Way We Were: ‘Tis the season for giving | ParkRecord.com

Way We Were: ‘Tis the season for giving

Boy Scouts and Lions Club members in a room filled with dolls, doll carriages, and other toys for the 1949 Christmas drive.
Park City Historical Society and Museum, Kendall Webb Collection

While it’s great to receive gifts for the holidays, especially from loved ones, most would argue that it’s even better to give. Parkites have had a tradition of giving over the years, as there have been many organizations in town that do charitable work: the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the Kiwanis, Elks and Lions Clubs, the Miners’ Union, the Woman’s Athenaeum, and more!

The love for giving in Park City was never more evident than in 1949, when community groups banded together for a toy and clothing drive during the Christmas season. The Park Record reported that toys and clothes for underprivileged children were “very urgently needed” that year. They prodded their readers to not “let neglect on your part mean despair and discomfort for someone else. The help of everyone is need in this drive.”

The plan was for groups to collect used toys and clothes on Saturday, December 26, with the Park Record saying “solicitors will visit every home in town.” Then “civic, fraternal, and school organizations” would spend time organizing items, repairing toys, and mending clothes in the Memorial Building, which was the community center at the time.

Boy Scouts and school groups helped members of the Kiwanis and Lions Clubs collect items around town, and the Kiwanis Club set up a toy workshop in the basement of the Memorial Building. Parkites got the message and gave heartily.

The Park Record then reported on December 29 that people “gave so generously to make this drive the biggest success in the history of Park City.” They continued that everyone “should be happy to know they gladdened many a heart that would have been saddened without [their] generous contributions.”

They also thanked the community for their generosity for one another. Their most poignant observation established that “the spirit of giving is always prevalent at Christmas time, and this year the spirit of giving was stronger than ever.”

We hope you participate in this season of giving. The Park City Museum could use your help in our efforts to protect and preserve Park City history. Volunteer to catalogue collections, give tours to school children, or for one of our other areas of need. To learn more, go to parkcityhistory.org or stop by the Museum. Happy Holidays from the Park City Museum!

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