Grand County Middle School student volunteers hand a wrapped gift to a child during the “Make One, Take One” event last year. [Photo by Murice D. Miller / Moab Sun News]

It is the season of giving, but for younger children, it can be especially hard to come up with presents they want to give to their loved ones. However, “Make One, Take One” makes it easy. The event, geared toward kids from preschool through elementary school ages, provides an opportunity for kids to make a craft they can give as a present and to use “Santa Bucks” to “purchase” gifts.

“We love that it enables kids to do some Christmas gift giving on their own,” event sponsor and organizer Tracey Lemon said. “They get the gift of giving and independence…And the community comes together for a good cause.”

Lemon said that the event has two sides. There is the “make one” part, comprised of booths where children are assisted in making crafts.

Lemon said the Family Support Center, the Grand County Public Library, WabiSabi, the Moab Valley Multicultural Center, the foster care program, the Grand County High School Honor Society, the Grand County Middle School Honor Society, the Youth Garden Project and 4H have run booths.

On the “take one” side, children can visit with Santa and get three “Santa Bucks” that they can use to purchase gifts. The gifts are donated by the community.

There is also a booth where children can wrap their presents, with assistance if necessary.

“It’s a ton of stuff, so it kind of covers everybody,” said local mother Sarah Hammerthor of the gift selection.

Hammerthor has attended previous “Make One, Take One” events with her two children.

“They love it because they get to give real gifts that they chose on their own,” she said.

Lemon estimated that, in previous years, somewhere between 120 to 150 kids have attended.

She welcomed donations for the event, including supplies to make crafts as well as wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, scissors and tape. She said the event also needs cash donations to help with advertising costs and other expenses. Those wishing to donate money can contact the Eastern Utah Community Credit Union and request to donate to the account held by “Make One, Take One.” Donations can also be dropped off at the Family Support Center (180 S. 300 East, #1). “Make One, Take One” volunteers are also able to pick up donations upon request, and may be contacted through the event’s Facebook page or by calling Debbie Thurmam at 435-260-1039.

Lemon said Thurman, along with Mike Johnson, started the “Make One, Take One” event as Grand County Kids Rock about 22 years ago. She said it started out at USU-Moab but “grew and became something bigger” and so was moved to the MARC. Lemon said she got involved in 2009 as a foster parent volunteering at the foster care craft booth. She said that last year, when the event needed a new sponsor, she stepped up to be a sponsor through her business, Dirty Lemonography / Photography, Personalized Art & Graphic Design.

“Debbie still does a lot, and I don’t know what I’d do without that Family Support Center,” Lemon said. “Everyone has been very helpful and supportive.”

“We love that it enables kids to do some Christmas gift giving on their own.”

– Tracey Lemon, event sponsor and organizer

Annual event helps kids give

When: Friday, Dec. 20, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Where: The Moab Arts and Recreation Center (MARC), 111 E. 100 North

Cost: Free

Contact: Make One, Take one Facebook page, 435-260-1039