per year of those served in the state of Utah alone. Rest assured, the number of band-aids used is by no means an indication that these programs are unsafe but they are, in fact, highly experiential and very comforting. While engaged in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, climbing, playing sports, and exploring, kids skin knees and elbows. Some kids need bandaids for bruises, some need bandaids for hurt feelings, and on occasion, one or two kids will cover their face entirely in bandaids. This may seem like frivolous bandaid use, but let me assure you, every bandaid used during 2019 was completely necessary and vital to the overall health and development of the bandaged youth. So, Santa, please keep the bandaids coming. 
XOXO, your BFF (best festive friend), Ben. 

I hope that Mrs. Claus and the elves are doing well in this busy season.  This holiday season is sure to be exciting for afterschool programs as kids consume more and more treats and spend more time inside because of the weather.  I would ask you to please bring the afterschool staff in Utah approximately 2.5 times the amount of energy that their children bring to programs in this festive time.  If you have room, we would also love some fresh air for the playgrounds too!
See you soon!

This year I ask that you forward my gifts onto the less fortunate. I wish to keep our homeless individuals and families warm, fed, and loved throughout the winter. I also ask that you spread love and joy to all foster youth around the world, including all children who are without families this Christmas. Please hold them tight and let them know that they are worthy and cherished. 
Erica A.