Giving drives to benefit some of Utah’s most vulnerable populations

Salt Lake City — The Utah Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is gathering donations for our annual Holiday Giving Drive, which helps make sure vulnerable populations receive gifts, necessities, and the assurance that someone cares.

The Forgotten Patient Holiday Project, the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) Giving Drive, and the Division of Juvenile Justice and Youth Services (JJYS) Giving Drive benefit patients at the Utah State Hospital (USH), adults who are wards of the state served by OPG, and youth in JJYS services, respectively. DHHS staff manage the donations, purchase and wrap the gifts, and distribute them to those in need.

See below for details about each of these holiday giving opportunities.

The Forgotten Patient Holiday Project — The Utah State Hospital
What it is: Being in a hospital over the holidays can be difficult for patients, especially for those without family or loved ones to visit them. The Forgotten Patient Holiday Project provides gifts to state hospital patients who otherwise may not receive anything due to a lack of family or other difficult circumstances. Each year, about 400 volunteers donate time and sponsorship to make the Forgotten Patient Holiday project possible.

How you can help: Volunteer as a sponsor to provide gifts for these individuals. Sponsors receive an information sheet about a person—complete with clothing sizes, hobbies, interests, favorite treats, and other requests—then select certain items to purchase and give. Please work with a state hospital professional to make sure all gifts are safe for patients. The gifts will be delivered to the hospital, where staff will check them for safety concerns, wrap them, and deliver them to patients on Christmas morning.

Contact: Learn more or volunteer today by contacting Cami Roundy at 801-344-4254 or [email protected]. If you would like to help, but are unable to sponsor a patient, cash donations are also accepted.

Donations for Office of Public Guardian clients
What it is: The Utah Office of Public Guardian is a state agency that provides guardianship services to about 250 adults who are unable to make basic life decisions for themselves and have no other family to care for them. Each year around the holidays, many individuals OPG serves are in need of items like clothing, bedding, and personal care supplies. OPG uses the donations to give clients a personalized holiday and to make sure they have what they need throughout the rest of the year as well.

How you can help: Donate cash or a gift card to help purchase needed items and make sure all people receive a gift for the holidays.

Send checks or gift cards to:

Office of Public Guardian
288 N. 1460 W.
Salt Lake City, UT 84116

Or purchase gift cards via our Amazon wish list at

Contact: Email [email protected] or call 801-538-8255.

Donations for Juvenile Justice and Youth Services Giving Drive
What it is: This gift drive helps gather personal items, clothing items, books, and more for residents in youth centers across the state.

How you can help: Donate to our Amazon wish list. Items on the wish list help youth in our care, and you can pick a specific JJYS location to send gifts to.

To donate to our youth:

  • Open the Amazon donation link “JJYS Amazon wish list.”
  • Select location from the list. Any item from the list or quantity is welcome and appreciated.
  • Your purchase will be automatically sent to the location of your choice. You do not need to put in a delivery address.