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Utah Kids Foundation provides support & medical supplies for families in need

Pay it Forward:{ }Utah Kids Foundation provides support & medical supplies for families in need{ } (Photo: KUTV)
Pay it Forward: Utah Kids Foundation provides support & medical supplies for families in need (Photo: KUTV)
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(KUTV) Both Melissa Christensen and Kim Butterfield have medically fragile children. They also help run the Utah Kids Foundation.

"Our goal is to help and support families that have children with special needs," said Christensen, who is the president of the foundation.

The nonprofit does a "supply exchange" where they get donated medical supplies and provide them to families who can't afford it, have an emergency need, or insurance doesn't completely cover the needed items.

"We get like pull-ups, underwear, briefs, diapers," explained Butterfield, vice president of the organization. "We have almost every type of formula that's available."

Other supplies include feeding tube supplies, wipes, and anything that people donate.

The Utah Kids Foundation also has a huge online support group for the families they serve.

"We have close to 6,000 families in our support group," said Christensen.

The only requirements to join the online group is that you live in Utah or see a doctor in Utah. Needs range from total care children to kids who have autism and ADHD issues.

Vanessa Whitehead has used this support while caring for her daughter, Afton.

"They've been a huge resource to us," she said.

The Utah Kids Foundation has been helping the Whiteheads since soon after Afton was born five years ago. They've helped with figuring out formula for Afton as well as feeding tubes.

On the support group, Whitehead has been able to ask questions of other parents, share advice herself, and celebrate milestones with others in the group.

"It creates a tribe because there's nobody that quite gets it like a group like that," she said.

The nonprofit provides events for kids with disabilities, including Easter egg hunts, "unbirthday" celebrations, and several Christmas events.

Right now they are collecting donations for Stuff the Stocking, which helps provides gifts to these families.

"A lot of them are so financially burdened because it is so expensive to raise a kid with special needs and they need that help," said Christensen.

Everyone in the foundation is a volunteer and drives up and down the state to help families get the medical supplies they need. They keep supplies in storage units from Cache Valley to the Nephi area. They also have a way to get supplies down to St. George.

Christensen and Butterfield say their storage units are often overflowing with supplies and are looking for a bigger space to store items.

Mountain America Credit Union donated $500 to the Utah Kids Foundation to help them with their needs.

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If you want to help with their Stuff the Stocking event or want to donate medical supplies, visit the Utah Kids Foundation website. You can also visit their Facebook page for more information.