Stuffing stockings fills Francis woman with joy
About a week ago, Betty Morin was sitting in her living room with her 1-year-old son, Charles, staring at her Christmas tree. As Morin glanced at the presents underneath the tree and thought: we don’t need any of this.
"I started thinking, ‘we have a son, but what am I doing to show him how great it is to give back to others,’" Morin said. "I contacted a good friend of mine who does a lot of work with the Youth Resource Center in Salt Lake and asked if it would help if I put together some stockings filled with things they might need. He said ‘it would be amazing.’"
Morin is scheduled to deliver nearly 90 multi-colored "stockings" to the Homeless Youth Resource Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday. The thick winter socks are filled with toiletries, such as toothpaste and deodorant, and treats.
"I bought 20 pairs of socks and then I was like wait, my husband and I own a diner we could probably leverage our business and do something really great," Morin said. "We put a bin and a list of items in the diner and I teach yoga so I told my students about it. Now we have 88 stockings within seven days just by letting our community know."
Morin and her husband, Gabriel, own the Mirror Lake Diner, in Kamas. Morin also teaches yoga at the South Summit Recreation Center.
"The community response has been huge and I’m actually not surprised at all," Morin said.
The Kamas Valley is such a caring and giving community, but I am just overwhelmed with gratitude."
Morin has no affiliation with the Homeless Youth Resource Center, however, she said she was inspired by a pair of friends who regularly volunteer with the organization.
"My friends are so passionate about it and I see it on their social media all the time so I was just like you know what that’s who I want to give to: the youth," Morin said.
Deann Zebelean, manager of community relations for the Homeless Youth Resource Center, said donations like Morin’s provide supplies well beyond Christmas for young adults that really need them. The Homeless Youth Resource Center, located at 655 South State Street, is a drop-in center where young adults between the ages of 18 and 22 have access to various services. An overnight shelter is under construction.
"The youth have usually gone through something very traumatic," Zebelean said. "This is awesome that Betty is doing this because we couldn’t do what we do and have the outreach like we do without people like Betty. We rely on those community donations to be able to meet those basic needs of the youth."
Morin paid roughly $50 for supplies and received $90 in donations from family and friends as far away as Price. Morin guessed that more than 50 people donated supplies or their time.
"I had friends come over from Salt Lake City to put them together including my 90-year-old grandma," Morin said. "Friends from Samak and Park City were here. We all were putting together these stockings and it was such a joyous experience to do something instead of just going through the motions of celebrating Christmas."
Through tears and often pausing to gain composure, Morin said she hopes her experience will have made an impact on her young son.
"When I look at him and I think of him being a young adult, I really hope that he sees the joy of giving to others," Morin said. "What I’ve tried to do with it is make giving joyful and I hope that it cultivates in him that giving to others is a way to get outside of yourself.
"I also look at my son and I don’t think that anyone brings a child in the world thinking they will need those services. I am so grateful to be able to do this. I couldn’t imagine my kid being in a position like that."
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.